“Castle Leoch” S1:E2 | Outlander Thoughts

August 21, 2014 Outlander Thoughts 14

Outlander 2014 S01 banner

Airing on Starz, Saturdays at 9PM EST

I rarely watch a show as it airs, but I’m making an exception for Outlander. I’ve really enjoyed this series by Diana Gabaldon and am eager to follow the television adaptation. Since I’m both excited and opinionated, I thought I’d share my thoughts after each episode. This will be a running commentary, so I’d expect some spoilers. With that in mind, I’ll plan on doing these posts on the Thursday afternoon after the episode has aired, giving a fair amount of time to watch before reading. I’m not a professional television reviewer or critiquer by any means, so know that all views come from a bookworm enjoying one of her favorite series coming to life on the screen. Enjoy & feel free to weigh in 🙂

“Castle Leoch” S1:E2

castle leoch

Image taken from Candida with permission from artist.

Episode Synopsis: Claire is introduced to the laird, but suspicions about her grow as she makes a friend of the mysterious Geillis Duncan and the clan discovers her skills at healing.
Original Air Date: Aug 16, 2014
Length: 1 hour 1 minute

Overall thoughts about “Castle Leoch”

I thought “Castle Leoch” was even better than “Sassenach”! I think I’m happy that I read the book over a year ago and can’t remember the exact sequence of events and details, because there are things that I’m pretty sure are off. But they aren’t significant enough to really bother me. I love the way characters are coming to life and am really enjoying watching the show. I even watched it two times!

I rate “Castle Leoch” a 4/5

The Nitty-Gritty on “Castle Leoch”

I don’t think I’ve mentioned how much I freaking love the intro song and I just had to say something about it now. I don’t watch the show live but on Starz Play. Typically when I watch shows this way, I fast forward through intro songs, but I could listen to this one over and over!

I about groaned when the first thing we hear in this episode was Claire’s voice-over! I’m still not a fan of it and find it mostly unnecessary – even for Outlander Newbies – but there was a lot less of it in this episode and it bothered me a lot less. I suspect I may even grow used to it before the season is over.

That voice-over – easily the thing I liked least so far – quickly faded away into what I loved most about this episode. It was so much fun just watching the people interacting and living their lives in their natural element. I know this might have led to a slower pace overall for the episode but it lended it such a great quality that I have no complaints what-so-ever about the pacing.

Mrs Fitz

This moment with Mrs. Fitz(gibbons) is one my favorites. I love this character even more than I remember loving her in the book – Annette Badland has done a great job with her!

Dugal sword fighting with son

Here Dougal is playing with young Hamish and I thought it was such a sweet scene. About the only time I liked Dugal in this episode, but Graham McTavish is doing a fantastic job with his character as well!

I’m absolutely thrilled they didn’t skip these for the sake of drama and action! There will be plenty of that in it’s own time.

Another element I really enjoyed were the moments where they’d flash back to when Claire and Frank has passed through the same spot in Castle Leoch. In fact, I liked the attention to Frank in general – I think it’s helping to reinforce a very important element to the series – Claire loves Frank and is very worried about not only getting back to him, but about how her absence is impacting him. I thought they’d handled this really well.

I hate that I’m saying this, but I’m not exactly feeling the connection between Jamie and Claire in this episode. It wasn’t bad by any means – it just wasn’t as sizzling as it already had been in the first episode. I think, for me, this my be a result of my distraction by a few things. One – I keep asking, “did he really tell her all that now?” I’ve only read the book once and a year ago, so the details of when things happened is a bit fuzzy, but I’m feeling like his revelations are a bit earlier than I had expected. And two – what is up with Jamie’s hair? LOL I read somewhere (I can’t remember or I’d totally give credit) that it was like Hobbit hair and I agree! I love Sam Heughan as Jamie though – he’s nailed him for me.

And I’m still really liking Caitriona Balfe as Claire – particularly in the moments where she tells off Dougal and Colum. And when she trapped herself at dinner – that was a great scene. My BF said “And that’s why you don’t say things when you don’t know.” LOL! That’s a moment I’m almost positive wasn’t in the book, but was really great.

But more than anything, this episode was about relishing in the details for me. They’ve done some visually stunning things – the landscape is gorgeous, of course. They’re showing us people at work, going about the running of Castle Leoch – whether it’s in the kitchen or outside on the grounds. And then there’s the gruesome things. Am I the only one who gasped when we saw Jamie’s scars? I mean, I knew they were there, but holy shit! Awesome job. Similarly with the holding of court – that was great! I loved that they didn’t translate for us, anymore than Geillis Duncan – who I’m also loving BTW – translated for Claire.

Jamie the hero

Jamie stepping in to take the punishment for Laoghaire. They captured the brutality of this beating well.

Claire and Geillies at Court

Claire looking on in horror and Geilleis holds her back. Am I the only one who doesn’t remember Dougal being so obviously villainous? I’m enjoying his portrayal though!

And the clothing! I love not only that they look so authentic (not that I actually know, but they sure feel it) but you get to see little details about how they were worn. And how many clothes women wore. In the scene where Claire was getting dressed my BF said, “Geez! That’s like too many clothes!?” My favorite part of that scene was when Mrs. Fitz asks “What kind of corset is that?” I laughed my ass off at her confused expression.

They ended the episode at a great moment, with Claire realizing that she will not get back the standing stones or Frank anytime soon. As I told my mom (when I watched it my second time), they sure now when to end these epsiodes!

My final thoughts on “Castle Leoch”

So pretty much, this episode is a love fest for me. A few things felt different than I remembered them, but not really in a bad way, just different. The pacing was mostly slow, but it didn’t bother or bore me in the slightest. I wonder if those who haven’t read the books are enjoying the details as much as I am?

What did you think of “Castle Leoch”? Where do you think the next episode will take us?

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

14 Responses to ““Castle Leoch” S1:E2 | Outlander Thoughts”

    • Berls

      There were definitely boring moments in this episode, but I think the historian in me was less bothered because I just loves seeing everyday life captured so beautifully.

      I’m no longer so bothered by the voice over – but its also in the episodes a lot less than it had been at first, thankfully!

    • Berls

      Oh I would love to be watching this with a bunch of fans! I’m watching with my BF who has no clue about Outlander, but his responses are interesting 😉 Oh yes, that they thigh was totally intentional – they KNEW our minds would go there!
      Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 56th EditionMy Profile

  1. Terri M.

    I read the book AGES ago and all the details are fuzzy to me, but I’m enjoying the series so far. I want to know the “science” behind Colum’s legs! How the heck did they do that? And what shooting techniques are they using to make him shorter than everyone.

    Dougal is a schemer. I’m not sure that is apparent in the first book, but as the series goes on it becomes a key point. The show is just bringing or building that up sooner, I think.

    I love Claire. I think she is pretty much spot on. Since reading book 1, Claire has been someone I admire and Catriona is doing a bloody brilliant job.
    Terri M. recently posted…Back to School Challenge Day 05: Dedicated to the Ones I LoveMy Profile

    • Berls

      It was only a year ago for me and I’m struggling with details, so I can imagine how fuzzy they must be if you read it a long time ago! Yes! I would love it if they did a special behind the scenes on his legs! I wonder if people still suffer from that disease today? Obviously our treatment would be better, but I wonder if we’ve found a cure?

      Dougal is definitely a schemer – I just didn’t remember realizing it so early on. I think it makes sense to make certain traits more obvious in the show though. Even with 13 episodes they don’t have near as much space as the books to let us slowly get to know characters.

      I totally agree about Catriona – she’s doing a great job. She hasn’t nailed the JHRC yet, IMHO, but besides that, I’m happy 🙂
      Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 56th EditionMy Profile

  2. Lupdilup

    Great review, and I completely agree with everything you thought worked in this episode. I totally love how they are trying to show how much Claire loves Frank and how much she’s dying to get back to him. I can’t help to feel really nervous about them changing things from how they happened in the book, and I always have to watch a second time to just sit and enjoy it with my mind at ease.
    Lupdilup recently posted…Twist Audiobook by Dannika Dark (review)My Profile

    • Berls

      I’ve watched every episode twice too Loupe 😀 I just have to soak it all in! So far I’ve been ok with what they’ve changed – it’s felt right. I’m really glad about the emphasis on Frank. I was afraid they’d miss that and focus only on the attraction to Jamie. They’re doing good 🙂
      Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 56th EditionMy Profile

  3. Stormi

    Great review of the episode. Now from the perspective of someone who hasn’t read the books..um I thought it was a bit boring. Now I liked a lot of things that you did, Mrs. Fitz is awesome, the clothing and authenticity and the pretty scenery, and showing Frank looking for Claire,but it just felt sort of slow. I am trying to remember that this is a series based on a rather large book and that there might be slow parts and I think because I don’t know what might be coming next makes it a bit slower.

    I thought the felt like a connection between Claire and Jaime but I also think that is a result of not having read the book. 🙂

    I am still curious enough to keep watching and well I could just listen to them talk all day..sighs. 🙂
    Stormi recently posted…Review of The Red Hot FixMy Profile

    • Berls

      Well I can certainly understand still being bored, the pace is definitely slow. I think it will start to pay off this week though (I haven’t see yesterday’s episode yet but I saw previous and it looks like we’re about to see some real excitement). The book definitely has peaks and valleys, but b/c of those you really get to know the characters so much better.
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