Summary: Based on the books by Diana Gabaldon. This is the story of Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe), a married wartime nurse from 1945 who is transported back to 1743 due to an anomaly that occurs in Scotland with her husband Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) on their honeymoon. When she arrives in 1743, she is instantly thrust into unchartered territory where her life is constantly threatened. The first person she meets is her husband’s ancestor, Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies), soon finding out that he is vile man and he lives up to his harsh reputation and then some. When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan), a valiant and young Scottish warrior, a relationship ensues that rips Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two different centuries.
The redcoats in this series pretty much do what ever they want. The high-ranking officers use their position to reek havoc on the Scottish. They’re untouchable because they hold the power. They are the “king’s men”. They kill who they want, they rape and they can steal for the fun of it. Nobody can question it because they’re the ones with the authority. The redcoats are represented through Jonathan Randall (Black Jack). He’s a sociopath through and through. If you thought Ramsay Bolton was bad, you haven’t seen anything. He makes the Bastard Of Bolton look like childsplay. He’s three times the sadist Ramsay is.
“Don’t play the worm with me. Jamie, I just want this to be a pleasant experience for us both.”
Jonathan ‘Black Jack’ Randall
Black Jack is vile to be around but he is a very interesting character. He enjoys killing and raping, male and female alike. There are villains that you love to hate or hate to love and then there is Black Jack. I don’t think I have met anyone who likes him and he has no redeeming character traits amidst his sociopathic activities like when he raped Claire early on the season and then Jaime in episode sixteen titled Wentworth Prison. Randall is so good to watch because of Tobias Menzies’ performance. You know an actor has done well when you want to physically cause injury to them but at the same time you don’t, because you want to see them act more.
In a nutshell, Jack represents imperialism as follows. The English look down their noses at the Scots for being Scottish and they see them as uncivilised. This is English pomposity at its finest. Also, the redcoats do what they want, when they want using their military status as a cover. This makes them untouchable so if a Scottish rebel kills or attacks one of them, a price will be agreed for their capture. The rebel will most likely be hanged. It’s all about control. The English monarchy wants to control all, and the army is at its strongest. Scotland is just one cog in a big imperial machine. They don’t hold as much political influence and have fewer resources so if one of them dies, it’s less of a blow than if a redcoat dies. It’s about sending a message.
Randall will stop at nothing to keep the common people in line whether that be mercilessly beating and raping the women to keep the men from rebelling or publicly whipping Jaime. If he can whip their liege lord to the brink of death, what will he do to them? The law is what he makes it and nobody he can stop him.
“Tell me, when you lie upon your wife and her hands trace the scars on your back, do you ever think of me?”
Jonathan ‘Black Jack’ Randall