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Outlander Finale Recap: To Ransom A Man's Soul


It's always darkest before the dawn. And that is literally true as the season finale of Outlander begins. We have watched Claire and Jamie outwit Black Jack Randall at every turn through 14 episodes. But it couldn't last. Randall finally got the better of them in Episode 15: Claire was 86'd by Black Jack, forced to leave Jamie behind in a dungeon awaiting a night filled with Randall's "pleasure."

As we start the finale, morning has finally broken, and so has Jamie. While the Red Coats parade outside sounding revelry complete with drums and fifes, Jamie is lying awake on a slab in his cell, naked, bloodied, and barely alive. As the camera pans up, it reveals Black Jack, lying naked, bloodied and very satisfied, beside Jamie.

Black Jack nonchalantly rises to dress, as a voice that must belong to Jamie but sounds more like a man possessed by the devil says, "Ye owe me a debt." This gives Black Jack pause for the merest of seconds before he unsheathes his knife. He goes as if to turn towards Jamie, but is stopped in his tracks by strange sounds coming from outside the cell. Black Jack goes to investigate, leaving Jamie, whimpering and crying out, "Please!" Jamie clearly hoping that Black Jack would use the knife to put him out of his misery, give him the clean death he promised.

Not being known for compassion or kindness, Black Jack ignores Jamie and heads into the hallway. The racket is getting louder as Black Jack wonders what could possibly be going on. Randall makes his way to the source of the noise, a pair of large double doors at the end of the hall. Black Jack opens the sliding window in the door just as a herd of cows comes barrelling through. The cows have come home to roost for Black Jack. Black Jack is flattened beneath the door, knocked out. Murtagh, Angus, and Rupert are right behind the cows. Murtagh pauses briefly to make sure Black Jack is bleeding profusely before moving on to find Jamie.

Murtagh and the boys find Jamie in the cell and quickly get him bundled up. Murtagh somehow manages to get the King of Men slung over his shoulder so they can make their escape. The Red Coats are so busy with the cows, they don't even notice what is happening. Meanwhile, Claire is anxiously pacing in the middle of the road. She's put on pants for the occasion, ready to help once they arrive with Jamie. But her choice of men's clothing in this instance will prove to be unwise.

She clambers into the wagon with Jamie and immediately begins to try and treat him. Rupert makes the astute observation that Jamie reeks. Is this really the right time, Rupert? Claire can tell it's oil of lavender, used for healing purposes. Not what you would expect from Black Jack.

The depth of Randall's damage because obvious quickly as Jamie awakes and, mistaking her for Black Jack, begins to choke the life out of her. Not the reunion we had in mind.... Rupert steps in and knocks Claire loose. Murtagh wants to know what the hell is wrong with Jamie (other than the obvious I suppose). Jamie grabs him and says something angrily in Gaelic, but we aren't to know what it was. Perhaps, "This has been the worst day of my life!"

The rescuers race to a nearby monastery where Father Anselm awaits their arrival. He has medical supplies ready for Jamie, but another brother, Paul, performs a spiritual triage: Jamie's soul is in turmoil. Claire thanks him for this assessment, but wants to deal with concerns of the physical world: setting Jamie's broken hand.
It seems the height of cruelty to subject Jamie to more pain, but when Claire explains it's either that or being crippled for life, then it seems she must do it. Jamie doesna seem to agree, as he tells Claire not to touch him, when she tries to comfort him. Claire demands to know what Randall did to him. Jamie can only reply, "Too much, and not enough."

Jamie slips back into memories of what happened in Wentworth. It picks up right after Randall threw Claire out of the prison. Jamie's hand is still, unfortunately, nailed to the table. This is a cross that we've had to bear for two weeks, and it's not over yet. Randall takes the nail out and Jamie promptly throws up. Seems about right. And it just gets worse from there.


Randall is going in for the quick make out telling Jamie, "The worst is over now. You'll see." I do not think he understands what "worst" means. When Jamie fails to respond to Black Jack's kiss ("It's like kissing a corpse" Randall says), Black Jack decides to kick things up a level. He reminds Jamie he can bring Claire back at any minute, but Jamie is taking the approach that he has to follow the letter of the law, not the spirit. Black Jack isn't having it, and decides to molest Jamie under his kilt. For some reason, which is obvious to everyone with a brain, Jamie still isn't responding.

Black Jack's still trying, though. Jamie finally gets angry and snaps, "Take your pleasure, and be done with it," spitting on Black Jack's face. Not the fluid BJR was hoping for. (What exactly does the BJ in BJR stand for?)
While this may have made Jamie feel good for the moment, it has dire consequences. Black Jack asks Jamie, "You think I cannot control the darkness I inhabit?" This seems to scare Jamie more than anything else that has happened, and for good reason.

Black Jack throws Jamie onto the table and analy rapes him. It is horrific. Forcing Jamie to scream out in terror.

The flashback mercifully ends as we find Jamie safe back in the abbey where Claire is just about to set his bones. Is there no break from the physical pain for the viewers? Goodness. Jamie refuses the laudanum, and says he wants whiskey instead. Jamie confesses to, or snipes at (depending on your perspective), Claire that Randall made him wish he was dead, and it doesn't matter to him any more what happens. He begrudgingly takes the laudanum and passes out as Claire sets to work fixing his hand. It is a delicate, difficult process in 1743 Scotland, but Claire manages to reset the hand. She believes that with the exception of his ring finger, most of his hand will function normally again.

Claire leaves Jamie to rest and is overcome with nausea in the hallway. For the second time in two episodes, she is throwing up. Both times? Totally warranted. But is there another reason for all this puking? We sure hope so!

Claire retires for the night to a small prayer chapel, sitting quietly in front of an empty cross in the dark when Father Anselm enters with the light. Not very much symbolism in this scene.
He sits quietly with her before offering to hear her confession. Claire is sure Father Anselm won't be able to understand time travel and, well, dual marriages, but he says God will understand.

To his credit, Father Anselm listens intently, while showing just the right amount of shock. At the end of her confession, he absolves Claire and tells her the trip back in time is a miracle. He also tells her that nothing that has happened to Jamie is her fault.

Claire leaves and finds Brother Paul still tending to Jamie, but Jamie is refusing all food. Jamie's also developed a fever. Claire's mildly concerned but chooses to focus on the rehab Jamie will have to begin soon for his injured hand.  It seems like a lost cause, though, as all Jamie can say is a weak, "You canna save a man that doesna want saving."


Meanwhile, Murtagh and the boys are in the waiting room waiting. And drinking. Murtagh is concerned that Jamie isn't thriving, that he's refusing to eat. Willie attempts to make everyone feel better by telling a story about how his uncle refused to eat and died. Yep. Did. Not. Help. At. All.

Murtagh storms off and tries to help Jamie eat. But Jamie's not having it. He's urgently communicating something to Murtagh in Gaelic. It appears to be along the lines of what he asked of Black Jack, to kill him. It makes Murtagh very angry and he yells at Jamie, demanding to know "something something Claire?" Whatever Murtagh said to him, it didn't help. Jamie is still very depressed as we find ourselves back in another prison flashback.

Jamie is crawling on the floor, naked, beaten, bloodied, and spitting up blood. In contrast, Black Jack is very clean, wearing some sort of yoga pants. He wants to know if he has reached Jamie's limit yet. I am voting for yes on this one. But like the rest of Scotland and their referendum, Black Jack votes no. But Jamie has become delirious, and begins to think that Black Jack is Claire. Randall wants to know what power Claire has over Jamie, and it breaks the spell. Jamie is heartbroken, realizing Claire is not really there, only Black Jack. Jamie turns over,
begins to sob, crying, "There's no more Claire."

Randall continues the mind games, pulling Jamie around and demanding to know, "Are you mine?" Jamie's mind is trying verra hard to protect him, and begins to see Randall as Claire again. Thinking he's talking to Claire, Jamie says, "Yours..There's only you."

So Randall decides this is the perfect time to try and make Jamie brand himself with Black Jack's personal seal. He heats it in the fire and brings it over to Jamie. Randall tells Jamie if he is really only his, then he should brand himself on the chest. Jamie seems to still be caught in the Claire delusion and agrees to do it, but at the last minute veers off and brands himself on the side as Black Jack holds him. This revelation of Claire's power seems to have given Randall an idea for a new game to play. This. Is. Not. Good.

Mercifully, we come out of the flashback. Jamie is shaken, in tears in his bed. The rescue party has regrouped to try and come up with a plan to escape Scotland. The Red Coats aren't on their trail yet, but that could soon change. They decide the best thing to do is get a ship and head to Jamie's relatives in France. Willie goes to check on Jamie, to try and encourage him, and tell him of the new plans to escape. Jamie is totally not in the mood to talk to Willie, until he sees his dirk. Jamie demands the weapon from Willie, saying he wants to use it to kill himself. Willie refuses, and runs straight to Claire, telling on Jamie. Claire, then runs straight to Murtagh, telling on Willie and Jamie.

Murtagh tells Claire that Jamie also asked him to kill him. Claire for the life of her, really?, can't figure out why Jamie would want so badly to die. Murtagh finds it simple enough: he's been tortured and raped.

Claire does not think that is reason enough to want to die. Murtagh agrees that maybe it isn't, so there must be something else going on that they don't know about. Whether they figure it out or not, Murtagh plans to grant Jamie his wish if it comes to it, not wishing to see him waste away and die.

Claire does not receive this news well, and faints. She is on a roll when it comes to dramatic reactions to bad news. It's almost as if....

Murtagh gets Claire to Brother Paul. The three of them don't know what to do about Jamie, but Murtagh thinks he knows the only way to make the plan come together: Someone has to step into the darkness with Jamie. If they knew how really dark that heart of darkness was they wouldn't be planning to set up camp ala Dr. Livingstone.

But Claire has the heart of HM Stanley. She is going to find the source of darkness with some help from her wee herbs. Claire picks some lavender to use it to trigger Jamie into a horrific flashback episode. She does love him, right?

Claire finds Jamie having a nightmare in his bed, so she gets out the one thing that will make his nightmare worse, putting a bottle full of lavender under his nose. He wakes up terrified that Black Jack is back. He quickly realizes it is Claire, though, and orders her to leave him alone. But the best course of action to Claire is reaction: she rubs the oil of lavender on Jamie's face. I gotta think she might have wanted to rethink doing that once she knows the full story.


Claire tries to get Jamie to look at her and tell her what is really going on. The angrier she gets the more upset Jamie becomes until he's triggered into a flashback. It seems to be a rather unfortunate coincidence that Claire's face seems to have the same bone structure of Black Jack's. Suddenly thinking Claire to be Randall, Jamie shoves her off the bed. This is enough to apparently trigger Claire's own flashback to when Jamie beat her. She lashes out at him, kicking him and slapping him. To quote Jamie from the next book while talking to Claire, "If you've anything like womanly sympathy about ye, I could use a bit."

Jamie quickly comes to his senses and tells Claire to stop it. She's still angry and grabs his shirt, ripping it open, revealing the BJR brand. Claire is shocked, and gasps, "He branded you?" Oh, Claire. It's so much worse than that.

Jamie tells Claire she's wrong. Randall didn't brand him. He did it himself. Claire wants to cut it out, but Jamie tells her nothing can cut out what Randall did. Black Jack didn't just use force to get what he wanted, Jamie says. Randall made love to him. And Jamie begins to tell Claire the terrible ending to his night in hell.

We see Jamie barely conscious in the cell. He seems to be having trouble focusing and passes out, but not before seeing Randall dumps a bucket of water on his head.

Randall uses oil of lavender to bring Jamie back into consciousness. Black Jack has decided he's going to try some role play. Jamie will be Jamie. And BJR will be Claire. Randall begins to nurse Jamie's wounds, and other things, with the lavender, urging Jamie to think of Claire. Jamie's mind, so broken at this point, once again retreats into safety, transforming Randall into Claire. Randall uses his wet hair to convince Jamie that he is Claire, as Jamie so desperately wants to believe. Randall urges Jamie to say his name, and Jamie does, calling out, "Claire" as Randall has sex with him. Randall causes Jamie to come as well. This release snaps Jamie out of his delirium as he realizes what has just happened. He is overcome and begins to weep. Randall puts the final nail in the coffin saying, "I understand. How could she ever forgive you."

And that is why Jamie wants to die. He is so overcome with shame that he "allowed" that to happen, he has decided he can no longer be Claire's husband. Claire tries to tell him that he only did what was necessary to survive. But Jamie is adamant, "He broke me, Claire."

Claire is heartbroken, and furious, unable to understand how he can give up on them, on her. She reminds Jamie that he promised her the protection of his body, and that's what he did
with Randall. Claire's heart is breaking open, as she tells him they are meant to be together, but that if he is unwilling to be with her, then she will die with him.

This finally causes Jamie to break from his stoicism. He asks her, "How can you have me like this?" Oh, Jamie. "I will have you anyway I can. Always," declares Claire. Jamie finally allows Claire to comfort him, and holds her in his arms.

Having exorcised the shame of what Randall did to him, it is time to remove a more physical reminder: the brand. Murtagh cuts it out of Jamie, throwing it into the fire as Jamie spits on it.

This final act is enough to get Jamie on his feet and functioning again so that they can hightail it to France.

At the shore, Rupert, Angus, and Willie say goodbye to Murtagh and the Frasers. Angus gets a bit frisky with Claire, groping her and kissing her against her will. Seems a bit like a MAJOR social faux pas to do this to a woman whose husband has just been raped but then I guess Angus isn't known for being sensible.

Jamie, Claire and Murtagh make their way on board ship where Claire is throwing up again. Hint hint. Jamie lightly teases her about it. As they ponder what they are to do in France, Jamie promises they will one day return to Scotland. Claire reminds him that the Jacobite rising is coming, and the Highland culture will be wiped out. Claire thinks maybe they can try and change the course of human history by going after the Bonnie Prince since they're going to be in
France any way.

Jamie gives her that look you get when you've just sat down on the sofa to enjoy a television show, taken a deep breath to relax, and your kid comes running in the room needing a glass of water. Could we not just relax for a moment, Claire! He politely tells her he will give it some thought. But she's not done yet.

Claire then drops the next bomb on Jamie: she's pregnant! Now this is news that he can use. He is clearly in shock as he thought she wasn't able to have children, but she tells him she must have been wrong (clearly). Claire asks Jamie if he is happy. And he is!! "Verra happy!" He can't believe it. And then they literally sail off into the sunset. Can't wait for Season 2! Keep checking back here as we find out more information about casting and shooting. Until next time!






Outlander Finale Recap: To Ransom A Man's Soul Reviewed by Deborah Thompson on 10:44 PM Rating: 5

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