Post ‘Outlander’ Episode 409 “The Birds & the Bees” Interview Round-Up

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Below are excerpts from new interviews and videos with Maril Davis, Sophie Skelton, Sma Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, and Richard Rankin about Outlander episode 409, “The Birds & the Bees”  Be sure to click on the links to read the full interviews. Since these posts/interviews follow the latest episode, beware of spoilers and there may be a discussion about storylines in future episodes.

SYFY Wire: WATCH: OUTLANDER’S RICHARD RANKIN GETS THRASHED IN ‘THE BIRDS AND THE BEES’

THR: ‘Outlander’ EP on the Emotional Roller Coaster of “The Birds & the Bees”

“We very much wanted to try to keep it as close to the book as we possibly could,” Outlander executive producer Maril Davis tells The Hollywood Reporter of Jamie and Bree’s first meeting. “But obviously we can’t do the exact replica every time. This one was important to us because we wanted to see it. For the book fans in the [writers’] room on staff, we wanted to see that moment, and we’ve been waiting for it. It was really exciting for us, and [writers] Matt Roberts and Toni Graphia did such a nice job with this scene because there is just so much emotion with how Sam and Sophie played it.”

“It’s two people that have so many expectations for seeing each other,” Davis says. “Certainly for Jamie, because ever since Claire came back, he found out she survived, and not only that, but their child survived and it’s a girl! So we see his excitement but also the bittersweet moment of, ‘Wow, how did she turn into this beautiful woman and I didn’t get to see any of it?’

“It’s two people that have so many expectations for seeing each other,” Davis says. “Certainly for Jamie, because ever since Claire came back, he found out she survived, and not only that, but their child survived and it’s a girl! So we see his excitement but also the bittersweet moment of, ‘Wow, how did she turn into this beautiful woman and I didn’t get to see any of it?’

Variety: ‘Outlander’ Producer on Importance of Portraying On-Screen Father-Daughter Reunion as in the Novels

“You always want to do something a little different in the TV show to give the fans who know the books and love the books something unexpected sometimes,” executive producer Maril Davis tells Variety. “But this scene, in particular, was something we wanted to keep in the realm of that book scene because we were all excited to see it come to life.”

TV GuideOutlander Stars Break Down Brianna and Jamie’s ‘Bittersweet’ Meeting

ParadeExclusive Interview and Photos: Outlander‘s Sophie Skelton on Brianna and Jamie’s First Meeting, Roger and Bonnet 

“It’s very bittersweet because, obviously, it’s coming off the back of some very fresh trauma for Brianna,” Skelton tells Parade.com in this exclusive interview. “Finding Jamie is as epic as you would want that moment and that reunion, if you like, even though they haven’t met before, to be, but it is a little bit tainted for Brianna.”

“She knows if she’s found Jamie then, hopefully, she’s found Claire. So, in that moment for Bree, it’s just relief, more than anything,” Skelton says. “Obviously, meeting Jamie is incredible and she’s intrigued. We did play it in a sort of a sixth-sense recognition in terms of he’s her blood, biological father and there’s an unspoken connection, chemistry there, but I do think in that moment she just needs a friendly face more than anything else.”

“Ed is amazing,” Skelton says of the actor playing the pirate. “He really does create this vicious character but at the same time, the one thing that’s so intriguing about Bonnet and that’s different to the previous bad guy — Black Jack Randall — is that he can be very charming. Bonnet is like flies to a fly trap. He lures you in and then bites. He massively affects all the characters. He not only affects everybody, but there is also an aftermath and the awkward effects of that. He’s a ripple effect.”

VultureOutlander’s Sophie Skelton on Brianna’s Big Reunion and Even Bigger Trauma

This episode must have been challenging to film: Bree has to continue on her journey to find her parents, but we also have to see moments where we feel the pain of what she’s just experienced. How did you approach her mind-set?

It was actually quite a big thing to think about. Because I know the scene where Brianna meets Jamie is quite a pivotal scene in the book and a quite anticipated scene for the book fans. But I think how it reads on paper and how it plays out onscreen is slightly different. Obviously that [previous] night Brianna’s been such a roller coaster of emotions. She had this beautiful, perfect evening with Roger, she’s been handfast, and then everything did a complete 180 flip. So I wanted to play it more that it’s just sort of a relief finding Jamie. He accepts her in a way that Laoghaire puts in her head that he wouldn’t.

I wanted to make sure it looks as if she had just found her mother and a safe place, as opposed to it being this wonderful reunion. There still is that element, but I think we played it a little bit more thickly in this season than in the books that Bree is a young woman and this man really is a stranger. I know they share blood, but she doesn’t know him. And I think what’s nice about this season, from that time on, we really see them trying to form this bond as opposed to it just being sort of an instantaneous click.

It felt significant that Bree let Jamie touch her face after we saw her, understandably, not want Lizzie to touch her after the assault. As if in that moment, she viewed Jamie as a protective father figure.

Definitely. I think that night [of the attack], it would be almost a reflex. It’s like, “Please just nobody touch me.” But at the beginning of episode nine, when Brianna’s coming down the stairs in the morning, I had asked that there be people milling around so that we could see Bree flinching from people, especially from men. But I think with Jamie, she knows that she can trust him. She knows that she’s safe now. And also, I do think in that moment she’s kind of numb from anything anyway. In that moment, it’s just the wow of meeting her father, and for a brief second, the rape kind of fades away and it’s more just about her and Jamie in that moment. That’s where that [touch] comes from. And then I think the rape comes back into mind when she cries, and feels the relief, and falls into his arms.

Town & Country: Outlander‘s Sophie Skelton Talks About Brianna’s Emotional Reunion with Claire and Jamie

One thing I found so moving about this episode was how Lizzie cared for Brianna. Outlander doesn’t have so many female friendships. Tell me about their relationship.

That was something that we really wanted to lay on thickly, how much mutual respect Bree and Lizzie have for each other. They’ve made Lizzie slightly older than she is in the books, and I think it’s nice to show these two women as the same age but from different times. One thing I wanted to make sure that I was very careful of is that I never wanted it to look as if Bree was taking advantage [of Lizzie].

One thing I found so moving about this episode was how Lizzie cared for Brianna. Outlander doesn’t have so many female friendships. Tell me about their relationship.

That was something that we really wanted to lay on thickly, how much mutual respect Bree and Lizzie have for each other. They’ve made Lizzie slightly older than she is in the books, and I think it’s nice to show these two women as the same age but from different times. One thing I wanted to make sure that I was very careful of is that I never wanted it to look as if Bree was taking advantage [of Lizzie].

Bustle: Brianna’s Pregnancy On ‘Outlander’ Will Lead To Some Timely Conversations About Abortion, According To Sophie Skelton

This feeling is only exacerbated by Brianna’s realization that she is pregnant, and she’s unsure whether her child is a product of her intimate, loving coupling with Roger, or the violation by Bonnet. “There is that feeling too of just almost feeling like this foreign thing is inside of you, you know, it’s not a beautiful moment where you find out a child you’ve been hoping for is inside of you,” Skelton says of Brianna’s reaction to her pregnancy. “It’s actually this moment where you feel like there’s something in me that you don’t want there and doesn’t belong to her, and almost makes her feel sick all the time and a little bit foreign from herself in a way.”

It’s the idea that Bonnet may have left her with a permanent reminder of his assault on her body that leads Claire to broach the subject of abortion with Bree in a future episode, a conversation that Skelton believes will spark “an interesting sort of debate.” And the question of abortion in Brianna’s case — as it is for so many women — is one of both physical and emotional trauma.

Sources all linked in this post.