The world of book-to-television shows can be a scary place.  We’ve been pretty spoiled in the grand scheme of things, and a good show runner can make all the difference in a good adaptation.  Luckily for fans of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, we got Battlestar Galactica‘s Ronald D. Moore and STARZ.

Season one of Outlander went by terribly quick; each episode left both fans and critics rallying behind the fabulous casting of Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe as Jamie and Claire, as well as loving/hating Tobias Menzies as Frank/Black Jack Randall.  Be forewarned, I will talk about things in both this s2e1 “Through A Glass, Darkly” as well as the same timeline in the second book of the Outlander series, “Dragonfly In Amber”.

Book readers knew it was coming, but show watchers may not be ready for everything season 2 could contain.  We know the story won’t follow the book EXACTLY, changes have been made, and thus far there are no great issues.  Claire wakes in the circle of Crag Na Dun, her cry of pain and loss chilling to the bone.  Seeing Claire in ‘modern’ times again is strange, the appearance of a car is just as jarring as her emotional demand of “Who won?”


Emmy winning composer Bear McCreary outdoes himself this season, and the opening title sequence has been changed to reflect the move from Scotland to France.  Instead of bagpipes we get harpsichord, and instead of English lyrics we get French.  Such an inspired choice on the part of all involved, it really sets the tone for what we’ll be seeing this season.

I have to gush also about the addition of a sleeping Roger Wakefield, dropping the tin model of a plane.  Non-book readers won’t really understand what all this shot means, but my heart both grew and broke in the same frame.

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 1.00.21 PM

Tobias outdoes himself with this episode, I cannot say enough good things about the reality he brings to this character.  We never really get things from Frank’s perspective in the books, and the strength of his performance is amazing.  He takes us from patient belief and hopeful elation to utter betrayal and rage.  If there isn’t a performance nomination based on this episode alone, there is no justice.

Season 1’s two key art posters

The play on season 1’s outreaching hands posters/key art for the return-to-the-past moment is BRILLIANT, and the music cue that accompanies the visuals tugs all the heartstrings ever.

Outlander Season 2 2016

We’ve arrived in France with Claire, Jamie, and a truly unimpressed Murtaugh. The lingering effects of the cruelty of Black Jack Randall are still plaguing Jamie, and make themselves a terror in the night.  The choice is made to attempt to prevent the Jacobite uprising by diverting Prince Charles Stewart’s plea for financial support by any means necessary.  Jamie meets his cousin Jared the wine merchant, and employs methods used previously by Dougal to remind a Scotsman what the English are capable of by showing his scars.  Cousin Jared becomes incensed, and agrees to help the Frasers make contact with The Prince.

The Comte St Germain

An illness outbreak causes a commotion at the docks, and Claire of COURSE becomes involved, by diagnosing a case of smallpox.  The harbor master’s options at the time are limited, and he orders diseased ship to burn, hopefully stopping the spread of the sickness throughout the city.  The Comte St Germain, owner of the ship and rival wine merchant, doesn’t take this news lightly, and an enemy is made.

Need more Outlander goodness in your life today?  Then make sure you watch the NYC live panel today at 4:30pm PST over on the Emmys website.  (P.s., McCreary and company are performing too!)

If this first episode of season 2 is ANYTHING to go on, we are in for a true journey for the ages my friends.  Outlander returns for it’s second season on STARZ this weekend, Saturday April 9th 2016.

ABOUT >> Mary Anne Butler
  • BIO >> Mary Anne Butler (Mab) is a reporter and photographer from San Francisco California. She is a lifelong geek, huge music nerd, occasionally cosplays at conventions, does Renaissance Faires, and in general lives the life of a True Believer. She may be short, but she makes up for it with a loud voice.
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