‘Outlander’ Goes to an Alien World

Published 8 months ago by

outlander season 1 episode 2 jamie Outlander Goes to an Alien World

[This is a review of Outlander season 1, episode 2. There will be SPOILERS.]


Outlander has garnered strong opinions for those both for and against Starz newest drama series. It appears as though fans, newcomers and book readers alike have won the day as the show has been renewed for a second season. Whatever you may think of Outlander, it’s here to stay (for now).

In this week’s episode, titled ‘Castle Leoch,’ Claire must learn to quickly adapt to the customs of 1743 Scotland if she hopes to ever find her way home. We also learn more about the political structure, as the leaders of Clan MacKenzie are revealed to be a suspicious sort of folk.

Claire is clearly no English spy, but it was comical watching her frustrations toward her hosts as she was constantly under watch. Her relationship with Jamie is developing nicely, but it was strange to hear her say that her husband was dead.

Sure, if one was to think logically, Frank was not even born in 1743, but has she already given up hope of ever finding him? While her constant re-bandaging of Jamie’s shoulder throughout the episode brought on some nice flirtatious banter, doesn’t it seem like she’s falling for the handsome Scot a little too quickly?

Either way, Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan’s chemistry is superb and it’s one of the reasons to keep tuning in over the next several weeks. Jamie’s back-story was well developed, as Moore and his team use flashbacks and flash-forwards with great precision.

Back in the 20th century, Frank takes on an Obi-Wan Kenobi type role as the voice of reason in Claire’s mind. The interrogation scenes between her and Colum MacKenzie (Gary Lewis) added some much needed tension and uncertainty. Outlander may be a slow-burn, much like HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, but in that deliberate pacing lies some fascinating scenes.

outlander season 1 episode 2 claire Outlander Goes to an Alien World

Take our introduction to the lovely red-headed Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek), for example. Her encounter with Claire in the gardens was a subtle sequence, but it was one filled with a great deal of intrigue. From the very first moment the two women lock eyes, it seems as though anything is possible. Behind Verbeek’s knowing smile, there are a thousand emotions plastered on her face.

What’s her end game and why is she so interested in Claire? According to Duncan, the towns people call her a witch, due to her dabbling in potions and elixirs, but could there really be something magical looming behind those bright eyes? Only time will tell.

The MacKenzie brothers (Dougal and Colum) are an interesting pair as well. Colum may be the one in charge, but Dougal seemingly keeps his own council. There’s definitely serious history between these two, which will hopefully be described in more detail as the season progresses.

Other notable moments from this week’s outing came in the form of this reviewer’s new favorite character, Mrs. Fitzgibbons (Annette Badland). The lovely woman’s moments with Claire offered some welcome comic relief, especially the “changing-scene.” The look on Fitzgibbon’s face when she first saw Claire’s undergarments was perfectly captured. Claire also proved her cleverness by saying her clothes were French. These two ladies need more screen-time together.

‘Castle Leoch’ was another solid outing for Outlander, which is in no hurry to finish its story. Saying the show is “slow” sounds too derogatory for a series as well-crafted as this one.

Is everyone sticking around for the journey? Stay tuned to see what happens next.

Outlander continues with ‘The Way Out’ next Saturday @9pm on Starz.

Follow David Griffin on Twitter @griffinde
TAGS: Outlander
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  1. Thanks for the review – nice job!
    I will point out that she does not say her husband Frank is _dead_: she says he is not alive. As in: he has not even been born yet! This realization leaves her feeling utterly alone and grieving for something so central to her which does not even EXIST. Hence her tears.
    And: hell yes, she changes the bandages of an 18th Century Gunshot Wound frequently! There are NO ANTIBIOTICS to be found. Clean bandages – she sterilizes with alcohol – are essential to nurse that through-the shoulder-hole back to health. :o)
    This is an excellent show – my husband and I are loving everything about it!

  2. Nice catch Laura about the distinction between ‘dead’ and ‘not alive’, as I too immediately picked up on the phrasing.

    However, I think this ep wasn’t quite as enjoyable as the first, even though I agree that there were many interesting and subtle character moments. It did seem to drag a bit.

    The other clunky part was when Claire was at the dinner table and was being plied with drink. Even though she know (in hindsight, we learn) the tactic of getting someone tipsy and talking, she still indulged with gusto. Almost every scene had her glass in hand drinking, even after repeated refills, all the while her replies came across as very stilted (to make sure that everyone knew she wasn’t being forthright). You’d think she’d be taking baby sips given her intelligence.

    Anyway, that really stuck out like a sore thumb, but also that they would wait until the very last moment, when she’d practically boarded the coach to leave, to bring her back to stay as a house guest/prisoner. Surely, they could have done that much sooner.

  3. As a big fan of Diana’s books I am waiting with bated breath for it to come to the United Kingdom. I can’t wait!

  4. this looks like a great tv show! im waiting eagerly for this to premiere here in Sweden

  5. Good show so far. I like the pace. Good scenes and clever dialog.

  6. Am i the only one that is disappointing by this episode? The pilot started pretty weak but had a strong finish. This on the other hand was not good, i personally got bored somewhere in the middle.

  7. Does any body know when we are getting the series in the UK?