We might need some time to recover from this episode. We knew Jamie would be tortured. We knew Claire would do everything in her power to free her imprisoned husband. And we knew we’d get Black Jack Randall on a whole other level and that he’d show us how truly despicable he could be. We still weren’t ready.
Kara: We’ve both read the book, so I thought I was prepared for what was coming. I was not and I’m not too proud to admit that I had to cover my eyes at one point.
Tina: I also have to admit that I was not prepared. It’s one thing to read it in a book and use your imagination. Seeing it play out was just brutal. Here’s how I got through it: I covered my eyes; paused the torture for a little bit; and I may have teared up (or more than teared up). I’m a wuss.
Kara: Well, I’m a wuss too. I HATED seeing Jamie tortured by Randall, especially when having his neck stretched would’ve been so much quicker and so much more humane.
When the episode opens, we see Jamie and Taran at Wentworth Prison. Jamie wants to stage one last act of rebellion before they die, but Taran talks him out of it. Jamie still has to watch his friend die, though, and it’s not an easy death and he doesn’t go quietly.
Tina: I love that he didn’t go quietly. He faced death like the rebel/rogue that he is.
Kara: The one thing that really stuck with me before Taran was lead to the gallows, was that he always knew his fate was to dangle from a rope. So he made sure not to leave anyone behind who could mourn. That just made me incredibly sad. Because life could be so short and so brutal, I would think people would look for any reason to make it better. But not Taran.
Tina: I liked Taran more in this episode than I ever have before. Mad respect for the way he went out.
Kara: Although, it was so horrible to watch. His neck didn’t get broken when he was pushed off the platform, so he had to die much more slowly from suffocation. Jesus. This episode did a number on me.
Tina: As for Jamie, he gets a last minute reprieve in the form of Black Jack Randall. Not the reprieve he was hoping for, I’d say. And I’m still trying to process everything that happened to Jamie from here on out. So I’m going to play classic avoidance and talk about Claire who’s quite possibly the most courageous woman on the planet. Again, she proves she’ll do anything to protect Jamie/get her man back.
Kara: I know we’ve both got plenty to say about Jamie, but I’m with you. I’d much rather talk about Claire right now. All of Claire and Murtagh’s hard work during “The Search” was for naught, when Jamie revealed himself at the wrong time and was recaptured by the Redcoats. Claire knows Jamie’s scheduled to be hung in a day, but she refuses to give up. And that’s one of the many things I love about her.
Tina: Let’s see how much longer can I keep putting the inevitable off? Um…Claire going into Wentworth Prison and talking to the warden — Sir Fletcher Gordon — took some serious balls. That scene after she receives Jamie’s personal effects was heartbreaking. HEARTBREAKING, Kara. Murtagh had to carry her away from the building.
Kara: And she was so upset, she “lost her lunch” when they got outside. But, of course, she wouldn’t let that setback keep her away.
While she and Murtagh are trying to come up with another strategy, Rupert and Angus gather some intel — while pretending to lose wildly at a game of dice. Turns out they’ve been talking to a few prison guards from Wentworth. The extremely pious Sir Fletcher spends an hour a day away from his office in quiet reflection. I love that they almost have to spell it out for Murtagh, but Claire knows what they need to do.
Tina: I confess that I felt like Murtagh and Willie. I was upset with Rupert and Angus for having such a grand old time when s–t was going down with Jamie. Should have known they were up to something good, though. Claire and Murtagh head back to the prison where they arrange to get some alone time in the warden’s office. They look for maps, keys, whatever they can put their hands on that’ll help rescue Jamie.
Kara: In the meantime, Randall goes to see Jamie. Or maybe I should say, Randall goes to taunt him and he’s not alone. Apparently the Duke of Sandringham was running his mouth and through some friends, Randall heard about the petition. In fact, he shows it to Jamie — which means it was never presented at court. Randall’s glad for that, because he thinks the accusations against him would’ve been taken seriously and that he could’ve very easily ended up where Jamie is now. Randall burns the document, which has got to feel like a major blow for Jamie.
Tina: You could tell how much of a blow by the look on Jamie’s face. He didn’t try to give too much of his anguish away but there was a flicker. I don’t know, Kara. The Black Jack/Jamie scenes are beyond painful to watch. Jamie continues to be rebellious. And he pays the price.Â What’s the worst part of the torture for you? The smashing of the hand? Or the nail through the hand? This is the part I mentioned earlier, where I close eyes; pause video; and tear up. No one hurts my Jamie. (Yes, I’m a little attached if you can’t tell)
Kara: I actually think the worst part for me was when Jamie has to make Black Jack a better offer so he won’t have to watch Randall choke Claire to death right in front of him. I mean, all the stuff with Jamie’s hand was horrible. But the fact that he had to offer himself to Randall…there are no words. And that Jamie knew it was merely a reprieve, a short stay of execution, before his death makes it even worse. So damn brutal.
Tina: The psychological torture is awful. But in this episode, the physical torture was way worse — at least for me. But Jamie and Claire continually prove they’ll do anything for each other, even the unspeakable. Black Jack’s holding all the cards. So much so the bastard even makes Jamie prove that his offer to give himself up for his wife is on the up and up. The nail in the hand; kissing Black Jack — brutal is the key word in this episode.
Kara: Well, we know Randall’s a sadist and he told Jamie what he wanted: for Jamie to admit that he escaped Fort William, but he did not escape Randall.
And Randall’s getting off on the physical torture because he wants to break Jamie. He’s aroused after the first go round with Jamie’s hand and makes Jamie feel his erection. After he cuts Jamie’s shirt off, he asks him what it feels like to be alive and be wearing so much dead flesh. He takes a moment to admire his masterpiece, before he kisses Jamie’s back. That man is beyond vile.
Tina: He gets off on power and control. Sorry, Black Jack. Hate to break it to you. Jamie doesn’t think about you and your pathetic existence at all. I just can’t with him. Thankfully Black Jack (mostly) keeps his word and lets Claire loose. But before she leaves, she has some choice words for this tormentor of men and women.
Kara: I love that she gets a last word in with Randall after he asks about her witch trial. She tells him she is one and whispers the hour of his death. You can tell how much that freaks him out and I love it. It won’t be good for Jamie, but I’m glad Claire did it.
Tina: Once Mrs. Fraser makes it out of the prison, she heads back to safety where she tries to enlist some reinforcements. We’ll see if Claire can successfully lead the charge back to Wentworth in theÂ Outlander finale. I can’t believe this season is coming to an end. Things are going to get worse before it gets remotely better. We have two weeks to prepare ourselves.
The season finale of Outlander airs Sunday, May 30th at 9/8c on Starz.
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