Apr 12 2015

Outlander – “By The Pricking of My Thumb” Review. Witch, Please!


Outlander title art (featured)Season 1, Episode 10

Air Date: Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 9PM ET/PT on Starz


“Be careful.” – Jamie Fraser

Laoghaire isn't even a lover scorned but she sure is acting the part.

Laoghaire isn’t even a lover scorned but she sure is acting the part.

“By the Pricking of My Thumb” is one of those episodes that help me remember just how long the actual novel of Outlander is, and how taxing some chapters are to get through. It’s not a bad attribute of the novels, just one that clues readers in to why author Diana Gabaldon takes years to write each one. Yes, you read that right. Years. While nothing much happens to move the plot along in “By the Pricking of My Thumb,” there are a few key scenes to hint at what’s to come. That said, I know we’re getting to the good stuff, even if it is slow going. I’m almost convinced the writers are planning to draw out this first season of Outlander to get the meat and potatoes of the novel to come across artistically and effectively. Trust me, for those of you who haven’t read the books, a lot happens to our main characters and one season isn’t enough to introduce their story.


I’d almost like Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) if I didn’t know the intricacies of her character; *cough* she’s an evil bitch *cough*. I love her sense of humor though, and Verbeek goes above and beyond the call of duty to make Geillis come to life. You can tell something is off about the beautiful redhead, yet you can’t quite put your finger on what it is. Geillis seems to know more about Claire (Caitriona Balfe) than she should but we know the two have never met before. So what gives, you ask? Geillis has attached herself to Claire because of their similarities—fashionable attire, knowledge of herbs and other medicinal specialties, and the bewitching of men. I’m kidding about one of these but it is hard not to notice there is something about the two women that attracts them to one another.

Random Tidbits

I don't trust anyone who sides with Black Jack Randall. No matter how much he likes Jamie.

I don’t trust anyone who sides with Black Jack Randall. No matter how much he likes Jamie.

I don’t feel like I’m watching the same show when Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) dons a pair of pants. It is a bit surreal, don’t you think? I could swear we’re taking another time jump into the future where kilts are no longer a part of Scottish fashion. I’m sorry writers, but you can’t introduce the man in a kilt then throw him into pants without there being some outcry. I’m all for #PutAKiltOnIt in this instance.

Dougal (Graham McTavish) is still quite the conundrum. I don’t know how to take him from one minute to the next. McTavish does an excellent job portraying a man in pain over the death of his wife (unseen), yet he can flip a switch and relish in the future he is now free to engage in with his mistress. “I love her.” Not so bereft now, are ye, Dougal? McTavish doesn’t overdo Dougal’s grief in a scene that easily could have been seen as an over the top mess. He makes me feel empathy for Dougal for at least a minute. What strikes me as most curious is whether Dougal is upset over his guilt for being a cheating husband or if he’s truly mourning the loss of his life partner. I can’t figure it out. Kudos to McTavish for leaving me wondering about Dougal’s motivations.

Colum (Gary Lewis) is more of a man to be reckoned with than I initially assumed. He’s tough in his own right and smart as a whip. How he sees things no one else does, and puts two and two together astounds me.

Speaking of those I wouldn’t turn my back on, Laoghaire (Nell Hudson) is turning out to be more of a pain in the arse to Claire than not. “Jamie Fraser was and is mine.” Well, she stakes her claim and makes it a point to prove it to Claire. What can this little girl do to take back her man? Plenty.

Memorable and Funny Lines

Laoghaire to Claire: “He must have to get himself swine drunk every night to plow your field.”

I’m totally using this line. How wrong Laoghaire is though. She has no idea how much Jamie loves to plow Claire’s field.


Arthur Duncan: “Jeannie, my chamber pot, if you please.”

Claire: “I should be going.”

Arthur: “By Christ’s heaven you should.”

This exchange made me laugh so hard. Although Arthur (John Sessions) isn’t around for too long, he certainly leaves an impression.


Jamie to Claire: “You’re not normally a closed mouth woman, Claire. I expected you to voice your displeasure.” *grunts in pain* “But quiet anger can be quite effective.”

Yeah, you might not want to piss off the woman who has to stitch you up, Jamie.


Dougal to Jamie: “I said kiss her, donna swallow her.”

Is it me or does Dougal seem a bit jealous here?


Claire: “Come back to me, James Fraser.”

Jamie: “As soon as I can.”



Will Dougal and Colum be besties again? Doubt it. Sibling rivalry is in full effect.

Will Dougal and Colum be besties again? Doubt it. Sibling rivalry is in full effect.

Filler episode at best, “By the Pricking of My Thumb” leaves me wanting. The tiny bit of action, both in and out of the bedroom, provides some excitement during the hour, but I must be honest, this episode is not one of my favorites. The slight build up of intrigue will leave viewers clamoring to see what happens next. It certainly will be interesting when we get to see what happens to women who are accused of witchcraft. I remember reading how Claire and Geillis are treated and it angered me so much. I’m curious to see how this is transferred to the screen. What do you think about Claire’s hero complex? She’s always out to save someone but will she be able to save herself? Drop me a line in the comments section or tweet me @ellemoe to discuss “By the Pricking of my Thumb.” Outlander airs Saturdays at 9PM ET/PT, only on Starz. For more on the show, visit the official site.

Follow Outlander on Twitter, using #Outlander.

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Photo credit: © 2015 Starz Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved.


© 2015, Elle. All rights reserved.

Writer, mother, realist, cloud lover, daydreamer, dessert enthusiast, sweet tea addict, perfectionist, and lover of life and Christ, but not in that order. http://www.fanfiction.net/~vikingloverelle

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