‘Outlander’ season 2 finale: Graham McTavish on that Jamie – Dougal fight

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The season 2 finale of “Outlander” contained many a powerful moment, but we presume that one of the more memorable sequences led to the death of Dougal. After the suggestion that Claire could help “take the pain away” for Prince Charles, Jamie’s uncle went into a fit of rage, and in the middle of a violent fight between the two men, Claire helped to ensure that he died by Jamie’s knife. It was a horrifying scene, even if there has always been some tension between the characters.

Following the finale, Graham McTavish broke the entire sequence down to Vulture, and specifically mentions the family bonds, the betrayal, and his loyalty to Scotland as some of the different factors playing a part in what transpired:

“…It’s the worst betrayal, the worst thing imagined. The thing I wanted to convey more than anything was Dougal’s utter disbelief. Even at the moment of his death, he’s looking at his nephew, and they have both conflict and love. Yes, he’s killing me, but he also loves me. And yes, I want to kill him, and I love him, too. It’s not a straightforward good guy–bad guy, where you’re rooting for one or the other. This is a terrible tragedy, and there is a reluctance. He doesn’t want to kill his nephew. He doesn’t even particularly want to kill Claire, although at this point, he sees her as a meddling witch, basically. But Dougal is ruled by his love of Scotland and his belief in Bonnie Prince Charlie, and anything that gets in the way of that, as far as he’s concerned, is an obstacle that needs to be removed. It’s not cold-blooded. We didn’t want screaming, you know what I mean? It’s calm and measured, a slow and vicious struggle, like that scene in Saving Private Ryan, where the guy gets killed by the German soldier. So the physical image of the two of them, bloody hands clasped around the hilt of a dirk, driving it into Jamie’s uncle, it’s powerful. I even took a photograph on my phone of it, with the two of them looking down at me! I wanted it to be the last thing Dougal sees, the two of them together, killing him.”

McTavish is clearly at no loss for work now, given that he plays an integral role on AMC’s “Preacher” and the latest episode airs on Sunday nights. Maybe it is the fact that he is on two shows that should have made us seen Dougal’s death coming. Yet, we are not a book reader, and therefore had little expectation of it coming in such a way.

Also, you could perhaps argue that Dougal’s end was inevitable. Even if he had made it through this scene, odds are that Culloden, given his pride for Scotland and his desire to be in front, would mark his undoing.

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