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Outlander Episode 15 and 16: Need to Know

Outlander: a beautiful love story between two amazing people that spans centuries. Outlander: the tale of a sadistic terrorist who destroys the psyche and lives of everyone he meets.

So far, this season has mostly been focused on the first kind of Outlander, a love story (with the exception of Episode 6 "The Garrison Commander"). We've seen flashbacks, shocking ones, disgusting ones, that have shown us of what Black Jack Randall is capable. Some of them pretty gruesome. What we're heading towards now presumably makes all that pale in comparison. People who have viewed the last two episodes have issued warnings. So what gives? What exactly will happen?

We've gone back to the source material to give us an idea of what these episodes may hold. Then you can decide for yourself whether you want to watch or not. With that in mind, and with an eye on the books, we've put together what you need to know.



***UPDATE**** Yep, this is exactly what happened in Episode 15. We've marked where it ends and Episode 16 will presumably pick up
Okay.... anyone left? Here goes:

In the book, Outlander, Jamie is in Wentworth prison. Claire is able to break into the prison and finds him. He has already been badly tortured, his hand destroyed beyond recognition by Black Jack Randall. We're talking broken bones, smashed bones, a pulp of a hand. Jamie is barely conscious, and passes out on Claire as she tries to break him free from the chains holding him.

That's when Black Jack Randall comes in with a monstrous enforcer in tow, a very large man. Jamie comes to and throws himself at the enforcer, knocking him out but Black Jack gets Claire at knife point and threatens to let the enforcer rape her and to kill her. You name it, he says he'll do it to Claire.

Jamie realizes there is nothing he can do to save Claire. So Jamie tells Black Jack he will give himself to Randall, to do whatever he will, as long as he lets Claire go. Jamie gives his word that he will not resist or fight at all. Black Jack asks Jamie if he can test that Jamie means it. Jamie agrees, and Black Jack nails his hand to the table.

Claire is able to say a quick goodbye before Randall throws her out of the prison to the wolves (literally). She fights off a wolf. The wolf fight is apparently not in Episode 15, having been too difficult to film.

Claire enlists the help of a Scottish landowner named MacRannoch.
Episode 16 Picks up here
Together, with Murtagh and the boys, they break Jamie out of the prison, by sending a herd of cattle into the dungeons. MacRannoch uses the cows as an excuse to get into the prison, as they are his cattle, acting as though he doesn't know why they're there. MacRannoch sees Black Jack get run over by the cows. Claire is back at MacRannoch's house waiting as this happens.

MacRannoch and the rest of the men are able to get Jamie out. At this point, several hours have passed since Claire left Jamie to Randall's devices. Jamie has been raped, beaten, burned, whipped, bones broken, and tortured with hot irons. Repeatedly.

All of this should encompass the bulk of Episode 15. From Claire's perspective, we know very little about what actually happened to Jamie. We get no narrative of the time in the dungeon, other than her assessment of Jamie's physical injuries. From this we glean that it was horrific. We do not yet know the details. This may mean it will not be shown. Until...

Episode 16 presumably picks up with Claire and Murtagh taking Jamie to an Abbey so that he can recover. Jamie continues to deteriorate. Physically he could probably be okay, but psychologically he is destroyed. This hampers his ability to heal, and causes Jamie to wish that he were dead. Eventually, Jamie is able to tell Claire what took place in Wentworth. It is here, through the use of flashbacks, that we learn the full extent of what Black Jack Randall did to Jamie as Jamie describes it in horrific detail.


From the discussions we are seeing surrounding the show, how what they show has never been seen on television before, we presume it to be the rape of Jamie. It is explicit in the book and it apparently will be explicit here. If you have ever seen "The Accused" you can probably get an idea of just how horrible it will be to see this.

Back in the wedding episode, Murtagh says to Dougal, when talking about forcing Claire to marry Jamie, "I thought you didna hold with rape." We've known that rape has been hanging over Claire's head this entire time. Jamie has witnessed Claire's near rape by the deserters, his sister's sexual assault by Randall, and Claire's sexual assault by Randall. In two of those, he has been able to save Claire. What this episode presumably explores is not what happens when a woman is sexually assaulted, but what happens when the person who is supposed to be the knight in shining armor is raped.

Male rape has not yet been shown or explored to a significant extent on television. A recent episode of Louie C.K. showed what appeared to be male rape, but there's no ambiguity where Outlander is concerned. There's no grey area here. It is violent, it is awful, and it is rape. Tread with caution when watching this episode.

If Episode 16 follows the arc of the books, and it certainly appears to according to Diana Gabaldon, the author, then it will end with Jamie having begun to make his way through the trauma. It is uplifting, but it is gut wrenching in the process. One can only assume it will be just as awful to watch.

Outlander Episode 15 and 16: Need to Know Reviewed by Deborah Thompson on 10:30 PM Rating: 5

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