Outlander series premiere recap: 'Sassenach'

Former WWII combat nurse Claire Randall is transported back in time to 18th-century Scotland.
Ep. 01 | Aired Aug 9, 2014

RIDING IN CARS WITH MEN Claire and Frank cruise the Highlands.

Ed Miller/Starz

The silence is broken by gun shots and Red Coat cries. Flustered and scared, Claire bolts through the woods until she comes face to face with Frank. Except it's not Frank. It's his nearly identical ancestor Black Jack, at her service. She gives him her maiden name, Beauchamp, to avoid suspicion, but when she lets an expletive fly, he takes her for a whore and tries to rape her. (We're not in the 20th century anymore, Sassenach.) Thankfully, a marauding clansman knocks Randall out before he gets too far, fleeing with Claire in tow. He takes her to his leader, Dougal, who decides to sort things out back at Castle Leoch. They can't depart, however, until injured clansman Jamie is tended to—his shoulder is painfully dislocated. As the men are about to inelegantly muscle it back into place, Claire sternly intervenes, using her capable hands to skillfully right his shoulder. He thanks her, and in gratitude, as they mount his horse together, he offers to share his plaid with her. "You're shaking so hard it's making my teeth rattle," he says with a sly grin. Chivalry isn't an entirely foreign concept to this ragtag group, at least. (Perhaps Jamie can give my most recent date some pointers...)

As they pick their way through the woods, Claire recognizes a familiar site: Cocknammon Rock. She warns the men of a potential ambush, prompting Jamie to push her off his horse and charge headlong into danger. Claire uses the raucous to escape, but her patient quickly finds her, warning, "If you don't walk, I shall pick you up and throw you over my shoulder." Is that a promise or a threat?

They continue to ride into the night until Jamie himself unceremoniously falls off of his horse. He was shot during the scuffle and didn't bother mentioning it. Claire once again tends to him (this will continue to be a recurring theme, so get used to it). "Thank you, Sassenach—truly," he says before they're off again in the hopes of evading Randall and his army. As they arrive at the castle—the same now-ruined outpost Claire and Frank visited just two days before—Claire realizes just how far from home she truly is.

"So far I had been assaulted, threatened, kidnapped, and nearly raped, and somehow, I knew that my journey had only just begun."

Bad news for Claire, good news for us.

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