From Page to Screen: Outlander S1:E2, “Castle Leoch”

From Page to Screen: Outlander S1:E2, “Castle Leoch”

It’s Outlander day, friends. That means if episode 2 is still patiently waiting for you on your DVR, you should skip this post. This isn’t a spoiler free zone. My last post didn’t have spoilers but I cannot guarantee that this one won’t.

So this week we caught a glimpse of how this show operates as a TV series. The cinematography makes you feel like you’re watching a film but the pacing is a lot slower. It’s a little hard to reconcile at the beginning. You have to tell yourself, “This is NOT a film” and then the pacing becomes more reasonable. I did think for a moment, “This is going awfully slow for a film.” Duh. This is NOT a film. Keep reminding yourself that.

This episode covers the beginning of Claire’s visit to Castle Leoch. It ends as Colum *invites* her to be the castle’s surgeon (aka *cough* Yer not leavin’, lass *cough*). We get to meet many characters. Mrs. Fitz looks just as a pictured her. She has her thumb on the pulse of the castle. It would probably crumble to pieces without her. We also get to meet Laoghaire (btw, that’s pronounced “Leery”) and Geillis Duncan. I’m most excited about Geillis because she looks duplicitous. She’s exceedingly nice to Claire but something seems a little *off* about her. My non-Outlander reading husband picked up on it but I couldn’t tell him why.

I think the best scene is when Claire first comes to dinner. She sits between Colum and Dougal, who promptly get her drunk so they can question her. But the *Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ* moment comes when she thinks that Dougal is Hamish’s father, and says so. The whole hall goes silent. How embarrassing. You really get a sense for Colum and Dougal’s machinations as they prod Claire for information. Their motives become very clear. That’s why I like this scene so much.

My one problem here is that I don’t know who a lot of the supporting men are. I think I saw Murtagh in this episode (the man standing beside Jamie when he took Laoghaire’s punishment) but I really don’t know. Update: I did a Google image search and I was right. That was him. But really, an introduction or two might be nice. On the same line, Dougal has Claire followed and I can’t remember if it’s Rupert or Angus. I think it’s Rupert. Angus is the relief guy who has been known to shag an animal or two when a woman wasn’t available. *shudders* Anyway, that’s really my only issue. If it’s hard for a fan to tell these things, then what is it like for someone who isn’t familiar with the story?

We also get to see Claire interact more with Jamie. They have lots of alone time in this episode, including one particularly tense moment where they almost kiss. One thing I really enjoy with this series is that it takes a while for them to get to know each other. You can feel that they’re attracted to one another but they don’t act on it for a while. This is especially clear in the scene where Laoghaire comes to visit Jamie after he takes her punishment. She wants Jamie. Jamie wants Claire. And Claire’s pretty sure she wants Jamie but how the hell did she get to 18th century anyway and how does she get home to her husband?

Black Jack Randall makes a sinister appearance in “Castle Leoch.” Jamie tells Claire why he was in prison and we flash back to Lallybroch and Randall’s ransacking of the house and his sister, Jenny. I can tell already that the torture scenes at the end of the book are going to be emotionally tough to watch. Because, damn. Those scars on Jamie’s back are no joke. Kudos for Tobias Menzies for playing such a great villain.

Outlander - Castle Leoch - Claire costume
Outlander S1:E2, “Castle Leoch” (Starz)

Let’s talk costumes for a minute. This is my FAVORITE look of the entire episode. I’m in love with this. I think I need a (faux) fur cowl immediately. I wonder if I can crochet those arm warmer things. Anyway, she looks gorgeous.

The episode ended and I wanted more. That’s a good sign, right? Like any series, I’m expecting a lag around episode 4. Time can only tell. But I think it’s good news that Starz picked it up for a second season. Hello, Dragonfly in Amber! I’m interested to see how they’ll do it. It stays in the present so much before flitting back into the past.

I’ll be back next week for some more stimulating Outlander discussion.

© 2014, Jessica Workman Holland. All rights reserved.

  • JessicaHolland

    I do the same thing. It’s been a while since I’ve read the book. But I’ve read it so many times that the details are fairly sharp still. I’m loving the series.