An Outlander Community
Saturday 9:00 PM on Starz
Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander book series is so popular that a friend of mine recently said, and I quote, “she has ruined all other writers for me. I’ll never be in love with a fictional character as much as I’m in love with Jamie.”


That’s A LOT of pressure on the Starz network. And Sam Heughan. So my question (and I’m sure the network’s question) is, did the pilot measure up? Fans, are you pleased as punch and giddy for more, or are you on your third draft of the angry letter you’re going to send to Starz?

My opinion (which counts for sooooooo much) is that it was pretty good. It wasn’t mind blowing, it didn’t rock my proverbial world or give me goose pimples. But the leads are talented and have good chemistry, and the cinematography was stunning. So yeah, okay, I’ll hop aboard this time machine of romantic adventure.

The series is likely only going to get better. It’s a tricky business, adapting a work of literature for the screen. Exposition can’t simply be stated, it has to be shown. Or in this case, spoken via excessive voiceovers. Was I alone in my eye-rolls? That may just be a case of pilotitis, though. After all, there was quite a bit of information this episode had to shove down our throats before we could get to the real meat of the story.

Speaking of, let’s get to it!

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It’s was pretty clear from the first ten minutes of flashbacks that Claire will not be a damsel. This chick is one BAMF who gets splashed with blood and doesn’t even blink, and swigs champagne from the bottle.

We met Frank, Claire’s lovable nerd husband whom we’ll likely never see again.

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Claire coaxed him into some sexy times, and this lady was ALL ABOUT IT.


Then we got a neat 20 minute history lesson that’s probably not important in any way.


We got a glimpse into how boring Claire’s life was bound to be, which was RIVETING (it was not riveting, you guys). But at least we got a fun little palm-reader who basically laid out the premise of the show.



Claire seemed very cool about the whole “two husbands” thing. This girl is SO ready for a time travel adventure! And that was before this very telling conversation:



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Claire and her adorable, cheating snore-machine of a husband went on a field trip to watch a bunch of the local “witches” get drunk and forget the steps to the electric shuffle.

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You’d think this would be the part where she falls through time into a sweaty, Scottish thrill ride, but NOPE, we got yet another scene showcasing the very hum-drumness of her current life with Frank, where they told us that he had a meeting and she was going back to the rocks.

THANK GOD we had that scene, you guys, because I would have been confused if action just happened without anyone talking about it.

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Forty minutes into the episode, Claire took a dive through time, which, just for reference, is the actual length of a regular scheduled television program.


The way they did the actual fall through time was creative and interesting, but did anyone else feel a little ripped off about not seeing a visual representation of the fall itself? Perhaps everything they tried just looked cheesy and lame, so they went a more symbolic route, but darnit, I wanted a portal!

Claire awoke with what I’m assuming was a massive hangover, and a whole lotta voiceover. I wonder if her inner monologue annoys her as well. Then she ran into this dashing fellow:


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You guys, real talk, I’m a little in love with Tobias Menzies. To go from a soft spoken lovable nerd to an aggressive jerk-wad is an impressive jump, and he nailed both of them. But before Claire could be raped by her husband’s doppelganger (talk about a weird day), she was rescued by a Scotsman and knocked unconscious. Yay!

The voiceovers (*eye roll*) took us to a cabin, where a bunch of dudes were having a clubhouse meeting, including this beefcake:



Now, I’m not saying this show is targeted towards only women, because there are lots of elements that appeal to a lot of different demographics… that being said, LADIES, AMMIRIGHT?? Sam Heughan for the win?

Claire fixed up his arm, which looked mighty uncomfortable, and then they were on their merry way.


Claire told her new chums about the ambush that was likely to be waiting, and then my favourite part of the episode happened:

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AAAHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAH *sigh* Jamie unceremoniously THREW HER OFF THE HORSE… hahaha… that was awesome.


Our heroine took the opportunity to run back to the stones, but was foiled by a ginger dream boat.

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Girl deserves to have a great time, you know?

Jamie passed out because he was shot and didn’t say anything. At this juncture I would like to point out that this story seems to be teaching dudes that to be sexy and tough you can’t show any signs of pain or weakness. Not a fact, guys. You know what’s super sexy? Not dying. Also not having gangrene or blood poisoning. I actually list these traits for an ideal mate on my online dating profile.

This moment DID, however, give us a nice treat to the age old trope of time travelers knowing things that people in the past don’t. The big tough Scotsman asking, “germs?” was precious.

Claire patched Jamie up, then they skedaddled and made it to the castle, where we were treated to more voiceovers. Yay!


Well guys, let’s be real, the first half of this episode was essentially the pre-show. We needed to get through the boring crap to get to the good stuff. The good news is that now the show is going to be (hopefully) ALL good stuff.

One thing I do hope for the future is that the writers put a little more faith in the show's audience. When Claire was staring into the gaping foggy void that should have had city lights, we knew what she was thinking. We didn’t need the voiceover telling us the city should have been there.

We know, show… we know.

We also remembered the history lesson that happened not twenty minutes ago, as Claire and her Scotsmen were heading towards the big ol’ rock. We didn’t need a Frank flashback.

Regardless, all in all, it was a mostly entertaining hour of pretty images and even prettier people.

What did you guys think?

Some Stuff

Would you tell someone if you were shot?

Is Tobias Menzies your new talent crush, and will you be making him your desktop background?

After reading the books, how many of you touched every old stone you saw, hoping for a romantic time travel adventure?

Are there any new fans of this show who DIDN’T read the books?

See you guys next week for some more Scottish accents and hopefully a kilt slip!

[Update - I didn't realize the lovely Lily Sparks was doing photo recaps of this show. There's no point in doubling up, but I'll check back in at the end of the season. See you all then!]
Comments (11)
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Nov 24, 2014
I hadn't read the books, or even heard of Diana Gabaldon before this series! -so the voiceovers are NOT overdone, and indeed help the narative!!

As for the the authoress, now that I've read some of the books, I can say this, she took an interesting premise and made it incredibly BORING!! Just compare 'Outlander' to L. Sprague De Camp's 'Lest Darkness Fall'! Ms. Gabaldon seems to latch onto certain issues, and then chews them Ad nauseam until you want to scream: example: Spanking!! Really, one third of the book was devoted to unceasing dissertations as to when and why one should spank one's child, be spanked by one's parent, and the reasons to spank one's wife!!
Aug 26, 2014
This is the best recap I've read so far. Please do more!
Aug 20, 2014
This was hilarious! There's always room for more photo recaps. Also Tobias has been my talent crush since way back when he was Brutus in Rome. He only gets better with age.
Aug 15, 2014
Great review :)
Aug 12, 2014
"You know what’s super sexy? Not dying. Also not having gangrene or blood poisoning. I actually list these traits for an ideal mate on my online dating profile."

LOL, this was my favorite part of your article.

Also, I love reading your photo recaps in general. So I totally wouldn't be bothered if you just decided to continue reviewing know...if you're so inclined :)
Aug 10, 2014
I kow what your friend means: I thought I could never love a fictional character as much as I loved Miles Hendon (The Prince and the Pauper), but then Larry Underwood happened (The Stand).

I'm still committed to the last season of another show now, but I'll definitely check this out as soon as its over.

I can't wait to see the pilot. Great article!
Aug 10, 2014
I just don't know why they wasted so much time on Frank. Pretty ordinary opening episode for me but I'm hoping it gets better from here.
Aug 10, 2014
I actually had never heard of the books before I heard about the show. But, when I found out it had time travel and a sexy Scotsman, I new I had to check it out. ;-) And I'll definitely read the books as well.
Aug 10, 2014
A friend of mine once described this series of books as yummy lollies - you can suck on them all day and always want more!
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