SPOILER ALERT: Don’t learn in case you have not but watched “By no means My Love,” the finale of “Outlander” Season 5.
“Outlander” wrapped up its fifth season with “By no means My Love,” an episode that features some probably polarizing moments, together with centering the vast majority of the motion across the kidnap and rape of Claire (Caitriona Balfe) by the hands of Lionel Brown (Ned Dennehy) and his band of outlaws.
Though government producer Toni Graphia calls this story, and Claire’s subsequent disassociation from the trauma, a “daring alternative,” it was one which was in-line with the present’s long-time depiction of sexual assault. Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Brianna (Sophie Skelton) have been victims of sexual violence in the previous as effectively. Though Graphia admits she is aware of it may be “onerous on the readers and onerous on the viewers” to expertise such tales, these actions are inciting incidents that drive the narrative additional.
“There are completely tentpole scenes that you need to do as a result of that drives who the characters are,” government producer Matt Roberts explains. “Off of this incident, 20 different issues occur. How do you not do these tentpole moments in these books as a result of they drive the characters all through a lot of the story?”
However, that doesn’t imply depicting such motion doesn’t come with out care. Claire was raped by Lionel in the season finale episode, and it was additionally implied that a number of different males raped her as effectively. The producers wished to convey the true horror of the scenario with out doing something gratuitous or provocative and, with that in thoughts, they got here up with the thought for “dream escapes” as Claire disassociated.
“It’s a delicate matter, and we did our analysis and we wished to do justice to the fabric and never simply play it in a type of provocative or titillating means. It’s not meant for that. And we had learn that not simply sexual assaults, however hostages, kidnap victims, prisoners of struggle, they usually would go elsewhere in their thoughts as a safety in opposition to what’s occurring to them bodily,” says Graphia.
Initially, the producers share, they have been going to point out extra of the assault on-screen, which was supported by the actors. “Once we first broke [the episode], I keep in mind we have been speaking to Caitriona and Sam about it, and so they each mentioned, ‘Why not? Why not go there? Why not go to this place the place we really bodily present all of the trauma that takes place and all of the assault?’” Roberts recollects.
In the end, they pulled again on that as a result of the viewers is supposed to fill in “what they suppose occurred to the character” and “you possibly can fill in the hole that multiple individual attacked [Claire],” Roberts says.
In addition they expanded the dream escapes, which began out as simply being Claire dancing with Jamie. “They’re simply slowly going in a circle beneath a highlight, dancing,” Graphia says, “and it was simply presupposed to be that one picture that was an escape, the place she felt this protecting area.”
However the extra the writers talked about it, the extra they stored coming again to the concept Jamie isn’t the one factor that makes Claire really feel secure and beloved, so that they designed sequences in which Claire was imagining her entire household in a cheerful setting: gathering everybody collectively at Thanksgiving, imagining that Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) and Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy) have been married, and everybody was having fun with one another. It’s possibly not how everybody would react in this sort of “horrific scenario,” says Graphia, but it surely’s one type of “survival mechanism.”
“And it’s additionally one thing that lets the viewers breathe as a result of it’s onerous to look at — and it’s onerous to shoot. It was devastating to even shoot and even simulate. It was among the hardest stuff we’ve ever shot,” she continues.
In that very same vein, as a result of the escape is simply occurring in Claire’s thoughts, the writers did need among the trauma to intrude, which was why Lionel confirmed up and why Claire imagined that Brianna and Roger (Richard Rankin) have been lifeless — as a result of she didn’t suppose she would ever see them once more after they selected to journey by the stones again to their very own time.
And talking of Bree and Roger, in the finale they returned to Fraser’s Ridge and realized about Claire, which led Roger to affix in the hunt for Lionel’s males. He, Jamie, Fergus (Cesar Domboy) and a number of other different of Jamie’s males laid waste to all of them — besides Lionel, who managed to outlive and, in an ironic twist, ended up a affected person on Claire’s working desk. As such, she couldn’t hurt him due to her oath as a health care provider, however fortunately, Marsali (Lauren Lyle) had taken no such oath and killed Lionel for Claire. This was a change from the books, in which the sort-of housekeeper Mrs. Bug is the one who kills Lionel. Roberts says they wished to make that kill a significant second in the present, and Mrs. Bug simply wasn’t sufficient of a personality but to be the correct alternative right here.
“The theme this season is, ‘How far would you go to guard your loved ones?’ and Marsali is such a core a part of that in her bonding with Claire,” he says. “Then there’s the risk [Lionel] makes, so it was pure for her to do it.”
As for different items of the fifth e book in the “Outlander” collection that didn’t make it into the season, Roberts says they may nonetheless pop up subsequent season.
“What’s good about a few of these tales [is] you possibly can transfer them round slightly bit,” he says. “So whereas we moved into Ebook 6 in Season5, there are going to be some issues some individuals might imagine, ‘Oh effectively, they didn’t do it, they’re not going to do it.’ Effectively, these issues might make an look. There are going to be characters that can seem in Season 6.”
Because the episode wound down, Claire began to ever-so-slightly come to grips with what occurred to her. She and Brianna shared a young second when Claire was bathing the place Bree repeated a line to her mom that Lizzie (Caitlin O’Ryan) had mentioned to her after her personal assault — “You might have my hand and my ear if you happen to want it” — which touched Claire.
The ultimate moments of the episode had Claire vowing to Jamie that this was not going to be what breaks her and telling Jamie that she felt secure in his arms.
“It’s Claire’s means of claiming, ‘These males did this to me, however they’re not going to destroy me. They’re not going to take this from me — the intimacy with the person I like — they’re not going to destroy my soul. They did issues to my physique, however they’re not going to destroy my soul,’” Roberts says.
However don’t suppose that when Season 6 begins that Claire will instantly be all higher. Roberts reveals the trauma may have “lasting results” on Claire as a result of “each assault like that is particular person and the way individuals cope with it’s particular person, there’s no proper means or mistaken means” to deal with it.