‘Outlander’: The Stones of Hell

Published 1 month ago by , Updated August 24th, 2014 at 2:13 pm,

outlander season 1 episode 3 claire Outlander: The Stones of Hell

[This is a review of Outlander season 1, episode 3. There will be SPOILERS.]

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Diana Galbadon’s #1 bestselling book Outlander has been blessed with an ability to represent multiple genres simultaneously. Is her story about a lovely young Englishwoman named Claire Randall fantasy, or is it more science fiction-focused?

This week’s episode, titled ‘The Way Out,’ takes that very question to heart as a young boy is dying from what the town’s people believe to be demonic possession. Are the ancient ruins of a Prussian church truly haunted, or is there a more scientific explanation waiting to be uncovered?

What’s fascinating about Claire’s exploits this week is her inability to accept the supernatural events that surround her very existence in 1743 Scotland. Our lovely heroine does acknowledge that she’s “fallen through time,” but the first mention of a young boy being killed by demons is unthinkable to her.

Like any good, pragmatic 20th century woman, Claire immediately looks for the scientific reasoning behind the incident, which of course turns out to be true in the end. And like the book itself, Claire is slowly discovering what kind of world she exists in. Is this a world of magic, or is a scientific process behind it all?

The process of her discovery is what makes ‘The Way Out’ the best episode of the series so far.

Last week showed us some of the inner workings of Castle Leoch’s hierarchy, while here we get a glimpse at how the people in the village live. Executive producer Ronald D. Moore is doing a remarkable job of taking Galbadon’s expansive world and condensing down into these hour-long episodes. Just before you know it, the episode has ended, giving the viewer a large amount of content to digest without it ever feeling forced.

Outlander may not have the same kind of ferocious pacing as Game of Thrones, or even History’s Vikings; however, there is still lots to uncover each week.

outlander season 1 episode 3 claire jamie Outlander: The Stones of Hell

Another genre that Outlander encapsulates so well is that of a romance narrative. Moore and Galbadon never let you forget about Frank back in 1945. The use of flashbacks throughout each episode are helpful reminders of who Claire used to be compared to the woman she is becoming. With each passing week, Jamie becomes more of a threat to her marriage. How long do you think it will take Claire to accept this new life in the past as the only one she knows?

Perhaps she will never truly forget where she came from, as the bard’s beautiful melody about a traveler who touched a stone and was transported through time was remarkably familiar to her. The prophetic voice says she will find love in another. Is that person Jamie? Frank seems like a “good guy,” so hopefully she’ll be reunited with him at some point.

Only three episodes in and Outlander appears to have found its footing. Do you like the pace that Moore and his team have set, or is there not enough going on to keep you engaged? Stay tuned if you wish to see what happens next.

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

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  1. Hmmm, not quite what I picture myself watching, but maybe I will check it out.

    • It’s worth a shot. You can watch the premiere for free on the Starz official YouTube page.

  2. “How long do you think it will take Claire to except this new life in the past as the only one she knows?”

    to accept?

  3. I read the books and loved them. I know where the story is going, but boy does this tv show do it justice! I loved this episode and I enjoy seeing familiar characters but not entirely knowing what is going to happen each episode.

    • I thought about reading the books before reviewing the series, but I wanted to come at this from a fresh perspective. Maybe I’ll pick up the first book after the end of this season.

      • It would definitely taint it, although I have been enjoying the show just as much as the books.

  4. I confess to being a sucker for anything involving the words ‘time-travel’. The problem is that in far too many instances, that turns out to be a mistake. Such is not the case with Outlander.

    I was not familiar with the books at all when I decided to check it out. But I have become a fan of what Starz is trying to do with their original programming. More importantly, I am a HUGE fan of Ronald Moore’s. It is safe to say that I am very happy that I did check it out.

    While I can’t speak to its authenticity, I can can say without reservation that I FEEL like I’ve been flung through time as well. The look and feel of the show is superb. The fact that I’m a little annoyed when an episode ends, is testament to my enjoyment.

    Like the reviewer, I also thought this was the strongest episode (though the previous two were also very good). I have no idea where the story is truly going, but I do know that I’m along for the ride.

  5. I just hope we are going to get the opportunity to watch this wonderful series in the UK, I am so enviouse of you all

  6. Galbadon’s Outlander series (there are 4 books) was so addicting that I had to make sure that when I finished one, I had the next one on hand. So when I heard they were making it into a television series, I was excited. And I haven’t been disappointed. As books, the series was shelved under ‘Romance’ which hardly represented them. Historical novels would have been a better description. With such excellent television like GoT, Borgias, & Viking, so far this series is standing up to its competition. I look forward every week to the next episode.

    • @ Steph there are eight books, so you better get reading Drums of Autumn is the next book in the series!