'Outlander': Is new villain Stephen Bonnet more vicious and dangerous than despicable Black Jack Randall?
In 'Outlander,' the worst villain ranked is Black Jack Randall but seeing the brutality of Stephen Bonnet in season four's premiere itself, we wonder how bad he can really get
The season four premiere of Starz's hit time-traveling drama 'Outlander', wastes no time to introduce the fans to the newest villain of the show. Just when you thought the beloved couple, Claire and Jamie Fraser were done with witches and the despicable Jack Randall and successfully sailed to the safer shores of America, we are introduced to Stephen Bonnet, who may be the deadliest villain so far.
Why? Because he initially appeared to be meek and kind, quickly winning Claire's empathy, and making convincing promises, only to shatter, raid and murder the people who helped him escape.
The role played by Ed Speleers, who you may recall as the protagonist of the 2006 fantasy film 'Eragon', serves as a reminder that times have changed and he is no longer is the innocent farmboy grooming a dragon. The 30-year-old actor now plays a terrifying pirate/smuggler named Stephen Bonnet and even though his ruthless slaughter seems to be the end of his brutality, it only is the beginning.
Bonnet is the main reason why we know that life will not be easy for the Frasers and their 'American Dream' is bound to be an 'American Nightmare' as long as he is there.
Jamie and Claire Fraser first meet Bonnet as they leave Charleston, South Carolina, after Gavin Hayes, Jamie's former comrade, is hanged for murder. Bonnet, who is supposed to meet a similar fate at the gallows, manages to flee the execution and takes refuge in Jamie and Claire's wagon. When the Frasers discover him hiding, the pirate manages to win over their compassion by mentioning the name of Hayes.
"I won't bother you again. You have my word," Bonnet tells them, assuring that he only needs help to cross the border and hide from the Redcoats (English). The Frasers agree and Claire even tends to his wounds. Big mistake!
When Jamie, Claire, Lesley and Ian, are en route to the River Run plantation owned by Jamie's aunt Jocasta, they're invaded by pirates led by none other than Bonnet. He slits Lesley's throat and steals the wedding ring given to Claire by Jamie. He even manages to take all the Frasers' wealth including the jewels they'd just earned from selling Claire's ruby. This disturbing scene rages on in the backdrop of a soothing rendition of Ray Charles' version of 'America The Beautiful', rather ironically.
'Outlander' is based on Diana Gabaldon's book series of the same name and season four is no different. That is why the readers know more than the viewers that Bonnet's brutal behavior is only the beginning.
Prior to Bonnet, in the last three seasons of 'Outlander', the worst villain ranked has been Black Jack Randall, met in the first season itself, who also qualifies to be the most despicable television villains of all time. So fans are questioning how bad can Bonnet get to top Randall. Do you recall how he tried to rape Claire as soon as he saw her? Even though he looked like Claire's husband, Frank, he was nothing like him and his violence was unparalleled to anything we have seen on TV.
But with Bonnet, there's an unexpected darkness. Caitriona Balfe, who plays Claire, told Cinema Blend about the striking difference between the two villains — While Jack had perversion and a lineage with Frank, Bonnet is much more manipulative and is an opportunist.
"What drives Bonnet is a kind of greed and those kinds of things, which is just a very different kind," she said.
Sam Heughan simply noted Bonnet as "another version of a psychopath or sociopath". To the Hollywood Reporter, the Scottish actor affirmed that "people are going to hate him".
"He's so charming, so you kind of like him, but you find out later down the line that he does some really terrible things. He's a great new villain," he added.
With what we have seen in the season premiere, we can only expect the worst from Stephen Bonnet, and since Jack Randall is gone, the new villain can at best top him, if not replace him.