Spoiler alert: Do not read if you haven’t seen the season 5 finale of “Outlander”.
Caitriona Balfe has spoken about that horrific kidnapping scene in Sunday’s “Outlander” season 5 finale.
In the hard-hitting episode, her character Claire Fraser is kidnapped, beaten, and raped by numerous men who thought she was a bad influence on their wives due to her headstrong nature.
She’s eventually saved by Jamie (Sam Heughan) and her family.
Balfe told Harper’s Bazaar of shooting such a brutal scene, “It is a really hard line that we have to tread. Obviously, we try to stick as faithfully to the books as possible, and [rape] is something that creeps up quite often in Diana’s [Gabaldon] novels.
“When you have eight or nine books out in the span of 20 years, it probably doesn’t feel like there’s as much, but when you’re compressing all of that down for TV, it becomes quite difficult. We can only try to do it as respectfully and as, I suppose, empoweringly as we can.”
Bosses considered shooting the entire incident off-screen and just showing the aftermath, but Balfe insisted: “I felt that if we’re going to do it at all, we have to make it have a point, and have it say something about the experience that can maybe add something positive to the conversation.”
During the rape, Claire tries to escape to a happier place, with the scene intercutting flash-forwards to an imaginary ’60s scene, showing her, Jamie and her family having Thanksgiving dinner.
Claire didn’t have a lot of dialogue in the scene, telling the publication: “I felt it was really important that the only time we hear her speak is to either say ‘no,’ because this is what she would be saying in real time, or calling out for Jamie. Those are the only two times you hear Claire say anything during this whole disassociate dream state. She never participates in the conversation.”
Balfe added in an interview with Elle, “She wants to be superwoman and to be able to say that this is not going to break her, but the whole point is that she doesn’t really have control.
“This is something that’s going to take her own patience and the patience and love of her family to get her through this.”
Watch episodes of “Outlander” on the W Network and take a look behind-the-scenes of the season 5 finale in the clip below.