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‘Outlander’ Recap: Through A Glass, Darkly

There’s a lot new in this
season of Outlander– new locations,
new complications, new wardrobe,
even a new theme song and title
sequence. But
amidst all the newness is a welcome amount of old- Murtagh’s
still a curmudgeon,
Jamie is
still beautifully sarcastic, Claire is still able to get into trouble
at any
given moment by pissing off the
patriarchy, and Frank is still more than
a wee bit spineless. While the
rolling green hills of Scotland will
be missed, a
split story between Boston in 1948 and France in 1744 promises
to be just as


If there are two things that Outlander excels at, it’s

staging swordfights and
showing flesh. While showing flesh is pretty self-
explanatory, it’s the
varied types of swordfights that kept
up the pace in
season one. Viewers saw the literal steel-on-steel variety
quite a bit, but were
privy to battles of wits and wars fought entirely within the mind. This

season seems to be no different,
which is why it only makes sense to be
reviewing episodes in terms of the
balance each episode strikes
between sword
and skin. After all, if there’s one thing missing from
everyone’s favorite
drama, it’s a handy 0-10 rating system.

Sword score: 9/10.
there’s no literal sword fighting in
this episode, the entire hour is one
mental battle of wills, and it’s Claire
doing most of the fighting. For
most of
the episode, she’s back in 1948 with Frank Randall, and she can
barely look at
him straight.
What’s happened to Jamie to prompt her return isn’t clear, but his
death is
alluded to enough to make even
the most cold-hearted viewer
uncomfortable. In any case, Frank turns out to
be the nicest guy in the entire

world, and even handles Claire’s pregnancy reveal with eventual acceptance,
not restraint in the
moment. Eventually Frank claims victory over the ghost of
James Fraser, and
Frank and Claire depart for a new
life in Boston. Even once
viewers FINALLY get back to 1744, it’s still
Claire against the world, but this

time, she’s got Jamie and Murtagh on her side.

Skin score: 1/10.
get a couple of rather
chaste kisses between Jamie and Claire, but it’s pretty
clear that Jamie is
not up for much more. The boat
trip from Scotland did not
sit well with him, and the look on his face when
he finally gets to sleep in a

bed that doesn’t move is one to which any motion sickness sufferer can
Viewers hoping to find out
if Black Jack Randall is still messing with Jamie’s
head from beyond the
grave will simply have to wait until

Overall, this is a very solid season premiere. There is
surrounding Claire’s
return to her own time, intrigue as she, Jamie and Murtagh
plot to change
the future, and a whole slew of
possible ways for Claire to get
herself into trouble in a new country.
There’s also the underlying question
“will Jamie and Claire change their future?” From Claire’s research in
1948, it
doesn’t seem likely,
but playing with history rarely turns out the way one
expects. For Jamie and
Claire, only time (and the rest
of this season) will

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