As always, SPOILERS, for non book readers. Read at your own risk.
In the opening of Season 3, we lost, thankfully, our arch villain Black Jack Randall, who plagued the Frasers and those around them. Played well by Tobias Menzies, this villain made us all cringe and seethe, and take up arms against him. After BJR had supposedly been killed by cattle at the prison, only to reappear in France, at Versailles no less, in the presence of King Louie, it seemed there was no getting rid of him. There is no taking down a sinister evil villain, they just keep coming back. Until the Battle of Culloden we finally experience in Season 3’s The Battle Joined, where finally see Black Jack meets his end, as Claire warned him of the date, at Jaimie’s hands. And in some amazing cinematography not to be missed, we experience every tortured moment of our hero surviving that intense fight.
At long last, we are now heading into Season 4 and the end of Droughtlander. For those lucky enough to have attended NYCCC this last month, they were treated to a premier of episode 401 of the new season. For book readers, Drums of Autumn, the third book in the series by author Diana Gabaldon, shows us the New World of the American Colonies and sets the stage for Season 4. Jamie and Claire Fraser finally get a chance to settle down and create a home at Fraser’s Ridge, North Carolina. Build a homestead and community, and have a family around them. Along the way they will meet many new characters, and unfortunately any good drama cannot go without a villain. We find him in the character of Stephen Bonnet.
To take on the role of this Irish Outlaw and Pirate, we have another Downton Abbey Alumni, Ed Speleers, in the role of the sociopath extraordinaire, Stephen Bonnet. We first meet Bonnet when he reveals himself while the Frasers are burying a friend in the graveyard, one of the former prisoners at Ardsmuir Prison Gavin Hayes. Now we know that the series has taken a few different directions and we have already heard of some characters being changed, however we can expect that the writers of Outlander have included much of the terrible traits of this villain and may make him even more repulsive than BJR. He ingratiates himself into the Fraser’s family, traveling along with them and eventually betraying them in many ways that connect many of the characters. It’s not to be said that Bonnet does not have a hard life that shapes him into the dreaded new villain. Even Jaimie goes against his better judgement and helps him.
This role is a departure for Speleers who has played very likable, and flawed characters, including Downton Abbey’s James Kent, First Footman. In DA he plays a helpless flirt, and much of that character will reappear with Bonnet. However Bonnet will be a character that will leave us waiting for a just punishment, and we hope that the ending for Bonnet will very creatively be handled in the series. You’ll have a dram and rail at the screen again. It is not clear of course if we will only see him in Seas
on 4, as we learned with Murtagh, his fate could be dragged into another season if he is just that good at being so bad.
What are your thoughts? Book readers know Bonnet’s story in detail, however the series may change his immediate fate. Can this villain make it through to Season 5?
Tune in to Season 4 of Outlander on November 4, 2018 on Starz.