Outlander Season 1 Review “The Way Out”

Outlander 2014

If this was Sleepy Hollow or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “The Way Out” would be deemed a ‘monster of the week’ episode. Little was done to advance the overall plot of the Outlander storyline. Instead, Claire and Jamie had one mystery to unravel and another situation to alleviate. Both of those instances were solved, and in the process we were privy to some enlightening character moments between not only Claire and Jamie, but Claire/Geillis, Claire/Colum, and Claire/Murtagh.

Let me start with Claire/Frank scene at the beginning though. It may have been too on the nose in terms of Claire’s current predicament (welcome to the 20th century; her promising to return to Frank), but I liked it. Those few minutes revealed how these two people who fell in love before the war came out of it quite differently. There’s an eagerness and naiveté to Claire here. And Frank is wholly devoted to her, no sense of absentmindedness or distraction. They both even look younger (props to the hair department on that). I can believe Claire wanting to return back to this to; to try to save what she had. It’s the stubbornness that Frank loves. And it’s that stubbornness that also makes her so very attractive to one Jamie Fraser.

This episode also gave me my favorite Claire/Jamie moment so far: her teasing him at the dinner table. All of their moments together so far have yielded a heat, but this one spoke volumes in a different way. Claire may have told herself that she was jealous of the intimacy, but anyone with eyes (Murtagh included) was able to see it was all about Mr. Fraser. Jamie hung out the bait by kissing Laoghaire, and Claire took it. And it became the first time I felt her actively make a move regarding him versus his wounds or care. Jamie may have been embarrassed at the table because Murtagh was there but he validation he wanted. The whole situation could have come off as contrived but was handled by Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in a way that felt sincere and validated. Also, Claire and Jamie could have an 18th century detective show. Her modern knowledge and attitudes along with his well-rounded upbringing (he knows Greek and Latin!) would make them quite a formidable team. They could travel all around Scotland saving boys from getting their hands chopped off and/or having her cause distractions while he pulls pillar nails out of their ears (shudders). Along the way, Claire can also prove the power of science to creepy priests!

Speaking of creepy, I just can’t trust Geillis Duncan still. For part of the episode I actually thought she had poisoned the boys to see what Claire would do in response. She’s cryptic in how she talks about life, has a flatulent husband who she probably married for status, and is way too interested in Claire’s past. I can buy Dougal and Colum’s reason for acting suspicious. Claire very much could look an English spy to the Scottish. Geillis doesn’t seem to have that hunch though. She’s basically saying out loud (but not in words) to Claire that she’s hiding something. And I have a feeling that when Claire finally finds out what it’s only going to lead to trouble.

More Thoughts As I Listen to a Folksong that Exactly Describes the Current Situation I’m In:

– The song also felt too on the nose (readers, is it in the novel?) but allowed for that wonderful moment for Jamie to narrate and Claire to just listen.

– The fake-out of Claire telling Mrs. Fitz about her situation was perfect because it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for someone back then to react that way. Claire being a witch would feel like the most probable explanation. And it became a nice juxtaposition to Mrs. Fitz’s placing her trust in Claire later dealing with Thomas. Also: Mrs. Fitz standing up to the creepy priest = awesome.

– This is only the second notable interaction we’ve had with Murtagh, and it made me like him even more. Not only did he save Claire from rape, but he also told her what’s what.

– Sometimes the best laid plans don’t work out: Claire got Colum to trust her alright, well as a healer. Now he believes in her abilities so hardily that the chance of her leaving is even slimmer.

– Poor Laoghaire: I understand exactly how you feel.

– Angus and Rupert remind me of Ben and Lon from Pocahontas (which I guess makes Jamie a mix of John Smith and Thomas).

– I need Claire’s scarf and hand warmers from this episode. Etsy?