Our resident Outlander fanatic Tara Ward shares her thoughts from the much-anticipated return of time-travel romance series. Contains spoilers. And smoulders.
Christmas came early yesterday when Lightbox announced that they’d treat us to an early episode of Outlander, since we’d been such well behaved children. The skies cleared, the sun came out, and the world rejoiced as we marched one hour closer to the ultimate destruction of the Highland culture. Happy days.
Team Fraser was stronger than ever, revitalised by the fresh Scottish air and the lingering stench of bodily fluids. Jamie and Claire’s preparations for the pointless slaughter on Culloden Moor was buoyed by the return of our filthy friends Dougal, Angus and Rrrruperrrt. Never have we been so thrilled to see a horde of half naked men come running out of the bushes.
Episode nine was called ‘Je Suis Prest’. This does not mean ‘I am a banana’ (I should have paid more attention in French class) but ‘I am ready,’ the Fraser clan motto. Alas, the bedraggled fools pulled from under Lord Lovat’s haystacks missed the memo. The only thing they were ready for was a beard-plaiting competition.
But I feel it in my waters that we’re more than ready, so let’s dive into episode nine like a Shetland pony dives into a miniature swimming pool. Or was that just a dream I had? Hard to know.
1) Murtagh uses the softly softly approach to turn mice into men
The ever sensitive Murtagh was on hand to motivate and nurture Lovat’s feckless idiots into true soldiers. He was an eighteenth century Oprah, encouraging them to find their passion, to turn their wounds into wisdom, and to write in their gratitude journals. Gets me right in the feels.
2) Jamie Fraser: leading men since episode nine
Jamie’s return to Scotland gave him a testosterone transplant. He’s a different man to Paris, probably because he doesn’t have to play any more batshit boring chess games with Bon Jovi or avoid the thigh-sucking prostitutes at Madame Elise’s.
The new and improved Jamie strode confidently through the camp, giving man-hugs to the bewildered soldiers, punishing the naughty children, and ordering Dougal to keep his shirt on at all times. It was impressive, it was inspiring, it was about bloody time THIS IS EPISODE NINE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.
3) Rock, scissors, paper is possibly the only way forward
“All I hear is talk, talk, and more talk about fighting and war,” Dougal said in disgust. Good to know he feels the same way about season two as I do.
What’s the best way to kill the English? It’s a tough choice: should they do a naked mud run and shock the English to death, or march in two straight lines and cause the English to collapse in a jealous stupor over such exemplary queue formations?
4) It’s no wonder Claire’s head hurts: pudding should always be taken seriously
Camp Mother was as cross as two short sticks. All the testosterone caused wicked flashbacks to WWII, when she taught soldiers to powder their feet and debated whether black pudding was a sausage or a pudding, or even a food at all.
The jury’s still out, mostly because Claire and her pudding-eating pals were blown off the road by some nasty Germans. Bloody war, always getting in the way of plot advancement. I NEED SOMEONE TO TELL ME IF BLACK PUDDING IS A SAUSAGE.
5) Meanwhile, Jamie glowed like the angel that he is
6) When I’m with you, I’m standing with an army
Preparing for battle must be like attending a funeral. You wish you didn’t have to do it, but it’s also great fun getting drunk with your mates whom you haven’t seen since that time they busted your husband out of prison.
Angus and Rrrrruperrrrrt were as hairy and hilarious as ever, bringing the comic relief that was sorely missing from the airless mahogany armoire that was Paris. (They would have busted the crap out of a lace necktie, imo).
7) Somebody tie this man to a tree until season three
Fans went completely gaga over the first sighting of Lord William Grey, aka Lord John Grey, aka Very Important Character Later On. Fans of the television series, however, will think of Lord Grey as a terrible spy who they’ll probably never meet again, mostly because Jamie said “I hope we never meet again.”
Don’t hold your breath.
8) Jamie puts the ‘man’ into ‘commando’
Jamie led a commando mission to Lord Grey’s camp, where they slaughtered the English and set fire to some enormous wooden wheels. It was an important tactical victory, but could have been more impressive if Jamie had remembered to ask the English if black pudding was a sausage or a dessert.
So that was episode nine, a fine feast of filth and flashbacks. Just like the Spice Girls comeback, reunions don’t last forever. It’s time to stop plaiting our beards and move on to bigger battles.
Mine’s the brown tent, next to all the mud.
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