In Sunday’s episode of Outlander, a defeated Roger Wakefield (Richard Rankin) has an emotional breakdown in captivity and then gives up an opportunity to escape the Mohawk by attempting to save Father Alexandre. Here, Rankin reflects on his most emotional scene to date and explains why Roger behaved a lot like Claire in that final scene.
Entertainment Weekly Talk about that speech in the hut. What is going on with Roger in that very moment?
Richard Rankin There are a lot of parallels running. Roger is coming to a realization of himself through that. There is a slight lack of direction in the speech he gives Father Alexandre. That’s what I like about it. He’s discovering things for the first time about himself so even as he’s saying this to Father, he’s saying it for the first time for himself. He catches himself off guard a wee bit. He catches himself unaware. He’s finding out a lot about himself and what he’s gone through. As much as he says he’s been an idiot, Roger would do the same thing again. He would throw himself into the fray again for people who are in trouble and people who are in any sort of pain and danger. Roger will be the first to put himself in front of harm’s way. As much as he’s reflecting on everything the circumstances that brought him, there’s a lot between the lines. I was very grateful for that whole speech. The character is really moving forward. He’s taking a step forward as a different person.
Why oh why did Roger go back to the Mohawk village after escaping? Why didn’t he just save himself?
He cannot! That’s what I love about Roger. He’s giving this whole speech about being an idiot, and all the risks he’s taken, how it had a domino affect and how it brought him to this horrible situation. Yet there he is, moments after having given that speech. You’re thinking, don’t be an idiot! If you go back and try to do something, there’s going to be consequences! Listen to your own advice! Look out for No. 1! He’s in a situation to prove that he’s going to be all that. He told Father Alexandre that he’s going to be and he doesn’t do it. He runs back! He can’t stand it. He is such a compassionate man of integrity and justice, he has to go back and do something. He doesn’t even know what he’s going to do. He has to go and try to do something. It’s like Claire in some respects. In season 1 and 2, when she was presented with something, she could either be quiet and turn a blind eye or do something and find herself in real trouble. She always did something and found herself in real trouble. You were thinking, why are you doing that? Roger does it so much. It’s one of these traits in his character that will never go away.
For more on what the producers call “Roger’s idiot speech,” tune in at 1 p.m. ET on Monday for a fresh edition of Outlander Live! on EW Radio, Sirius XM 105. We talk to Executive Producer Toni Graphia!
Outlander airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on Starz.
- ‘Outlander’: See the first Fraser family portrait
- ‘Outlander’ stars Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin reflect on heartbreaking scene
- Why Outlander issued a warning before Sunday’s episode