“Outlander” fans are very scared for Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). They know that he’ll make it out of the Season 1 finale alive, but he won’t be okay. In episode 15, Capt. Jack Black Randall (Tobias Menzies) started to torment him and fans know that it will only get worse when the torture scenes continue in the finale.
“Jack, I would argue, is a study in sadism,” Menzies told E! News. “He's interested in people's boundaries, their pain thresholds, what they can handle. It's a rather sickening investigation.”
Black Jack was testing Jamie’s limits in episode 15, where he abused Jamie and even nailed his hand to the table. In the finale, Jack will take all of the torture a step further. One promo video shows Jack branding Jamie with his initials but it’ll get much worse when he rapes Jamie. It’ll likely be one of the hardest scenes to watch in the series, and it wasn’t easy for Menzies to play.
"It would be a lie to say that I go home and shake it off," Menzies revealed. "But it's what excites me as an actor when I see it and when I manage to do it myself, when there's lots of shades within the colors of the characters. It's true to life, isn't it? Nothing is one thing or the other. Jack is one of life's interesting contradictions. He does have some personal insight, he gets people and how they work but he chooses to abuse those rather than comfort them or reassure them.”
Fans should expect Black Jack's abuse to be much worse than the flogging scene earlier this season. When he publically flogged Jamie, he left Jamie’s back covered in scars, but he didn’t take it as far as he wanted to.
“Up until now, we haven't seen Jack as a threat, apart from the flogging, which was in flashback,” Menzies told Vulture. “We're seeing him now do what everyone knows he can do. It's one man emotionally, psychologically, and physically dismantling someone else. Some of the things that are done to Jamie are very unpleasant and violent, more so because of the precision. It's not done out of fury or loss of control, and that's what makes it more chilling. It's different than the flogging, which is just the start of the story.”
Showrunner Ron Moore even expects that some viewers could have a very negative reaction to watching this play out on screen, especially if they haven't read the book series. However, he wanted to stick to the source material, Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling novels.
“We were sort of aware, all along, in a larger sense, that there would be repercussions on the episode,” Moore explained. “That you know, people were going to see it, and it was volatile material, and it was going to be certainly controversial. Some people would hate it, some people would love it. It would have various sociopolitical connotations to it for a variety of reasons, but we always kind of tried to shove that aside and not think about it and talk about it, because that wasn't our job. Our job was to do this drama and translate this story and to do it as best we can.”
Viewers who stick with the show will see what an impact Jack has on Jamie’s future. He’ll escape from Jack’s grasp eventually, but he’ll be a different man when he returns to Claire (Caitriona Balfe). “But it isn’t Jamie’s survival that you should be worried about. Rather, it’s the emotional effects from the trauma he endured while with Black Jack,” Entertainment Weekly teased. “The question is: Can he ever move on and once again be the husband that Claire deserves?”
“Outlander” Season 1 finale airs Saturday at 9 p.m. EDT on Starz.