The television series Outlander has had a difficult road to travel. It came with a pre-installed fan base who’d had images simmering in their minds for over two decades, with preconceived ideas of how the story would be told. The source material had a number of controversial scenes that would surely garner criticism and debate. Perhaps most difficult, what began as a touching, adventurous love story then veered into raw, gut-wrenching darkness. All these things—plus some poor pacing choices by the producers—led up to a highly volatile season finale that exploded in an uproar of emotions, attitudes, and widely disparate reviews.
“To Ransom a Man’s Soul” was not an easy episode to watch. I wondered if those who hadn’t read the books, who had been enchanted with delightful characters and gorgeous Scotland, would be turned off by the events of Wentworth Prison. The answer? Many have been. In fact, had I come into the episode without having read the book (which I started only after the mid-season finale), I might have been among them.