Outlander' Season 2: Graham McTavish On Dougal's 'Je Suis Prest' Return!
By Jolie Lash of Access Hollywood
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Dougal MacKenzie wasn't about to let a neutrality agreement his brother signed keep him out of fighting for his beloved Scotland, and so he joined up with Jamie Fraser's men in Saturday night's "Outlander."
And, almost immediately in Season 2's Episode 9 – "Je Suis Prest" – there was conflict between uncle and nephew as Dougal (Graham McTavish) tried to assert his authority, from suggesting they join up with Prince Charles Stuart's troops right away, to crashing Jamie and Murtagh's training exercises by leading a practice Highland charge with Rupert and Angus.
Throughout the episode, Jamie (Sam Heughan) stood up to Dougal, and although there were a number of tense moments between the two men, his uncle backed down.
Grant O'Rourke as Rupert MacKenzie, Graham McTavish as Dougal MacKenzie and Stephen Walters as Angus Mhor in 'Outlander' Season 2, Episode 9 '-- 'Je Suis Prest' (Starz)
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Although most of the men preparing to fight had connections to Jamie, it wasn't a sort of Highland hierarchy that was behind Dougal's decision to follow Jamie's orders and not push things more than he did, despite his hopes for a higher position in leadership.
"I don't think it's so much it's about the rules of the Highlands, it's more a practicality on Dougal's part," Graham told Access Hollywood. "His goal is to ensure a successful rebellion against the British and if that means just sucking it up a little bit and being deferential to Jamie for the time being, then he's absolutely prepared to do that because the overarching goal is to achieve... not just Scottish independence, but the bringing back of the rightful king to the throne. So, that's what's motivating him. I don't think he likes it. I definitely don't think that he believes that Jamie's particularly up for the job, but he's prepared to put up with it."
PHOTOS: 'Outlander' Season 2: Scenes From Episode 9 -- 'Je Suis Prest'
And he did put up with it, but not before trying to blackmail Claire into urging her husband to make him an equal. As Claire boiled some herbs in a tent alone, Dougal came up to her and reminded Lady Broch Tuarach about her Season 1 bargain to marry him if Jamie didn't make it out of Wentworth prison (she got the use of his men, including Rupert and Angus, in the Season 1 exchange and successfully broke Jamie out).
Claire quickly crushed Dougal's blackmail plan by telling him her husband was aware of the one-time bargain. She went on to tell Dougal what she thought of him, calling him a narcissist and telling him he loved his own reflection.
Filming Dougal's rebuttal, where he admitted to wanting glory, but declared his love of Scotland above all else, including his own life, was a speech Graham enjoyed sinking his teeth into as an actor.
"That scene was definitely one that stands out for me," Graham said.
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"What I hope comes across in that scene is you know, he's not stupid. He knows who he is; he knows what she's saying, of course. He's self-aware, but at the same time, he doesn't want her to get away with thinking that he's just that, that there is a lot more to me than that vanity and manipulation and all of the negative qualities that you could certainly pin on Dougal's character, and he wants to make it clear to her that, 'Yeah, you can have a go at me and you can tell me that I'm vain and I'm totally willing to accept it, but don't for a minute think that I wouldn't give my life for my country.' And I think that really tells the audience hopefully who Dougal is and it's something that I really wanted to get across," Graham continued. "Because the danger is he could be seen as just a villain, and he's very much not in my view a villain."
"Outlander" continues Saturdays at 9 PM ET/PT on Starz.
-- Jolie Lash
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