After the emotional roller coaster of Outlander episode 7×02, we sit down to chat with Mark Lewis Jones to say goodbye to him as he deserves while we review the lights and shadows of Tom Christie. Ready?
Here we go!
An Unwanted Confession of Love in Outlander Season 7
Tom is a man whose religion is an integral part of his life. So it’s amazing that he notices Claire, of all people.
She is a woman ahead of her time, strong and independent, and she has no hesitation in making her opinion known and raising her voice. Ultimately, Claire is everything Tom despises. However, in Outlander season 7 we find out that Tom loves her. How is it even possible?
Mark Lewis Jones shared with us that he doesn’t think Tom has “any control over it. It’s not a choice he makes. I think his feelings for Claire are as much of a surprise to him, as anyone. And I think it starts straight away when he first meets her in season 6 and it builds up to this point in season 7. Claire represents everything he doesn’t like in women when we first meet Tom, and yet despite that, his feelings that he has absolutely no control over whatsoever, are growing within him and he fights against it.”
“Tom tries to not have those feelings and tries to push them away like he does with everything. And tries to kind of protect himself with his pious shield from having those feelings, and Tom cannot help himself. And when he’s left alone with Claire on the ship, in that very small base, in his moment of sacrifice, he finally has to reveal what his true feelings are. So it’s not a choice Tom makes because you can’t choose the best you fall in love with,” Mark Lewis added.
Apart from the love he feels for Claire, the other character that marks the history and destiny of Tom Christie is his daughter Malva. In the latest episode of Outlander season 7, we find out that she lived through hell at the hands of her own brother.
Tom was aware of what was going on but decided to focus on keeping the family secret instead of trying to help Malva. Mark Lewis Jones discussed with us the reasons for this decision. For him, one of the reasons that lead Tom not to protect Malva, as a father should do, is that he knows that Malva is not “Tom’s actual biological daughter” and is aware that “there are so many skeletons in the Christie cupboard.”
Mark Lewis confesses that “it’s difficult for Tom because he wants to keep up that illusion of being a happy family when, in reality, it’s a deeply defective family. And I think it’s difficult for us to understand him. Certainly is difficult for me to understand his religion, how he feels about God as a living entity, and how he feels about heaven and hell as real places.”
“Malva reminds him so much of his wife. That’s the real problem Tom has. Every time he sees Malva, every time he sees her behaving in such a way, it takes him back to his wife and the feelings he had, he felt how hurt he was. And Malva just brings all that back up in him. So his relationship with Malva, even though he’s trying to be a true father — and strict one — he can’t help the fact that this person is bringing so many awful echoes from the past,” Mark Lewis shared.
Grudgingly Respect in Outlander Season 7
After looking at Tom’s complicated relationship with Claire and Malva, we focus on the other difficult relationship in Tom’s life: Jamie. In the Outlander season 7 premiere, Tom confesses to Jamie his feelings for Claire. However, this is the icing on the cake of a closeness forced by circumstances between the two.
Tom respects Jamie, albeit grudgingly, but at some point, he envies him too. And not just for Claire, but for what he has, for what he got, for his family and who he is.
Mark Lewis Jones thinks that “when Tom first meets Jamie at Ardsmuir they were on the same level. Then he remade him and sees what Jamie has. He has this beautiful wife in this incredible home, he lives in this beautiful place, everybody myers him, and he’s the hero. And I think that Tom is a jealous person so he feels inferior. That’s why Tom tries to kind of stamp his mark on things like building the Church. But then we get to the point where Jamie and Claire lose everything.”
“[But, at the end], the thing that is most important to Tom in the world about Jamie is to have his respect. And we get to that point. That means the world to Tom, to have his respect and to have felt like he can offer something to Jamie, that is, a solution to [Jamie & Claire] problem,” he shared.
“Jamie accepts that because he sees it’s a very good idea. There’s no alternative. So Tom gets to the point where he gains Jamie’s genuine respect. There are so many dark bits of Tom’s history that he’s ashamed of, and his children in a way represent that. So to be liberated from that and go on this journey as player’s protector and be able to offer Jamie his life is everything for him,” Mark Lewis confessed.
Tom Christie’s Lights and Shadows in Outlander Season 7
To say goodbye to his character, Mark Lewis Jones shared with us what it meant to play Tom Christie these past two seasons of Outlander.
Mark confesses that it “has been fantastic to play. Any character that has this kind of enigmatic quality where you don’t quite know what’s gonna happen next with them, what they’re thinking or feeling is a challenge. But with Tom is a constant kind of reveal and peeling away of an onion. So you constantly get to see new bits of this character. And, as an actor, those characters which you start not being liked very much are the best to play.”
“I don’t think Tom was anyone’s favorite character, and the way he treated Claire, he spoke to people, the way he treated his children, and the way he was towards people — very cold, very defensive, with this kind of pious shield around him to have all that stripped away — is fantastic. It’s lovely to do that. The writers give us that, and it’s my job to just deliver it,” Mark Lewis ended.
Talking with Mark Lewis Jones and getting his perspective on the character, the way he’s able to see his good and bad points was fantastic. We hope to see him again soon whether it’s Outlander or any other project.