It's time to go on an adventure, Outlander fans!
Sunday's episode took Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) back to Lallybroch, where Claire got to meet Jamie's current wife, Laoghaire (Nell Hudson). Yeah, that was a shock and did not go over well for anyone involved.
Eventually, Jamie was able to tell Claire how he stumbled into a marriage with Laoghaire — the woman who almost had Claire burned at the stake in Season 1 — and became a stepfather to her two children without falling in love with her. However, Laoghaire was not stoked to see Claire back from "the dead," and decided the only way she'd let Jamie out of their marriage was if he agreed to pay a handsome alimony.
Enter young Ian (John Bell), who was brave enough to volunteer to swim to the island where Jamie escaped to when he was imprisoned at Ardsmuir and found a small treasure (so he did lie to John William Grey, sigh). The treasure was intended to pay Laoghaire and give Jamie and Claire a real chance at having a life together. Unfortunately, Ian was kidnapped on his way back to Jamie and Claire and now our star-crossed lovers must set off on a sea voyage to return Jamie's youngest nephew back to his parents.
TV Guide caught up with John Bell to discuss how his character got into such a mess and what it'll mean for the rest of the season going forward.
One of the things that's most enjoyable about the episodes that you've been in is Ian and Fergus' relationship, but we didn't really get to see that develop since we were following Jamie this season. Can you talk about how close Ian and Fergus really are and why?
Bell: They are obviously very close friends. They do business together. They live in Edinburgh together. They are always hanging out down in the pub. Ian's view of Fergus is that he's this kind of like ladies' man. He's charming. He's quite good looking. It's like, "Okay, I want to hear what your advice is to me," so I think Ian always has an ear out for Fergus. I think Fergus likes to give advice and help out his fellow family. We are, after all, family at the same time.
Ian grew up with Jamie mostly out of the picture, but we can see he obviously worships his uncle. What is it about Jamie that makes him want to follow Jamie around "like a pup"?
Bell: Apart from Jamie being the King of Men, I think Ian absolutely loves his uncle. There's love there because they're family. It's the fact that he sees his uncle going about, working hard for himself, making a legit business but still has that sense of adventure where he's smuggling his wine. I think Jamie lets him off with a lot. He's not his dad. He's his uncle, the fun uncle. He lets young Ian hang out in a brothel. He lets him bargain for brandy. Ian must feel like such an adult because Jamie puts all of this pressure on him but young Ian takes it and makes it work. Ian is absolutely in love with [Jamie] because he respects Ian, not in the way his parents respect him.
He's also one of the few people to accept that Claire is back with no hesitation except her role in his life. Why is he so willing to do that?
Bell: He's never met Claire. He's only grown up with the stories of Claire, of The White Woman, The White Witch. He probably thinks she's a little bit magical. When he first meets her and she's sitting on the bed and he just pops his head in, he immediately likes her. He doesn't want to upset her too much by questioning too much about her story or anything, just, "Okay, I believe you. I think you're a fairy but I'll leave it at that."
Ian is willing to do whatever Jamie and Claire ask him to do. Is he ever afraid of the danger, especially after the fire at the printshop?
Bell: Absolutely! I think he is afraid. Anybody would be, but he he deals with it. He takes strength from his uncle and what he's been through. He talks to himself and goes, "You know what? I can do this." I don't think he's afraid to the point where he's paralyzed with fear but he's certainly still got trepidations. He's still a young man.
This episode ends with a huge cliffhanger with Ian being taken by these people — we don't know who they are yet. What can you tease about what his kidnapping is going to mean as we head into the rest of the season?
Bell: Young Ian is the catalyst for it all as you see. What I can tease is that he's going to somebody. Somebody has plans for him and those plans aren't good plans. He's in a lot of trouble when he arrives at his location. You won't hear from him so we'll see who' got him in the end, but it's not looking pretty, that's for sure.
Outlander continues Sundays at 8/7c on Starz.