On this weekend’s new episode of “Outlander,” we saw Black Jack Randall doing something that was certainly surprising (to say the least). After all, how else would you describe him violently attacking the dead body of his brother Alex after he died? It was a physically jarring moment, since it really took away from the somber emotions of everyone else in the room. Yet, this is a man who has physically, mentally, and sexually tormented others, and when you think about it from this vantage point alone, it does definitely feel like something that is very much within the capabilities of what we know about this man.
In speaking about how he felt about the scene to Vulture, Tobias Menzies himself made it clear that this was a change from the source material:
“It’s perhaps the biggest change from the books, for him. And originally in the script, it was written that Jack wept. He was just full of emotion. But we’ve all seen the scene where a brother cries at the bedside of his loved one, and that didn’t seem quite keeping with the character of Jack. And we could see that he was emotional about his brother passing. So we decided to skip the crying, and have him physically attack the body of his brother. It had to be something odder, something weirder, something more violent. It’s a weird expression of his love: If you abandon me, I will destroy you. And it felt surprising. It’s the last thing you’d expect, but it’s also keeping with the character.”
Given how few people genuinely care about Jack, mostly because few people would genuinely want to, the reaction makes sense. It is very well possible that this is a guy, provided he lives longer than history dictates, who never really experiences much in the way of love. He may be able to find something superficial, but they won’t likely get to know the monster within.
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