During my time abroad, I asked my friend to accompany me on a castle tour through Scotland. Unknown to her, who hated the first episode of Outlander, most of the tour featured location settings for the show. Meanwhile, I had spent July binge watching Seasons 1 and 2. I totally geeked out as my tour guide played the theme song and took us to the castle locations. Meanwhile, my friend sat confused to how an entire bus of people could be so infatuated with a show that she hated after watching the pilot. I am here today to make sure no one makes her mistake to stop watching after episode 1.
Image from source
Here is the problem with Episode 1: it is having an identity crisis. For those who do not know, Outlander is about an English nurse named Claire who is transported from the 1940s to the year of 1743 in Scotland. For more details on the plot, and the confusion of most viewers, you can check out this Vanity Fair article. The problem with Episode 1 is that the viewer goes from thinking it is a television series about a broken marriage, then a post WWII series, then a time travel show and then a romance. The viewer finishes Episode 1 thinking: what did I just watch?
However, I beg you to continue to watch the fascinating series if you are a fan of historical romance fiction, as I am, or if you are a fan of drama, gore or time travel. The perfection of the series is that even though the pilot is confusing, it allows the series to attract a wide range of viewers. So maybe the article in Vanity Fair says it’s the weirdest show on TV, but I think it is with purpose: it is weird because of its confusing tone and genre, but that’s what makes it specular because there is no single way to describe the show. The show deals with issues of forbidden love, outlaw, obsession, and betrayal all under the pressure of the pending Jacobite rebellion.
One of the many painful torture scenes in Season1 Image from source
It also deals with the sensitive topics of rape and torture on screen. *spoiler alert* For example, in the season 1 finale, Jack Randall, the ever-present British solider whose goal is to hurt Jamie, the main Scottish character, tortures and rapes Jamie. The scene is extremely difficult to watch but proves that harsh and rough reality of history can be filmed, and should be, in order to have a prospective on the realities of war.
If you are looking for a multidimensional, dramatic, sad but exciting series, keep room to binge watch this series this week.
Look forward to reporting on Season 3 sometime in 2017.