but I will try for the sake of this blog. If you have spent any time following me on Twitter, or talk to me in real life, you will know I have a pretty visceral reaction to Stephen Bonnet. I HATE him. Like HATE HATE HATE him.
Yeah, I know. He is a fictional character. When he existed only on the pages of Diana Gabaldon‘s books. I hated him there too BUT I had more control over him. Diana could describe him as handsome as she wanted. For me…in my brain…in order to accept this man as the evil he was…that physical attraction couldn’t exist. That would be WRONG. So…good old Stevie BonBon had one eye on scan and one eye on lock, big ole skin tags plaguing his face and I gave him lips like a fish. For me, that was enough to set him off the hot scale and into icksville.
Then, Ed Speleers was cast. Ed beautiful Speleers. Gorgeous, delightful, handsome in every way. Like many others, I knew him from Downton Abbey. I saw how good he was at playing dickish but delightful…I felt this just wasn’t gonna be good for me.
I was right. He WAS delicious and it tore me up. In my opinion, the worst kind of evil is the kind that seduces and charms you in one moment and destroys you in the next. It causes you to trust, makes you feel sorry for it, which makes you drop your guard. Evil like that does it solely and completely to take advantage to get what it wants. The end result is for their gain. Any loss someone else may have suffered means nothing to them, in fact, they barely notice the damage they have done. They only care they’ve won.
What I found difficult about watching Season 4 unfold the way it did, was the way Stephen Bonnet just sailed through being scum. Everyone was looking to blame someone for the miscommunication, the lies and the secrets yet…the person, smack dab in the center of ALL of it…was the silver-tongued devil that committed theft, murder and rape. He sat in the corner flipping coins betwixt his scungy fingers with that slimy grin on his face while the world burned around him.
He was the piece of shit that threw the match and everyone watched him do it. Yet, they all screamed at the person that built the house, they blamed the one who made the matches and they got mad at the hay that became the kindling. They even had the audacity to shame the person that was trapped in the fire, burned and scarred the worst. Those in the story got mad at themselves for lending him the matchbox and some pretended the fire wasn’t even burning around them. The whole thing made my head want to explode and knowing I sound like a drama llama, made my heart hurt a little too.
There was ONE person who deserved the blame, anger and hostility. The one that manipulated, murdered and raped. Full stop.
This is why I burn with the hate of a thousand suns for the likes of that sunnuvaBonnet. It is the Halo Effect. These types are everywhere. Disarming people with their smiles, leading people with fear and getting away with being the worst kind of human because they don’t look like a bad guy. Think of the Brock Turners of society, the Ted Bundys…how many “Oh, he’s too good looking, he couldn’t possibly be bad?” people in the world that keep getting free passes because they don’t fit what society thinks a bad guy looks like.
I have written a story here 3 times. Deleted it 3 times and it will stay deleted. I don’t need to share it for us to know that these people don’t just exist between the pages of books or in front of cameras on TV shows. To different extents, of course, but they are real and exist in our lives. They walk around believing they can say and do whatever they choose with no consequences simply because they want to. They see it as their right to get what they want no matter who or what gets in their way. This is why I believe this character ticks all the boxes of horrible, evil, no good sunnuvabitch for me. Watch this space for a blog comparing ‘Outlander Villians’. My brain kept going there while writing this so I figured I might as well do one.
Every time that sunnuvaBonnet appeared on screen, my husband would side-eye me, waiting. He knew it was coming and every time I TRIED…I tried so hard not to do it but I couldn’t, I would snap and spill “Oh My GAWD! I hate THAT guy! I hate him SO SO SO SO MUCH!!!” I had to say it, I had to let it out. Every. Damn. Time. Hubby would chuckle at me and shake his head but I found I couldn’t focus on what was happening on screen until I verbalized my hostility. I know. I know. I have issues. At least I admit it.
At first, like I said, I was concerned with the casting of Ed Speleers because he is so incredibly beautiful and that really messed with my head. I figured I would never be able to enjoy him in any other production as I would always see him as Bonnet or I would always see Bonnet as this attractive guy and it would cause me even more animosity towards him. That would be very very dark and not at all healthy.
I am happy to report that somehow Ed morphed his sweet dimpled face into a darker version of itself. I believe I will be able to watch him in other things and see him in the real world without connecting him with Bonnet’s pure evil.
By the time the episode rolled around that Brianna confronted him, that transition was completed in my mind. His appearance wasn’t beautiful. I realized that he looked more like I felt about him – if that makes sense. I wasn’t seeing the striking eyes or chiselled features. I was seeing the ugliness that was inside of him and again, I thank Ed Speleers for that. Unlike my imagination having to create these traits for book Bonnet, Ed’s powerful performance with sunnuvaBonnet created that hideousness that seeped from the inside to manifest itself on the outside. Of course, it didn’t make the character anymore tolerable for me but, it did help me. It helped me because I didn’t have to feel that battle of being attracted to a person that was a complete piece of human garbage.
Ed, on the other hand. RAWR.
Until next time,
Sher (ABOotlander founder)
Ed Speleers is a fantastic actor. He really elevated Season 4 for me, which is a weird thing to say about such a despicable character. He made the cast better, particularly Sophie as Brianna. My favourites, though, were the scenes with Roger. To see those two actors face off was fabulous. Speleer’s portrayal of Bonnet was spot-on. As much as I hated the character in the book, Speleer definitely made him come alive more for me. Which is a good/bad thing. What I’m trying to say, is that I agree with what you’ve written here! 🙂
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I totally understand! 😁
Casting of Ed was genius! Will any of us book readers ever think of Bonnet without that face? simian walk? Those expressions? Would honestly have liked to seen him and Brianna on the ship, not in pub. Thanks for your thoughts.
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Thank you for reading. Im not sure I could have taken watching Bree go from the ship in that condition *shudder*
Really articulate and illuminating summation of your feelings, shared by a lot of us. On a side note, and obviously just my personal opinion, but I feel that your frequent GIFs within the text diminishes the power of your words. I find them very distracting, as if you literally need a break from your thoughts. For me I feel as they’re a migraine-triggering video. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, they are the highlight of my post-Outlander viewing.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read. Im sorry you find the GIFs so distracting. I use them to pop in my personality and add some deserved lightness. I have been using them since I started the blog many years ago, I will continue to do so. They aren’t for everyone but they are me 😀