Men in Kilts Season 1, Episode 8 recap: Culloden: Scotland’s Most Infamous Battle

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

And just like that ladies and gentlemen, Men in Kilts concludes its first season, leaving a void in our hearts for the foreseeable future. It’s unclear whether or not there will be a second season, but I’m truly hoping there is. The series has been such a fun escape into the beautiful lands of Scotland and given so many of us an opportunity to plan our future (and very safe) trips to the country.

The final episode of the season takes us to the infamous battlegrounds of Culloden, a battle that was brought to life on Outlander. It was one of the bloodiest and shortest battles in the country but left a devastating mark on Scotland’s history.

Graham MacTavish and Sam Heughan take us through the history of the Battle of Culloden, and the events that led up to the very day that the Jacobite uprising collided with the British government. As MacTavish stated the battle may have lasted just a short amount of time but “its legacy has endured for centuries.”

Not only did the Battle of Culloden take the lives of many, but it also brought upon the banning of Scotland’s most treasured traditions including wearing tartan, playing bagpipes, and speaking Gaelic. There’s plenty to discuss from the episode so without further ado, let’s explore the season (and hopefully not series) finale of Men in Kilts!

Men in Kilts Season 1, Episode 8: The Battle of Culloden

Unlike previous episodes, the finale focuses on one very important part of Scotland’s history and the battle that is heavily focused on in Outlander. Graham and Sam meet up with historian Allistair Moffat who breaks down the Scots’ involvement in the battle.

Those of you who have watched Outlander remember that right before they would head out to fight, the Scottish men would hype themselves for the fight ahead by shouting and screaming themselves into a rage.

As the series has often done, it cuts back to a moment in Outlander’s second season when Graham’s character, Dougal, is seen screaming out his battle cry. According to Sam, it’s the same Graham does when he’s hungry.

Men in Kilts Season 1, Episode 8: Were there any James Frasers in the Battle of Culloden?

To answer Sam’s pressing question, there were five men named James Fraser that fought in the Battle of Culloden, according to historian Catriona McIntosh. Of course, none of them were named James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser.

Sam and Graham met up with two men who work as armorers on Outlander, Jim Elliot and Iain Bowden who explained the intricacies of the weapons used on the field. Having visited Culloden myself, I remember the demonstration that was given to us to show how muskets were loaded and the excruciating speed with which it had to be done.

Men in Kilts Season 1, Episode 8: One last dram of whiskey for the road

In true Outlander fashion, Sam and Graham don their kilts and big puffy shirts and run across the battlefield of Culloden as Scottish bagpipes play in the background. With their swords in tow, we get simultaneous flashbacks to the battle as depicted in Outlander.

It’s quite the riveting moment to relive the series but it’s even more so to live in that moment of the infamous battle. It was a wonderful way to cap off the season by paying homage to an important part of Scotland’s history.

Of course, the finale wouldn’t be complete without one final drink, but what makes it the perfect drink is that it’s the bottle of the Scotch that Sam created called Sassanech. They pour out one last dram as they reminisce the journey they took this season, with the hope that there may be more to come (or so we hope!).

I’ll certainly miss Men in Kilts, and I’m crossing my fingers this wasn’t the last we’ve seen of it!

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We’ll miss you Men in Kilts!  

What did you think of the season finale? Share your comments below!