Outlander: By the Prickling of My Thumbs (110)

Dougal MacKenzie flies into a rage after the death of his wife.

Dougal MacKenzie loses his schniz over the death of a wife we’ve never seen or heard of before.

[This Outlander “non-recap” is brought to you by this week’s Scotch, “The Glenlivet, 12 years of age.”  Hey, that’s what it says on the packaging.  I do not like it as much as last week’s 12-year-old Glenfiddich, but I will persevere and finish the (relatively small) bottle.  Not all at once, mind you, but soon enough to try a different Scotch next week.]

In an episode seemingly designed to lessen my enthusiasm obsession, who ruled the day?  Who lost?  And who sucked arse?


1.  Colum MacKenzie:   Do not mess with the laird.  Gary Lewis (the only Outlander actor whose Scottish brogue is perhaps even more pronounced than his character’s) for the win.  The diminutive actor made not one, but two strapping men cower.  And rightfully so.

2.  Murtaugh:  He’s Jamie’s right hand man, guardian, sounding board, voice of reason, and alarm clock.

3.  Rupert & Angus:  No longer burdened with the Claire-watch, they now have time for more manly duties, such as trying to subdue an enraged Dougal by sword (Rupert) or drink (Angus).

4.  Mrs. Fitz:  At least she had more than one line this week, even if it was only one more.

5.  Jamie’s button-fly trousers: After so much hullabaloo has been made about his kilt (hell, we even learned how he puts it on just last week), Jamie now starts wearing trousers for no particular reason?  Somebody better provide answers in Ron D. Moore & co.’s podcast.


3.  Dougal MacKenzie, Geillis Duncan, and spouses:  Introducing Dougal’s wife only to have her die felt clunky and forced, as did Dougal’s overwrought remorse.  Definitely the most problematic scene of the entire series so far.  Graham McTavish deserved better.

2.  Jamie’s Epic Sword Fight from the opening montage?  Turns out it was nothing more than a name-calling contest, Highlander style.  I felt cheated.

1.  Claire:  Did ye not learn just last week (or yesterday?) that not heeding Jamie’s words would land you in trouble?  Thank goodness you  have a strong, handsome hero to rescue you.  Again.

The Losers?

We, the viewers.  The producers seem to be weaning us off Rupert, Angus and Mrs. Fitz.  Will we be able to enjoy the show as much without these adorable, memorable characters?

4 responses to “Outlander: By the Prickling of My Thumbs (110)

  1. We’re caught up so I’m going back to read your posts. 🙂

    I wondered about the trousers, too, and had some ideas. One scene (I think in a later episode) had Claire wearing the plaid. That would mean Jamie would need something else to cover him. 🙂 In the ep where he went to the Duke of Sandringham, I thought maybe he was wearing them out of respect for the Englishman he was appealing to. You know, be a little less in-your-face about their differences? The first time, I thought maybe it was because of the cold, but the other guys were wearing their plaids, so I dunno.

    • I have learned so much about the trousers since posting! Firstly, they call them “trews.” My initial thoughts were that they were easier to don when Murtagh interrupted Jamie and Claire’s morning festivities. And other mentioned the same as you when Claire was wrapped in his plaid. That was not the case.

      Costume designer Terry Dresbach (who is Ron Moore’s wife!) said trews were worn by the upper echelon of Scots, whereas kilts were more work-a-day. Since Jamie is a laird, it was fitting that he start wearing them.

      Sam Heughan has said that the kilts are quite warm. They filmed season 1 over the winter and he said he was never cold in them. And he didn’t like the “trews once he started wearing them. A true Scotsman. 🙂

      • That explanation would make perfect sense if Collum had ever worn them. To my recollection, he never did. And he had a bigger castle, more land, and more people, so he was higher echelon than Jamie. (Obviously, he had to wear a kilt for us to see his deformity, but you’d think he’d at least wear the trews during the gathering, when everyone is swearing loyalty to him.)

  2. Pingback: Ranking Outlander, Part 1 | SciFi Chick (s)

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