#Outlander Season 1 Mini-Recaps

As Outlander nears the big finale, I decided to take a look back over the episodes and revisit the posters I created for the second half of the season. The exceptional cinematography and lighting in each episode prompted me to make major updates to all eight posters to include some of my favorite shots.

I love to hear from readers, so let me know what your favorite episodes of the season are so far and why. Thanks so much for reading and supporting my musings!

And because I can never post artwork without doing a bit of yakking, I’ve added very short, itty bitty, mini-recaps for each episode.

Episode 109: THE RECKONING

The Reckoning puts us inside Jamie Fraser’s mind for the first time and places him in several awkward situations – from settling matters between his two feuding uncles, to facing his old flame Laoghaire back at Castle Leoch, all starting with his rescuing Claire from the fiendish Randall’s clutches.

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Of all the landscapes, I especially love the snowy Castle Leoch scenery in this episode – breathtaking. And the setting between Jamie and Laoghaire near the river is very “organic” – her approach (down below) and her departure (here) both being a bit haunting. It’s almost as if she’ll be haunting Claire and Jamie for a long time to come . . .

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But the most memorable scene for me is that between Claire and Jamie in the bedchamber where he takes this oath:

“I swear on the cross of my Lord Jesus, and the Holy iron in which I hold, that I give you my fealty and pledge you my loyalty. If ever my hand is raised in rebellion against you again, then I ask that this Holy iron might pierce my heart.”

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Episode 110: BY THE PRICKING OF MY THUMBS

Quite an exciting episode – By the Pricking of My Thumbs. Needless to say, our attention is captured in the opening minutes and never wavers throughout.

The story detours a bit from Diana Gabaldon‘s novel in its introduction of the Duke of Sandringham. Jamie is foisted into participating in a “harmless” duel which turns into a dangerous brawl with the MacDonalds.

Claire’s precarious situation becomes even more of a pickle when Jamie is exiled from Castle Leoch, not leaving without bidding a passionate farewell to his new wife.

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Geillis makes a grand return to the series, dancing mystically in the woods and knocking off her poor husband Arthur. It all sets the stage for her eventual downfall in . . .

Episode 111: THE DEVIL’S MARK

The witch trial in The Devil’s Mark is more about magic and superstition than the law, and it shows in this episode with the flashback to Claire attempting to save the faery child in the tree. It’s visually my favorite scene in the episode with its stunning dreamlike quality.

Perhaps the most pivotal moments in the story occur following the daring escape from the trial. Jamie learns the truth about Claire’s origins, then leaves her with the choice to stay or return to the 20th century.

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Like Geillis’ entrance, she makes a grand exit in this episode by throwing herself on the mercy of the merciless court to save Claire and Jamie from the hungry mob.

Episode 112: LALLYBROCH

In Lallybroch, Jamie is reunited with his family, though tensions run high. Not only do bad memories abound, but Jamie has difficulty fitting back into his old life. Eventually, the sibling blood ties are repaired . . .

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and  Jamie and Claire manage to carve out a place for themselves. Within the comforting walls of Jamie’s family home, they declare their love for one another for the first time.

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As Scotland itself plays a key role in the series, Lallybroch plays a central role in this episode. Its grandeur is not what we expected, but it certainly explains why everyone wants what Jamie has as we learn in . . .

Episode 113: THE WATCH

The Watch is one of the most entertaining episodes of S1 P2 with the introduction of Taran MacQuarrie and the return of “blue eyes” Horrocks. Taran is an honorable sort of scoundrel, much like Han Solo, who likes putting his feet up at mansion Lallybroch. Horrocks is more like Boba Fett, out to screw over anyone who gets in his way of pilfering a cushy life.

Jamie faces off against his latest perils while Claire midwifes Jenny’s troublesome delivery over a discussion of “What does it feel like to be pregnant?”

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This episode showcases some of my favorite lighting of the season, especially during the Jenny/Claire scene and during Claire and Jamie’s farewell below – the last time we see our handsome hero for a bit.

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Episode 114: THE SEARCH

The Search rounds out the mini-trilogy with Lallybroch and The Watch, and brings Murtagh Fraser back into the fold – with a wallop of vengeance and a breath of amusement.

Murtagh puts on his dancing shoes, proving once again there is nothing he will not do for his godson Jamie.

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This episode slows the tempo down a tad and gives us a break before the emotional scenes to come. But it doesn’t tap down the emotions too much, as in the touching scene between Claire and Murtagh in the cave when he tells her of his lost love, Ellen.

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Episode 115: WENTWORTH PRISON

Wentworth Prison presents some of my favorite photography of the entire season, especially impressive given the restricted environments. The use of candle light in The Wedding episode yielded a romantic and enchanting ambiance, whereas the torch lighting in the prison creates an adversely eerie and stark atmosphere.

The result is my favorite shot of the season (so far) – Randall’s hand reaching out toward Jamie’s back –– Randall striving to exert control over Jamie in unimaginable ways.

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Claire has her moment of dominance over Randall when she bestows upon him the knowledge of the day of his death, before she is shoved onto a pit of bodies heaped under the prison.

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But real power lies in the eyes, which Jamie shows throughout the episode, especially in our last look of a man who gives up everything he values . . . for love.

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Episode 116: TO RANSOM A MAN’S SOUL

In To Ransom a Man’s Soul, we come to the end of the season, but not the end of the story. Thank goodness. There is both darkness and illumination in this episode. Diana Gabaldon tears down her characters, so they can build themselves back up again. Without giving away too much . . .

Randall receives what he’s always wanted, but I’m not convinced it’s what he expects.

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Jamie sacrifices himself, but in a way he definitely doesn’t expect.

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Claire faces the greatest challenge of all, saving not only Jamie’s life, but his heart and soul as well.

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20 thoughts on “#Outlander Season 1 Mini-Recaps

  1. I look forward to your wonderful posts as much as Ron Moore’s podcasts after the episodes, this one was the best. I know episode 16 will be very sad and tearful, I am hoping also tearful with a happy end to book one. It will be a long wait for Dragonfly in Amber. Thank you for your musings

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  2. Many favorite moments but one that stands out and has stayed with me is Claire cursing BJR with the hour of his death. Again we see the powerful woman who thinks fast on her feet. Given what she’s just been through and who she’s just left in dire circumstances, she should be a sobbing mess. But she’s strong and relatively composed when she gives BJR something and some TIME to fear. She’s masterful!

  3. Wonderful, thought provoking piece that captures the heart of each episode. Thank you so much. We must never let them forget that the relationship between Claire and Jamie is the heart and soul of this story and pray that it doesn’t get diluted by additional characters and story lines. Two scenes that you have highlighted, the return to the stones and first “I love yous” were given short shift, in my opinion. I think they deserved more time. Nitpicking I know, but these things add up and then you have an action series devoid of its heart. That being said, this show is a dream come true for me and for legions of fans.

    1. Thank you, Frances, for your kind comments. Regarding the “I love you” scene, I firmly believe the problem most people have with it is the coverage. While I enjoyed seeing the master suite (as I used it on the poster), I would have greatly appreciated a few close ups at critical points in the dialogue. For whatever reason, they chose to keep us at a distance which makes the exchange feel less intimate. Sam and Claire both have wonderfully expressive faces. We want to see them up close and personal, as in their goodbye scene in episode 115, right?

  4. I love all of your posters! They look like they should be in a movie theater. I have enjoyed reading all of your posts and recaps. I look forward to more from you.

  5. Thank you for this mini recap. The second half of the season did not disappoint one bit. My fave episode in the second half – and it’s hard to narrow it down – remains The Reckoning, though I have favorite scenes in each episode, of course (Claire returning to Jamie after she decides to stay, the scenes with Jamie and Jenny, pretty much any scene with Murtagh in it….). I “liked” Wentworth Prison, if you can call it that – more an appreciation of what it took to get that level of excellence acting-wise. I had built that episode up in my mind to actually be much worse than it turned out to be – over active imagination, I guess. Looking forward to episode 1× 16, though not looking forward to the end of the season.

    1. Hi, Liz. I understand exactly what you mean about “liking” Wentworth Prison. I’d been looking forward to the performances in that episode for the entire season, especially after seeing The Garrison Commander. I very much enjoyed the first half of the season, but am blown away by the second half. Cannot wait to see what they do in Season 2.

  6. well done, as always! i follow you on twitter and your exchange with diana the other night just made me smile ear to ear! i always pin your blogs, and recommend you as the best outlander blog…i hope more people (as i get many re-pins!) are following you….because this is the best place to be when not watching or reading outlander!

      1. Wow! I totally missed that you can “pin” your posts. Will have to go back and do that. I just got a Twitter account, and am now following you there as well (at least, I think I am? I have no idea what I’m doing with Twitter yet). No, I’m not some weird stalker or anything….just a fan.;-)

  7. Great re-cap, enjoy your reviews overall. Would have to say Wentworth so far favourite and then the Reckoning.In both you get to see more raw emotions (hats off to the Actors) and that life was not pretty in the 17th Century. Though not all votes are in, could change depending on last episode. I read the books so long ago I forgot a lot of the finer details….
    p.s. great sense of Humour 🙂

    1. Thank you, Catherine. I think it’s actually good you haven’t read the novels in a long time. You can enjoy the show for the show. Yes, The Garrison Commander and Wentworth Prison are at the top of my list as overall my favorite episodes. Something about Randall tickles my dark side. Will be sorry to see him go in Season 3 – fingers crossed the show continues until then.

  8. Catching up on your posts. Candida, keep encapsulating the episodes. You speak for all Outlander fans in your humor, your poignant pinpointing of character, and your insightful musings. Thank you!

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