Catch up on Outlander: “Sassenach” — Aug. 9, 2014

Claire and Frank Sassenach Outlander

Claire Randall gazes at a vase in a shop window and reflects that she’s never settled in one place long enough to own a vase. She thinks that maybe if she had one it would have changed everything, perhaps she wouldn’t have disappeared. No, a vase would change nothing because she and her husband, Frank, would still go poking around in Druid business, which is the kind of thing that pulls you out of the 1945 and lands you in 1743. It’s a rough era, especially for a woman and there’s not so much in the way of a good dental plan, but there are definitely perks. Let’s go.

So Claire, a combat nurse, and her husband, Frank, reunite at the end of WWII. They have barely seen each other in the past five years so they have to get to know each other again. There is some distance, but Claire exposits that the one way they always connect is with his penis. They reconnect a lot during a second honeymoon in Inverness, Scotland. Frank likes another body part, too, Claire’s palm; while he was at war, he would doodle images of the lines. Frank is preparing to become a historian wants to learn more about his 18th-century ancestor, Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall. As they pull up at an inn, the couple sees doors marked with blood, the area is a hotbed of paganism and the blood marks represent a sacrifice. I hear the schools are good, though. The husband and wife drive around the Highlands and Frank points out various ruins and the like. Claire’s interested because her Uncle Lamb was an archeologist. The sights include Cockmannon rock. [insert your own dirty joke here]  Cockmannon was a spot where the British army ambushed the Scottish. They also see Castle Leoch, as they explore the castle, the Foreshadowing Fairy leads them to a remote area, the lighting and ventilation are poor, you wouldn’t want to stay there; but if you’re these two you’d want to reconnect there.

Outlander's Claire and Jamie on horseback.During another stop, Claire meets a palmist and gets a reading. Her mount of Venus reveals that she is a randy one, which we already knew. Her lifeline is curious and indicates two marriages. Claire returns to the inn by herself. Frank shows up and sees a peeping Tom gazing at Claire, but the potential perv seemingly vanishes into thin air. Frank hints around that perhaps the mysterious man shares a past with his wife, five years is a long time for a lusty lady to be by herself. Claire is offended by the insinuation and shuts him down.

The Randalls sightseeing includes hiding in the grass to spy on a pagan ceremony so they can watch cloaked women slow-motion about with lanterns. In the daylight, Claire goes to the spot, which is surrounded by stones, to examine a flower. She’s interested in botany and the use of plants and herbs for medicinal purposes. That would be a valuable skill if one ever disappeared into a world without modern medicine. Well, looky here, Claire wakes up in a world without modern medicine or Frank. It looks the same, but something is off. As Claire enters the woods to find her husband, she leaves her shawl behind. This worries me, roaming about in that flimsy dress makes her look like a tourist. It’s the equivalent of an American schlepping around Paris in a fanny pack and white sneakers. Just no.

Claire comes upon what she desperately hopes is a movie set. She’s approached by a redcoat, who looks exactly like Frank or maybe his ancestor, British officer, Black Jack Randall. Claire thinks it best not to mention their shared surname so she introduces herself as Claire Beauchamp. Black Jack introduces himself as a rapist. Claire’s rescued by a bedraggled Scotsman who takes her away to a bunch of Scottish rebels. To be honest, they’re shady, so this might be an “out of the frying pan and into the fire” scenario, but aside from leering and aggressive sexual harassment, they don’t cross over into Black Jack territory, but only because their stern leader, Dougal MackKenzie, reins them in. There is a wounded young man, Jamie Frasher, even though he’s covered in grime, you can tell that he’s dreamy and doesn’t sexually harass women. Dreamy Jamie’s chiseled cheekbones are a distraction, but Claire is a nurse so she focuses on his dislocated shoulder. Nurse Randall tends to his injury, which earns her a modicum of respect from the icky brutes.

As all the men depart, Dougal threatens to slit Claire’s neck if she causes any trouble. Let’s remember that Dougal is the second most palatable man in the group.  Jamie carries Claire away on his horse. When the rebels near an area that Claire recognizes as the ambush spot, she cautions them and her warning is proven accurate, but the band of ingrates now suspect she’s an English spy. With the exception of dreamy Jaime, the men of the 1743 are horrible people. Jaime keeps getting injured so that in upcoming episodes he’ll have to take his shirt off a lot. Bad for Jamie, good for viewers. Claire sees that he now he has managed to take a bullet. She baffles her traveling companions by demanding disinfectant. Oh, Claire. She doesn’t have the history buff Frank around to tell her that Joseph Lister won’t be born until 1827. Claire has to settle for booze and the beginnings of unresolved sexual tension. Do these two have a shipper name yet? All I can think of is “Claime” which sounds like a medical condition. If you know what the amalgamation is, please leave a comment.

This show is armed with Chekov’s gun, so the traveling party ends up at, Castle Leoch, of course.

Please note that comments don’t appear immediately. If you’ve read the books, please don’t share any spoilers for those of us who have only watched the TV show. Thanks.

Elaine G. Flores, Chief Editor
Elaine is the chief editor of TV Recappers' Delight. She's an experienced entertainment reporter, reviewer, editor, blogger, columnist and Bon Vivant.

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