‘Outlander’s’ brutal finale made Sam Heughan rethink one of his own key scenes

Sam Heughan in "Outlander."
Sam Heughan in “Outlander.”
(Aimee Spinks/Starz)

In the latest episode of The Times’ new TV podcast, “Can’t Stop Watching,” host and staff writer Yvonne Villarreal asks “Outlander” heartthrob Sam Heughan about the Starz drama’s brutal Season 5 finale, in which Claire (Caitriona Balfe), his character Jamie’s great love, is kidnapped and raped:

“It’s such a powerful and difficult subject. We all wanted to get it right. The times have changed. I think the show has changed. Jamie gets raped in Season 1, and it was very graphic. Now, I don’t know if I would have done that. But it is what it is, and I think at that time we felt it was the right thing to do. This time, I think very cleverly, the writers have done something different. I think it’s a really emotional and very hard-to-watch episode, but it’s stylized. We were very involved in that, myself and Caitriona ... We really tried to find the right tone to it and make it less about the brutality and more about Claire trying to find some comfort and escapism in her mind during this trauma, and she of course goes back to Jamie and tries to imagine a world with him.”

Heughan also talks about learning the Highland Fling, Jamie’s glasses becoming fodder for memes and the reality TV show he’s been watching in self-quarantine. Listen to the entire conversation in Episode 4 of “Can’t Stop Watching” — and be sure to listen to previous interviews with Milo Ventimiglia, Mj Rodriguez and David Harbour wherever you get your podcasts.