It’s been an intriguing season with Sam and Graham and it’s kind of a regret that it has to end, but it’s easy to be impressed with everything that’s been seen over the course of the season, particularly the attention to some of the more interesting sights and bits of history that Scotland has to offer. The finale, which ends up detailing the historical Battle of Culloden, which is a major turning point in Scottish history, was nothing short of breathtaking since the famed battle was a rather one-sided affair that cost the Scots quite a bit when all was said and done. The history of those lands that belong to the United Kingdom is often seen as troubling and even bloody over the course of history, as the British Isles has a long and very violent past in some regards, as ever since it was first taken over the grouping of islands has seen one conflict after another between its different peoples as they sought to strike their independence and keep their way of life. On the road to the historical site, Sam and Graham tend to discuss what the Battle of Culloden meant, and even detail what the Scottish folk lost, which was their heritage to be fair, since the outlawing of being able to wear tartan, use bagpipes, and the near-end of the Highland lifestyle was the ultimate result. It was said that even speaking Gaelic was outlawed, and this might explain why so few people speak it to this day. But then again, it could be that like a few other languages it simply died out after a while as people either gave it up or let it fall into disuse.
Hearing of such a loss is saddening, to say the least, but as part of history, it tends to be something we look upon in many different ways. Some are sad to see that such a thing happened in the past, while others are merely interested to see how the world as know it today was shaped in some small way by this event. Everything that happens in the past does eventually ripple forward through time, creating the future in some infinitesimal to monumental way. But traveling along with the guys has been fun this season, and each time they come upon one expert or another to show another small bit of their homeland it’s been interesting to learn more and more that some might have already known and others are learning about for the first time. While the idea is that this is a show and that there are some moments that are no doubt played up for the viewers, the history behind Scotland is easy to look up and to fully enjoy since it is an ancient and very enticing land that carries the echoes of lives that have been lived in many different ways and that have much to say if we’re willing to listen. The buildup to the Battle of Culloden revealed a few things in the finale, not the least of which is a battle tactic that was obviously devastating since it’s been corroborated by many historians as one reason why the Highlander’s were decimated by the British. The moment that Sam and Graham are reminded of this (since thanks to Outlander they both had some knowledge of it) becomes the moment that many viewers learn something new and can’t help but be impressed, but horrified at the simplicity of it as well.
The act of attacking with a sword and shield would have put the British at a disadvantage since they carried a musket with a bayonet but had no shield. Unfortunately for the Jacobites, the British had figured out that when their enemies raised their sword arms, they exposed their right sides, meaning that the man next to them could attack that opening so long as the man next to him did the same to the next person in line. So the Jacobites were decimated by a simple observance that broke their lines as the British were known to be heavily disciplined and given to working as a unit rather than rushing forward to engage the enemy. Plus, the greater numbers, the training, and the fact that the battlefield was not ideal for running, even less so with cannons tearing up the turf left and right, making this a battle that the Jacobites had no hope of winning. Some would say that the Highland way of life was already being defeated by other factors, but the Battle of Culloden was the culmination of the final defeat that made it official.
It’s been a great season filled with plenty of laughs, a lot of interesting information, and hope that a season 2 might come along if there’s enough interest. Even if there isn’t, Men in Kilts is worth watching if you missed out.