TO RANSOM A MAN’S SOUL: Outlander RECAP & Commentary

Episode 116, Season Finale
Original Air Date May 30, 2015


Wow, this makes the full frontal on TRUE BLOOD a while back pretty paltry. There’s a rather prolonged exposure of Tobias Menzies in the first few minutes of the program. No mystery there any longer, or shorter, for him.

The episode is constructed interestingly, with us seeing the after first, so we know he survives. The time with Randall is then seen in flashbacks.

On the other hand, it is pretty awful – it’s well done, but still horrible to watch unless you have no heart. It could have been much more horrible, but the amazing acting and high production values worked to make it not only watchable but excellent theater.

My only complaint is that, and I will probably be flayed muyself, but I thought the writing was a little weak and did not support the meaning or emotion. There were points where there were emotional or logical non-sequiturs, like “if X then WTF?!”

This is a bit long but parts were important enough to relate scene by scene with dialog.


At the beginning we are outside Wentworth Prison.   They are having a drill which consists of a lot of drumming and huzzahs to the King.

Meanwhile, inside the prison,   Jamie is lying on a leather (?) strung cot. He is naked. His eyes are open, blank with despondency. Randall’s charming servant, killed in the last episode is sitting dead in the corner as rats crawl over him.

Randall, his hair unbound is lying next to him. He wakes and gets up to dress himself. In a voice that is utterly un-Jamie-like, Jamie tells him he owes him a debt; the choice of his death. Randall pulls his short sword out and starts for Jamie

Just then, there are loud crashing noises outside the room.   Randall starts to go toward them. Jamie says please, meaning come back here and kill me. He reaches and falls out of the bed as Randall goes into the hall.

The noise is louder and louder and Randall goes to a door with a covered window; as he slides the viewing window open a stampede of Shetland Cattle crashes through and Randall is crushed beneath it as many animals continue to rush over him.

Murtagh enters and sees Randall – he looks pretty darn dead under that door with quite a pool of blood onder his head.

Murtagh is accompanied by Rupert and Angus who are shocked as they see the way Jamie has been hurt and maimed. But they wrap him in a plaid and carry him out while the fort is in chaos.

Claire, dressed in pants and a shirt waits anxiously in the road. She sees the cart driven by Rupert with Angus and Murtagh following on their horses. They tell her Jamie is alive but the tending he needs will have to wait. She examines Jamie who waking a bit, but delirious tries to choke Claire thinking she is Jack Randall.

Finally, he calms enough and they go on because they know the British will be after them.

They go to a Scottish Abbey. Yes, this is a change from the book wherein they escape to France.   But they are taken in by the monks and Father Anselm. Brother Paul helps Claire care for Jamie. They are very welcoming to the group.

Jamie is a difficult, uncooperative, delirious patient. He refuses all food.   Brother Paul says he has no doubt Claire can heal his body, but his soul is in turmoil.

Claire asks the Brother to excuse them, he does and Claire goes to Jamie and asks Jamie to talk to her, to tell her what Randall did to him.


Jamie, so far away from the man he had been, so ripped apart, says, Too much and not enough.

Flashback to the prison


The Nail is in Jamie’s hand and Randall promises he let Claire get away from the prison. He drinks from a flask and gives it to Jamie telling him to drink. Then he pulls the nail out of Jamie’s hand telling him it is going to hurt.

It does, His hand is a mutilated and bloody stump, and the pain makes Jamie fall off the chair ad vomit on the floor. Randall brings a bucket o f water to him and sits on the floor, taking Jamie in his arms, He mutters soothing words and dribbles water on his head.

Dear God, you are a magnificent creature, he tells him. It reminded me of a Pieta, a very deranged one.   He kisses Jamie who doesn’t; resist, but also doesn’t participate.

He stops saying it is like kissing a corpse and that he knows Jamie can do better. He threatens to bring Claire back.. Jamie says he promised not to resist.   Randall rhetorically declaims so that’s the plan, you’re going to submit like Christ. On the cross. Well, we’ll see. He pulls Jamie up and sits him down. He strokes his cock and asks if it is nice. Then we lose sight of his hand, and Jamie continues to make strangled noises resisting his body’s natural reaction to touch.

Randall tells him, not to play the worm with him, he just wants this to be a pleasant experience for the both of them.

[What is to “Play the worm?”: To peep out as a worm would peep out from the earth is the only thing I could find. This would seem to imply that Randall was not getting the reaction he desired.]

Jamie spits on him and says to do what he must to take his pleasure and be done with it.

Randall says, “What I must?” and asks “Do you think I can not control the darkness I inhabit?”

Randall pulls off Jamie’s kilt and throws him over a table. With a little spit as lube he painfully rapes Jamie, telling him to scream. They both scream.

Back in the monastery, Brother Paul is advising Jamie to take the laudanum, as Jamie drinks from a whiskey bottle. An angry Jamie says the whiskey is fine. Claire says she is about to set nine bones in his hand.

Jamie says, “Randall made me crawl and beg and before he was done he made me want verra badly to die.

Claire responds that he is not dead and she refuses to let him spend the rest of his life as a cripple.

Do as you wish he tells her, it matters not to me. He gulps the laudanum. The surgery proceeds with Claire’s voiceover saying she had cared for soldiers with many worse and horrific injuries but that none of them were her husband. She refers to when Jamie said he was afraid if she were to become pregnant because he did not think he was strong enough to bear her pain.   She said it was long and nerve wracking and that she lost all awareness of anything outside the room. She was worried about infection but thought he would heal except for a very stiff ring finger.

Afterward, Brother Paul sends her out and tells her he will watch Jamie. She leaves, breathing very hard and vomits in the hallway.

Later it is dawn and Claire sits in a chapel and Father Anselm enters. He lights some candle and then seeing her get up to leave apologizes for disturbing her praysr. She says she wasn’t paying – just sitting alone trying to clear her head

He asks if she was really alone and offers to hear her confession.

She is tearful as she says it probably won’t make sense. He says it will certainly make sense to God and she tells him that through her selfishness she brought suffering to both her husbands. She goes on to tell Father Anselm everything.
He proclaims it marvelous, extraordinary, a miracle perhaps.
A miracle? It’s the first time that Claire is given to think her being back in time may have a reason.
She says she is pretty sure Canon law doesn’t consider her situation. Father A tells her He sees the truth in all things and so he sees her truth as well; she should have faith that He will forgive her sins.   He the absolves her without penance.

Jamie is awake — Brother Paul is trying to get him to eat. He refuses the food. Claire comes in and asks “How is our patient this morning.” Brother Paul says he is stubborn, very stubborn.” Claire tells Jamie he needs sustenance. Examining him she notes his fever as he pulls away from her touch not so much reviled but pained by it. She notes his hand looks better. She tells him once it is healed they can probably use exercise and massage to get the ring finger to bend.

She asks for the coldest water they have and for plenty of clean cloth. He says she will get all she needs. She thanks him and he leaves.

Jamie looks at Claire and tells her she canna save a man that doesna want saving. His voice is deeper than it was and dark. She swallows and you can see there are tears in her eyes.

Change of scene to Murtagh, Willie, Angus and Rupert. Rupert attempts to pass Murtagh some whiskey fro a flask, Murtagh e=refuses and Rupert tells him that staying sober won’t make Jamie heal faster.

Murtagh says it isn’t his wounds, but that Jamie isn’t eating that worries him. Willie relates the story of an uncle who refused to eat after losing his arm to the shoulder. He starved himself to death, Willie concludes. Murtagh storms off and Angus and Rupert head slap Willie.

Murtagh is in Jamie’s room with a bowl of soup (feh!) they speak in Gaelic about something that is not at all pleasant. [I have no idea what since they decide to keep it a secret from all of us who don’t speak Gaelic. Thanks guys!

I think it is that Jamie wants help to die and has nothing to live for. Finally, at his wits end, angry, Murtagh stands and says something, something, Claire, something, something, something.]

Flashback, a bloody Jamie is vomiting and writhing on the floor, against the wall. Randall, seated on the floor asks, “Am I close, Have you reached your limit yet? The character’s face isn’t cold and uninterested, it is not,… unconcerned. He would maybe have preferred not having to torture him to his limit? He stands and walks over to a bloody, filthy Jamie and bending over asks “What shall I do with you?” Randall’s face morphs into Claire’s and Jamie reaches for her, saying her name. Jamie hallucinates Claire throughout this scene. Randall asks, What is her power that possesses you even now, what is her secret? Tell me.”
The face again becomes Claire, a confused Jamie says, “She’s gone.” He looks around wildly and then realizing his surroundings and situation starts weeping and rolls over, saying, “There’s no more Claire.”

Turning Jamie over, Randall asks, Then are you mine? Repeating it as his face becomes Claire’s once again and Jamie whimpers “You, there’s only you.” In his most Claire and Jamie in bed voice, with a lot of terribly broken Jamie sitting on top.

Randall, stands and sort of smiles as Jamie gibbers on insensibly. Randall stretches. Thinking, he reaches into one of his saddlebags and pulls something out. He walks over to a lantern and blows on the fire, raising it. He comes over to Jamie and in a Stockholm syndrome kind of way, makes Jamie brand himself with his JR seal and Randall catches him as he falls. Randall inhales deeply relishing the smell of burning flesh. [This is the worst scene to me as Jamie loses all hope. It reminded me of a scene in an episode of NCIS where someone was being held hostage and mentally and physically tortured to their breaking point. But, that never had the subtlety or impact of this mental manipulation. Jack Randall could get a job in some gulag today if he wanted.]
Murtagh, Claire, ANgus and Rupert wait for Willie to return from scouting for British Patrols


Murtagh, Claire, Rupert, and Angus are waiting as Willie gallops up. He saw two patrols heading south and east. Murtagh says it won’t be long before they come north and the monastery is no place for a fight.

It’s time we made plans – it’s clear Jamie’s not thriving here.

But go where Claire asks.

Rupert says Scotland isn’t safe. They will have to flee. Angus says the MacKenzies know people in Paris. They can take you in, provide shelter aye?

The Frasers know people in France as well, Jamie and I have a cousin.

Rupert says, The man’s a merchant, he couldna fight sleep. You need someone who can defend against,…”

Willie asks about Claire’s French relatives.

She hesitates but recovers ad said they were her late husband’s and they will probably not wish to help her in her current situation. She says she believes that Jamie would prefer to be with members of the Fraser clan. No offense intended she tells Rupert and Angus. None taken Rupert says. But, he goes on that the offer stands. Aye, Angus goes on, the MacK’s will always stand with ye. Claire avers it and thanks them. Murtagh smiles, a little, and says he will go off to secure a ship.

Willie goes into visit Jamie. He hovers on the edge of the room as Jamie studiously ignores him. Willie tells Jamie that Murtagh’s gone off to find a boat for France where he can forget this ever happened. He needs to keep his strength up, he says, bravely venturing closer to Jamie, Jamie needs to eat for Mistress Claire’s sake if not his own. “She loves you fiercely and you have her worried sick,” he tells Jamie. He asks Jamie to tell him what he can do to help. He is almost within reaching distance of Jamie.

Jamie sees the knife on Willie’s belt and replies, “Yer blade, hand it over.”
Frightened Willie asks “And what will you be needing it for?”
“To put me out of this black misery. “
Willie shakes his head, “Jamie, you don’t mean it.”


“It’s not a matter I wish to discuss.” He begins to rise with great effort and in pain, and tells Willie to hand it over!
“No!” Willie backs away.
“Give it to me!” Jamie reaches for it and Willie backs away more saying he won’t. He hurriedly leaves.

Claire and Murtagh meet in a hallway walking towards each other. Murtagh says he was just coming to see her, having secured passage on a ship, the Cristabel. “It’s a bit dear,” he tells her, “50 coin in gold, but it’s safe,…” He stops as an angry and/or distraught Claire blurts out that Willie told her Jamie wanted Willie to kill him. Seeing Murtagh’s face, she asks if he knew.
Murtagh says he wanted to tell her but Jamie made him pledge not to and he had been praying Claire would be able to talk some sense in to Jamie. That he would come around.

“Why,” Claire cries, “Why does he want to die so badly?”


“He’s been tortured,… raped.” Murthag says reluctantly. “Isn’t that reason enough?”

“No.” she says [Here I could not help but think that many women (men and children) have survived and thrived after torture and rape.  But I realize every story is different and people need different kinds of help.]

“Aye,” replies Murtagh. “Leaning heavily on the wall, The lad’s taken his share of punishment, but I can’t help feeling there more here than we know.”

Claire nods. “I’m sorry Claire, truly sorry. I’d never do anything to hurt that lad, unless…”

“I’ll no watch Jamie waste away, die like and animal in the woods with his foot caught in a trap.” Claire’s face is crumpling as Murtagh continues, “f it comes to the time where he’s past the point of healing…” At this point Claire is hyperventilating and faints – Murtagh catches her before she hits the ground.

[This is at least the fifth time in two episodes that Claire has either fainted or vomited. ]
Murtagh’s hand is rapidly tapping his dirk handle as Brother Paul helps Claire as she comes to.

There we go, a kindly Brother Paul says. He asks Claire if she is feeling better. She nods and holding her stomach or her stomacher, tries to rise. Murtagh goes to help her and slow her standing.
“Whoa Whoa whoaYou collapsed like a sack of grain – scared the pish right out of me. Pardon me brother.”
Brother Paul looks a bit reproving.

Claire asks “What am I going to do about Jamie?”

Claire, Brother Paul and Murtagh discuss how to help Jamie.
Claire, Brother Paul and Murtagh discuss how to help Jamie.

Brother Paul answers somewhat reluctantly, “Well his wounds are progressing nicely, but his soul remains possessed by darkness.” Murtagh turns away, thinking as Bro Paul continues, I fear he will writhe in torment, until he makes an end of himself unless he can be led back into the light.”

Murtagh turns back suddenly, “I don’t mean to disagree with you brother but I know Jamie. And light or no light, none can lead him where he doesna want to go.”

With his accent changing from Scots to English, Brother Paul asks if Murtagh is saying the lad’s doomed?

Murtagh says, “I’m saying that the only way to save Jamie is for someone to step into the darkness with him.”

We fade into a scene of Claire picking and compounding an oil of lavender. Then to Jamie writhing and muttering in his bed.   A blurry silhouette of Claire is shown on the wall and then Jamie’s face, close up is sniffing something. We hear Randall’s voice, “Breathe in.” It commands gently.

Jamie sees Randall’s face as he wakes up with a muffled no,

The face is Claire’s now, but her voice is tough, “Oil of Lavender, Smells familiar, doesn’t it?”

“What are you doing?” Jamie shies away from her, “Leave me be.”

She puts the oil on her hands and says, “I’ve left you be for far too long. Treated you too gently,” she straddles him, “But that doesn’t work with you does it? You only respond to strength!”

She grabs his face, Why are you doing this? He begs

You know why! To find out exactly what happened in that room between you and Randall. What you’re holding back!”

“You already know.”

“The obvious, yes, but what else?”

“There is no “else.””

“Then why can’t you look at me?”  She cries

Her face becomes Randall’s saying “Look at me.” Her voice and Randall’s overlap, “Look at me.”

“No!” Jamie cries out knocking Claire to the floor. They struggle, with her fighting back and kicking him to the bed.

“Claire, please!” he cries straddling her on the ground in front of the fire, “I don’t want to hurt you!”

It’s a bit late for that isn’t it? My husband wants to kill himself and he won’t tell me why! Doo you want me to hat you?!” She rips the eighteenth century equivalent of a hospital gown, exposing his side where he bears the brand Randall made him burn into himself. “Do you want me to hate you!?” She repeats as it rips.


He rears back as she stares at the mark, “He branded you.” She says hoarsely, incredulous.
He is breathing hard, but at least he is engaging and showing passion.

“Jamie,” she says as she starts to sit up, “What he did to you doesn’t mean that…”

“You’re wrong,” He slips away from her to lean against the bed frame, his gown slips up just a wee bit higher than it should… She sits to face him. “He didn’t brand me.” Jamie struggles to continue, “I did it myself.”

“We can remove it,” Claire tells him hopefully.

But a disgusted Jamie tells her she, “… You canna understand.”

She goes to touch him and he pulls away from it, “Claire, It wasn’t… Randall didn’t just use force to get what he wanted from me. Claire, It wasn’t …” He trails off and a shocked Claire urges him to “Go on, say it.”
Jamie stares past her, seeing his cell and what Randall did. “He made love to me, Claire.”
Jamie goes on as she swallows convulsively. “And I,…”

What? “

Flashback, water splashing, Jamie looks over to see Randall washing himself. He is complacent, placid even, and turning his head, Jamie falls back to sleep. Then we see Randalll holding something under his nose, a bottle of oil.

“Breathe in, Randall says, That’s oil of Lavender.” He puts some on his hands and rubs it on Jamie’s burn, then his nipple. “These are Claire’s hands Think of Claire, think of your wife.” Jamie is hypnotized, Randall could tell him the day was night and he would take it as the truth, Jamie smiles. He smiles as Randall’s hand goes lower and then kisses Jamie. He is amazed that Jamie is responding. He puts Jamie’s hands on Jamie to take over the stroking and then oils himself telling Jamie, who is now writhing in pleasure, to “Wait for me” as he oils up his own cock and then gets up to lie behind Jamie. As he turns Jamie on his side he looses his hair, putting some of the oil on it and trailing it over Jamie. “Claire’s here.” He tells Jamie. Who reaches up with his mangled hand to stroke him as Randall enters him.
He fucks Jamie intoning the command to say my name Jamie, say my name.
“Claire!” Jamie says as Randall smiles. He looks more serious as he examines his handiwork on Jamie’s back – his masterpiece. There’s a lot of moaning and Jamie reaches back to pull Randall closer as they both come.

Jamie’s pleasure dissipates immediately and he realizes what has just happened, that he was also aroused. He doesn’t think he was forced to participate in his own rape by psychological methods. He just feels raped and guilty.

Holding Jamie’s shoulder, Randall says, I understand, how could she ever forgive you?”

The music wells as Jamie weeps, we come back to the abbey where he sits with Claire. “I couldna help myself, Claire,” Jamie tells her, “It felt…so good.” He sort of smiles sadly, “Not to be in pain.”
Claire is moved, but calm, loving, understanding, “Were you afraid I wouldn’t forgive you?” She asks. She reaches for him saying, “There’s nothing to forgive.” He pulls away, “Jamie, it’s, it’s all right.” She takes her hands away.
“Don’t you see?” he asks, “I cannot be your husband any longer,” he tells her, now turning his head to look at her, emotionally, “And, I will not be less to you.” He starts to rise.
“You did what was necessary to survive, that’s all.”
“No, no, He broke me, he broke me Claire. He knew it, we both did.”
With a fierce look she tells him,” You belong to no one else but me. And I belong to you. And nothing will ever change that.”

Standing he says, emphatically, “Those are just weak words, Claire.” Panting he sits o the bed, cradling his mangled and bandaged hand. “I lie here, feeling I will die without your touch, but when you do touch me, I want to vomit with shame.”
“No!” She rises and climbs on the bed where he is sitting against the head board. She grabs his head, “You are my husband, James Fraser, how dare you give up on me now! You swore to me, you, you promised me the protection of your body if need be. Well, Randall had your body, but I’ll be damned if he has your soul as well!” She cries as he looks away blindly, “You’re mine,” She continues to cry as tears run down her face. And we are meant to be together. It’s the only explanantion I have for all this. It’s the only way I can wrap my mind around what’s happened all these past months. It’s all been for you and me.” He won’t look at her still, she lets go of his head and sits up, away from him.
“But, if you take away the one last thing that makes sense to me, and I will dies, with you right here, now.”
This gets his attention and he looks at her with fear. He softens and says Mo Ian Duin as he reaches for her unconsciously but with realization looks at his hand as if it is foreign to him, and as she sobs, he pulls away with out touching her.

“How can you have me like this?”

“I will have you any way I can, always!” and he doesn’t resist as she embraces him. With his uninjured hand, he returns the embrace tentatively at first but then reaches down her back.

The scene changes to Murtagh preparing his knife in the fire. Standing behind a seated Jaime, Claire asks for the laudanum, but Jamie says, “NO! I want to be awake when you cut him out of me, And get on with it.”

He bites a leather thong as Murtagh cuts it off and throws the thing into the fire.

Happier music tkes us out to the beach where Jamie waits in a boat. Murtagh, Claire, Willie, Angus and Rupert are taking their leave. The diplomatic Willie says “I will miss you mistress, we’ll never find another healer the likes of you.” She hugs and thanks him calling him a true friend and as Angus looks a bit put out, saying she doubts everyone is as sad as you are to see us go.
Rupert sanguinely says, It’s nothing personal mistress but keeping you and Jamie out of harm’s way proves to be a full-time occupation.”
“That’s very true.” Interjects Angus as Murtagh says it is time to go.
Anguss pulls off his cap and says formally, “Ah, Mistress Claire, may I kiss you farewell?”
“No you may not,” Angus turns away dejectedly but Claire continues wryly, “That is far to final. You may kiss me au revoir.” They step together but Angus grabs her breast and goes too far, she practically knees him as Rupert pulls him off.

“Seriously!” She says as Murtagh laughs and strokes his beard.
As Claire wipes her mouth Angus says, “Apoogies mistress, I lost my head.”
Much more gallant, Rupert takes her hand, kisses it, and wishes her goodbye and God bless.
Murtagh and Claire prepare to leave Scotland with Jamie already waiting in the skiff.


Claire says, “Very gallant.” And she glances at Angus.
Rupert slaps Angus; arm and tells him, “See, that’s how you take your leave of a lady.”

Murtagh says, “All right, Piss off the lot of you”

They are smile sadly and say something in Gaelic. As they leave Angus shouts, “If you happen to run into the rightful king across the water, you tell him Angus Mhor sends his best, eh.” He smiles, with his missing teeth giving him a nearly maniacal look. Rupert tells him, “King James is in Italy, ye fool, no France.” He turns and walks to the horses. Following Angus tries to regain face, “I meant, I meant if you go to Italy.”
We hear Rupert’s, “Yer arse ye did.”

Willie looks to see the group being rowed to the Cristabel.

On board, Claire is standing by the rail. Jamie comes ups saying he thought he’d be the one to be puking over the side but there sh is looking as greenas rotten fish.

“Please,” she pleads as a wave of nausea sweeps over her, “Fish is the last thing I want to think about right now.”

Hm, Jamie grunts, either ill at ease aboard a ship with his infamous sea sickness, or ill at ease with her still. As men shout orders about how to sail swing this to port, etc. He moves over to her and asks if he should get a bucket. She ruefully says she is glad to see he is regaining his sense of humor. He is trying he says.
She asks for reassurance, that it, that they will be all right.
He says he’ll see to it.


“We’re headed into an unknown future and I … “
“Aye,” he says, “I know what you mean, what are we to do in France?” He turns to her, grabbing a rope for stability as he is off balance from his tightly tied arm. “It won’t be forever, Claire. Someday we’ll return to Scotland. That I promise you.”
But you know what’s going to happen in Scotland, she remids him of the coming events.
“What can we do but play our part?”

She looks down and her face changes as an idea dawns on her, she asks, “What if you could stop it from happening?” He looks at her questioningly, “The Rising, Culloden – what if we cuoold stop all of it?”


“Change the future?” he asks, unbelieving, “The two of us? That’s madness is it not?”

“We have to try.” She tells him, “The Rising starts with Prince Charles and right now the Bonnie Prince is in France. I believe we can do anything we want. Just as long as we’re together.”
He does a facial tic thing I think means a wary assent, “It will take some thought,” he says in a way that feels a bit “Huor the crazy lady.”

She turns away, and tells him there’s something else.”

Ye mean besides changing the future” – I’m not sure I’m ready to hear it.

I’ve been wondering how to tell you this. Murtagh assures me that once we’re underway, yo’ll be too seasick to have a conversation. I’m pregnant.”
He looks fearful, “But you said you were unable to.”
“Apparently I was wrong,” she smiles shyly
He says something in Gaelic.
He says nothing and that frightens her, “Are you happy?”

He looks at her and says, “I never thought I’d be able to say such a thing again but, yes. Yes!” She runs into his arms, “I’m verra happy indeed, Sassenach!” They embrace. Murtagh comes into the fram and stands aside smiling as Claire and Jamie kiss. The music swells and the anchor goes up.

We pan out to Jamie and Claire embracing as the shop sails off towards France.

Fade to Black. Credits with slower and more soulful rendition of the theme song.


Ron Moore talks about this being a power thing for Randall. Randal needs his victims to respond. Jamie would have refused to his dying breath but he sacrifices because of Claire.

In the book they are in France when Jamie is recuperating. He decided to keep the action in Scotland for the Abbey and recovery that Jamie would have the opportunity to reflect on what happened and struggle, as to whether he even wants to survive. It allows them to allow them to end the episode on the new beginning as opposed to clouding the new beginning with the recovery.

They shot the final scene with a helicopter.