Outlander: To Ransom a Man’s Soul

Outlander-To-Ransom-a-Man-s-Soul-1x16-promotional-picture-outlander-2014-tv-series-38523305-1800-1200Previously on Outlander: Claire very nearly managed to bust Jamie out of prison, but Randall cannot be overcome, and Jamie struck a deal with him: Randall can rape Jamie all he wants if he lets Claire go. Randall accepts, and Claire is kicked out of the prison. She rushes back to the others in despair and Murtagh comes up with a plan to save Jamie.

‘You canna save a man that dinna want saving.’

It’s time for the morning muster and all the soldiers are gathered in the prison’s courtyard. Jamie, dead-eyed, lies naked on the bed in his cell, Randall stretched out beside him. Randall gets up and goes to get dressed, giving the viewers a rare moment of actual full-frontal male nudity. As he pulls on his boots, Jamie grumbles that Randall owes him a good suicide. Randall obligingly pulls out a wicked knife, but then there’s the rattling sound of another door being opened and he goes to investigate. Jamie whimpers and begs, slowly and painfully starting to roll from the bed. Randall ignores him and goes out into the hallway, heading towards the strange rumbling sound. It gets louder, and then the door he’s standing beside is busted down by 19 cattle being stampeded into the place by Angus, Rupert, and Murtagh. They glance at Randall, lying bloody and either unconscious or dead on the floor, as they hurry past. Someone should really make sure that bastard’s dead, guys.

They locate Jamie, now lying on the floor of his cell, wrap him in a tartan and bundle him out of there while the cattle chase the garrison around the courtyard.

Jamie is put in a carriage and galloped away to where Claire waits in the middle of the road. She jumps aboard and immediately starts tending to Jamie, glancing under the plaid and blanching at what she sees. She notes the smell of lavender oil about him, which is surprising since it’s used to relieve pain. Someone else has been tending him. Claire reassures Jamie that he’s safe, but when he opens his eyes he sees not her face, but Randall’s, and he freaks out and starts choking her. Murtagh yanks him off. They get moving again.

They go to a monastery, where Willie is waiting for them, and Claire is introduced to the man in charge, Father Anselm. He reassures Claire that everything she needs to tend to Jamie’s wounds is waiting for her. He’s taken to the infirmary, where he tosses aside the broth Brother Paul is offering him. Paul draws Claire aside and tells her that he’s sure she can heal Jamie’s wounds, but the guy is clearly suffering from some form of PTSD, which is going to be much trickier.

Claire’s first priority is to set Jamie’s hand, so hopefully he won’t be crippled for life. Paul goes to fetch supplies and she tries to bathe Jamie’s face, but he flinches away and orders her not to touch him. She asks him to tell her what Randall did but he just shakes his head and says, ‘Too much, and not enough.’

Oh, awesome, now we get to relive all this in flashbacks. Yay! I love me a good rape episode! Just after kicking Claire out, Randall is back in Jamie’s cell, thoughtfully providing him with a generous pull from a flask. He also oh-so-kindly removes the nail from Jamie’s hand, a process so painful Jamie starts retching in response. Randall cradles Jamie’s head and whispers that the worst is over (doubtful), as he gently trickles some water over Jamie’s brow and declares him a magnificent creature. He leans down and kisses Jamie’s chin, brushes the hair back from his forehead, and kisses his mouth. Jamie resists and Randall pouts that it’s like kissing a corpse and he knows Jamie can do better than that. He threatens to fetch Claire back if Jamie won’t play ball, and Jamie reminds him that the deal was he wouldn’t resist, not that he’d like it. Randall picks him up, sits him down in a chair, and reaches up underneath his kilt, asking if this feels nice. Jamie flinches and groans and tries very hard not to cry.

‘Jamie, I just want this to be a pleasant experience for us both,’ Randall sighs. Jamie growls at him to take his pleasure and be done with it, and then spits in Randall’s face. Damn, that’s ballsy. ‘You think I cannot control the darkness I inhabit?’ Randall asks him. He then bends Jamie over the table, spits on his hand, and brutally rapes him, urging Jamie to scream. Jamie does not, despite the fact this is clearly agony.

Back at the monastery, Claire and Paul are trying to get Jamie to take some laudanum before she sets the bones in his hand. Jamie’s fine with whisky, thanks. He tells Claire that Randall made him crawl and beg and made him wish he were dead. Her lip trembles, but she steels herself and reminds him that he’s not dead, and she’s not going to sit by and let him spend his life crippled. ‘Do as you wish,’ he says. ‘It matters not to me.’ He takes the whole bottle of laudanum and starts to drink it. After a horrified second, Claire snatches it away.

He passes out, hearing Randall say ‘scream, scream, scream!’ over and over again.

CVO unnecessarily tells us that this was a long, difficult job. Show, don’t tell. She sets bones, stitches his hand back together, and she and Paul set it on a splint and bandage it. Once the job is done, Paul sends Claire to get some rest while he sits with Jamie. She accepts and leaves, and just outside the room starts throwing up. She’s been doing that kind of a lot lately. I know she’s under a lot of stress, but still, she doesn’t seem like the kind of woman to vomit easily. Just saying.

She makes her way to the chapel, where Anselm finds her. He apologises for interrupting her prayers and she says she was just sitting there trying to clear her head. He invites her to sit and offers to hear her confession. After a brief hesitation, she goes ahead and tells the guy her whole time-travelling story. And once again, instead of the far more likely reaction of, ‘OK, lady, you’re clearly insane or evil,’ the person hearing this story just accepts it and even thinks it’s kind of awesome. So, we’re supposed to believe these people are backward enough to burn witches but they just accept time travel and thinks anyone who manages it is pretty cool? Right. Anselm urges her to have faith that all her sins will be forgiven. He then blesses her.

Jamie is still refusing food. Claire arrives at the infirmary and tells Jamie he needs sustenance. She also notes he’s got a fever. At least his hand’s looking somewhat better. She starts talking about doing some physical therapy once he’s better, but first they need to get his fever down. She asks Paul to get her some cold water and he goes to fetch it. Jamie tells Claire that you can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved.

The boys are all just gathered around waiting for something to happen, and Murtagh is fretting big time. Willie muses that something like this happened to his uncle: he lost his arm in an accident and wound up starving himself to death. This, of course, does not ease Murtagh’s mind.

Murtagh tries his hand at feeding Jamie, but Jamie won’t take any broth. Instead, he and Murtagh have a long conversation in Gaelic that we don’t get to understand a word of.

Flash back to a bloody, filthy, naked Jamie dragging himself across his cell while Randall sits by and watches. Randall asks if Jamie has reached his limit yet. Jamie just looks like he wants to die. Randall walks over to him, and Claire hallucinates that Randall is actually Claire, and he reaches for her, calling her name. Randall wonders what it is about this woman that possesses Jamie, even now. The fantasy Claire disappears and Jamie begins to sob in despair. ‘There’s no more Claire!’ he wails. Randall turns him over.

‘Are you mine?’ he asks him. Jamie sees Claire again and whispers:

‘There’s only you.’ Randall is pleased with that. He steps back, stretches, thinks for a moment, and fetches his metal seal from his bag. He heats it in the brazier and brings it, red hot, over to Jamie, telling him to prove that he is Randall’s. Yes, that’s right, Jamie now gets to brand himself with Randall’s initials. And he does it, because apparently he has, finally, reached his limit.

Willie, having been sent out to scout the area, returns and reports that there are two redcoat patrols about. Murtagh realises it won’t be long before they’re discovered in their hiding place. Claire and Jamie will have to leave. As in, leave the country, because there’s no place in Scotland that’ll be safe for them. France seems to be the best bet, since there are Frasers and MacKenzies there. Willie asks about Claire’s fake family in France and she admirably lies right off the cuff and says they were relatives of her dead first husband, and anyway, Jamie would probably prefer to be with his own family just now. Murtagh heads off to find them a ship.

Willie takes his turn sitting at Jamie’s bedside and speaking Gaelic with him. He switches to English to tell Jamie that Murtagh’s gone to secure him a boat and he needs to eat to keep his strength up, for Claire’s sake, at least. He asks Jamie what he can do to help and Jamie says that Willie can give him a dagger, so he can put himself out of his misery. Willie refuses.

Murtagh returns and tells Claire he’s found a ship, the Cristabel. She has more immediate issues: she knows about Jamie’s suicide hopes. Murtagh does as well, since that’s apparently what that whole conversation was about earlier. Why did they hide that? It’s not like it’s surprising that Jamie wants to die, he was asking Randall for just that right at the top of the episode. I would have actually liked to understand what was being said by both Jamie and Murtagh in that scene.

Murtagh says he’s been hoping that Claire could bring Jamie around. Claire wonders why Jamie would want to die.

Murtagh: Uh, he was hideously raped and brutalised, you know. Those sound like pretty good reasons. But there may be more to it. Who knows? Sorry your husband wants to die. That really, really sucks.

He promises not to help Jamie end his life, unless Jamie starts wasting away. He won’t sit by and watch that. Claire passes out right into Murtagh’s arms.

She’s taken to see Paul and is brought around. She’s totally pregnant, right? The vomiting, the fainting… She wonders what she’s going to do about Jamie and Paul says that Jamie’s soul is in torment and he needs to be brought back into the light. Murtagh says that, to bring him back to the light, one of them needs to go wandering into the darkness.

If you figured that someone would be Claire, you win the prize this week! She makes some lavender oil and goes to Jamie that night, waving it under his nose and roughly saying that she’s treated him too gently, but he responds to strength, so here she is, ready to get mean s she can find out what happened between him and Randall. Besides, you know, the obvious. She screams at Jamie to look at her, but when he does, he only sees Randall and pushes her violently away. She responds by kicking and slapping the hell out of him, asking if he wants her to hate him. He does not. In their struggles, she sees the brand and pauses. Somehow that calms them both down, and Jamie admits that he branded himself. She offers to remove it. In the 18th century? Holy crap, talk about an infection risk!

Jamie admits that Randall didn’t just use force to get what he wanted. In fact, at one point, things got rather tender in the most disturbing way.

Flash back to Jamie coming around and watching Randall pour a bucket of water over himself. Randall smiles at him, and Jamie passes out again, only to come to when Randall waves a bottle of lavender oil under his nose. Randall pours some on his hands and touches Jamie’s wounds with it, telling him to think of Claire and imagine these are her hands tending to him. Jamie must either have some imagination or he’s really hallucinating, because it doesn’t take long at all for him to clearly fall into the fantasy. Randall kisses him, and Jamie responds. Randall uses a bit more of the oil on himself, as Jamie starts to get really turned on. I immediately start grimacing, because Jamie has just been really roughly raped and is doubtless fairly injured, and while lavender’s amazing stuff, it’s antiseptic and stings like hell, so it seems like this should be horribly painful for him. But apparently it’s not. Randall lets his long, dark hair down, murmurs ‘Claire’s here,’ and makes love to Jamie, if you can really call it that under the circumstances. I’m not sure you can, but the point is, it’s not rough, and Jamie seems to be fairly into it. As soon as it’s over, Jamie seems to return to himself and begins weeping in horror. ‘I understand,’ says Randall. ‘How could she ever forgive you?’ Forgive him for what? Getting raped again, just less brutally?

Back with Claire, Jamie tells her that it just felt so good not to be in pain. She tearfully tells him that there’s nothing to forgive, and it’s all right. He tells her that he can’t be her husband any longer, and he won’t be less to her. She insists he did what he had to to survive but he says that Randall broke him. ‘You belong to no one else but me, and I belong to you, and no one else will ever change that,’ she says fiercely. He still refuses to hear it and says that whenever she touches him he wants to vomit with shame. She takes his head and says that he’s hers and Randall can’t have his soul. She insists they must be meant to be together, because that’s the only explanation she has for all that’s happened. If he does anything to himself, than she’ll die too. He reaches for her, then looks down at his battered body and wonders how she can have him like this. She throws her arms around him, sobbing, and says she’ll have him any way she can. He slowly starts to hug her back.

It’s time to cut that brand off. Jamie refuses drugs, because he wants to be awake when they cut Randall out of him. He bites down on a strap and Murtagh neatly cuts off the brand, tossing the bit of skin onto the fire. Jamie spits on it, for good measure.

Time to head to France! Jamie’s already in a sloop waiting to row out to the Cristabel while the boys bid Claire farewell. She embraces Willie and Rupert and Angus agree that it’ll be nice to have a break from the full-time job of keeping her and Jamie alive. Angus asks to kiss Claire farewell and she gives assent, so he grabs her boob and goes full tongue. Ha ha, what a funny little sexual assault in this episode FULL OF RAPE. Jesus, show, WTF? That was so not funny. Murtagh shoves him away, laughing, because that sort of thing is hilarious to us all. Rupert is far more polite. As Claire moves towards the boat, Angus tells her to say hi to the rightful King, if she should happen to run into him. Unfortunately, he’s in Italy, so that’s unlikely.

Claire, Murtagh, and Jamie are rowed out to the ship, and almost as soon as it’s underway Claire’s retching over the side. Jamie, who apparently is very inclined to seasickness, comments that he thought he’d be the first to be suffering green gills. He’s starting to show hints of his old self, Claire notes. She wonders if they’ll be all right and he promises he’ll see to it. She worries about them heading into an alien situation and Jamie reassures her they’ll return to Scotland someday. She reminds him that Scotland isn’t going to be such a great place to live in a few years and then starts to wonder if maybe they can stop it all from happening. Jamie thinks it’s kind of nuts to think that the two of them can change the future. She thinks it’s possible (she does not, however, think of the massive ripple effect of the consequences) since Bonnie Prince Charlie’s relaxing in France right now, so maybe they can convince him to…not try and take his throne back, I guess?

She steps away from Jamie, turns her back very dramatically, and announces she has something else to tell Jamie: she’s pregnant. Of course she is. Jamie’s shocked, because he thought she wasn’t capable of having children. That Fraser sperm just WILL NOT be deterred. She asks if he’s happy and he sincerely says that he is. Very, very happy. They embrace and hit the high seas for France.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m sure looking forward to season two. Performances: top notch. Costumes: spectacular. Scenery: amazing. Skye Boat Song: now an earworm and annoying as hell for me. Eh, you can’t win ‘em all. I think we can lose the voiceover, since it adds exactly nothing, and for heaven’s sake don’t send Claire and Murtagh on the road again, but do give us 1000 times more Jenny, because she was probably my favourite part of all this.

Though I have to ask (and maybe this is one of those moments, like in Game of Thrones, where I miss something because I haven’t read the books): Why is Randall so obsessed with Jamie? Simply ‘because he’s hot’ doesn’t cut it for me. This man is really going above and beyond to go after this one guy, and I can’t really make it make sense. He kind of wound up being a flat villain, elevated only by Tobias Menzies’s incredible performance. Is he dead now? I hope so, for the characters’ sake, but again, since the performance was so amazing, I’m a little sad too. Just like I’m a tiny bit sad to be losing Geillis. But you never know. We didn’t actually have confirmation of either of those characters’ deaths, so they may yet resurface.



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