Men in Kilts Season 1, Episode 5 recap: Culture and Tradition

Men in Kilts -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ
Men in Kilts -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ /

Men in Kilts is all about Scotland’s culture and tradition this week! Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish return for yet another hilarious episode as they share some of Scotland’s best-kept secrets–and herd some sheep along the way.

Week after week, this series reminds us how much fun traveling is, and how eager we all are to get back to it. I think it’s safe to say many of us will be jetting off to Scotland when it’s safe to do so again. I know I will be, especially after watching Men in Kilts.

This week’s episode, “Culture and Tradition” goes into some of Scotland’s centuries-old traditions, many of which are practiced to this day. In fact, McTavish kicks off the episode by saying Scotland is one of the few countries where traditions are still carried on to this day.

That’s a beautiful sentiment, and one we truly get to understand with this week’s adventures across Scotland. Whether it was the sheep herding, the centuries-old kilt shop, or learning to speak Gaelic, Heughan and McTavish give us a unique insight into Scotland’s most beloved and cherished traditions.

Men in Kilts Season 1, Episode 5: Sam and Graham go shopping!

Sam and Graham’s first stop on this episode is at Stewart Christie & Co. in Edinburgh, one of the country’s oldest tailor shops. In business since the 1700s, Stewart & Christie & Co. prides itself on making bespoke suits in the store. Creative director Vixy Rae is more than eager to share this tidbit with Sam and Graham as they peruse the store.

We also learn that it takes a whopping nine yards to make a kilt! Yes, nine yards. Pretty crazy, right?

Of course, the duo couldn’t pay a visit to the tailor shop without getting fitted for suits of their own. And I can tell you this, whatever magic goes into making the suits is very obvious. The two men look absolutely dapper after donning their custom-made suits.

Men in Kilts Season 1, Episode 5: Learning Gaelic

Up next on this week’s tour is a Gaelic lesson for Sam and Graham. Both learned a bit of the Celtic language of Scotland which has phased out over the centuries during their time on Outlander, but it’s not a language they speak or understand fluently.

A woman by the name of Morag McDonald gives them their lesson as she still speaks the language with her family at home. It’s a language she intends to carry on, and it’s something Sam and Graham are very honored to learn about her.

The lesson takes place in a beautiful picturesque garden, which is unfortunately surrounded by a swarm of tiny flies. It’s quite distracting for Sam to pay attention to the lesson which is hilarious in itself because both Graham and Morag seem completely undeterred by it.

Sam and Graham recall silly memories of their time speaking Gaelic on the series, which they learned phonetically. In fact, Graham needed cue cards to get through scenes, with abnormally huge writing so he could read it–a memory Sam adorably got a kick out of.

Men in Kilts Season 1, Episode 5: Herbs and basket-weaving

If you’ve watched Outlander, then you know Caitriona Balfe’s character, Claire Fraser, is the smartest human we’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing on television. Despite being from the 20th century, Claire’s knowledge about using natural herbs to cure ailments is unlike anything we’ve seen before.

And with that sentiment, Sam and Graham met up with herbalist Claire Marcello, a consultant on the show’s first season. She shared which plants were featured in the series all while discussing the benefits of some of the other plants in her garden, including St. John’s Wort and lavender.

She even had a remedy for Graham’s baldness, which apparently involves onion juice. If it was up to Sam, he may have started squeezing onion juice all over Graham’s head there and then. And we would have so been here for that.

The duo dabbled in some basket-weaving next, a profession that is a part of both of their families, in the past and present. In fact, Sam’s uncle actually made some of the wicker objects seen in seasons 4 and 5–the stag and cross. Impressive! However, Sam does not take after his uncle’s talents for basket-weaving.

Men in Kilts Season 1, Episode 5: It’s all about the sheep!

Lastly, Sam and Graham try their hand at sheep herding on the Isle of Skye (an absolutely beautiful place, by the way). It’s an extremely goofy time all around as the two men try to herd the sheep with minimal success. Sam even falls on his face at some point, but in the end, they manage to get their act together.

The episode ends with one of the sheep herders, Donald MacLeod, shearing a sheep with these gnarly looking clippers. They definitely look like they were plucked right out of the 17th century, and it’s admirable that it’s still being used to this day.

Another successful episode closes out as Sam and Graham share a traditional shot of whiskey!

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Are you ready to explore Scotland by land, air, and sea in two weeks?!

What did you think of this week’s episode of Men in Kilts? Share your comments below!