Outlander Costume Recap & Podcast: Season 2, Episode 1

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As your resident Outlander nerd, yes this post should have come sooner! However I was out of town all weekend, so I just got to watch the first episode of Season 2 (electric boogaloo) of Outlander. Sarah and I will be recapping every episode this season, both in blog post AND podcast — Sarah is still catching up on season 1, so she’ll be joining Kendra starting with episode 2 next week. We’ll be focusing mostly on the costumes — designed by Terry Dresbach — in our blog posts, but probably tackling both the costumes and the story itself in our podcasts.

You can find the podcast at the bottom of this post, or on iTunes!

For those who aren’t regular Frock Flicks readers: this blog and podcast is all about costumes in historical movies and TV shows, and we approach things from the angle of history. So, expect us to be talking about the costumes primarily from the point of view of comparison with the real history of the 1740s. We’ll also talk about costume in terms of story, and the deviations that come with this one having the fantasy element of time travel. But, know that when we talk about that dreaded phrase “historical accuracy,” we’re not doing it to be mean or judgy. It’s just one lens through which to watch this fabulous show.

I did think for a moment about going back and costume-recapping all of episode one … but then realized we didn’t have enough time. We do have lots of coverage, including a podcast, on the first season, so if you’re interested, check out those posts!

So, let’s tighten our stays, slap on a wig, grab a glass of champagne, and get this soirée started…

Claire wakes up at Craigh na Dun, the standing stones through which she originally traveled through the past. She picks up something metal — I’m unclear whether it’s a bullet shell or something modern?

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Lovely green wool bodice, laced over a stomacher.

She stumbles down a paved road (dun dun DUN) until a car arrives behind her…

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I thought this silhouette was lovely.

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Green wool gown, chunky knit arm warmers to drive the historical knitters crazy, hair down to annoy me! ;)

Claire immediately asks the driver what the year is, and then who won Culloden. He’s confused. She’s traumatized. I’m sniffly.

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Poor Claire!

Frank has gotten word that Claire has been found, and arrives at the Scottish hospital in which she’s being held.

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Fedora, nice suit — check! Not Black Jack Randall.

Claire’s in a hospital gown and she’s not happy about it.

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So noisy — I feel you, Claire.

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Frank is sharp, as always, without being TOO sharp.

Awfully conveniently, the hospital has left Claire’s 18th century wardrobe on the chair next to her bed. This allows Frank to puzzle and us to peer at her stays.

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I’m guessing linen? They have a nice cut and boning layout.

Claire and Frank go to stay with the Reverend Wakefield. Claire confides in Mrs. Graham, while poring through books on Culloden.

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Is Claire happy or sad to be wearing a garter belt again?

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All cozy in a knitted sweater.

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With a tartan blanket on her lap.

A week goes by, and Claire is finally ready to have a heart-to-heart with Frank.

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Claire’s robe.

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Frank gets casual for their overnight chat.

Who’s this cute little boy? Oh, it’s Roger Mac for those who’ve read the books!

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Little boys in mid-century clothes are SO CUTE.

Claire and Frank come to an agreement. Despite the fact that’s traveled to the past, married another man (who is now dead), and is pregnant with his child, they’ll go forward in life together.

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I loves me some mid-century high-waisted trousers!

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Claire’s skirt is a classic cut, with the two pleats over the knees.

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White blouse, sleeveless sweater.

Claire agrees to let go of the past, but Frank agrees she can keep Jamie’s wedding ring til she’s ready. WHICH WILL BE NEVER.

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Phew!

Claire has a moment looking at herself in a mirror, which is reminiscent of her getting dressed in the 18th century scene in episode 1 (or is that 2?).

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Blue tailored coat.

Frank is outside burning Claire’s 18th century wardrobe, a symbolic act for them. Couldn’t he have just dropped it off at a local museum so that we could study it today?

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Noooo, Frank! Think about posterity!

Frank and Claire head off to their new life in Boston.

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Dressed nicely for air travel. He should be more rumpled, though!

Claire’s in a practical brown suit, with a printed scarf and green hat.

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The angled pockets are SO 1940s.

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Her hair is a snood.

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That hat is super dark green, which pairs nicely with the green print in the scarf.

And finally, we’re back in the 18th century — 1743 I believe? Claire, Jamie, and Murtagh are just off the boat from Scotland — now they’re in Le Havre, France. Both are in very nubby Scottish outfits.

Jamie’s in a natural-colored waistcoat and dark blue coat:

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I feel like Jamie’s hair is at an awkward length.

Murtagh is all Scot, all the time in his tam and layers of coats:

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Murtagh won’t be eating any macaroons any time soon.

Claire is wearing a brown wool gown with spangled embroidery on the stomacher.

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Another lovely silhouette.

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Brown. Wool. At least there’s spangles!

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Oh dear, there’s back-lacing, which is so wrong for this era. Hey, at least there’s no metal grommets, and the lacing is done spiral instead of criss-cross. They’re trying!

Jamie and Claire agree to try to stop the Jacobite Rising of 1745 in order to save all the lives that will be lost and the crushing of Scotland. Murtagh agrees to help, although he’s uneasy about not knowing why.

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Murtagh is very pro-kilt.

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Claire gets her hair up — hooray!

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And adds a wool cloak.

Jamie’s cousin Jasper Jared comes to visit.Jared, a fellow Scot, lives in Paris where he is a wine merchant. He’s also a Jacobite. He agrees to get Jamie into the Jacobite circle in Paris. Jamie also agrees to take over Jared’s business while his cousin is in the West Indies.

I LOVE this coat. That color green is one of my favorites, and the silk satin is lovely.

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As are all the buttons and the non-functional buttonholes.

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Jamie and Claire only have one set of clothes, apparently.

In order to explain to his cousin why he’s suddenly pro-Jacobite, Jamie shows Jared his scars. I appreciate the front view.

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I feel like Jamie has been working out. Rowr.

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Don’t put that shirt back on TOO quickly, Jamie.

Jared is wearing a wig, a touch I appreciated — it’s unpowdered, and the front hair around the face should be cut shorter, but I’ll deal.

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Lovely lovely green.

Down by the docks, Claire spots some sick men coming off a boat. She follows them into a warehouse, identifies that they have smallpox, and pisses off the Comte Ste Germain in the process.

The Comte is rocking the grey wig and pink waistcoat. DOUBLE ROWR.

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Hellooooo, sailor!

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Another lovely silk satin (the brown coat).

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His wig is a better cut than Jared’s.

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In back, the queue is in a bag, which makes this a bagwig.

Finally, a shout-out to the effects team for the beautifully believable shots of Le Havre’s seaside buildings. I LOVED these!

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Sadly, no shagging this episode!

What did you think of episode 1? Are you ready for Paris and shiny???

 

Outlander Season Two, Episode One, Podcast Recap

Listen to our podcast recap of the episode here or on iTunes!

23 Responses

  1. Christy

    Good review, love seeing the costumes. I missed it in the show, did they say Jamie’s cousin’s name was Jasper, in the book it’s Jared. It would make sense that they only have one set of clothes because they were fleeing Scotland and didn’t have any money.

    Reply
  2. Susan Pola

    Season 2 started off with a nice bang. But I did want to throttle Frank. But that’s normal. I always want to throttle Frank.
    I really loved the 1940s clothes Ms Dresbach designed for Claire, Frank, Wee Roger and the Reverend. Hopefully, she’s going to include Dior’s New Look. She used it for Claire in France as Dior did use those silhouettes. Maybe even include Charles James in the 1940s shots.

    Reply
  3. AshleyOlivia

    I am so happy the Frock Flicks team is doing episode by episode recaps for Outlander! Really, it’s all I’ve wanted out of life ever since details about the fabulous costumes of season 2 started leaking. So thank you thank you thank you.

    I’m willing to give Claire’s hair being down in the opening shots a pass, since in the books she and Jamie have been having marathon goodbye-sex all night long, followed by one last quickie with the sounds of British soldiers approaching the camp, after which Claire finally makes a mad dash for the stones… Plenty of logical reasons for her to have lost all of her bobby pins. I think the object she is feeling for in the grass is a ring, because she is shown holding it again and carefully placing it in her suitcase before going to America. I think this is something new the show has added, as I don’t remember that from the books. My guess is that it is Jamie’s father’s ring with the gem stone blown out of it, and that Claire used it to aid her passage through the stones, like Roger and Geillis do in the later books. (The back-lacing of the brown dress does not get a pass. *Grumble*)

    I screamed when Frank burned the clothes. It makes sense in terms of symbolism, but I can’t believe a historian, especially one who specializes in Scottish history, would chuck artifacts into the fire. Not cool, Frank.

    I have a question about the 1940s outfits when Claire and Frank are exiting the plane. I was watching the episode with a friend, who said, “Wow. They sure did wear a lot of brown and blue in the 40s.” Is this accurate to the period? (maybe having something to do with coming out of rationing?) Or is this more likely a result of the costume designer trying to create an even tone for the 40s scenes? What colors were they likely to wear in 1948?

    Sam’s hair is hit and miss (http://thats-normal.com/2014/11/jamie-frasers-hair/). It was that way in season 1, and I have a feeling season 2 will follow suit. There were some scenes in this episode where I thought it looked awesome, and in other moments it looked like he had done a coconut oil deep-conditioning treatment and forgot to wash out the oil. Also, is it just me or is his back way less gruesome? Perhaps the sea air has magical scar-healing abilities.

    The seaside building of Le Havre are all CGI (still great, tho!) Ron talks about creating them in the little extra that was after the episode’s credits and the preview for next week.

    Reply
    • Kendra

      it’s all I’ve wanted out of life

      It’s your birthday!! :)

      Claire’s hair being down in the opening shots

      Yeah, plus time travel must be bumpy!

      the object she is feeling for in the grass is a ring

      Somebody just suggested the same thing on Facebook, and it sounds good to me!

      I screamed when Frank burned the clothes

      Me too! Frank. He probably only thinks wars count as history. Pfff.

      a lot of brown and blue in the 40s

      I don’t know if brown and blue have to do with rationing, but rationing had a HUGE effect on clothing in Britain into the 1950s. My mother-in-law grew up in England, leaving in the early 1960s, and she always talks about it as a totally horrible place because it was economically depressed.

      it looked like he had done a coconut oil deep-conditioning treatment and forgot to wash out the oil

      YES. Oily and limp. The guy should take advantage of France being all about the wigs while he grows out his hair!

      back way less gruesome

      Agreed, although they were careful to only give us a partial shot.

      Le Havre are all CGI

      I figured. Massive props to the design/execution team — they were the highlight of the episode for me!

      Reply
      • Suzie Day

        “I screamed when Frank burned the clothes”

        “Me too! Frank. He probably only thinks wars count as history. Pfff.”

        Also, most of her clothes are WOOL! Even dry, wool clothing, particular the kind of thick, blanket-like wool she is wearing, does not burn wool. I live in Australia where out-of-control fires are pretty common, and it is well-known that if you are escaping a fire, try and find a wool blanket to wet and drape over yourself.

        In other words, Frank might have been an idiot for trying to burn those clothes in the first place, but he probably would have only had much success with the linen, not the wool.

        Reply
        • AshleyOlivia

          Maybe Rev. Wakefield rescued the clothes after Frank left and sent them to the V&A…
          (On an unrelated note, I bet Rev. Wakefield and Mrs. Graham are tired of having Frank and Clairs as house guests. Always bringing the drama.)

          Reply
  4. Broughps

    replying as podcast is going on.

    The book starts in 1968.

    Yes Claire did tell Frank the full story of what happened to her, but he didn’t believe her.

    Did you want to cry when they burned Claire’s 1740s clothing? Even if it was a costume it kind of killed me to see it burned.

    Jared does seem to have curls on the side of his wig or are you saying there should have been more curls or just more short hair?

    Yes Le Havre was cgi.

    Paris city shots where shot in Prague.

    Reply
  5. Adina

    Is Outlander worth watching for the plot?
    I haven’t really paid much attention to it in the past. (All I’ve really seen is a reading from the book done by 2 guys in a bad falsetto and scottish accent).

    Reply
    • Kendra

      I think so! It helps that I started reading the books when I was in college. If you like historical fiction, either in books or film, you’ll love it. Just know that the story goes somewhere unnecessarily dark at the end of book/season 1, but if you get through that, the rest (before/after) is fabulous. (Okay, I’ve lost interest in the later books as the author keeps bringing in other characters’ perspectives who I don’t care about)

      Reply
    • AshleyOlivia

      I thought books 1-3 were great, and I particularly loved how archival research features in the plots of books 2 and 3. That being said, Gabaldon relies too heavily on rape as a plot device, she has questionable ideas about consent, and she has a tendency to fetishize violence. I love the books, but recognize they are problematic in a lot of ways and might be triggering for some people.

      I also adore Claire as a character. She is a “strong female character,” but not in the sense that she simply adopts masculine attributes. Some people say she is foolhardy to the point of stupidity, but her stubbornness is yet another thing I love about her.

      Reply
      • Christy

        That’s an excellent review of the books. You summed up my thoughts perfectly.

        Reply
      • Lady hermina De Pagan

        I have read all the books and yes sexual assault is a plot device that is used often, there are parallels between the episodes. Also Diana does not gloss over the aftermath of a rape. Jamie and Claire are shown dealing with the after affects of what happened in Wentworth for the rest of the series. There are actions and over reactions that occur in later books by both Jamie and Claire because they view situations through the prism of Wentworth and not at face value. I don’t want to say anymore because, spoilers for those who didn’t read the books.

        Reply
        • Kendra

          Am I a bad feminist in that I can handle the rape stuff better than the later books, where half of the book is from someone-who-I-don’t-care-about’s perspective? Seriously, the last book I read was Echo in the Bone, and I just ended up skipping the half of the book that was the endless-wandering-through-the-swamp with Lord Ellesmere. I’m scared to read the latest book, because I know half of it will be shit I don’t care about. Give me Claire, Jamie, Brianna, and Roger and that’s IT.

          Reply
          • Lady Hermina De Pagan

            Written in My Own Hearts Blood, is mostly about Jamie, Claire, Ian, William? Lord Ellesmere, Brianna, and Roger. However, it slogs through one week FOREVER. But at the end of the book you have EVERYONE back together. I did enjoy the battle scenes with Claire because, she is Claire. You will laugh when Jamie resigns his commission in the army. Jenny is a hoot calling Claire on her bullshit. I have to say it’s better than Echo in the Bone, closer in tone to the Firey Cross.

            Reply
  6. Susan Pola

    I’ve read the first four or five and some of the Lord John standalones. Once they left Europe, I stopped as I’m not a fan of American historical fiction. Besides I felt Brianna’s rape was unnecessary and agree that the author relies too much on sexual assaults for plot devices.
    Lord John standalones are a bit better as they’re set in Europe.

    But for me the best are the first three.

    I am going to feed ‘Larry’ the bitch to Drogon.

    BTW book 2 began with Claire & eighteen years old Brianna in Scotland. Podcast was fun.

    Reply
  7. Carol in Long Valley

    If I had to guess, it has to be 1744 at least, by now, maybe 1745. Claire arrived in November 1743 and a lot of chronological time passed in season one

    Reply
  8. chelseasolan

    So happy you will be podcasting/blogging all the episodes! I loved watching the episodes and then listening/oogling along with the recaps for Downton Abbey and I can’t wait for the rest of this Outlander season!

    Also, just my two cents but I am obsessed with Claire’s 1940’s looks!… at least until we get to see those Versailles dresses. ;)

    Reply
  9. Carin

    I just saw Terry Dresbach’s blog post about this episode — http://www.terrydresbach.com/france/ — which gives some backstory on the Brown. Wool. Dress. With Spangles. And shows the dress under construction, which I’d love to have your expert commentary on. Also, in different scenes with this dress, we see Claire’s shift quite correctly showing at the edge of the bodice when she’s on the docks, but then it’s disappeared by the time we see her indoors with her hair up. The costumers do seem to have a strange reluctance to let either actual linen underneath or a pinned-on frill appear at the edges of any of Claire’s lovely gowns, which seems like one of the few off notes in what we’ve seen of this season’s splendid costumes.

    Reply

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