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[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Saturday’s episode of Outlander, “Useful Occupations and Deceptions.”]
Just like that, the Duke of Sandringham (Simon Callow) has power over Jamie (Sam Hueghan) and Claire’s (Caitriona Balfe) relationship once more on Starz’s Outlander.
The couple may have believed they were out from under the Duke of Sandringham’s influence once they arrived in France, but by the end of Saturday’s episode, Claire realized that if Jamie comes face-to-face with Sandringham, he’ll expose the big secret she’s been keeping from her husband: Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) is still alive.
When Claire learned this shocking realization, she decided not to share it with Jamie, following the advice of Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix). But now that Jamie has learned that Sandringham has been funding both sides of the Jacobite rebellion so he’ll benefit from whoever wins, it’s inevitable that Jamie will meet with Sandringham in person. There is an official deadline on when Jamie will learn the truth about Black Jack, and now Claire knows it.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Hueghan and Balfe about this shocking revelation, what it means for Claire and Jamie’s mission to sabotage the Jacobite rebellion and more.
Jamie now knows that Bonnie Prince Charles (Andrew Gower) has more funds than he originally thought, thanks to the Duke of Sandringham funding both sides of the rebellion, and that’s the first lead he’s gotten since he arrived in France. How will that change his mission to sabotage the rebellion going forward?
Sam Heughan: He does have a sizable amount of money, but it’s not enough to fund a whole war. It’s certainly showing him that he’s gathering support. But the biggest point is Sandringham coming back into the run of things. We start to see that he’s more of a power player and a bigger character in their whole fate, in Jamie and Claire’s whole life, and he certainly will, later on in the series, become very pivotal to the whole thing. He’s certainly a figure that should not be trusted.
Regardless of the fact that Sandringham can tell Jamie about Black Jack’s fate, Claire still decides not to tell Jamie that Black Jack is still alive. Why did Claire decide not to come clean, even though there’s a ticking clock on that secret coming out?
Caitriona Balfe: I think she’s scared that he will do something rash. She’s just not ready to see him fall backwards. You see him, there’s this moment of hope, they’re finally getting somewhere, and she feels that if she told him, it would just send him into a spin, into a spiral. She just doesn’t know how he’ll react.
Claire also realizes that Mary Hawkins (Rosie Day) is destined to marry Black Jack and is Frank’s ancestor. What will she do with that information?
Balfe: Claire, for as smart as she is, I think that she doesn’t know how this whole time travel works. She doesn’t know if you can change the future or what fate is or how it will all work. All she knows is that this is supposed to happen and this is supposed to happen. When she finds out that Mary Hawkins is supposed to marry Black Jack, she realizes or she believes that then, Jamie can’t kill him because unless they reach that date and have a child, then Frank won’t exist. Maybe she won’t exist. Maybe what would have happened won’t happen. There’s a lot that hinges on the fact that Mary Hawkins and Black Jack will marry.
Jamie met Fergus (Romann Berrux), a young pickpocket, and ended up taking the boy under his wing. How is that relationship going to help Jamie moving forward?
Hueghan: It’s almost like it’s practice parenting for Jamie. He helps train the young boy and takes him in and starts to care for him. It helps that Fergus helps him with his spying too. He’s a pretty useful tool, but Jamie also starts to really care for the boy.
At the beginning of next week’s episode, Claire gets poisoned, and for the first time realizes Paris might not be as safe as she thought. What is going through her mind during this realization?
Balfe: There’s a huge fear for the safety of her child. That’s a big thing as a pregnant woman. She’s been dealing with this pregnancy quite privately because she’s had to put it aside to inspire Jamie to heal. So when this happens, first of all she goes to Master Raymond, who she considered her friend, and interrogates him over whether he had any part in it. But she has her suspicions that it’s the Comte St. Germain. She starts to realize that there’s a lot of danger in Paris and that she needs to maybe be more careful.
How is Claire’s conflict with the Comte St. Germain (Stanley Weber) going to escalate more this season?
Balfe: That will all come to fruition in episode seven. He is her foe this season. He blames her for the destruction of his ship and all the cargo, the financial loss that comes with that. And he’s a very dark character. We will find out later just how dark he is. Claire isn’t fully aware yet how dangerous he is, but she’s starting to. She’s starting to notice.
Outlander airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Starz.
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