Outlander 2014
OpinionReviewsTelevision & Film

OUTLANDER Adds Injury to Injury

 

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Episode 116: “To Ransom a Man’s Soul”

[Photos: Sony Pictures Television]

Here we are again for Episode 116 of Outlander. It’s hard to write a recap when you’re curled into a little ball in the corner of your room, so this one will be a short one, despite being the final episode of the season.

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Here it is in a nutshell: Randall spends 90% of the episode torturing, assaulting, and psychologically breaking Jamie. If you’ve ever wondered about the process one uses to attempt the ruination of another, this episode should prove incredibly informative. And it’s well acted. Not for a moment did I think that the two actors playing Jamie and Randall were out of step.

I really must stop dancing around it, but it is difficult to write these words: Randall rapes Jamie, violently, and often. I applaud the producers for not sugar-coating Jamie’s experience, but I wonder if we could have been spared some of the horror and still walked away with an appreciation for Jamie’s despair. By the bottom half of the episode, I felt I got it, and I was crying, “Uncle.”

Claire and her Scottish clansmen eventually do use the cows to break into Wentworth Prison, just as promised in the last episode. The stampeding cows break down the door to Jamie’s cell, and Randall appears to be crushed underneath. Is it wrong to say that I felt he didn’t suffer enough?

Jamie is ushered to a nearby monastery to recuperate, but his view of himself as a compromised man interferes with Claire’s attempts to nurse him back to health. Frustrated, and with the realization that Jamie responds best to shows of strength, Claire attacks Jamie. Poor Jamie, victim again, but he eventually talks to Claire about some of the aspects of the experience that were most degrading and humiliating for him. They reach a tentative peace when Claire threatens to die with Jamie if he chooses to die.

Outlander 2014

The episode wraps with the two saying “goodbye” to the rough but decent Scots who helped them out, and boarding a boat to escape to France. Claire shares the happy news that she’s pregnant, and Jamie expresses his surprise and happiness.  While it’s great to have something happy, there’s no real cliffhanger, the major plotline is resolved, and this viewer is still left feeling…deflated? Wrung out? Off balance? Most non-triumphant?

Outlander 2014

It’s a bit of an unusual end-of-season episode considering the discomfort with which we’re all left. And with Randall supposedly dead, and Jamie and Claire with no known allies or enemies in France, it will be interesting to see how they land, and how being parents will affect them both. Ugh, let’s just get on with it. Alex and I will see you guys when the season picks back up. Thanks for sticking with us!

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