SPOILER ALERT: Don’t learn you probably 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 nearly all 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 govt 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 nicely. Though Graphia admits she is aware of it may be “exhausting on the readers and exhausting on the viewers” to expertise such tales, these actions are inciting incidents that drive the narrative additional.
“There are completely tentpole scenes that you must do as a result of that drives who the characters are,” govt 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 nicely. The producers wished to convey the true horror of the state of affairs with out doing something gratuitous or provocative and, with that in thoughts, they got here up with the concept 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 approach. It’s not meant for that. And we had learn that not simply sexual assaults, however hostages, kidnap victims, prisoners of warfare, they usually would go some place else in their thoughts as a safety towards what’s occurring to them bodily,” says Graphia.
Initially, the producers share, they had been going to point out extra of the assault on-screen, which was supported by the actors. “After we first broke [the episode], I keep in mind we had been speaking to Caitriona and Sam about it, and so they each stated, ‘Why not? Why not go there? Why not go to this place the place we truly bodily present all of the trauma that takes place and all of the assault?’” Roberts remembers.
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 may fill in the hole that a couple of particular person attacked [Claire],” Roberts says.
Additionally 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 protected and cherished, so that they designed sequences in which Claire was imagining her entire household in a contented setting: gathering everybody collectively at Thanksgiving, imagining that Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) and Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy) had been married, and everybody was having fun with one another. It’s possibly not how everybody would react in this type of “horrific state of affairs,” says Graphia, nevertheless it’s one type of “survival mechanism.”
“And it’s additionally one thing that lets the viewers breathe as a result of it’s exhausting to observe — and it’s exhausting to shoot. It was devastating to even shoot and even simulate. It was a few of 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 a few of the trauma to intrude, which was why Lionel confirmed up and why Claire imagined that Brianna and Roger (Richard Rankin) had been useless — 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 hitch in the hunt for Lionel’s males. He, Jamie, Fergus (Cesar Domboy) and several 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 physician, 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 best 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 menace [Lionel] makes, so it was pure for her to do it.”
As for different items of the fifth guide in the “Outlander” collection that didn’t make it into the season, Roberts says they might nonetheless pop up subsequent season.
“What’s good about a few of these tales [is] you may transfer them round somewhat bit,” he says. “So whereas we moved into E-book 6 in Season5, there are going to be some issues some folks might imagine, ‘Oh nicely, they didn’t do it, they’re not going to do it.’ Effectively, these issues could 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 stated to her after her personal assault — “You’ve my hand and my ear for those who 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 protected in his arms.
“It’s Claire’s approach 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 all of a sudden 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 folks take care of it’s particular person, there’s no proper approach or flawed approach” to deal with it.