Men in Kilts Season 1, Episode 7 recap: Clans and Tartans

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

Men in Kilts has reached the penultimate episode of Season 1 (or series?). As it approaches its end, hosts Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish dive into the history of Scotland’s most famous clans and the beauty behind tartans, the country’s distinct plaid clothing design.

As Sam and Graham embark on their journey via camper van, they attempt to reunite Scotland’s feuding clans. Luckily, they’re not dealing with their relatives from the 18th century who would have never fathomed shaking hands with their enemies, but somehow this duo manages to make it happen.

This episode’s beauty lies in learning more about the history of Sam and Graham’s Outlander characters. Whether it’s the clans their characters are from or the significance of the clothing they wear, Men in Kilts gives us all the historical details and then some.

This episode was certainly one of my favorite ones, and I’m sad that we only have one more episode left after this week. So let’s make the best of it and recap this week’s episode of Men in Kilts as we wait for the season (or series) finale!

Men in Kilts Season 1, Episode 7: Sam and Graham mend old feuds

Leave it to Sam and Graham to try and bring peace between two feuding clans that have a long history of absolutely hating one another. Sure, things have changed in the 21st century, but the longstanding history of war and bloodshed certainly still lives on with them.

As the episode begins, the duo explains why clans are so important to Scotland and how they symbolize many people who share family ties and are led by lairds (aka chiefs). Back during the Jacobite uprising of 1745, clans essentially ceased to exist, but they remain important to Scotland’s culture even today.

Their first stop is with Clan MacLeod and Clan MacDonald members, who have a very tumultuous history. They meet up at the Trumpan Church in the Isle of Skye as they learn the two clans’ history and their feuds.

There was a lot of brutality in their past, with both clans concocting plans to take out the other, primarily through the use of fire. But despite their difficult past, the two opposing clan members shake hands as Sam and Graham bid farewell and head to their next stop–via tandem bike to the Prickly Thistle.

Men in Kilts Season 1, Episode 7: The history of tartans

Up next on the tour is learning all about the significance of tartans and their iconic plaid design. As the episode tells us, each of the clans has its own unique patterns and colors. While at the Prickly Thistle, a tartan mill, owner Clare Campbell gives Sam and Graham a tour as she explains how exactly the tartan fabrics are created.

Everything was done by hand back in the day, but now with technological improvements, things are much different and easier. But that doesn’t mean traditions are still not honored, especially when it comes to a process that helps keep the fabric weather-proof.

Back in Season 1 of Outlander, Claire sat down with a group of women who sang and handled the tartan material. And in this episode of Men in Kilts, Sam and Graham sit down with the Badenoch Waulking Group to do the same. It’s quite a sweet moment and a beautiful nod back to the show’s beginning.

Men in Kilts Season 1, Episode 7: Another day, another clan

The episode wouldn’t be complete without visiting two more feuding clans–the MacGregors and the MacLarens. Heading to Balquhidder, Sam and Graham meet representatives from both clans, Peter John Lawrie from Clan MacGregor and Donald MacLaren from Clan MacLaren. They meet up at the alleged grave of Rob Roy MacGregor, an infamous outlaw of his time.

Both of these clans have conflicting stories on whether or not Roy Roy was actually buried at the gravesite. While the MacGregors believe he was buried on MacLaren land, the MacLarents believe otherwise. It doesn’t make a lot of sense for a clan member to be buried in the opposing clan’s land, but hey, what do we know.

These two clan members didn’t shake hands like the other two, but at least they didn’t resort to any fighting!

Men in Kilts Season 1, Episode 7: Graham goes to his ancestral home

Last but not least, there’s a special stop in this episode for Graham, who visits his ancestral home, Castle Sween. They arrive at the castle via seaplane, and while they don’t get out, we get a bird’s eye view of the area, which just so happens to also function as a caravan park. Sam certainly had some jokes to make about that, but I won’t lie when I say seeing Scotland’s oldest stone castle was a sight for sore eyes.

The duo sneaks in one final stop at Beaufort Castle, which is the Fraser clan’s home. Of course, Sam only plays a Fraser on Outlander, but he still felt like he needed to pay homage to his character. They meet with Sarah Fraser, who tells them about the clan’s history, and how they are connected to the MacKenzies and Murrays.

Once again, Sam takes the opportunity to make fun of Graham over the well-kept nature of Beaufort over Sween. They are both equally amazing in my book!

The two friends close out the episode with a marvelous feast, and as always, a wee dram of whiskey to wash it all down!

Next. 7 best Starz shows currently available to stream on the app. dark

Are you ready for next week’s finale?! 

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