Happy birthday, Colin McFarlane: 5 things we love about Outlander’s Ulysses

Outlander Season 5 -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander Season 5 -- Courtesy of STARZ /

It’s all about what we love about Colin McFarlane’s Ulysses on Outlander

Colin McFarlane quickly captured our hearts on Outlander. He brought Ulysses to life throughout the fourth and fifth seasons.

Today is Colin McFarlane’s birthday. To celebrate that, it’s time to look at everything we adore about Ulysses. And there is certainly a lot to love about the character, and McFarlane’s portrayal. My only wish would have been to have more time to explore, but then, there’s always the books for that.

Here are five things we love about Ulysses on Outlander.

His devotion to Jocasta

When Ulysses had the chance to leave Jocasta and be a free man before we met him, he didn’t take it. By this point, he’d come to love Jocasta. He was devoted to her, and he would stay by her side for the rest of her days.

Sadly, it wouldn’t be forever. The choices he made to save Jocasta’s life would lead to him having to leave North Carolina, and the Colonies overall. However, he has always remained devoted to Jocasta. When he finds a person he believes in and loves, he will stand by them.

His ability to read a situation

You could always see Colin McFarlane’s Ulysses was thinking ahead in every situation. He would watch from the background to see what the situation was, listening in on conversations to see if he was needed or information would help another situation.

He was also able to read a situation to determine which steps he should take. That’s something we get to see in the Outlander Untold story between him and Murtagh on the Season 5 DVD.

Outlander Season 5 — Courtesy of STARZ /

His willingness to put his life on the line

When it came to it, Ulysses killed Forbes to save Jocasta’s life. He knew what doing that would mean. Even though he was a free man, a Black man wouldn’t have got away with murder. Even with Jocasta standing up in his defense, he would have been hunted down by those who hated him.

Yet, he didn’t think twice about killing Forbes. He knew he needed to protect Jocasta. He was willing to put his life on the line for her.

His survival instincts

We saw two instances of Ulysses’s survival skills through Colin McFarlane on Outlander. The first was in Season 4 when it came to the slave who had struck a white man. Claire wanted to help the slave, but Ulysses made it clear this wasn’t the time to do that. It would make matters worse for him and people like him.

The second time was when we said goodbye to Ulysses on Outlander Season 5. Jamie had found a way to help Ulysses after killing Forbes. Lord John Grey was returning to England, and there was no way someone would go to England in search for Ulysses there. Ulysses knew this was the best option. His survival instincts made that clear.

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His intellectual smarts

We can’t forget that Ulysses is a smart man. It’s something that is hidden in the performance, shown through one or two moments. Part of his intellectual smarts are shown through him thinking one step ahead of everyone else.

However, it’s also at the very end of Season 5. We get to learn so much about him in just one conversation with Claire and Jamie. He reads well, borrowing books from Jamie, and he is a good chess player. It’s clear that he and Lord John Grey would likely get on well intellectually.

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What did you love about Ulysses on Outlander? Share in the comments below.

Happy birthday, Colin McFarlane.