Dougal MacKenzie wasn’t about to let a
neutrality agreement his brother signed keep him out of fighting for his
beloved Scotland, and so he joined up with Jamie Fraser’s men in Saturday
And, almost immediately in Season 2’s
Episode 9 – “Je Suis Prest” – there was conflict between uncle and nephew
as Dougal (Graham McTavish) tried to assert his authority, from suggesting
they join up with Prince Charles Stuart’s troops right away, to crashing Jamie
and Murtagh’s training exercises by leading a practice Highland charge with
Rupert and Angus.
Throughout the episode, Jamie (Sam Heughan) stood up to
Dougal, and although there were a number of tense moments between the two men, his uncle backed
Although most of the men preparing to fight
had connections to Jamie, it wasn’t a sort of Highland hierarchy that was
behind Dougal’s decision to follow Jamie’s orders and not push things more than
he did, despite his hopes for a higher position in leadership.
“I don’t think it’s so much it’s about
the rules of the Highlands, it’s more a practicality on Dougal’s part,”
Graham told Access Hollywood. “His goal is to ensure a successful rebellion against
the British and if that means just sucking it up a little bit and being
deferential to Jamie for the time being, then he’s absolutely prepared to do
that because the overarching goal is to achieve… not just Scottish independence, but the bringing back of the rightful
king to the throne. So, that’s what’s motivating him. I don’t think he likes
it. I definitely don’t think that he believes that Jamie’s particularly up for
the job, but he’s prepared to put up with it.”
And he did put up with it, but not before
trying to blackmail Claire into urging her husband to make him an equal. As
Claire boiled some herbs in a tent alone, Dougal came up to her and reminded Lady Broch Tuarach about her Season 1 bargain to marry him if Jamie didn’t make it
out of Wentworth prison (she got the use of his men, including Rupert and Angus, in the Season 1 exchange and successfully broke Jamie out).
quickly crushed Dougal’s blackmail plan by telling him her husband was aware of
the one-time bargain. She went on to tell Dougal what she thought of him,
calling him a narcissist and telling him he loved his own reflection.
Dougal’s rebuttal, where he admitted to wanting glory, but declared his love of
Scotland above all else, including his own life, was a speech Graham enjoyed
sinking his teeth into as an actor.
“That scene was definitely one that
stands out for me,” Graham said.
“What I hope comes across in that scene is you know, he’s not stupid. He knows who he is; he knows what she’s saying, of course. He’s self-aware, but at the same time, he doesn’t want her to get away with thinking that he’s just that, that there is a lot more to me than that vanity and manipulation and all of the negative qualities that you could certainly pin on Dougal’s character, and he wants to make it clear to her that, ‘Yeah, you can have a go at me and you can tell me that I’m vain and I’m totally willing to accept it, but don’t for a minute think that I wouldn’t give my life for my country.’ And I think that really tells the audience hopefully who Dougal is and it’s something that I really wanted to get across,” Graham continued. “Because the danger is he could be seen as just a villain, and he’s very much not in my view a villain.”
“Outlander” continues Saturdays at 9 PM ET/PT on Starz.
— Jolie Lash
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