‘Outlander’ (Season 1): The Trials of Living in 1743

Outlander The Watch Episode 13 (2)

As modern-day women, we take for granted all the luxuries we have at our disposal: cell phones, DVR’s, televisions, indoor plumbing, comfortable clothing, electricity – you name it. But for 1946-based Claire Randall Fraser in the Starz drama Outlander, when she is taken back in time by those fateful stones at Craigh Na Dun in Scotland, transporting her to 1743, any creature comforts she may have been accustomed to were gone.

The cold and rain can only been lessened by an open fire; her brasserie was replaced by an extremely uncomfortable looking corset; indoor plumbing was replaced by the out-of-doors and violence and death were the order of the day. Even the task of doing laundry turns into an all-day affair with roughened hands, scalding hot water and lye that probably stank to high heaven being par for the course. And let’s not even talk about how to be sanitary in a time where getting a regular bath was a difficult, if not at times, impossible task.

Then there is childbirth. Oh my god, the birth of Jenny’s baby – that would be Jamie’s tough but endearing sister – in last night’s episode just seemed excruciating. Granted the child in question was a breech birth, but still. With no real doctors – at least not the doctors even from Claire’s time – at their disposal and only midwives to be counted upon (or not as the case was), Claire was left on her own to help Jenny bring her latest child into this world.

I don’t envy the women of that time, but then again, they, of course, weren’t aware of all the conveniences for which we now take for granted. But, I wouldn’t trade them places for the world. And even Claire, when she was given the opportunity to return to her time, she stayed because of her love for Jamie. Maybe that is the only ‘thing’ that hasn’t changed in all these centuries: the love shared between a man and a woman. Perhaps if the kind of love between Jamie and Claire could be replicated, would you – if you could – travel back in time and deal with all the trials of 1743? If it were me, I don’t know what my answer would be.

Let’s talk about the love between Jamie and Claire for a moment too. When Claire was taken by Black Jack Randall, Jamie did everything in his power to get his beloved wife back unharmed. But now that we know the Redcoats have taken Jamie, what will Claire do to get him back? From the clips Claire goes to Rupert, Angus and Murtagh for help, but will those men help her? Will she seek out help from Dougal and the clan MacKenzie? Will any of them be willing to assist or will she be on her own? Please share your thoughts.

The next new episode of the debut season of ‘Outlander’ will air on Starz on Saturday, May 9 at 9/8c.