Outlander – Castle Leoch

“Castle Leoch” is episode two of season one of Outlander.

In the first episode, “Sassenach”, Claire, a former war nurse from the 20th century, was transported back to 18th century Scotland whilst on holiday there near Inverness with her husband, after she touched one of the stones of a stone circle where a ritual had been performed the night before. The Scottish Highlands were not a terribly safe place at that time. She was shot at by redcoats, attacked by an ancestor of her husband (‘Black Jack’ doesn’t tend to be a good nickname) and rescued and taken prisoner by a Scot. Her knowledge of 20th century medicine proved useful, but she’s still stuck, out of her own time and in a pretty dangerous place. Although, given her experience during World War II, Claire does have experience with unsafe environments, and she has proved useful to her captors. When she arrived at an intact castle that she had just visited as a ruin, Claire accepted that she wasn’t in her own time any longer.

This episode opens at said titular castle, the home of the MacKenzie clan, where Claire has arrived on a horse. She realises that she needs their help if she is ever going to get back to her own time. Once again, her medical knowledge proves useful as she tends Jamie, the man who rescued/captured her, and who suffered a gunshot wound. When Claire sees that Jimmy has suffered extensive flogging, at the hands of the redcoats (specifically Captain Randall, her husband’s ancestor who looks identical to him), she says she can’t see how anyone could take joy in such a thing (and she’s just seen what Nazi Germany could do? Not exactly a believable statement).

Jaime tells Claire that she’s safe as long as she is with him, but, when she asks about if he’s not there, he points out that she’s English in a place where they aren’t very popular at the moment. Life in eighteenth century Scotland is a bit of a shock to Claire (and her twentieth century underwear is a bit of a shock to the locals as well). although at this point she only knows the probable century, so she looks to find the date. Fortunately, she finds the date really quickly on a letter – newspaper deliveries are probably a bit uncommon.

Claire asks the laird for help in getting back to Inverness (so she can return to the standing stones), and he suggests a way, but he would appear to be a little suspicious of how an English gentlelady wound up in his castle. Certainly, by his questions, however innocuous they may appear to be, he has some suspicions. Claire thinks she only has to survive a few days though before she can escape to her own time (it won’t be that easy naturally). She is under suspicion as being an English spy by some in the castle, as it is believed she hasn’t told the truth as to who and what she is. Which is actually true; but people wouldn’t believe the actual truth.

There is more narrating from Claire over the events (and more of what is probably Scots Gaelic; subtitles would be helpful!), and some scenes from the twentieth century as well, both after Claire left and from Claire’s past in that time.

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