To continue my hiatus series highlighting some of the ancillary characters on Outlander, let us move on to our morally ambiguous spare to the heir, and list the reasons we love Dougal “Big Poppa” Mackenzie. Full list after the jump.
1. Award-winning resting bitch face.
Most of Dougal’s common, everyday expressions are so shady that if they shot his feet, I swear tiny angry mushrooms would be growing there. Whether powering down for the night over a campfire listening to bedtime stories or chilling with some Rhenish while he ogles the merch, Dougal’s face is unremittingly, relentessly, deliciously transmitting that the stock of Dougal f*cks is backordered–and let’s face it, you shouldn’t hold your breath for restocks.
2. Machiavelli would be proud.
Somewhere in the afterlife the big M is raising a glass in respect, thinking “Man, that dude is ICE COLD.” He knows right from wrong, he just can’t be @$$ed to care when his political interests intersect with morality. It makes him a loyal friend, a worthwhile enemy and sometimes, kind of an unpredictable dick. To paraphrase the master, Dougal is walking a fine line between maintaining and overthrowing the status quo, and you never know whether he is going to zig or zag, which makes for great TV.
3. We can vacate the Cougar Corner. Sure we love Jamie like we love all Disney princes, but Dougal is the Hugh Jackman to his Nicholas Hoult. Young virgins? Okay. Silver foxes virtually identical from the neck down and with the benefit of experience? PLANT MY FLAG. Those of us closer to 50 than 20 may not post compulsively about his… um…assets, but we are certainly nodding elegantly in appreciation like the classy broads we are. In summary, you can ignore a lot of glaring when you’re busy elsewhere. Aging: URDOINITRITE, Mackenzie.
4. Still waters run deep. Just because he has largely no use for 96% of people he meets, don’t assume Dougal is unfeeling. He is the BAM in Collum’s gavel, a loyal friend, and a man who cares deeply for the future and well-being of those under his care. He doesn’t open that side up to the general viewing public as a rule, but those of us watching from home know which attachments he holds dear, and for those he’ll go further than you can believe. Like, imagine how far you think he’d go, and then DIG A HOLE UNTIL YOU PASS OUT.
5. Game recognizes Game. Dougal doesn’t like being outplayed, but he sure does appreciate it. One of the qualities of a good leader is to surround himself with talent, and he certainly acknowledges others’ skills while never once admitting that he may not possess them to the same degree, even if those skills are diametrically opposed to his own. His ego won’t allow for a loss, but that doesn’t mean that the dry martini where his sense of humor lives doesn’t have itself a quiet chuckle when it meets a worthy opponent.
Honorable mention: Corn, the new Jessica Rabbit of grains. You know what you did, Sir.
Keep living chiaroscuro, Number Two. Dougal Mackenzie, we speak your name.
For a heads-up on the next one in the series, follow me here or @conniebv on Twitter.