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    Jamie is Raped and Branded in “To Ransom a Man’s Soul”: “Outlander” Season 1 Finale Review

    After being back on television last April 4, the first season of Outlander has sadly come to an end. Time really flies! So from previous episode, Jamie was taken to Wentworth Prison and suffered Black Jack Randall’s tortures. In exchange for Claire’s freedom, Jamie trades his body and obedience to Randall. Tonight, he will face his greatest nightmares as Randall puts into reality his greatest obsessions and fantasies. Here are the events of “To Ransom a Man’s Soul,” the 16th episode of Outlander and perhaps one of the most teeth-gritting and moving finales in recent TV shows: 

    Attack of the cattle. The show opens with Randall getting up naked beside the similarly unclothed Jamie. He hears distant rumble and after dressing, he heads out of the dungeon cell and founds out that the roaring sound comes from one of the prison exit doors. Just as he is about to see through the peephole, a herd of cattle rushes and knocks Randall. He is seen unconscious on the floor, with a pool of blood around his head. Claire’s men then take advantage of the chaos and rescues Jamie from prison. Once outside, they place him on the wagon and depart. Their plan from previous episode succeeds, but Jamie seems to have suffered tremendously from prison. 

    Healing at the monastery. With prior arrangement, the team head to a monastery under Father Anselm’s management. There, Claire tends to Jamie’s wounds, especially his ruined hand. She put together his broken fingers and made a serviceable cast. More than the physical, Jamie is tormented with Randall’s psychological abuse and this is something that Claire could not easily heal. At one point, he asks Willie (one of the men) to end his life.

    Despondent, Claire gives her confession to Father Anselm. She tells her the entire story, beginning from her idyllic married life in 1945 to her time travel to 1700s Scotland to her new-found life with Jamie and the latter’s rape. The priest does not judge her, instead, he comments that everything is perhaps a miracle. 

    Jamie breaks. What happened between him and Randall comes back to Jamie as dreams and flashbacks. After Claire is banished from the prison, Randall tends to the younger man’s wounds. When he refuses to kiss him back passionately, Randall toys Jamie’s cock. And when he still does not respond the way he wanted him to, Randall forces himself into Jamie’s ass and sodomizes him savagely on the table. With each groan and scream, Randall pounds him even more vigorously.

    Later, Jamie begins to hallucinate and to see Randall as Claire. With the latter’s poisonous words, Jamie agrees to be branded and Randall’s seal “JR” is stamped with a scalding rod on his side. Randall continues to fuck Jamie’s mind. He oils their cocks with lavender and Jamie begins to play on his own. Aroused, Randall positions himself behind him and comes inside him again. This time, Jamie surrenders and the two men finish together. Disgusted with himself, Jamie breaks down while Randall torments him by saying Claire will never ever forgive her.

    Claire breaks through. Her gentle ways produce no effects and Claire turns to violence as well. Using some lavender oil, Claire confronts her husband and Jamie, relieving the trauma, slowly opens up to her. With words like “he made love to me,” “he broke me,” and “it felt so good to be not in pain,” Jamie narrates everything that Randall had done to him, his surrender and guilt, and his feeling of being unworthy of her love. But Claire reassures him that she will not let Randall take his soul and she “will have him any way she can.” She is willing to die with him right there and right at the moment. With that, Jamie breaks free from his nightmare and later have the “brand” removed from his body. 

    Bon voyage. The couple cannot anymore stay in Scotland and so they decide to sail to France where some Fraser relatives are living. Saying their farewell to their loyal men Willie, Angus and Rupert, the couple board the ship Cristabel with their friend Murtagh. Before the show ended, Claire informs Jamie that she is pregnant with their child. 

    FINAL THOUGHTS. Tonight, Black Jack Randall has risen to be one of the most hated characters in television dramas. He had done viler things than King Geoffrey or Ramsay Bolton of the Game of Thrones. And Jamie’s rape is much more horrible and heart-wrenching than Sansa Stark’s. Randall seems not a homosexual. He is simply a sadist who takes pleasure in pain and who wants dominance and power over anyone. He adores Jamie’s well-built body and he desires on taking over that and his strong will. He succeeds and watching his acts of rape and torture is chilling, terrifying and haunting. We can only wept with Jamie as he endures his abuses.

    Both Sam Heughan and Tobias Menzies as Jamie and Randall respectively, are committed to their roles and their performances are moving. While Menzies is coolly savage, Heughan is weak and vulnerable. That point when he exploded to both pleasure and disgust is the point when Heughan had crossed to a bankable actor from a mere heartthrob. And Heughan is simply flawless and natural.

    There seems to be so much rape happening in television dramas lately. However, Outlander’s take is not tasteless like that rape of Sansa in Game of Thrones. It was faithful to the original story and was not done out of the creator’s desire to spice up the show. It was decently done in the context of building both character and plot.

    Though he appeared to be unconscious, Randall is still alive (based on Gabaldon’s book) and we might continue to see more of him in the second season. The new chapter will happen in France where Jamie and Claire will take part in the Jacobite Rebellion. As to how their world meet again, if  that happens, is something we should look forward to.


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