When Arch Bug swore vengeance on Ian in Friday’s Outlander, the threat was a real one — and Jamie’s nephew is well aware of the danger ahead, John Bell says.
Sure, Arch is an old man, and not known for his strength nor his skill with a weapon. But when Ian accidentally killed Arch’s wife, Murdina, in Episode 3, he unleashed a fury in the widower that is unlikely to lessen on its own.
Case in point: When Ian offered Arch the opportunity to murder him as retribution, Arch instead asked to kill Ian’s wolf, Rollo. When Ian balked, as Arch knew he would, the point was made: “When you’ve something worth taking, you’ll see me again,” the old man said. “That, I promise you.” (Read a full recap of the episode here.)
While we’re happy that Rollo is safe, we’re concerned about Ian, who is genuinely mourning his unintended kill and worrying about his loved ones in the aftermath. As Bell says, it’s not ground Ian has tread before.
“There’s something kind of new about this, right? This fear comes from his own actions,” he tells TVLine. “Here he as killed, accidentally, Murdina — someone who he loved. So his own guilt to do with that is wracking up inside of him.”
Bell points out that it’s not the act of taking a life that bothers his character; it’s that he inadvertently broke his own moral code, and that the dead person was someone he cared about.
“For Ian, he sees the world quite black-and-white,” he says. “There’s goodies, and there’s baddies. There’s people that should be killed. There’s people that shouldn’t be killed.” He laughs. “A lot fall into the kill Interviews.”
He adds that Hugh Ross’ portrayal of the grieving Arch “cuts to the core of Ian” in the moment that he threatens him at the funeral. “So even if it might seem that he’s not the most potentially dangerous adversary, there’s something about a man with nothing to lose that puts the fear of God in you.”
Outlander airs Fridays at 8/7c on Starz.