Outlander Stars, EP Talk Finale's Tough, 'Tricky' Jamie-Randall Scenes

The last time Outlander viewers spied Jamie Fraser, he was bloody, broken and likely hoping death would arrive swiftly, if for no other reason than to stop the tongue bath administered by his depraved nemesis, Black Jack Randall.

No, you didn’t read that wrong. The many indignities Fraser suffered throughout the series’ most recent episode included getting literally licked by his arch enemy — and life will get far, far worse for the strapping Scot before the season finale is over, star Sam Heughan says.

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“Jamie’s very much affected by this,” the actor tells TVLine. “If you’ve read the books, you know that.”

If you don’t know what he means by “this,” you likely haven’t read Diana Gabaldon’s series of novels, on which the series is based and which follow Jamie and his time-traveling wife Claire, yet you likely have a dreadful feeling about how Fraser’s extended prison-cell encounter with Randall ends.

Suffice to say: Whatever you’re expecting, it’s probably worse.

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“The most important thing, fundamentally, was to tell that part of the story as truthfully as we possibly could,” series creator/executive-producer Ronald D. Moore says. “This is tricky material, very harrowing material, but we wanted to play the truth of what really happened between these two… and to find that line where you’re neither being gratuitous, and you’re not shying away at the same time — where you’re showing what needs to be shown, and you’re not afraid of it, but you’re not reveling in it.”

He adds: “You have to find that tone, and it just took a lot of time.”

Heughan and co-star Tobias Menzies spent hours talking through the scenes with each other and director Anna Foerster, Moore says, as they prepped for a rough week or so of shooting.

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“The set is usually a pretty light place to work, and this was not that tone. This was a very serious set,” the EP recalls. “It was physically dark. The prison cell was not a happy place to be.”

Menzies’ description of the working environment is a bit more picturesque.

“You have [Randall’s] big servant dead in the corner. There’s blood on the floor. There’s bloody hammers,” he says. “It was a challenge within the story, but also a physical challenge. A lot of prosthetics” — like Jamie’s scarred back (the object of Black Jack’s aforementioned licking) and his mangled hand, which Randall nailed to a table in the previous episode — “and a lot of complicated elements to it.”

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Though he’s proud of how the intricate scenes turned out, Heughan admits that Jamie’s roiling emotions were “kind of hard to switch off” at the end of a very long day of work.

“I needed to decompress after a couple of weeks. It was pretty tense,” he says, adding that some time outdoors — he climbed seven of Scotland’s lower-lying mountains in a day, a pastime referred to as Munro bagging — “was really a nice way to clear the mind.”

Before that, though? When Heughan could still feel Randall’s mindgames wreaking havoc with Jamie’s tortured soul?

“I got drunk,” Heughan says, chuckling.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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149 Comments
  1. KT says:

    I don’t know when I’ve ever dreaded and looked forward to an episode so much (looking forward to the prison scenes being done, having way less Black Jack, and Jamie finally being free–I feel I need to explain that).

  2. Lizo says:

    I’ve not read the books, but this whole plot line feels really stupid. Jack Randall isn’t a character, he’s a characature, which is a shame. Gabaldon seems to continually get stuck in the worst tropes of fanfiction; the villain isn’t even human anymore, he’s a vaudevillian trope. I’ll continue to watch because I’m invested in Claire & Jamie and the scenery is gorgeous and I love Ron Moore, but sigh

    • fabcamilla says:

      You’ve not read the book, of course, so you are forgiven but let me tell you , you could not be more wrong if you tried

    • Gwenllian says:

      Posts like this make me worry that non-readers aren’t getting the whole experience. If you’re seeing Black Jack that way, it’s because of Ron Moore’s adaptation, not the source material. The book has so much more depth and the characters seem so much more real with Diana Gabaldon telling the story. Also, you’d be 100 times more invested in Claire and Jamie if you had their whole story as it’s told in the book.

      • Drew says:

        I think that Ron Moore is doing a fine job (based on what I’ve seen, which is about half of the season so far). I think that if anything, fans of the books are too attached to what is in the books, so they have a hard time dealing with things that have been altered or removed. I saw one discussion where people wanted an episode dedicated to Claire and Jamie’s honeymoon, because they bonded so much during that time. This is true in the books, but the books could afford to take that time. With a 16 episode order, showing the honeymoon would mean not showing something else–probably something more important. As it is, a lot has needed to be reworked and changed.
        The fact is that Black Jack isn’t a terribly complex character in the first book. What we see is a tyrant who does one horrible thing after another. He was made as a stark contrast to Frank. Since you’re a fan of the books, I’m assuming that your impression of Jack has been altered by things that won’t happen until later in the series.

        • Gwenllian says:

          I thought Ron did a fine job in the first half as well. It’s actually the second half of the season that I feel gets off track and falls short when it comes to pivotal moments in the storyline. Key scenes are left out or changed to the point that important plot elements are completely lost. Episode 108 is when I stopped being a fan of Ron Moore.

          As for my impression of Jack, I think he is exactly as complex as he needs to be in the first book. He’s not over the top like he is in the show – not a “vaudevillian trope” as the above poster said. That’s all on Ron Moore.

          • Drew says:

            I guess I’ll have to wait and see how the second half turns out. I know that a lot of stuff will have to be altered. I can’t imagine the quiet days with Jenny and Ian will all be there. But in the first book, I didn’t think that Jack was very complex. He was like a demon that haunted Jaime (and to a lesser extent, Claire) and every time he showed up, it was just to do something else that was horrible. Certain characters in later books paint a different picture of Jack, but from the POV that we saw him in the first book, he wasn’t very complicated.

          • Liz Sobel says:

            The first half of the book was just as I thought it should be, the second half was not. First there was no scene with Jamie and Laoghaire being romantic in the book, that kind of killed it for me. An entire episosed was wasted on Claire and Murtaugh trying to find Jamie, who in the book was actually taken by the watch. If they had lout that back a bit then maybe the finale could have focused more along the line of the book. The most important intimate scenes from after his rescue and in the Abbey (which was in France) we’re completed eliminated, and I’m not speaking of her going ” into the dark” to get Jamie back, but the intimacy after that at the abbey, the scene in the black spring where they re-unite and she gets pregnant —- that is how the book actually ends. It was a disappointment, I kept waiting for the intimacy (sex scenes) from the book that were left out between Jamie and Claire to re-appear, at Lallybrook, when she came back to him from Craigh Na Dun, etc.

            So much was changed from the book and even though that was done in part one, it still followed very much on course.

            They say Jamie is stil haunted by his abuse from Randall in book 2, not true. Jamie and Caire had completely moved on and were very happy moving into their new lives/roles in France, esp. At the beginning with Claire’s pregnancy. I hope that season two turns out to be more like part one of season one or it just may loose me. We all want the intimacy and sex back between them as well as a truer storyline!!

        • Celina says:

          I agree with you. I understand that the book fans want more depth, I do the same thing with GOT, but this isn’t the problem here… I liked all the episodes very much and I’m sure others non-readers did to, but I personally don’t like all this rape plot, no matter how much they will grow as characters and blah blah blah. I hate this and I don’t think that it is needed. They have so much to tell, about the jacobines, about lots of stuff, but they continue to do almost rape and rape. That was something I wish the tv show would change from the books.

          • Drew says:

            Yeah, the rape stuff comes up in the books a lot. The unusual part being that while Claire is almost raped a couple of times, Jaime is the one who is actually raped. I got the impression that Diana G. considered rape to be too far to go with Claire, but somehow doable with Jaime. Does it mean less if a man is raped? Or was she just trying to do the most horrible things imaginable to poor Jaime throughout the books?

          • Gwenllian says:

            Not sure how far you have read in the books, Drew, but that isn’t true. I don’t want to spoil anything, but Jamie isn’t the only one who gets raped.

          • Drew says:

            There seems to be a rape in every book. I’m currently on the fourth. There was one in the second and one in the third (again, a male being raped). We could also think of another event (toward a male) as a rape, since it was not really consensual.
            .
            Sorry for speaking in code. :)

          • sfd says:

            My opinion, it is like Diane G hates men and in her books involves role reversal(male/female)

          • Lizo says:

            Right? There’s so much plot they could be exploring and instead the story is focusing on a weird version of rape roulette. It’s derailing, asinine and boring.

      • Char says:

        To quote DG herself: “Put the book down.”

        You simply cannot put a book that size, and that complex, word for word on a screen. As a decades-long Outlander fan, I’m enjoying it for what it is, an adaptation.

        And for those who don’t get why Jamie (and Claire) go through what they do, sorry, but you’re missing the point of the entire series.

        • BADKITTY says:

          I think you are being dismissive of legitimate comments. Just because the author of the source material said put the book down, doesn’t mean people who have read the books have to cease all intelligent critique of the television series. And there are a lot of people, book readers and non book readers, who feel that the series writers have focused on side characters and situations at the expense of the core relationship that drives or should drive the story. And without that core relationship, how can the character Jamie make the choice he does (to literally sacrifice his body for Claire) and why is the character Claire willing to turn over heaven and earth and even kill to save him? And really, why would she stay in the 18th century in the first place? The series writers have made a case for going back to Frank and modern conveniences, but her passion for Jamie? Not so much.

          • Sara says:

            As someone who has not read the books, I must say, I don’t think they have sacrificed Claire and Jamie’s relationship at all. They seem to be at the heart of the show. Even in the beginning, I was rooting for them. They have always had amazing chemistry. She clearly has developed feelings for him and that is why she choose to stay when she had the opportunity to go. And I also think there is a line between intelligent critique and constantly complaining that something from the book got left out or something got changed.

          • Gwenllian says:

            Exactly, Badkitty.

            Jamie and Claire have great sexual chemistry in the show, but they aren’t soulmates like they are in the book.

          • Harasho Puck says:

            The development of the other characters in the books and in the series add dimension to the story and the main characters. Should you be unable to see or experience this; it could be indicative that your thinking is stuck in the one dimensional mode making you unable to use your imagination which really would make the characters come to life in the readings and in the series.

            Yes, there is legitimate critique, but there is also the whingers and whiners who are unable to go beyond their flat, conceptual ideals of what should be and become open to the possibilities.

            Diana suggests putting down the book and pulling your head out. Not to stop you from reading the book eventually or reviewing the differences, but to enjoy the series itself for what it, the film crew and the actors offer.

            I have read all of the books twice. I also have favorite scenes (and have expressed questions) that were left out due to one constraint or another, but I do not feel it has taken away from the acting, the books, the story (different from just the books I feel) or the people and author who bring the tale and the series to us.

            If you feel that you cannot enjoy the series as presented then please consider turning to another series of books or stories.

          • BADKITTY says:

            @Harasho Puck That was a very stuffy, long, odd response to something, but I am not sure what.

          • Lizo says:

            Well said! Thank yoi

      • Adaptation improves the book says:

        I have the opposite opinion: Ron Moore’s adaptation is faithful to the book and at the same time it strives to overcome the book’s flaws. Ron Moore, the writers and above all the actors give life in this material and strive to turn it into a real, emotional experience.

        • Gwenllian says:

          The actors are wonderful! The writing isn’t. A lot of the added material doesn’t really make sense and doesn’t fit with the rest of the storyline. Diana Gabaldon is a master storyteller, but Ron Moore’s adaptation lacks the magic that made me fall in love with the story. If not for Sam Heughan, I would have given up after the first episode.

        • What Gwenilian said. I’m not even sure what the focus of the story is supposed to be. They have wasted so much of the time that they’ve been given that I refuse to buy the lack of time argument. Hours and hours can be pulled out without making much difference and that is too bad. Those hours should have been used to show us why she would stay with Jamie in such a dangerous place and they botched it.

        • Thank you!! Glad someone agrees with me... says:

          As much as I thoroughly enjoyed the books (I’m reading #4 now), they are in need of editing. Ron Moore et al have done a wonderful job capturing the essence of the source material and tightening it up. The actors are perfectly cast. Tobias Menzies is brilliant. He has added so much depth to BJR. It’s evident from interviews and from his portrayal that he has made very thoughtful choices regarding the character’s motivation. I don’t think DG is complaining!

        • Lynne says:

          I agree with you totally! I think he is staying as true to the book as he can and still contrive a television show from it. I think he’s doing fantastic actually!!

    • kh says:

      You have it all wrong, sadly it’s all too human, which is why it is so captivating. Watching/reading about Black Jack is like watching/reading about Jeffery Dahmer. These scenes/chapters seem to be something you’d totally find in a Dahmer biopic.

    • Elaine says:

      You badly need to read the books @Lizo to understand BJR. Fanfiction has nothing to do with his character, Diana wrote “Outlander” never expecting it to be published never mind what did happen to the book which is over 20 years old BTW. BJR embodies people who really do live in our world, who’ve always been here and always will. Those of us fortunate enough not to have encountered them count ourselves lucky & pretend they don’t exist but they do. Ron Moore has done an incredible job of putting this cast together and attempting to condense Diana’s enormous books for viewers to appreciate. I for one have no idea how this is done. The casting couldn’t be better, the actors are truly amazing & this is the best television show I have watched in more years than I can remember.

      • Christine M says:

        Elaine, you have put my thoughts into words exactly. If you read history, life was FAR more brutal than it is today. People with power took physical advantage of people who had no power as an everyday thing. Also, Scotland at that time was an occupied country and sadly, the British committed atrocities to the Scottish people in order to destroy the clans, some of which is also depicted in Diana’s books.

    • Cindy Crain says:

      Read the books for Heavens sakes!!! Then you will truly understand Jack Randall. Tobias is perfect in the role. And even though I was skeptical in the beginning, Sam has brought Jamie to life! Bravo Ron! But I cannot even imagine knowing the books were out there and not reading them!

    • A fan of TV says:

      Are you saying there’s a trend towards back-licking villains in vaudeville? Because Black Jack would be the first I’ve seen.

    • Nancy Wright says:

      Next season you’ll see more of BJR and he will show another side of himself. Maybe he won’t seem such a characature then.

    • Cara says:

      Read the Books. You’ll see it much differently.

    • Rebecca Hollingsworth says:

      You need to read the books then. black jack is not a charcture.

    • dapeach says:

      Oh Llzo you couldn’t be more wrong. BJR isn’t a caricature of his modern day relative. He’s a total deviant. He’s not gay, but enjoys playing with and causing pain and torturing of others. It’s a mental illness. You don’t think that that really happened back then? It’s still happening in today’s world. The serial sniper that shooting people on the freeway. The people that hold the kids hostage for years with nobody knowing about it.(the 3 girls, the boys, the step-son)They are the same type of mind set. They love cruelty, and pain, and controlling others. It’s a type of mental illness. And Diana is only a consultant on the show, not a screen writer. Read the books if you haven’t. The show is only an adaptation, of the books.

    • mackeycarol says:

      You may be right, in your own mind . . . but it’s a _charicature_, of BJR, that you find a shame. We do love: what Dr. Gabaldon has done with the written word, Claire and Jamie’s (and Tobias’) characters, and Ron Moore’s unfaltering guidance–oh! and the incomparable scenery that is Scotland!! With those things we are in agreement.

    • Vaudevillian trope would be Ron Moore’s doing. His obsession with Black Jack Randall is nothing short of bizarre. Black Jack was so menacing in the book because he wasn’t in it very much. He was like a phantom haunting Jamie and Claire and all the more scary because of it. The longer he’s on screen, the less menacing he is.

      Also, it’s pretty simple. Jack is a sadist. Jamie is a stubborn man with a high pain tolerance. That’s like candy to Jack. That’s really all it is.

      The show is trying to add layers and …. I don’t know what. There’s this whole thing about Scotland making him this way or whatever. None of it makes any sense.

      It works in the book because Jack is rarely in the action. Most of what happens with him is told in flashback until Wentworth.

    • Chris says:

      I do not know what you mean by characature or vaudevillian – You really need to read the books Randall is intricate to the shaping of many future scenes and emotions …
      I personally am hoping that one particular part in focused on perhaps Jamie’s tortured face than on what is happening as in the book Clare is not made aware of it ALL until the healing begins and the lines of communication are opened between her and Jamie.
      Lizo read the books …..they are very consuming and addictive .

    • destiny says:

      Bless your heart honey! Read the books. They are so full and rich they could never fit even one completely into a TV show or movie.

    • desertlillie says:

      I so agree with fabcamilla and Stephy. If you haven’t read the books, I am not sure how you could possibly critique the series adaptation. I encourage you to take a step away from Tolstoy and Hemmingway and read or listen to these books. You might be pleasantly surprised.

    • you need to read the books

    • Cyn says:

      You could not possibly be further off track. Please read the book(s) while we wait for the next season. There is so much more to the story- all of their stories- who they are and why they act and react the way they do in the different situations.

  3. July Lark says:

    Sam did a magnificent job on 1.15 but I just cant watch 1.16, it disturbs me too much, I just want to get past this part of their story.

    • wgsecretary says:

      I agree. It was shortly after this that I gave up on the book. I’d had enough of the repetitive graphic elements. I won’t give away anything for those who haven’t read it or watched the show. But, eventually, the book was no longer enjoyable for me. It wasn’t creating tension in a “I must keep reading!” sort of way. It was just a touch too disturbing for me. I no longer cared how it ended, I just was sick of the repetitive nature of the structure of the story.

      • Christine M says:

        What Jaime goes through in the first book gives him the renewed strength of character to survive what is coming in the rest of his life. Kind of, if I got through that, I can get through this. I would really urge you to start fresh with the second book and you will see what I mean, both for Jamie and Claire, and this will all make some sense.

        • Dave Allen says:

          NTM that “Outlander” was Dr. G’s very first novel (that she never thought would be published). All of her previous works were non-fiction (where there is NO plot or character development).

          It got better in her 2nd novel, and by the third she was producing such well-researched and developed books that they are used as non-fiction references for university-level Colonial History lectures (IIRC at the University of Leeds).

          SOMEBODY must like her writing style, as she has sold 28M books, w/seven of her eight novels STARTING on the NYT bestseller’s list (w/this first book finally joining them 23 years after it was first published).

          • wgsecretary says:

            I wasn’t necessarily speaking to her ability to write. The story was well written. By structure, I was referring to the repetitive nature of some plot elements that I didn’t care to keep reading over and over. I just didn’t like it. Believe it or not, that does happen. There’s no need to defend her work to me. I know what I like to read and I made it almost to the end before I was too disturbed by what was happening. It’s very rare that I don’t finish a book. I usually give the whole thing a chance before forming my final opinion. But, I would need more than one hand to count all of the events that happened that I didn’t care for. Her writing was fine and I respect her ability as a writer. I just didn’t care for the story. I was trying to explain my opinion without giving too much away.

  4. Drew says:

    I am way behind in watching the series, but I’ve read the book. I can only imagine what will be on screen. Part of me was/is hoping that a lot of it would be left to the imagination, but that doesn’t sound like it’s the case… Man, I don’t envy these actors if they show some of the stuff that was in the book. Imagine doing those things over and over again for days. Even though it isn’t real, it would be horrible to film. And I’m not just talking about being in the heads of those characters. I’m just talking about the actors themselves.

  5. Ellyn says:

    Sam & Cait suffer from what I call “too gorgeous to possibly be talented” syndrome. They are both phenomenonally gifted and intelligent. But because through no planning or fault of their own, they are also genetically gifted with beauty, their skill and work ethic are discounted. Neither fair nor right.

    • Adaptation improves the book says:

      You nailed it!

      • kt says:

        I disagree. Yes, they’re both gorgeous, but “Cait” is a horrible actress. Maybe it’s her voice or horrible accent, but she just irritates me and it’s ruined the series for me. I love it when people talk Emmys. Are you kidding? She stinks. Please replace her, she’s bringing down the rest of the group’s efforts.

        • MP says:

          Elite level trolling

        • MAB says:

          kt, I couldn’t agree more. Cait is lovely, but in over her head. Always screaming until she’s hoarse. desperate and angry with an indignant scowl on her face or screeching during times of high stress. I see this as an inexperienced actor grasping and not knowing how to hold back. It’s distracting to no end.

          • KT says:

            You described her acting to a “T”. Now the actress who plays Janet is awesome. I love watching her. She would have made a perfect Claire.

  6. mooshki says:

    Wow, I really didn’t think they would go there with the show.

    • robin says:

      They have to. That relationship haunts y the whole series.

      • They don’t have to but chose to…graphic sadistic raping is the fuel for this society’s need to see more and desensitize themselves of just how low an individual can be…so sad.

        • Dave Allen says:

          Please, this is all taken directly from a book published ~25 years ago! It is HARDLY part of any recent trends.

          • I know the book was written 20+ years ago and I read said book. I, as an individual, didn’t think it was necessary to be too explicit on the tv what was written in the book. Given that this is a “free” country, individuals have the right to express themselves and give an opinion without being chastised for exercising that right. There has been an increase in showing more explicit sexual activity in resent years…an example is the most recent episode of Penny Dreadful this past Sunday….that I feel wasn’t necessary to show either…again my right to say so. Sometimes more isn’t better and using one’s imagination should win out against “in your face” scenes.

    • Unfortunately, it seems they are. Why they feel “this” must be seen in order to be true to the book is mind boggling. Ron himself said sometimes less is better and to leave somethings to imagination but in this case, to be explicit is fine.

      • Drew says:

        Unfortunately, when certain crimes are committed against males, the reaction is not always disgust and outrage. They are sometimes laughed at or in some cases are met with a reaction of “I wish that would happen to me” or “oh, you know you liked it”
        As disgusting as this sequence is in the books, I don’t know that the true horror of it could be conveyed without showing some of it. That said, I do hope that they don’t push it beyond conveying the story.
        Part of me wished that they would leave it off screen. But the part of me who reads comments about news headlines gets why they have to show some of it.

        • There is no rational reason to be as explicit as they are planning to show a person being degraded and raped not only physically but mentally as well. It is known that cruelty exists in the world but must everything be in your face to get the point across? I don’t think so. Somethings can be left to the imagination…I read the book and it caused me great distress for weeks…reading something and seeing something are two completely different things.

          • Adaptation improves the book says:

            It was the same for me – a great distress. Yet I think an adaptation is a product of creativity and in this sense the only way that it could go is the way creators of the series – writers, directors, actors, interpret it.

          • Harasho Puck says:

            One has to only think back a few decades to remember that Lucille Ball and Ricky Ricardo were the first couple shown in the bedroom together on TV, even though they were shown in separate beds. The opening of the mind on TV and in movies has slowly progressed from there.

            The illustrative content tody is just one more step in this evolution.

          • Please…you can’t compare The Lucille Ball show and it’s contents to showing rape, degrading and out right sadistic behavior. I remember watching the Lucille Ball show as a child and I wondered then why Lucy and Ricky didn’t share a bed like my parents did. Granted we have progressed as a society but some things just shouldn’t become accepted as “art” and deemed necessary to be seen.

      • Especially when so much of the beauty of the book was taken out and never even attempted. They never even attempted to achieve the level of intimacy, friendship, and love that Jamie and Claire have. Never. They didn’t even try.

        But this? This is where they decided to be true to the book. To be honest, RDM would not have bothered to adapt the book without this torture scene. This is why he did it. This was all he was interested in.

        • Gwenllian says:

          I agree. I don’t mind some graphic violence, but way too much effort was put into the rape scenes, while more important scenes were completely ignored.

        • Dave Allen says:

          You might want to consider editing your comment and removing your slander of Mr. Moore. In MANY interviews he has said what attracted him the this project, and it WASN’T torture scenes.

          He was introduced to the material by two women (his wife Terry & his partner at Tall Ship Productions, Maril Davis) because they knew of his love of history, and preference for strong female roles (think President Laura Roslin and Lt. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace in Battlestar Galactica). For these most critical episodes in the series, he employed female script writers and female directors to adapt a book written by a female novelist (who is 63, has a hard-science Ph.D., and has been a wife and mother for > 40 years). SHE was the one who wanted the torture scene (as it was so critical to the character development).

  7. “…and to find that line where you’re neither being gratuitous, and you’re not shying away at the same time — where you’re showing what needs to be shown, and you’re not afraid of it, but you’re not reveling in it.”

    IMO, I think they did cross the line several times in the series. Mature grown-ups should not need to be hit over the head with torture, sex, and violence in order to get to the “truth” of the story. The long, graphic exposition in the books was necessary. We need the words to spark the imagination so that we “see” the story come to life off the page. In film, subtlety is more effective. I do not have to see extended rape or torture scenes to know what happened or understand the depths of BJR’s sadism, Jamie’s willingness to suffer for love of Claire,and how this horror will affect him.
    Menzies, Balfe,and Heughan gave superb performances. Menzies’ chilling recounting to Claire ( In the Garrison Commander) of his flogging of Jamie was so effective…until they went on and on with the flogging scenes. Creepy overkill.
    Parts of episode 15 were also lessons in not knowing when to stop.
    I fear, this last episode is going to be dominated by far too many explicit flashbacks of sexual violence, and a scant few minutes left for some very powerful events from the book. I hope I am wrong, but I doubt it.

    • Gwenllian says:

      I’m not offended by the violence, and I am loving the sex scenes, but I do wish Ron Moore had placed more emphasis on Jamie and Claire’s relationship instead of expanding Black Jack’s role. There have been way too many important iconic scenes and lines left out in order to add in extra screen time for Tobias Menzies. Ron seems obsessed with him.

      • Drew says:

        It is the nature of the beast. They signed an actor for what was probably multiple years. He pretty much has to be available when they need him and they are throwing money out the window if they don’t use him.
        For those reasons as well as others, television is just a completely different medium. You can’t expect them to tell the story the same way.
        There are a lot of scenes from the books that I would love to see. Heck, there are scenes that I would love to see that weren’t even in the books (book 3 frustrated me at times, not taking the time to address character issues). But when you’re translating to film or television, many scenes will be lost and other elements will be played up more. There is no avoiding it.

      • DaisyH says:

        I agree with everything you have said so far Gwenllian. Although I am thoroughly enjoying the series I think that the intensity of Claire and Jamie’s relationship has not been demonstrated sufficiently to make the sacrifices they have made for each other credible. Also Jamie’s character has been underplayed in a way that stops him coming across as the mature capable character he is in the books. I’m not whinging or complaining, this is just my take on it, I love the series, but feel it’s a shame that people who haven’t read the books will miss out on this.

        • BADKITTY says:

          Well said DaisyH

        • lori says:

          Yes, completely agree.

          I also don’t like that you aren’t allowed to have an opinion other than loving every minute of it, without being jumped all over. I LOVE the books, also love the series, but have some problems with the adaptation.

      • Shadowcruzer says:

        Have to say I do agree with this post. I get though they are trying to draw in others besides us romantics but if I had my choice they would go back to concentrating on Claire and Jamie together as a couple but seem to be going away from that in favor of action and shock value.

      • Lizzie says:

        Absolutely true, so much was left out, even before the rape/torture scene. The second
        Half could have been truer to the book, the development of Jamie’s and Claire’s relationship was missing — esp. after her decision to come back to him when he left her to go back thru the stones, in the book it was a truly pivotal scene, at Lallybrook. Why was so much series time waisted on Claire and Murtaugh looking for Jamie (an entire episode). Then all that at the prison with the hangings scene, not even in the book …. That time could have been used for everything that happened after his rescue from BJR …. How he was rescued, his recovery at the Abbey (in France), his healing and Claire!s idea to bring Jamie back thru the dark fight/seduction w/lavender oil (JBR’s sent) and most important the final scene in the book, the intimate black springs love-making where she tells Jamie after she’s pregnant ….. Too much was missing.

        The characters are phenomenal, the acting couldn’t be better as well as the real connection felt between Claire and Jamie.

        I am a huge fan of the books and the series … I hope season 2 which is a long book can at least follow along the line of the book better the 2nd half of season 1.

        • Gwenllian says:

          I don’t get why they included things like the story arc with MacQuarrie and the whole episode devoted to the search either. Ron keeps saying they have to cut pivotal scenes and leave out really important parts of the story because they have limited time, but then they add unimportant things that seem like filler.

          I needed to see the hot springs scene and the intimacy between Jamie and Claire. The S1 finale left me feeling cold and empty. I won’t be returning as a viewer for S2. It just upsets me too much to watch Ron mangle the story. I can’t do it anymore and have cancelled Starz.

      • JR says:

        You are SO right! Moore has even said he’s writing new (as in not-in-the-book) scenes for Frank Randall for season 2 because he likes the character of Frank so much!

    • Linda Schulz says:

      I agree I loved the books, but enough is enough of the graphic sex/violence junk.

  8. Ellen Gould says:

    I am so thrilled at the first Outlander season 1 series 1. As a huge fan of the books, way back to about 20 years ago, I have never found a book to better these. So a huge thank you to Diana Gabaldon for such a wonderful story. I also, have read all the ‘Lord John’ series which are just as brilliantl. My only problem about this tv series is…..I cannot find out when season 1 series 2 is out on dvd for me to buy! I want to see (but not really as I am dreading it), Jamies time with Randall. The only consolation is, I know what the outcome is.

  9. Badkitty says:

    Sam Heughan has such range. I have been disappointed in the second half of the season to see a Jamie who I don’t recognize — a natural leader and Laird in the books, he has been portrayed as something else altogether in recent episodes — but Heughan has brought so much to the character, rising above the writing. And now he has been willing to go to a very dark place as an actor and as a man. While the producers have heaped praise on Balfe and Menzies, they have been silent in interviews on Heughan. Ironically, it is the Black Jack character who articulates it best, when he tells Claire that she (to paraphrase) is worthy of her husband, and he could give no higher compliment. Likewise, Heughan.

    • Gwenllian says:

      I agree completely, Badkitty.

    • Drew says:

      Sam has done a really great job. So many stage actors can’t make the transition to camera work. They tend to overact, as they would on stage, while forgetting that the camera is very close and personal. They really are two different crafts.
      Sam has done a lot of stage work, but he never forgets the small moments on camera. He gives Jamie an inner monologue, even if we aren’t privy to it. You can see those wheels turning in his head, which is very much Jaime from the books.
      Keep in mind that a TV series is different than a book. A series needs a character arc that spans seasons, while a book needs to get to the point much more quickly.

      • BADKITTY says:

        Glad you are a fellow traveler when it come to Sam’s acting. But, rising to the bait, I don’t think staying in character violates the rules of TV. Tony Soprano after all was always Tony Soprano.

        • Drew says:

          I could argue that one of the weaknesses of the books is that Jaime is at the height of his character when we meet him. He is strong, capable, smart, loyal, honorable… People follow him based on his presence alone. In the books that followed, there was nowhere to go but down for him, and DG beat him down repeatedly. At some point, I had to start wondering what his arc was. At some point, he’d lost so much that no amount of coming back would make things right. He was changed in ways that his younger self would hate.
          I’m not saying that a TV show needs to be all sunshine and roses, but there needs to be somewhere for the character to go. If he is going to go through these experiences, there should be something that comes from them other than misery.
          The books are really good, but there are some weaknesses in them. Character development is not their strongest point (I could point to examples for this, but not without spoilers for future seasons of the series), which I think the series could improve upon.

          • Badkitty says:

            Well, I can imagine a man who is honorable doing something dishonorable without changing the essence of who he is.. I won’t defend the character development in the books. Sometimes characters are presented as a collection of attributes like “stubborn” and there is more than one that I would like to see the show make more complex and improve upon, like Bree. But, let’s have this convo after you have watched the second half of the season. Because that is where Jamie changes and not for the better. So his arc is kind of bifurcated. But as I said, Heughan rises above the writing even though side lined in some ways.

      • MAB says:

        I agree. Now if we can get Cait on board with not overacting, we’d be good to go.

    • Adaptation improves the book says:

      Yes!

    • DaisyH says:

      I agree Badkitty, Jamie’s character has almost been reduced to a supporting role in some parts of the second half of the series and subsequently Sam has hardly been mentioned in many of the interviews and reviews of those episodes, apart from his physical attributes, they always manage to talk about them. I think he has done an amazing job with the material he has been given to work with and deserves much more recognition. At the moment only Diana seems to be standing up for his exceptional performance. In the book I felt that Claire and Jamie were equally important to the story so the second half feels a bit skewed to me so far.

    • Kathy Brown says:

      I have to say I also agree. The Jamie I saw in the books was a capable, natural leader. There was also more humor and gentleness in the books and more quiet moments. Like another post said, I don’t need to be hit over the head with the torture and violence, although that is certainly in the book,it was balanced out with softer moments. I also agree about Sam Heughan. At first I just thought him another pretty face but his acting with his expression and his eyes has proven spectacular. Its as if Jamie has gotten up off the page.

    • Lizzie says:

      Perfectly said, I couldn’t agree more. With only the exception that I think Balfe, Menzies as well as all of the major actors were superb and worked hard to rise above the the writing.

  10. MoolachArd says:

    Heughan, Menzies and Balfe were amazing in last week’s Wentworth Prison episode. Can’t wait for finale! All 3 deserve Emmys!

  11. Susanna22 says:

    Heughan has been absolutely brilliant as Jaime. He is ever present in any scene he has, fully there and focused. The other two are good alright but it is all about Heughan for me. If you haven’t read the books do so immediately, especially the first two. Diana can write although she’s heavy on the rape and pillage stuff. Some necessary, some not.

  12. Alicia says:

    Omg I cannot wait for this ep. The book was insane so can’t wait to c how they have adapted it for tv. Can’t wait for the Jamie&Claire scenes once she gets him back. As always Great article Kim.

  13. Shadowcruzer says:

    Drew, there are more females raped sadly if you keep reading further into the books

  14. Ruby says:

    Oh I love this show. It is great. Do not think i will able to bare the horror Jamie will go through.

  15. Linda Schulz says:

    Loved the series until now. The final episode,I had to turn off. Visual media, has gotten far too brutal/gratic,for me.national news is bad enough. I say enough allready

    • I totally agree with you…unfortunately, there are more who are looking forward to the next episode in all it’s graphic details.

    • Gwenllian says:

      I don’t mind the dark stuff as long as there is an equal amount of light to go along with it. I think where they’ve gone wrong in the show is in placing too much emphasis on the graphic brutality of Black Jack and not enough on Jamie and Claire’s relationship. The book centers on the J&C love story, but the show has become all about Black Jack. The rape and torture should only be a small part, not the main storyline. The iconic hot springs love scene should not have been sacrificed and replaced by extended torture scenes. Scenes like the hot springs at the abbey are why many of us watch.

  16. In order to choose Brianna, I would need to see pictures of proposed actors alongside Sam Heughan’s picture. She must look like him to some extent. In order to pick Roger, I would need to see the whole man- not just his face. Need to know if he can sing….

  17. Sarah D says:

    The day I finished the first book I found out there was going to be a TV series and my first thought was how will the series show this horrid scene that is described so well, I’m glad the series will put it all out there. It’s not easy reading/watching scenes like these but when they are a important part of the story (as opposed to having a sex scene just because you’re on cable and can attitude) better to go all in.

  18. Angie says:

    I have my own alcohol ready for this episode. It was chilling enough in the book, I can’t wait to see how Starz has handle it. I’m sure tears will flow, as I have become much more attached to Jamie!

  19. Debra Bishop says:

    I have read all these books. First one had me hooked since 91-92 waited patiently for each book to follow last one I laughed and cried I thought man this would make a great movie series and bam so. Far couldn’t be more pleased Jamie wasn’t what I expected at first but as I kept glued to each episode that’s the Jamie I’ve read about thanks for a series that gives readers the book in entirely of what the read and picture to come to life, thanks again waiting for next season as well as DVDs season 1 vol 2 release

  20. marce says:

    I was going to say, why is Diana and all the media obsessed with rape and brutality, but then I remembered that in the UK alone historical cases of sexual abuses have come forward now from the past 60 years, the level of abuse raises to industrial scales thousands and thousands of children, young people, men and women raped… it has always been there it is just that now we can see it.

    • Anne- history teacher says:

      I agree- rape has been used for thousands of years by conquerers to subdue the spirit of those who are being targeted. It has less to do with sexual drive and more to do with intent to control and diminish the victim. This is true whether it is a male or female who is the victim, many men just tend to somehow think that it is far worse or more demeaning when the person being raped is a male. The point of this part of the novel is to show how Jamie’ s innate strength and the love he shares with Claire helps him to survive the rape and not allow Randall to destroy him.

  21. I have a question I don’t see any thing about next episodes

  22. linsyl9 says:

    Looking through the candidates shown I would say Jane Levy as Briana and Ben Barnes as Roger.

  23. Chez says:

    I agree. I’m so nervous but also sad that the season is ending.

  24. Susan says:

    Couldn’t wait for thr last 2 week’s to pass by,now the time is here! Looking forward to episode 16…I’m sure as always all the performances will be masterful! There couldn’t be a better show on TV then Outlander. BRAVO!

  25. Rosie Martinez says:

    Deborah Woll would be a good candidate for Brianna. Tall beautiful slender red head

  26. fabiana says:

    I like that red head long hair blue eyed teen that plays “Gracie” in ” Orphan Black”. She s good and looks like Bree.

  27. Missy says:

    Amazing choice for Jaime and Claire, sure they’ll do justice to Brianna and Roger. The shows awesome. The books are jaw droppers

  28. kay long says:

    Riveting….consuming…..perfectly acted, directed, nothing like it!!!! I watch all episodes over and over. Really a masterpiece of film!! Your loss to miss it.

  29. Ana says:

    Jane Levy & Ian Harding are Brianna & Roger!!!!

  30. karmiceraser says:

    As a stand-alone, this show is superficial and confusing. My husband (non-reader) says it’s not at all a love story, which is how I sold it to him. I’m tired of trying to explain and connect the dots for him. I’m finished with it.

  31. havent been disappointed to date, read the books, the series is spot on, with Sam as Jamie😍 and Caite as Claire, and Tobias as BJR, it’s a perfect world thax to herself DG, can’t wait for ep. 16 tonite, these actors are Oscar worthy.. Outlander must win best TV show if all time..xx

  32. Anita Knight says:

    I was sitting at home one Sat, flipping through channels and stubbled across outlander. I’m in love with the show. I’m African American, not many of us are into shows like this, however I love it. And I’m in love with Jamie. Look forward next season.

  33. Sharon says:

    Watching the whole marathon today leading up to the final episode of season 1. I am looking forward to these magnificent actors and what they will bring to both the harrowing scenes and hopefully the saving of Jamie as well as his soul. The three lead actors in this series are absolutely outstanding in their respective roles. I trust Ronald Moore to make this episode true to the story, true to the characters, and leave us in a good place while waiting patiently for season 2.

  34. Paul says:

    While I enjoy the series immensely, and agree that the depiction if difficult scenes has been well executed, I find it half-handed and dminor dingenuous that the director favors the lens lingering closely over female body parts and camera angles being conveniently skewed from accidentally exposing male anatomy. Ever the stray end of a sheet to provide Heughan respite from full nudity. In the final 2 episodes we get a normal treatment and even detailed frontal nudity of Mr Menzies (I have no idea whether a prosthetic and care not) but the victim of the torture is always managing to have his hand covering the “naughty bits”. I think it cheapens the scene and ultimately a reflection on the producers concern for reaction from the public. Male genitalia = evil seems to not have escaped the editing room in Hollywood.

  35. clweso says:

    Waiting for episode 16 until tuesday here in Germany. What goes thru my mind since I 115 is that, even as an experienced tv and movie viewer, it was already hard to watch. Violence wise there is a lot similar or even more explicit stuff out there. The performance of Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan and Tobias Menzies makes it so real and unbearable. There are no prosthesis for a state of mind or a feeling. Even as an expierenced actor, i imagine, she/he has to go a certain way, thinking, visualizing their “own self” in a certain place or getting in a state of mind to express and show, what you all could see.
    As dark as 15 is and 16 will most probably get, being a DG reader myself i know, I am glad our beloved actors came back from this horrible places, they somehow had to look into.

  36. Dolores says:

    I finished watching Outlander 16th episode. What an outstanding season finale. Everyone of them brought their heart and souls to bring DC’s books to life. I commend their courage.

  37. In the series finale,is black jack Randall really DEAD???after the bulls charge over him?I certainly hope so!Enough of his character,already! I hope next season,there will be some “lightness”,now that Claire is pregnant? Can they have some happiness,please!!!

  38. Is black jack Randall,in the Outlander series finale,finally killed?

  39. Ann says:

    Amazing television for a change! I love this series. As far as historical novels are concerned this is great, both the book and the series. Ron Moore is doing a great job of portraying it as best as possible. Too bad that fall is so far away I was afraid to watch the brutalism of tonights episode but so glad I did. Kudos to all the great acting.

  40. Irishregulus says:

    I really liked this show at the beginning; but, the last few episodes pushed the boat out too far – funnily enough, I’m not too partial to an evening of sadistic raping on my telly. I find that all human adults are already pretty aware of the horrors of the world without having to sit through an hour of that again. It depressed me. I wanted a swashbucking Highland romance and got mind-raped with this torutre porn instead. Sorry, but I found this as entertaining as Nazi death camp footage. Season two – no thanks.I’ll pass.

  41. Janet says:

    I’ve just started the book and I was wondering with branding did Jamie pass out and branded his side or did he plan to do that?everyone in other blogs are complaining about the rape( that didn’t bother me as much because I guess I know it didn’t really happen) mending his hand was hard to watch. The actors are great I’m looking forward to the book while I wait for the new season.

    • In the book Randall branded him just under his collar bone, I don’t know why they changed it to Jamie branding himself on his side but I think since Randall wanted Jamie to brand himself at his collar bone, this was a way Jamie defied Randall and attempt not to completely submit to Randall.

  42. JE says:

    I loved this show initially, but the last several episodes were far too graphic for my taste. Unfortunately, I had to stop watching. I haven’t read the books, would I be able to stomach them or would they be too much as well?

    • dancingleaf06 says:

      In my opinion book 1(Outlander) was the most graphic and in it’s defense just the part of Jamie’s rape and recovery with the flash backs. I’ve read books 1 through 7 and enjoyed them, however, I’m currently reading book 8 and not enjoying it at all…too many story lines and too much of the Lord Grey character which I do not like at all.

  43. Justin Robinson says:

    The last episode was frankly the most nauseating, depraved and disgusting television I have ever had the misfortune of witnessing. I will not be watching Season 2. I hope the second series is a dismal commercial failure that loses the studio a fortune. Such a shame as it really had promise.

  44. Hasottee says:

    I was quite disappointed in the final episode of the season. I know that all of the depth and detail of the books cannot be included, but I felt cheated. Yes, the actors Tobias and Sam were superb, but the adaptation for film felt like an artificially quick rush to climax. The writer stripped the sequence of its significance by changing the monastery’s location and personnel, by not including the fight for Jamies’ s soul, etc. They could have paced it better, too. I felt cheated. The interactions between Claire and Jamie felt artificial. Just my opinion.

  45. Sheri says:

    The season finale was, without a doubt, the best. It nailed the emotions and physical rawness of the relationship between Jack and Jamie to a T. The actors did a tremendous job worthy of more than any award could possibly bestow. Kudos to the cast, the crew and Ron Moore for bringing the book to life!

  46. Sheri says:

    And one more thing .. for those who found Episode 116 too graphic, too brutal, inappropriate, etc., 1700’s Scotland was a much different time than that in which we currently live. The only difference that I see, is that instead of the “dark stuff” happening in dungeons, it’s happening next door, in the homes of relatives, etc. If the show violates your sensibilities, stick with the book where you can gloss over the parts you don’t like.

  47. I am 60 years of age, and nothing could have prepared me for this finale. The most painful and difficult hour of television I have ever seen. Kudos to the actors for their realistic portrayels!!

  48. Gem says:

    All future rape scenes in TV & movies should show male victims. It seems to be the only way men can be taught what the crime of RAPE actually is: the torture, humiliation & physical battering of another human being.

  49. I am totally taken by this series and can’t wait till they sock it to Black Jack Randall!