Outlander Season 5: Why the development of John Quincy Myers works so well

Outlander Season 5 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks, STARZ
Outlander Season 5 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks, STARZ /

John Quincy Myers has a bigger role in the Outlander TV series

When introduced in Outlander Season 4, many of us were ready for Kyle Rees’s John Quincy Myers to have a relatively small role. He’s used only briefly in the fifth book and after that he’s gone. However, the show opted to keep the character around.

This development has certainly worked, especially in terms of a TV series adaptation. It’s been fun getting to know the character more and seeing him fight by Jamie’s side to save Claire.

I know some don’t like changes to the books, but there are times these changes need to happen. I do think in terms of combining smaller characters into just one, for a TV show, this is a change that is a must. And that’s what makes JQM’s role so great.

We don’t have to meet too many characters

One thing the show didn’t do was give us too many characters from Ardsmuir Prison. Throughout the books, Jamie comes across prisoners or family members of prisoners that he once knew. Many of these become people who he cares for, but also people he can sometimes talk to or rely on.

Trying to get to know too many characters in a TV show with 12-16 episodes would be impossible. It would lead to a lot of show-first fans getting confused at who was who and where they knew Jamie from. In fact, some of the characters could end up being, “another guy from Ardsmuir” instead of people remembering names.

What’s the point in connecting to anyone if they’re around for an episode and then gone? We need time to get to know them on a TV show.

The series opted to give us two important people from Ardsmuir, but we’ve said goodbye to both now. Instead of introducing another, John Quincy Myers has taken the role of many smaller characters. It limits the number of actors the show will need to find and allows us time to get to know a character.

We certainly need loveable, happy characters

There’s a lot of drama and darkness on Outlander. It’s always been that way, and we need characters that are a light in that darkness.

During the first two seasons we had Rupert and Angus. In the third season, we had two men from Ardsmuir, although they didn’t get a large role. It was enough to give us some reminders of Rupert and Angus together. Season 4 gave us John Quincy Myers.

There’s no doubt that he’s helped to lighten some of the fifth season. And it was great to see him answer the call and be by Jamie’s side. This is a man who didn’t even know Jamie, but it shows the type of personality JQM has as well as the type of command Jamie has over men.

Hopefully, there’s more to come from John Quincy Myers. There are a few characters in later books that could be combined into this one. There’s no need to introduce more in a short space of time on the show.

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What do you think of John Quincy Myers? What would you like to see him involved in during Outlander Season 6? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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