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NY Post
22 Jul 2023

NextImg:‘Outlander’: Justice for Walter Woodcock!

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A lot of characters die on Starz‘s Outlander. No, not Jamie (Sam Heughan) or Claire (Caitriona Balfe). Those two magical soulmates are protected by a force field of good fortune they’ve graciously extended to a handful of characters including daughter Brianna (Sophie Skelton), son-in-law Roger (Richard Rankin), nephew Ian (John Bell), and Lord John Grey (David Berry). However, if you are a side character on Outlander and you come into Jamie and Claire’s orbit, chances are things aren’t going to end well for you.

I’ve long since made my peace with this arrangement on Outlander, but I was still heartbroken over a recent supporting character’s death. Walter Woodcock (Tobi Bakare) deserved better than to survive a leg amputation to die of a pulmonary embolism. The dude was nice! The man loved his wife! He was kind to Claire and trusted his life with her. And when it came time to die, he just wanted some booze and to hold Claire’s hand.

I’m smart enough to understand that Walter’s death will likely not be in vain. At some point, this chance encounter with Claire will pay off in terms of the overall story. However, I’m still angry. Justice for Walter Woodcock!

Outlander has scores of side characters who come and go, but something about Walter Woodcock just charmed me. We first meet the man in the Fort Ticonderoga hospital in Outlander Season 7 Episode 5 “Singapore.” Claire and new bestie Denzell Hunter (Joey Phillips) work together to make sure Walter’s leg is cared for in the best possible way, even if that means amputating it above the knee. Rather than sob or moan about the loss like characters often do, Walter’s only regret is he won’t be able to dance ever again with his beloved wife. Though he says they ended on poor terms, dancing is how he fell in love with her in the first place.

Claire is upset when they have to leave Walter behind to escape the encroaching British, but she believes he will be spared because he is a patient. Turns out, the Redcoats don’t kill Walter, but they let him and the remaining rebels stew in a manger without food or water. In Outlander Season 7 Episode 6 “Where the Waters Meet,” a newly captured Claire is able to argue for water and then later appeal to Jamie’s secret son William (Charles Vandervaart) provisions, but Walter is doomed. He is suffering from an embolism as a side effect of the surgery. His lungs will fill with blood and he will die.

Claire tends to Walter in his final moments and, honestly, it all felt like such a waste. Not only did Claire and Denzell save a patient only to lose him later, but Walter had such charisma! He was a rare sparkling addition to the show outside of the main storyline characters. I wish Walter had not died! I wish Walter could enter Claire and Jamie’s cone of magical protection!

All I’m saying is a lot of characters die on Outlander, but it would have been nice if Walter Woodcock was the rare side character who was spared for further adventures.