Outlander: By the Pricking of my Thumbs review

Outlander continues to make history sexy, even if this episode was slightly less sexy than usual. Here's Rebecca's review.

This Outlander review contains spoilers.

Outlander’s first season continues to grow and thrive like some sort of verdant and pervasive Scottish moss (totally a thing). If you tuned in this week hoping for an hour of corsets, nipples, and kilted sex romps…well, you’d be very happy with the first two minutes of the episode, sure. But the substance driving the show is no longer just the sexual chemistry between Jamie and Claire — though rest assured, that’s there in spades.

Inside Castle Leoch dwell a wealth of characters and this week we were reminded that 18th century living was slightly more high stakes than life today. Example: If my boyfriend had an angry ex who wished revenge upon me, she might say something cutting on social media. Claire Randall had to contend with being arrested for witchcraft and possibly, you know, murdered.

“By the Pricking of My Thumbs” was beautiful to watch, and expertly balanced between Jamie and Ned Gowan’s schemes to get him a pardon (courtesy of the questionable Duke of Sandringham) and Geillis Duncan’s murderous machinations and plans to get with her baby daddy Dougal. Claire and Geillis’s relationship was played out in a way that led me to believe we were supposed to think that the duo were inseparable bosom buddies.

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Unfortunately since her first appearance, Geillis has telegraphed that she is not to be trusted and in turn, Claire has made it vastly clear that she doesn’t. That’s why it struck such a strange chord to have them swear friendship. A more accurate picture of their true dynamic came when Claire was all “Dude, we gotta save this dying baby because fairies aren’t real,” and Geillis was like, “peace out, ho” and tottled off into the underbrush, presumably to find more drugs with which to torture her gaseous and dying husband.

Outlander deserves a vast amount of credit for popularizing what is, at its core, a drama about the Jacobite uprising. While it hasn’t completely dug into the tale of Bonnie Prince Charlie, it continues to make it clear that the war for the crown was dividing the nation of Scotland. Okay, okay, I’m putting my nerd enthusiasm away — but lets remember to give credit where it’s do: Starz and Outlander are making history sexy with a quick oral sex scene as the only spoonful of sugar sweetening the deal.

That said, as much as I’m amped watch the political machinations unfold, I’m still far more invested in whether or not Claire is going to be hung as a witch in Jamie’s absence. Damn Laoghaire, damn her to hell, I say! Though in fairness to that blondish strumpet Claire slapping her in the face was maybe not the best course of action.


4 out of 5