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‘Outlander’ Star Sam Heughan Drops His Kilt & Explores Scottish Sports in ‘Men in Kilts’

In the second episode of Men in Kilts, Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish engage in a competition of many Scottish sports, including rugby, golf, and surfing. And then one of them swims buck-naked into the North Atlantic Ocean. But wait, there’s more! (There’s not, I just wanted to write, “But.”) The Outlander co-stars decide on a friendly sports competition and bet at the beginning of the episode, where the loser must skinny dip in the ocean. It’s very cold in Scotland, btw.

They kick off the episode surfing, and Heughan treats McTavish to a California surfer dude accent. When he says, “Bruh,” McTavish tells him to stop. He does not. Ah, friendship. As they head to their first sporting event, they flash back to a sport their characters play called “shinty,” which Sam explains is a cross between field hockey and lacrosse. To the average viewer and Claire (Caitríona Balfe) in this flashback, it looks like men hitting each other with wooden sticks. Sam goes on to reminisce, “I believe I won.” Graham replies, “Yeah because it was in the script chump.”

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Sam & Graham touch the stones

The first sporting event they get their rocks off. No seriously, they lift heavy rocks. Claire loves touching stones in Outlander, and Sam Heughan loves lifting them in real life. “I want to lift a stone,” Sam tells Graham. “Alright,” Graham deadpans. Couldn’t be less excited. In Scottish culture, this sport was a test of manhood. It’s lifting a heavy rock onto another rock. Also known as throwing your back out. Graham tries and fails. In fact, as he gives up he says, “Not today, think I’m going to give it a rest.” Which is how I will be answering people at the office going forward. Sam lifts the heavy rock next and wins. But indicates that he needs to “lie down…  in a grave.” Graham jumped for joy when Sam lifted the rock like a proud dad. These two really love each other when they’re not annoying each other. And Graham McTavish impersonating and insulting Scottish men lifting things is all you need to make your day.

Two men in kilts and a heavy ball

Next up they head to hear about the history of the Highland games, and play a sport that can only be described as throwing a heavy ball attached to a stick. “Do not go commando,” they’re warned by the Highland games expert. Seems only one ball should fly through the air in this sport. A giant gent in a kilt comes out to teach them to throw these Scottish hammers that only Thor can actually lift. As the game is explained to them, Sam and Graham’s concern can’t be masked, especially when their teacher, Kyle Randalls, reveals that some have “torn their stomachs.” Torn their what now? Who even knew that was possible? Twitter fan @IAmNotTrisha likened the scene to what it feels like to be an Outlander viewer. “You just live in a constant state of pain and sadness.” She’s not wrong. But watch for yourself.

Let’s just add a little warning disclaimer here. Don’t try throwing a heavy ball.  If I threw that I would a) lose an arm or b) hurtle myself across that luscious green field. Either way, I end up in the hospital. Sam loses. Graham wins. Sam is not a good loser. Or he is really good at losing, depends how you view it!

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Men in Kilts & Caitríona Balfe

As they head to their next event, they chat about haggis. As one does. They flash back to Claire in a scene from Outlander running from a haggis, and Dougal shoots said haggis saving Claire. Poor Claire. She really has been through a lot. She doesn’t deserve to be chased by a wily haggis. I really like the use of Outlander flashbacks in each episode. It’s sort of like a very special episode of “Men in Kilts & Claire running from a Haggis.” They decide not to hunt haggis. I’m okay with that.

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Sam & Graham go golfing

The boys don their best golf outfits and head to St. Andrews for a few holes. As they begin, Graham declares, “I’m going to stand looking at my ball.” I’m too immature to recap this, I can’t. Sam loses, Graham wins.

Rugby & whisky

When Sam and Graham enter the rugby stadium, it looks like Sam may cry from pure joy. They chat with some rugby players and speak sports for a while. (I should recap all sporting events, eh?) They rugby-race and Graham notes he is 20 years older so should get some sort of advantage. Sam loses. Graham wins. (Sensing a theme). And then they sit and drink whisky in flasks on the side of the field.

Sam goes swimming in his birthday suit

The final score is Graham 4 and Sam 2. As they drive to the ocean so Sam can fulfill his part of the bet, Sam calls Graham “petty.” Graham responds, “Actually jubilant.” And he is. This is the happiest Graham has ever been.

As Graham watches Sam with pure joy as he runs into the ocean buck naked, it’s a real rear view. But don’t just take my word for it. Twitter fan @displaceintime summed up this moment best by making a video mash-up. It might be the most genius mash-up on the internet ever. Ever. Outlander fans stay creative. Every single time.

This isn’t Sam’s first rodeo with being naked on camera (hello, Outlander) so he basically becomes a human modesty pouch as he leaps into the ocean. If you don’t know what a modesty pouch is… I can’t help you. Google can.

Love for Scotland

The real beauty of this show is Heughan’s desire to share his love of Scotland. And watching this will make you want to book a flight to Scotland immediately, and not pack a bathing suit. (Untrue, it will make you not want to swim in cold ocean waters naked).

Outlander has already turned Scotland into a must-see tourist destination, and Men in Kilts just amplifies the love for Scotland. When people can travel again, don’t be surprised if you see Outlander fans hurling stick balls and running naked into the ocean. Blame Sam. Heughan recently inspired fans to set up a scholarship at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he studied. Six dedicated Outlander fans hope to raise enough funds through the Supernova Scholarship to provide financial/tuition support for incoming students.

The Outlander cast and fan base might even save a Scottish bar. Heughan tweeted his support for it a few days ago. And revealed that he and Caitríona Balfe went there after shooting one day in costume! Saying, “This is the pub where Jamie and Claire shared their first drink. (well…)” Well? Well, what? Outlander fans suffering from Droughtlander loved this flashback drop. Save a bar, break Twitter, all in a day’s work for Sam Heughan.

The second episode of Men in Kilts can best be summed up as: Man loses kilt. Friend watches with binoculars, delighted. The end. Join them next week for music and dancing. We’ve already seen Heughan kick up his heels as Jamie Fraser in last season’s episode, “The Company We Keep.” See “I’m a little teapot, Scott and hot” dance for reference. We can’t wait to see what other dances Heughan can do.

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Before you go, check out the all-time best ‘Outlander’ episodes you need to watch (or re-watch).

'Outlander' cast Caitríona Balfe, Sam Heughan,

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