Warning: This article contains spoilers for the season finale of Outlander.
For those unaware of what happened in last Saturday’s season finale of Outlander (and wanting to know), Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) suffered a sexual assault at the hands of Tobias Menzies’ “Black Jack” Randall, giving a performance so wrought with raw emotion that the Outlander scene has earned Heughan talk of an Emmy Award nomination. The rape scene, followed by recovery scenes that were as emotionally charged as the assault, is still earning heartfelt responses from Outlander fans one week later. And unlike the response from that Game of Thrones rape, Outlander fans have responded with empathy and compassion for Jamie Fraser and a new respect for Sam Heughan’s performances.
Fan reactions have not been lost to Outlander‘s Heughan, who feels great gratitude to his fans for their support and praise.
“Honestly, I just have to say thank you, to the fans, and to you. The reaction has been pretty positive and yeah, I was nervous about what people would think about it. We knew even the fans who read the story, just in seeing it, that’s different than reading it. I knew the fans would be shocked.”
The Outlander star reflects on reactions to the Game of Thrones rape scene and the negative reactions that episode had earned, but Sam told E! Online that he still hadn’t known what he should expect as far as reactions from Outlander‘s fans. Heughan mentioned that he felt the rape scene between Jamie and Black Jack was intense, because not as much was left to the imagination. He wasn’t sure what to expect from such a graphic portrayal in an Outlander scene.
“I knew we’d done some really intense work and I was really proud of it, but I didn’t know what people would make of it. I know that a lot of it comes down to the director Anna and Ron editing as well. We did go farther in some places and there was pullback in some places, but I think we really found that fine line. It’s challenging viewing, but I think that’s sort of what viewers want these days.”
Outlander‘s Tobias Menzies also acknowledges the brutality of the rape scene in the Outlander season finale, adding that it was the culmination of emotionally charged relationships that had been developing throughout the season. The Outlander villain recognizes the envy in his character and feels that the rape was a way for Jack to exert some power over Jamie and to destroy his enemy’s spirit.
“Jamie was the embodiment of everything that Jack has lost through the war,” Menzies said in an interview with Gold Derby. “A kind of moral uprightness, moral fiber that Jack has lost touch with. People destroy what they love the most.”
Menzies says that the Outlander scene was intended to be as brutal as possible and that it was necessary for the development of the story.
“The one thing we all agreed upon was that it had to be a fittingly troubling crescendo to what has been building the whole season between Jack and Jamie. I was keen for it to be as three-dimensional as we could make it so that it was more than just a feat of torture.”
Back to Heughan, the actor says that he is still feeling shock that there is even mention of an Emmy nomination for his performance.
“You don’t think about that at all when you’re filming it obviously, and you’re just trying to do the best work you can. And I think if we are being talked about in any sort of capacity, it’s just because everyone is working their butts off on the show, and everyone’s doing a really good job. And if people want to reward it, then that’s even better, but I guess the best part of it is the reaction from the fans, and the people watching it, that’s the real payoff.”
It may be some time before Outlander fans find out if the Emmy rumors are true. Emmy Award nominations won’t be announced until mid-July.
[Featured image: Sam Heughan and Tobias Menzies, courtesy of Starz!/Outlander]