Outlander viewers and Scottish history buffs know that the Battle of Culloden left a bloody, indelible mark on the nation of Scotland. With the help of experts, Men in Kilts‘ season finale finds Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish going in-depth on exactly how the brutal fight played out.
To start, we get a quick overview of the battle. It took place in Spring of 1746, and was a fight between the Jacobites and the British Government Army at Culloden Field in the Scottish Highlands. It barely lasted an hour, “but its legacy has endured for centuries,” Graham tells us. The British forces had far more cannons than the Jacobites, and that fact played a huge role in the Jacobites’ downfall. In the aftermath, wearing tartan, speaking Gaelic and playing bagpipes was outlawed in Scotland.
Historian Allistair Moffat tells the guys a bit about how the Scots fought, including the “rage fit” or berserker moment that involved a lot of yelling to hype themselves up for the fight. “My character definitely had that,” Graham notes, as the show cuts to a clip of shirtless, screaming Dougal in Season 2. (“He generally has that if he’s hungry, as well,” Sam quips.)
Graham and Sam also meet up with Jim Elliot and Iain Bowden, both of whom work as armorers on Outlander, and Catriona McIntosh, a historian who answers Sam’s pressing question: Yes, there was a James Fraser who fought at Culloden — five of them, actually! — “but none of them are James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser.”
The episode ends with Sam and Graham, decked out in kilts and puffy white shirts, charging across Culloden with broadswords while pipes and drums play nearby. We get a lot of footage from the show’s depiction of the battle, and then Graham and Sam are suddenly all cleaned up and enjoying a final drink in a bar.
Sam gives Graham a bottle of the Scotch he created, which is named Sassenach, and they pour a wee dram for the last time in the series as they think back on their trip and we get a montage of the funniest moments.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the finale and of the season on the whole? Vote via the polls below, then hit the comments with your thoughts!