Podcast: Outlander Costume Recap & Podcast: Season 2, Episode 13

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This is our final recap of every episode of Outlander this season, both in blog post AND podcast. Kendra and Sarah have been focusing mostly on the costumes — designed by Terry Dresbach — in our blog posts, but 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!

This week, we have a special guest on the podcast: historian of Scottish costume Brenna Barks rejoins us for our finale podcast, which covers the second season in general. Brenna wrote our fabulous review of Outlander’s season 1 men’s costumes, and joined us for the podcast on episode 4 of season 2. Brenna is a dress historian and material culturist who completed her MSc in History, Theory, and Display at the University of Edinburgh in 2010.  She is the Managing Editor at Worn Through, has contributed to an encyclopaedia of American fashion history, and has published in Jane Austen Knits. Her current research interests focus on clothing and material culture and their social implications from circa 1740 onwards, particularly that of Scotland, India, and the British empire. She has also been known to moonlight on the topics of social and cultural history between 1910 and 1940, and on the clothing and culture of Japan — the latter having been the focus of her undergraduate studies.

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.

This episode jumps back and forth between 1968 and 1746 repeatedly, so bear with!

We begin in 1968 with a bearded young man watching telly.

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I LOVED EVERYTHING 1968 IN THIS EPISODE. — Sarah

It’s Roger Wakefield, and it’s his adopted father’s (the Reverend Wakefield) funeral.

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Dat mustard sweater. Dose coordinating browns. *hnng* — Sarah

Roger spots a hot young redhead:Outlander 2x13

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This is the face of a man with a chubby. — Kendra
*cues Barry White record* — Sarah

Turns out its Brianna, daughter of Claire and Frank Randall. Frank has died, and Claire and Brianna are in Scotland just for the day to pay their respects.

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Claire’s one sign of aging (besides her wardrobe) is an elegant streak of grey in her hair. Brianna may be the secret younger sister/daughter of Anna Paquin. — Kendra

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I’m 99% happy with the casting of Brianna, except that she’s supposed to be 6′ tall, and she’s clearly shorter than Claire. This almost-6′ redhead objects. — Kendra
The one thing that irritated me about Brianna was her accent. I could tell there was something “off” and it turns out, the actress is British. Once I figured that out, it’s all I could focus on every time she spoke. — Sarah

Roger has a chubby for Brianna is a nice guy, so invites them to spend the night. In the middle of the night, Claire can’t sleep so she and Roger have the first of many chats:

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Poor Claire has to rock the nylon/poly pj’s. — Kendra
Not gonna lie, I did a little cheer when I saw the nylon quilted robe. 1968 you’re doin’ it rite. — Sarah

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My dad totally had this same hairstyle in the late-60s. — Sarah

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Back in 1745, Jamie argues with Bonnie Prince Charlie, trying desperately to avoid the battle of Culloden on this day. Chuck is having none of it.

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Can I just point out how beautifully the BPC’s suit is tailored? — Sarah

In the podcast, we discuss the “biscuit tin” portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie and Flora MacDonald with our guest, historian Brenna Barks. Here’s that painting:

Prince Charlie's Farewell to Flora MacDonald, 1746' (1905). Flora MacDonald helped the Jacobite pretender Charles Edward Stuart to escape after his defeat by the English at the Battle of Culloden. From Cassell's History of England, 1905. Via Getty Images

Prince Charlie’s Farewell to Flora MacDonald, 1746′ (1905). Flora MacDonald helped the Jacobite pretender Charles Edward Stuart to escape after his defeat by the English at the Battle of Culloden. From Cassell’s History of England, 1905. Via Getty Images

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In 1968, Roger takes Brianna sightseeing, including to Fort William, where Jamie was flogged, raped, and other bad things happened.

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I accept that Brianna’s hat is a late 1960s thing, but if it were 2016, I would hate it. — Kendra
WHAT? IT IS THE CUTEST. — Sarah
It reminds me of Contempo Casuals (bad American mall shop from the 1980s). — Kendra

Claire goes to visit Lallybroch, which is a ruin:

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Claire has to wear driving glasses! — Kendra
My current glasses are basically a modern version of this style. The more you know. — Sarah

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God, it’s like looking at a picture of my mom from the early-80s. Right down to the long bobbed auburn hair and the khaki trench coat. (Yes I know it’s supposed to be 1968) — Sarah

Back in 1746, Claire suggests that they could poison BPC, since if he were dead the battle wouldn’t happen. Jamie is considering it.

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Claire goes from “Let’s poison BPC!” to “Let’s stab Dougal!” like it’s some kind of hobby of hers. — Sarah

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The fitting on this jacket is great. Wool is like plastic in that way. — Sarah

Brianna tells Roger that there’s a secret between her parents that relates to their time in Scotland, and she wants to find out what it is.

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Cute couple is cute. — Sarah

Claire visits the local archivist, who finds a deed to Lallybroch that gives it to Ian (Jenny’s husband), and is signed with her name.Outlander 2x13

Dougal overhears Jamie and Claire discussing poisoning BPC. He immediately goes for table flipping, and Jamie just tries lots of “Hold on” instead of “IT’S GOING TO SHIT TODAY!”

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Alas poor Dougal, Kendra will miss your bald head and manly chesticles. — Sarah
DOUGAL!!!!! NOOOOO!!!!! *dreams of rubbing his head one last time* — Kendra

Roger takes Brianna to the university at which his father worked, so they can look through his old papers and journals.

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This is probably a university in/near Inverness, but it just reminds me of the University of Stirling (Scotland), where I studied abroad back in college. — Kendra
MID CENTURY MODERN BITCHES! — Sarah

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I’m in love with Brianna’s coat and that satchel. — Sarah

Brianna wanders into a Scottish independence rally, led by none other than Geillis Duncan, aka Gillian Edgars:

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Another fabulous late-60s outfit. Love the bright red tights and boots. — Sarah

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And it’s ribbed knit, too! Wonder how much polyester content! I want six! — Sarah
Ah, the feel of acrylic overheating your body… — Kendra

Claire visits the Culloden battlefield:

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And snarks their wax figure of Bonnie Prince Charlie. Love ya, Claire! — Kendra
That is quite possibly the most accurate un-historically accurate costume I’ve ever seen on a wax figure. — Sarah

Jamie and Dougal fight, and Jamie ends up killing Dougal with Claire’s help.Outlander 2x13

Brianna and Roger find newspaper clippings about Claire’s disappearance, and grab the Reverend’s journals to take home to learn more.

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Sweater twins! — Kendra
Finally! An era where chunky knits are period! — Sarah

Rupert walks in post-Dougal killing and is not happy. Jamie bargains with him for 2 hours before he promises to return to face what he’s done.

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Well, you really stuck your foot in it this time, Jamie. — Sarah

Claire finds the Clan Fraser stone at Culloden, and tells Jamie everything that’s happened to her since 1746.

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I know they’re wearing stockings, but the whole skirt thing in cold weather confuses me. — Kendra

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Claire’s eye makeup is ON FLEEK. — Kendra
I was totally thinking the same thing during this scene. I want that winged eyeliner. — Sarah

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Leather gloves — say hello to my mother c. 1985! — Kendra
My mom had these cool ones with little holes for the knuckles. BAD. ASS. — Sarah

Brianna gets more info from the Reverend’s journals, instead of, you know, going to her mother and saying, “Okay, I know the shit went down, now tell me what happened.”
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Brianna confronts Claire, who tells her (and Roger) everything. Brianna is SO not down and doesn’t believe her mother.

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Nice kilt! — Sarah

Jamie writes a deed giving Lallybroch to Ian (and Jenny), which he backdates so that it will be from before he became a “traitor.” He tells Fergus to take the deed to Lallybroch, and Murtagh to put the Lallybroch men on the road home.

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I am going to be sad if Fergus and his amazing eyelashes aren’t in Season 3. — Sarah

Brianna and Roger have a drink.Outlander 2x13

Claire tries to visit Gillian, but instead finds her husband, who she left a few weeks ago. The husband is not in good shape, although he is clearly rich because he has a stunning home and 2 luxury cars. Claire manages to sneak away with Gillian’s journals.

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Fun Fact: This guy was apparently the kid version of William Wallace in Braveheart. — Sarah

Gillian shows up at the pub, and tells Brianna and Roger that she’s about to leave to go somewhere to further the cause.

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Ooo! Another awesome green coat to lust after! — Sarah
Except why do Gillian/Geillis and Brianna basically own the same coat? — Kendra

Murtagh agrees to get the Lallybroch men safe, but then wants to come back and die with Jamie.

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This is what I hate about hair that’s permanently ponytailed — all the broken flyaways. — Kendra

Claire goes through Gillian’s journals, which have all her research on time travel. Gillian thinks that she needs a human sacrifice to go through the stones. Claire, Roger, and Brianna figure out that Gillian is planning to go asap.

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That sweater is perfection. — Sarah

Jamie leads Claire away from the camp. He wants her to go back to her own time to be safe, because he’s realized she’s pregnant. Jamie says he’s a dead man because of killing Dougal so he’d rather die in the battle. Claire tries to get him to agree to an alternate plan, including possibly coming with her through the stones, but Jamie refuses.

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Claire, Brianna, and Roger turn up at Craigh na Dun.

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Where Gillian has torched her husband, found some oldey timey clothes, and goes through the stones before Claire can really talk to her.

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Gillian/Geillis’s outfit looks suspiciously like all the “real clothes” we’ve seen from the 1740s. I suppose if it were more costumey, it would be a distraction for viewers? — Kendra
I was confused by that, too. Has she already gone back in time? If so, does that make her a serial killer? — Sarah

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Say hello to my English mother-in-law, c. 2005. — Kendra

Claire and Jamie have a tearful parting, including a quick shag on the dirt.

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Note to filmmakers: thank you for including this shag. However, it does not make up for all the other episodes that did not include shagging, and it was too quick. DISAPPOINTED. — Kendra
FINALLY. — Sarah

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Claire goes through the stones.

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Roger tells Claire that Jamie didn’t die at Culloden.

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That scarf is so late-60s. LOVE IT. — Sarah

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Claire realizes that this means that Jamie may still be alive.

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See? Cold knees! — Kendra
Who cares about knees! Claire is on a mission! — Sarah

Thanks to Outlander Online for the screencaps!

Outlander Season Two, Episodes Twelve & Thirteen Podcast Recap

Listen to our podcast recap of episodes 12 and 13 (okay, really all of season 2) here or on iTunes!

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Three historical costumers who decided the world needed a podcast and blog dedicated to historical costume movies and everything right and wrong with them.

44 Responses

  1. Susan Pola

    This episode was packed with information and nifty 1960s stuff. Really enjoyed seeing Geillis again. I want her sweater.
    I want Claire’s plaid skirt and Burberry. Nice touch of aging with the single Grey streak. Very Dana Winter.

    Fergus is in Season 3, but as an adult. Don’t know if there will be flashbacks with Ronann. Gosh he’s adorable.

    Need to listen to podcast bf I make more comments.

    Reply
    • Broughps

      We will see Romann as Fergus in season three because of what takes place at the beginning of book three.

      Reply
  2. Gem

    That building looks like Sterling University because it IS Sterling University! They don’t generally film anything around Inverness, staying as close to their studios just outside of Glasgow as they can.

    Reply
  3. Trystan L. Bass

    Cold knees? Really? I wear skirts in winter all the time (I categorically don’t wear pants). That’s what the tights are for. It’s fine! And yes, I’ve done it in Scotland in snow too! Ovary up, Kendra!

    Reply
    • Kendra

      Oh I do it too, with leggings! But stockings (hose) just don’t seem warm enough to me compared to tights or leggings.

      Reply
        • brenna

          I frequently saw young Scottish women sitting on literally frozen sidewalk pavements wearing tiny mini skirts and nylons. Admittedly they all looked like they’d had quite a few pints (each) and this was after last calls, but still FROZEN GROUND in pantyhose and mini skirts!

          Also, I see no concern for the boys’ knees when they wear even less under their kilts. ;)

          Reply
        • wyowumin

          The stockings then were, if anything, somewhat more sheer than pantyhose today. But there were different deniers so it would just depend. And also, then as now, it’s all to often beauty before comfort! I do know that having worn both stockings with garters and pantyhose I much, MUCH prefer stockings with garters.

          Reply
  4. RobynS

    I was disappointed in the casting of Brianna. Too short and her acting was distractingly wooden. Roger’s hair could have been darker too. Nit picks, haha! Otherwise, really looking forward to season 3.

    I found Brenna’s discussions about clan tartan and the show’s depiction of BPC VS historical record very interesting! My knowledge of these things is very spotty.

    Reply
    • Kendra

      Brianna’s height definitely bugged me, and I think Sarah may have been right about the accent issue! Glad you enjoyed the podcast!

      Reply
    • brenna

      Thank you, Robyn! It was my pleasure (where else can I wax rhapsodic about my research topics?). I’m glad you enjoyed it as much as I did.

      Reply
  5. terrydresbach

    Glad you guys liked it. I wish I had ways to post pics of the Queen tromping around Balmoral in hose, from the 40s to know. I could also post a pic of John Lennon or Bob Dylan wearing the same kind of Greek Fishermans cap as Brianna, back in the 60s.
    You guys live in the Bay, surely you know… :)

    Reply
    • Kendra

      Oh I know it was totally how it was done! I just don’t think it would be very comfy! And yes, Brianna’s hat was very appropriate to the 1960s, I just can’t help but see it through a modern lens.

      Reply
      • Alison Campbell

        Its funny to think now, but my mum, in early 70s Scotland (so not much later) didn’t own socks and had to borrow my dad’s to wear under boots if it snowed (still with skirt and 20 or 30 denier tights of course).

        Reply
  6. Broughps

    Jamie was flogged at Ft William but all the other stuff happened at Wentworth.

    The outfit Geillis goes through the stones is the dress she was wearing when she first met Claire.

    BPC isn’t portrayed that way in the books.

    Louise de Rohan – Claire’s friend

    1766 – when Claire goes back

    They will be back at Lallybroch for a short time.

    Reply
  7. Dianne Russo Karpowicz

    I’m OK with the Rodger and Brianna casting. Sometimes you just can’t find an exact match to the books. I think they all work well together and that’s important. It’s an adaptation of the books so there are going to be changes. Loved the 60’s clothes! I had a pair of the corduroy bell bottoms in green. And of course the pea coat. I used mine for Halloween one year when I was a teenager. With a sailor hat, I did the trick or treat thing. (Free candy)!

    Reply
  8. Maggie

    Just wanted to say thank you for this! Such a pleasure to be able to study the costumes more closely.

    Reply
  9. Susan Pola

    And book 3, Voyager ends with them in South Carolina in the islands off the coast, I believe.

    What I would like to see in season 3:
    1) More Claire and Jamie shagging;
    2) Wee Fergus;
    3) More Claire and Jamie shagging;
    4) Laoghaire getting her comeuppance;
    5) More Claire and Jamie shagging
    6) Gorgy shiny clothes.
    And ….7) Claire and Jamie shagging.
    ??????????????

    Reply
  10. Susan Pola

    Followed by *types with tongue firmly in her cheek* more shagging, shiny clothes, still more shagging, and Wee Fergus.

    Reply
  11. Lynette Nusbacher

    Have you ever noticed that every redcoat soldier in every historical television show made in Great Britain has primrose facings. I always figured that Angel’s has a rack of fifty scarlet coats (wrong shade of red, by the way) that are re-used again and again (in every series of Sharpe, among others). These mid-18th Century coats with their wider lapels don’t look like the same old coats with wider lapels, though.

    Primrose yellow was a reasonably common colour in British Army facings during the 18th and 19th Centuries, but it does get to be a bit much.

    You’re right that the ’45 was before there were clan tartans, and distric tartans aren’t the same thing, so stick to your guns. We shouldn’t expect a 1745 Stuart to wear the tartan that the Sobieski-Stuarts invented for them.

    Also, in a universe with time travel through standing-stones the New Look started early. Also, remember the canary Dior-style bar suit and hat that the Marquise de Mertuil wore in Dangerous Liaisons? Same time travel thing.

    Reply
    • Maddie Caffarel

      That’s interesting about the yellow facings, and I wonder how far back it goes, if everyone’s been using the South Essex uniforms from the Sharpe films since the 90’s. I know they were made for those productions, and then reused for the 2005 Pride and Prejudice for the militia, so they’ve probably been passed down since then .

      Reply
  12. Sandy

    I think this counts as Outlander/costumey related information – Terry Dresbach will be at a convention in the US in December and will be speaking about costumes, in particular Outlander. Some lucky guests will even get to sit with her at dinner! And it’s a dress-up dinner – 18th century Scotland or Paris, 1940’s, and 1960’s. All eras from the books will be represented. The link is:http://www.thruthestones.com/

    Reply
  13. naomi groont

    I love Claire’s Frames ARE THEY BROWLINE from the 1960’s??? Are there updated retro??? Thanx for any info Naomi

    Reply
  14. naomi doudera

    Kendra or Sarah: where can I find Claire’s glasses love them this retro look

    Reply

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