‘Outlander’ Star Rosie Day On Mary Hawkins’ Evolution: ‘I Want Her To Kill Someone!’

Warning: This article may contain spoilers for Outlander.

This week’s Outlander episode focused on the character of Mary Hawkins, as played by Rosie Day, with much of the episode telling the journey about how Mary might come to secure a more stable future. Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) is largely responsible for changing Hawkins’ fate, though Day’s Outlander character has certainly been evolving throughout the season and will continue to evolve. Rosie Day talks about that evolution and what she would like to see for her Outlander character.

Outlander Recap: Mary Hawkins Finds A Husband

The events in this week’s Outlander episode kicked off with a chance run in between Claire and Mary with the latter telling Claire that she was staying with Alex Randall (Laurence Dobiesz) and that he was extremely ill. Hawkins also reveals that she’s pregnant and ultimately places the blame on Claire for ruining her life, but Claire is more concerned with Alex and rushes to his bedside to visit him. It’s during this sick call on Outlander that Balfe’s character has another chance meeting, this time with a much more unpleasant ghost from the past. Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies).

Jack is not the same brute he had once been in earlier episodes of Outlander, showing an emotionally charged demeanor over the condition of his brother, and he readily offers up valuable information about British plans to ambush the Duke of Cumberland in exchange for Claire agreeing to play nursemaid to Alex. While there, Claire feels compelled to make amends for the impact she’s had on Mary’s life in an earlier Outlander story arc and, after some bargaining, convincing, and pleading, she convinces Jack to wed Mary. Knowing Jack is destined to die in a matter of days, Claire is confident that Hawkins will be left with Randall’s fortune, securing a much improved future for her baby and herself.

Claire’s work isn’t quite done yet in this Outlander installment. She hasn’t forgotten what a volatile character Randall really is, so, after convincing Jack to marry Hawkins, she also draws a promise from him not to harm Mary. This all leads to Jack having to come to terms with his monstrous nature and, as Alex dies, he takes out his frustrations on his dead brother in a wild, violent rage.

Outlander Actress Rosie Day Hopes To See Her Character Embrace Her Own Girl Power

The running story arc for Mary Hawkins on Outlander has the character following a different path from the path she follows in the Diana Gabaldon book, Dragonfly in Amber. Specifically, the Gabaldon book has Jamie (Sam Heughan) getting Hawkins’ justice for her by killing her rapist, Albert Danton, but the Outlander episode “Vengeance is Mine,” which was also written by Ms. Gabaldon, has Mary herself taking her revenge on her rapist. Rosie Day says that scene was a dream come true for her, revealing that she recently told Outlander‘s co-executive producer Matt Roberts that she wanted to see her character take a stand — and a life.

“We had the swords on set that day, and everyone was playing with them. And I said to [co-executive producer] Matt [Roberts], ‘I want Mary to have a sword! I want her to kill someone! Like, girl power!’ So when I read [the script] I was so excited, because I’ve done some killing before in some films and it’s actually really fun to do – as awful as that sounds – it’s quite fun to show.”

The Outlander actress says Diana and the show’s executive producers took her suggestions to heart and changed the scene in one more way. Initially, it was written that Mary would stab Danton and collapse into Claire’s arms, needing to be held after the trauma of having killed her rapist. Day says she didn’t like that, because her Outlander character has been seen as similarly needy so many times in the past, so she asked that, after the killing of Danton, she stands alone, sword in hand.

“I think it’s a real turning point when you see her kill him,” says the Outlander actress. “That’s a moment when she almost grows up – it’s a catalyst for episode 12.”

While Mary changes and becomes an empowered woman by Episode 12 of Outlander, Rosie says she still sees Hawkins as a tragic figure, because so much has been taken from her. Following the rape, she finds a measure of happiness with Alex and the prospect of raising her baby with him is something positive coming to her life, but Alex’s sickness changes all of that. As this week’s Outlander left off, Mary Hawkins’ life again took a bad turn and she was forced to marry someone she didn’t love, all for the sake of her baby.

The next episode of Outlander will air on Saturday, July 9, on Starz.

[Image by Starz]