If you thought we were just going to ease on back into Outlander when it returns to Starz on Saturday (and Showcase on Sunday) you were mistaken, lassies and laddies. Sorely mistaken. As sorely mistaken as Claire’s bum will be by the end of the first episode back, “The Reckoning.”
That’s because it’s time for the infamous Outlander spanking scenes, as was first written in the books. For those who need a refresher, or who haven’t yet delved into the tomes from Diana Gabaldon, it all goes down after Jamie (Sam Heughan) rescues Claire (Caitriona Balfe) from that dire situation she found herself at the Season 1A break. As it’s explained in the books, he is forced to show her what she cost the clansmen by disobeying direct orders.
Having seen it all go down, we can tell you that the scenes don’t disappoint. But why take our word for it when you can hear it directly from one of the show’s sources, Jamie portrayer Sam Heughan?
“It shouldn’t be violent; he’s not doing it out of anger–he’s doing it out of teaching her a lesson,” Heughan tells The TV Junkies. “It’s something that he’s learned over the years. He’s certainly been beaten a lot through punishment, and that’s how you learn new lessons in that world.”
Partially in order for viewers to be transported fully back into that time period, the first episode back is also narrated from Jamie’s perspective rather than Claire’s. It’s a one-off switch that helps explain not only the spanking scene, but gives new depth to Jamie as a character.
“It’s really exciting that we suddenly flipped to Jamie’s point of view, and I think it kind of marks the second part of the season, when we begin to find out a lot more about Jamie, his past and about his relationships,” Heughan explains. “Up until this point, you don’t really know a lot about him, he’s always out on the outskirts. He can kind of come across like the perfect guy. He always does the right thing and he’s always there in the right time. But actually in the second part of the season you start to see some of his failings.”
Whether some of those failings emerge during the controversial spanking scene remain to be seen, but Heughan maintains it was important to incorporate that particular chapter from the book into the series in order to fully develop these characters.
“This really challenges their relationship and moves it forward,” he teases. “It takes a couple of episodes for them to sort of resolve the moment that it happened, and it’s fantastic. It’s a really important part of their relationship.”
Well we definitely can’t wait to see more.
Be sure to check back here at The TV Junkies this weekend for Heughan’s full reaction to how it all played out, and what that actually means for the couple going forward.
Outlander returns Saturday, April 4 at 9 p.m. ET on Starz and Sunday, April 5 at 10 p.m. ET on Showcase.
Amber Dowling is a bonafide TV Junkie, critic and freelance writer who watches countless shows and lives for dramatic (fictional!) twists. She currently serves as the vice-president of the Television Critics Association and has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows across North America. An advocate for Canadian Television and a lover of the medium in general, Amber founded TheTVJunkies.com as a spot for fellow enthusiasts to connect and collaborate. She previously spent almost eight years as the EIC for TV Guide Canada.