'Outlander' Writer on Claire's Shocking Decision, Geillis' Daring Move

Outlander Episodic - H 2015

Outlander Episodic - H 2015

[WARNING: Spoilers ahead from Saturday's episode of Outlander, "The Devil's Mark."]

For fans of Outlander, Saturday’s episode was a one-two punch of major plot development and character reveals. After being accused of witchcraft alongside Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek), Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is put on trial, where her good deeds were used against her to prove the case. It is only when Geillis cops to being a witch to save her that Claire realizes she was not the only time-traveler in town.

But she’s not given much time to process it all before she and Jamie (Sam Heughan) must flee to Lallybroch. It is during their travels that Claire finally comes clean, revealing her past in the 1940s and explaining her origins as a woman fallen through time.

When Jamie gives her the option to return to Craigh na Dun and go back through the rocks to Frank (Tobias Menzies), Claire turns against her past and toward her new future.

"He says he trusts her word. Whether or not he can quite even grasp what exactly it means to be from the future is another story," says Heughan. "But he knows her soul and he knows her as a person, and that makes it easier for him to accept what she says. In that moment, in a way, it makes sense. And that's the beginning of their relationship then developing into something else."

The Hollywood Reporter spoke with the episode’s writer, Toni Graphia, about the major moments of the night.

writer that wanted to do it. I would have had a sword fight for it. Geillis was always my favorite character besides Claire.

Geillis' reveal itself also opens up the whole universe of the show itself.

Right. Geillis has always been a little different than other people in the town, and she and Claire were always drawn to each other. You got the feeling that Geillis was always trying to ferret out information. I don't think she knew the truth about Claire, but she suspected it. It wasn't crystallized until the scene when Claire says that Nathaniel Hale quote, "I only regret I have but one life to lose for my country," and Geillis says, "Nicely put!" That for me was the moment she knew for sure that Claire was from the future.

It’s interesting that even though they spend two nights in the hole, they never outright say it to each other.

We had a lot of discussion in the writers room about whether or not Claire should say she's from the future and vice versa, and we didn't want to do it because we didn't want to step on the Jamie reveal later on. Once we see [Geillis’] vaccination scar we know for sure. We also added a little nugget: The scene in the back of the church where she mentions the "f—ing barbecue." (Laughs.) That's something that was not in the book. I have to credit Ron Moore with that line though. I love it. It's my favorite in the episode.

bridge to the scene with Jamie. Claire realizes it's a shame for two people that love each other — or that are close especially in times of crisis — to not be who they really are with one another.

Claire's reveal to Jamie feel like such a release, to hear her finally speak her truth out loud.

Ron has always said that even though Claire does all the talking, it’s Jamie's scene. It's all about his reaction.

How and why do you think Claire decided to stay?

We wanted to show the passage of time because it wasn't an easy decision for Claire. She sat there thinking all day long, and we wanted to make it clear that he wasn't waiting for her. And that's why he's so surprised when he wakes up. My interpretation is that the rocks are magnets and both sides of the rocks have a pull. For me, the pull of Jamie and this time was just stronger at that point. I think she does love Frank and was very tempted to go back, but in the end the pull of Jamie won out. Not to say that choice doesn't have repercussions down the line. You'll see — without giving away too much — that decision cost her something. She is very aware that she abandoned someone she loves, and that's going to lay on her and have some repercussions and cause some drama down the road.

Outlander airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. on Starz.