Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Sam Heughan in Suspect

The press for Brit Box shared with Outlander Homepage the new stills and a synopsis of Sam's latest project... Suspect.  You can check out the updates on their social media sites: 

  1. BritBox U.S. Social Handles:
  2. Twitter: @britbox_US
  3. Instagram: @britboxtv
  4. Facebook: @BritBox US

September 27, 2022: Suspect | BritBox Original, North American Premiere, BritBox Exclusive | 8 X 30

When veteran detective Danny Naylor (James Nesbitt, The Hobbit) turns up at a hospital mortuary for a routine ID check, he’s devastated to discover the corpse of his estranged daughter Christina. Danny refuses to accept the coroner’s report that points to suicide, and sets out on a dangerous, agonizing mission to uncover the events that led to her death. Each episode sees Danny conduct a separate cross-examination with a different suspect or witness, keeping viewers in suspense as they engage with the investigation in real-time. Through each of these vigorous exchanges between Danny and those closest to Christina – her partner, her best friend, her business partner, her godfather, her mentor and her mother, Danny pieces together Christina’s relentless descent into criminality. At the same time, he’s forced to come to terms with his own failings as a father and the part he himself may have played in her downfall. The cast also features Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Sam Heughan (Outlander) and Joely Richardson (Lady Chatterley).


Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Checking out Outlander at NYCC in the year 2022

By Carole Braun.

With NYCC just under a month away, the anticipation is building! What will the crowds be like, who will be attending, which panels will we be racing around to catch?

Last year, NYCC 2021 opened up with showing how we can handle attending large functions safely in our Covid world. We were masked, vaxxed, and the masters of the air hug.


This year, at NYCC 2022, we will still be masked but the vax status will not be checked.

One new feature that was introduced last year is the new building that is part of the Javits Convention Center campus. So no more mad dashes around midtown Manhattan to get to all of the events.

Panel info and more important, who will be attending of our favorite people, has been dribbling in but we do know that Sam, Duncan, and David will be making appearances with photo ops and autographs.

And the Lady Herself who created our Outlander world, Diana, will be doing autographs.

Will we be getting a preview of the upcoming season? Will more of the cast be making appearances? Only time and NYCC will tell. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

We have a prequel! Blood of my Blood. The (original) Frasers are here!


An excerpt from (my fabulous friend and an even more fabulous writer) Courtney Williams of her Blog spot, Outlander Behind the Scenes. 

Starz just announced that a new Outlander prequel, Blood of My Blood is in the works. We will get the same A team who just gave us brilliant Season 6 of Outlander and who are currently producing Season 7: Matt Roberts (will be writer showrunner /executive producer), Maril Davis – will also be executive producer, Ron will be involved as Maril’s partner, and Diana will continue to consult.

Fascinating, since this prequel is currently being written by Diana and hasn’t even been released yet! So, will they come out together??? How cool would that be? And who might play Younger Jamie? Wow. And will they bring Andrew Whipp back as Brian Fraser?  Or will they re-cast? (He’s 52, so that may be a stretch! 😁).

So many questions abound! And, not least among them, what about Season 8? Does this mean anything for Season 8? Fans immediately started speculating on Twitter, and Matt posted this in response…

Read more, go to her site....

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Meet the Hunter's from season seven of Outlander, An Echo in the Bone...

Well its announcement time for the Outlander universe... following book seven, An Echo in the Bone. We meet the Quakers who change the lives of a few of our beloved Outlander characters. Without giving too much away, we will hopefully see William Ranson almost fall in love with Rachel, before our young Ian does...  (following a certain rescue, from the Great Dismal Straights)

I'm looking out for our new cast of characters to be announced soon, that follow along those story lines, Jane and Fanny Pocock and Hal's daughter, Dorethea Grey....

An article about the actors from Survived the Shows.

Izzy Meikle Small is Rachel Hunter

Joey Phillips is Denzel Hunter

Blog produced by Carole Braun

Monday, May 16, 2022

“Traversing the Unknown” - A recap of season 6 episode 8 by your Aussie Blogging Lass


Outlander Homepage Originals 

I am Not Alone. 

So says the title slide of the final episode of season 6 and it is an appropriate descriptor. Throughout the considerable tension and drama of the hour, much is made of the connection between characters. As always, the partnership of Jamie and Claire is on display, each refusing to leave the other no matter what the consequences. But there are other connections too: Tom Christie and his refusal to leave the Frasers alone without protection; Brianna and Roger’s discussion of their family’s past and future; the guardian angels of Ian and the Mohawk shadowing Jamie and Claire’s journey; the small but dedicated residents of the Ridge banding together to try and help; even the malevolence of the Fisher Folk, the villagers along the way, or Richard Brown and his committee of safety - no one acts alone. There is always someone nearby and depending on the combination, the presence of others can be a comfort or a threat. There is little time to draw breath, and it certainly makes for an action packed finale. 

As the theme song draws to a close, we are taken briefly into the future, to what looks like a 1950s diner. Music is playing on the juke box and a woman and girl resembling Claire and Brianna are being served burgers and fries. A glass of Coke with a straw sits in front of each of them. It is only a brief glimpse of the 20th century though, as the music quickly fades and we are back on the porch of the Big House, picking up the action from the end of the previous episode. 

Richard Brown announces that they have come to arrest Claire for the murder of Malva Christie. While Jamie orders Brown and his Committee of Safety off his land, and Brown retorts that they will leave as soon as Jamie hands Claire over to them, Mrs Bug appears on the porch. Claire hisses to the older woman to go and get help, and Mrs Bug quickly vanishes. Similarly, Jamie nods to Lizzie and one of the Beardsley twins, who have appeared in the stables. They too disappear, and we can only hope that Jamie can stall long enough for an army of Ridge supporters to be gathered and come to the rescue. 

Brown tells Jamie that he has a responsibility and while he hadn’t expected Jamie to simply give Claire up, he is confident that Jamie will in fact do just that. Meanwhile, Claire has retreated into the house, and has grabbed a rifle with which to arm herself. It is not a moment too soon, as one of Brown’s men has broken away from the group and enters the house with a pistol, which he aims directly at Claire. She implores him not to shoot, and he tells her to put down the weapon she holds. This she begins to do, but then whips out a pistol of her own from behind her skirts and fires. 

“You shot me!” he says, incredulously.

“I did,” Claire replies. “And I’ll bloody do it again if you don’t get out of here.”

The man runs, holding his stomach.

Outside, Jamie has heard the gunshot and is trying to get to Claire, but is being restrained by Brown’s men. Claire appears on the porch, rifle in hand and fires a shot that allows Jamie to pick up a knife. But she also sees Brown aim a pistol directly at Jamie’s head and she screams out, “Duck!” which he dutifully does, just in time. As shots begin to fire, he races towards her and the two of them run into the house. 

They begin to protect themselves as best they can, closing doors and putting furniture in front of open windows. But there are numerous close calls, with shots whizzing through window panes and shutters. As they somehow manage to avoid being hit, Jamie tells Claire that the story about arresting her for Malva’s death has just been an excuse: Brown really wants to exact revenge on them for the death of his brother and is planning on killing them both. 

Outside, Brown begins to walk towards the house, making a great show of waving a flag of truce. Jamie doesn’t trust him and fires. Brown again tells Jamie what he wants, referring to Claire as a “murderous witch”, but promising a fair trial for her in nearby Salisbury. Jamie responds by shooting Brown’s hat from his hand.

Slowly making their way home from Edenton, Brianna and Roger are wandering through the woods, discussing the benefits of knowing future events. There will be no battles at Edenton, Roger says, and they will all be safe. As the conversation continues, they start to wonder how much they should tell Jemmy about time travel. Brianna muses that children are told if they are adopted, or if there is some family secret, and that the earlier they are told, the less of a shock it is. They compare this to their own circumstances, with Brianna finding out the truth of her own life so late. Roger’s case was different, Brianna says. It wasn’t as if the Reverend could have told him, but chose not to. Roger asks if Brianna feels that her parents should have told her sooner and her answer at first is an emphatic, “Yes.” But she quickly follows with, “And no.” She can see why they didn’t, she says. Roger comments that while it might not matter to Jemmy if he is told early on, it would certainly have an impact on Jemmy’s friends, were he to start talking about going through the stones. Brianna says that they will have to wait until Jemmy is old enough to realise that the information must be kept secret, but Roger adds something that Brianna hasn’t thought of. If Jemmy knows, he might also choose to leave them one day. 

The hours are passing at the Big House and there is a temporary truce in place. Jamie has lit a fire and asks Claire for water. He tells her that it won’t be a long siege, predicting that Brown’s men will torch the house when it gets dark, in order to smoke them out, or possibly even burn them alive. They both remember the obituary from the newspaper that Brianna had brought to them when she first arrived. Claire says it can’t be that, as the dates are wrong. The paper had mentioned the sabbath before January and it is now May. Jamie reminds her that she can’t believe everything that the broadsheets print, but agrees that it is unusual to be out by more than four months. The two discuss what they will do if they are smoked out. Claire says that she won’t go with Brown and his men and Jamie says that he would never let her go. They muse about what possible help is on the way. Mr and Mrs Bug will likely go for Kenny Lindsay, Jamie says, while Lizzie and her husband will have gone to find Ronnie Sinclair. 

Brianna has put Jemmy to bed in one compartment of their tent and when she climbs into bed next to Roger, he is playing with the wooden toy car. Brianna comments that he should be a woodworker, as well as a minister, like Jesus. The two reminisce about driving in cars at 75 miles per hour and wonder if they will ever do so again. Remembering a weekend when they had broken up, Roger comments that he had then pursued Brianna through time. The car metaphor soon takes an erotic turn, and the two negotiate both their sleeping son and Brianna’s pregnant belly as they make love. It is a scene that is a perfect mix of humour, reminiscence and affection, beautifully acted by Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin - and a perfect break from the tension and drama occurring back at the Ridge.

Indeed, the next scene takes us back there. It is night now and Claire and Jamie are eating by the fire. Claire explains the phrase, “The condemned man ate a hearty meal,” telling Jamie that in her time, a condemned prisoner can order whatever he wants for his last meal, adding that it is often something from childhood. Jamie asks what Claire would choose and she answers immediately, “Cheeseburger, fries and a coke from Carmi’s.” That was her regular order when she would take Brianna to a diner as a little girl, she explains - and immediately the brief scene from the end of the credits makes sense. Jamie however, tells her that he would have precisely the meal he is having now, in their house, with her. 

Claire wants to know where their help is. Ian would have come immediately if he had heard the gunfire, so it stands to reason that he is off hunting - but where is everyone else? Jamie tells her that if no-one has come by now, then they won’t be coming. It is a huge adjustment for Claire to make: has everyone really turned against them? Do they really believe that Claire killed Malva?

Jamie tells her not to worry and to lie down by him. She does, with her head in his lap, commenting that there really is nothing else that they can do, except wait. Jamie suggests saying an Act of Contrition, something that he has always done before a battle, just in case, and commenting that he can recite it in French, English or Gaelic. Claire asks for English, and he obliges.

Jamie asks how many times he has been close to death. Together, they count off the times: Wentworth, Culloden, when he was shot by Laoghaire, the snake bite and the floggings on his back. Claire comments that Jamie is a hard man to kill, something that brings her a great deal of comfort. In answer to why he has brought up the subject, Jamie tells her of a fortune teller that he had met as a young man in France. The woman had spat into his palm and told him that he was like a cat. She could see the number 9 and death in his hand, a revelation that prompts Claire to ask if Jamie thinks he has nine lives.

“I hope so,” he replies. 

“I never thought that hearing a litany of your past death experiences could bring me so much peace,” Claire murmurs. “Or maybe it’s just the nearness of you.” 

Time has passed and Claire has been sleeping. Jamie wakes her with news: a group of Fisher Folk are coming. The group is led by Hiram Crombie, who insists that Jamie and Claire come out. Despite the fact that the situation is still very grim, Jamie is reassured by Hiram’s presence: no matter what Hiram thinks of them, he tells Claire, he won’t let Brown torch the house, or hang them outside their own home. Moreover, Crombie has put himself between the Committee of Safety and the house, so more shooting is unlikely. Jamie and Claire know that they are at a stalemate, so agree to go outside, although they remain armed. 

As the door opens, chants can be heard. Some of the Fisher Folk are calling, “Burn the witch!” and aiming rocks at the house. It is a mob reminiscent of the witch trials at Crainesmuir. Jamie says that Claire is neither witch nor murderer, answering cries of “Justice for the murdered lass and her unborn bairn”  with a quote from the bible, “Justice is mine, sayeth the Lord.” It is quickly turns against him though, with Brown saying that the committee merely want to take Claire to trial and that if she is innocent, how can Jamie refuse? Jamie replies that if he were to hand Claire over to Brown, she would not live to stand trial, as Brown blames Jamie for the death of his brother. 

Others weigh in. Allan Christie says that Jamie should be tried for debauching and murdering Malva, whereas Mrs McGregor says it was definitely Claire. A man might kill a lass he’d gotten with child, she says, but would not do something as wicked as steal an unborn child from the womb. A compromise of sorts is suggested by Hiram: that both Jamie and Claire be taken together, and that way Jamie can see that no harm comes to Claire.

Noises from behind them announce the arrival of Jamie and Claire’s rescue party, as dutifully gathered by Mrs Bug and Lizzie. There are a few men, armed with rifles, but it is not enough. They will not be able to overpower the Committee of Safety and any fight would only result in death. They have no choice.

 “If you deliver us into this devil’s hand, Mr Crombie, then our blood be upon your head,” Jamie says. “You’ll answer for our lives on the Day of Judgement.” 

“And I will answer for them now,” says another voice.

Tom Christie steps out of the darkness. His hair is unbound and he looks much older. He says that he will travel with both Jamie and Claire to ensure that no further evil is done, and adding that if justice belongs to anyone, it should belong to him. This calms the crowd somewhat and Jamie reluctantly agrees, to the horror of Lizzie and the others who have come to help.  Jamie hands over his weapon and Tom suggests that they leave in the morning, adding that there is no reason why Jamie and Claire should not spend the night in their own bed. Guards will be set to watch the house, both by Tom and by Brown. The decision made, Jamie and Claire go back inside and the crowd disperses. 

Inside the house, Claire walks sadly around their bedroom, fingering bits of shattered glass and musket balls. She comments to Jamie that they have a beautiful home and he promises her with his life that it won’t be the last time that they see it together by moonlight. Lying in bed, Claire turns to Jamie, telling him how scared she is. Slowly he reaches for her and they begin to make love. It is slow, gentle and tender, with their theme music playing behind them. It is a goodbye that slowly builds in passion and intensity. As they did when they said farewell before Culloden, they are sharing their fear and despair, joining their souls once more against a backdrop of uncertainty.

Dawn comes, and with it, the inevitable procession from the Ridge. Jamie and Claire have been loaded into a wagon and Brown warns them against trying to leave it, introducing one of his men as their guard. After a while they stop and Claire, ever the doctor, wonders whether or not she should go and tend to the men who were injured in the skirmish the day before. Jamie reminds her that she owes them nothing and while she agrees, she says that it will hardly help their cause if one of the men dies from infection. Their conversation is interrupted by Tom Christie, who brings a plate of food for Claire, which she accepts. 

Meantime, Brown is having trouble finding somewhere for the trial to take place. Salisbury is no good, as the sheriff has quit and circuit court has closed down. The impending revolution has had an effect, with the town split on the question of independency. Brown says that they must press on for Wilmington, ignoring the closer town of Cross Creek because of its proximity to Jamie’s Aunt Jocasta and the subsequent low chance of a fair trial. But unrest is beginning to be noticeable amongst the men. Wilmington is a further 200 miles away and their desire for vengeance is clearly waning. Brown can’t resist having the last word though, telling Jamie that while there may not be a court at Salisbury, he has made sure that everyone knows of Claire’s guilt. The news, he says, is spreading like wildfire and we are reminded once again that his only definition of a fair trial is one in which the verdict is guilty. Throughout it all, Tom Christie has been sitting apart from the others, staring silently at Claire.

Ian arrives back at the Ridge, and Lizzie runs towards him sobbing. As she sinks to her knees and catches her breath, she is able to say only “They’ve taken them!” Ian is by her side immediately, asking her what has happened. 

Inside the tent, Claire and Jamie are trying to analyse the situation. It is clear that Brown is losing control of his men, who had expected quick revenge and are as exhausted as they are. Claire comments that none are as tired as Tom, and wonders what his purpose is. Is he protecting them only to see Claire hanged? 

Indeed, protection does seem to be Tom’s primary motivation. As they pass through a small village, Brown whips up the folk into a frenzy with his talk of depraved murderers and hanging. The people begin throwing rocks at Jamie and Claire’s wagon and one man even tries to get inside it to attack them. Christie yells at Brown to get control, saying that what is happening is not justice, but to no avail. Finally, he fires his own weapon and is able to restore order. 

Brianna, Roger and Jemmy are also on the move, but their progress has been halted by a herd of cows crossing their path. While they wait, Roger shows Brianna a copy of a paper called the New Bern Onion. It is Fergus’ first edition as proprietor and Roger explains the choice of the word “onion”, meant to symbolise layers, complexity and the reasoned discourse that the paper will provide. As they discuss whether or not Marsali could be the author of the “Poet’s Corner”, Jemmy plops himself into Brianna’s lap, saying that he wants to talk to the baby. He is scratching at his head and Brianna realises that he has lice, probably picked up from the Fisher Folk children with whom he has been playing. Brianna announces to Jemmy that they will have to cut his hair “even more than Grandma” and Roger retrieves the kit that he has brought with him. Soon enough, the cut is done (Trivia fact: Only one of the twins playing Jemmy was prepared to have his hair cut, so they had to swap the children in and out during the scene) and Brianna notices a mark on Jemmy’s scalp that has previously been hidden by his hair. Roger tells her not to worry: it is a nevus - something that can appear from the age of about 2 or 3. He has one himself, he says, adding that they’re hereditary. The implications of this statement hit them both at once: there can be no doubt now that Jemmy is Roger’s child. In joyful celebration, Roger declares that he too has lice and needs his own haircut. 

Brown’s men have stopped at a meat camp and Jamie and Claire are checking each other’s wounds after the stoning. Claire’s hand is painful - she had attempted to hit the man who tried to get into their wagon - while Jamie had been hit by a stone behind his ear. He comments that Brown likely regrets stirring up the sentiment against them, given that Brown also had suffered a blow to the head. Jamie praises Claire for her actions against their intruder, saying that he will treasure the memory of the “look of blood in her eye” as she struck out. He kisses her tenderly on the forehead, an action witnessed by Christie standing a distance away. 

Later, after Claire has gone to sleep, one of the men walks Jamie over to the bushes to relieve himself. Musing that Jamie is unlikely to make a run for it without Claire, the man leaves him alone. Jamie looks into the bushes, and is shocked to see Ian looking back at him. Ian has been following in their tracks and tells Jamie he can’t believe some of the stories he has heard along the way. Ian has not come alone, and says Jamie only need say the word and they will all come out. He says that Jamie and Claire can be hidden by dawn, but Jamie replies that they would then be fugitives with a price on their heads. So Ian promises to stay and watch - and it is certainly comforting to know that he is there! 

The next morning, plans seems to have changed somewhat. Jamie tells Claire that Brown had left in the early hours and came back with “a friend”, but he doesn’t know who it is. On the move once more, one of the men (the man that Claire had shot) falls off his horse, dead. One of the other men wants to take him home to be buried, but Brown refuses. 

“Let the dead bury the dead,” he says, declaring that they will ride on and that the dead man should be tied across his horse. 

At the next stop for water, Jamie is taken out of the wagon to get a drink for himself and for Claire. But as soon as they are separated, some of Brown’s men hold Jamie down while others get into the wagon and grab Claire. The wagon drives away, with the two of them screaming for each other. Suddenly, Jamie is hit on the back of the head and is knocked unconscious. 

The wagon halts again and Claire confronts Brown. She wants to know what they are going to do to Jamie and he replies that it is none of her concern. Claire calls him a petty bastard, to which he responds that he isn’t doing this because of what had happened to Lionel. He describes Lionel as a lout, and brands the rape of Claire as cruel and unforgivable. But she has committed murder, Brown says, and that is all he needs. 

“Then again,” he says as he starts to ride away, “he was my brother.” 

Once again, we are unsure as to his true motives. 

Tom Christie rides up to them and Claire appeals to him directly, pleading with him to go back, as they are going to kill Jamie. Tom is furious. He reminds Brown that he had been promised that neither Jamie nor Claire would be hurt on his account. Brown replies that Jamie wasn’t going to be hurt, merely “sent home”.  The two talk out of earshot for a moment before Tom returns to Claire. He tells her that Brown has sworn not to kill or hurt Jamie, but Claire does not trust this supposed “word of honour.” Again she implores Tom to go back, but he refuses. He has sworn to protect Claire, he says, and to go back would mean letting her out of his sight, which he will not do. The wagon starts up again, with Tom riding directly behind it. 

Claire’s voiceover completes the journey into Wilmington. She admits that without Tom, she is as good as dead and is pinning her hopes on the fact that perhaps news of her arrest may have travelled far enough for Roger and Brianna to have heard about it. Her constant thoughts are for Jamie and she is also alarmed by the behaviour of her new protector. Tom will not look at her in the eye and she is worried that this means that Tom either knows or suspects that Jamie is already dead. 

Wilmington is looking the worse for wear when the party finally arrives, with destroyed buildings, graffiti and effigies of dead men suspended from scaffolding. The people are looking suspiciously at Claire as she peeps out from the wagon. Soon enough she is led down a long dark corridor (reminiscent of Wentworth prison) and locked into a cell. The sheriff tells her that she has missed supper, but that there is always tomorrow. Brown asks for a word and the two men move away. 

Tom comes up to the bars and passes a pouch of coins to Claire for her maintenance. He promises her that Jamie is still alive and that he wouldn’t have the death of either of them on his conscience. Tom tells her to trust in God, for He will deliver the righteous out of danger. He will not leave town, he assures her, briefly touching his hand to hers before he is gone. As he walks away, we are left wondering again what his motivation could be. If he believes Claire guilty, why is he protecting her? If he believes her innocent, why isn’t he doing more to help her? 

Brown is leaving too, but his parting words are far more sinister: “I’ll see you at the gallows, Mistress Fraser.” 

Jamie regains consciousness, as a sack is pulled off his head. He is on a beach, tied to a wooden stake. He asks where Claire is and what they have done to her. Oakes, the man who had been tasked with watching them in the wagon, replies that he hasn’t done anything to her, but he can make no assurances about the actions of Mr Brown. Branding Claire a bitch for the trouble she has put them all to, and for killing his friend, Oakes adds that he hopes Claire dies. He then informs Jamie of his fate: he is to be put aboard the ship waiting off shore and then sent back to Scotland. They will leave for Edinburgh within the hour and Jamie will never see Claire again. 

Oakes leaves to pay the ship’s captain and Jamie looks up just as a man is coming towards him with the butt of a rifle, readying to knock him unconscious once more. But the blow never comes, because an arrow suddenly appears in the man’s chest. We look up to see Ian, in full hero pose with crossbow and arrow raised, and hear the shouts and whoops of the Mohawk behind him on the hill. The battle, such as it is, is swift, with Ian and his friends making short work of the group of Brown’s men. In no time at all, only Oakes remains, aiming a pistol defiantly at Ian, Quincy Myers and the Mohawk chief, who are all advancing on him.

“Don’t,” Jamie calls out. “He knows where Claire is.”

“So do we, Uncle,” Ian replies. 

Horror dawns on Oakes’ face, as the Chief aims his rifle. We see the bullet pass directly through Oakes’ hand into his eye socket and he falls to his death. 

“I told you I would fight with you, Bear Killer,” says the Chief, as Ian cuts Jamie free. 

The final shot of the episode, and the season, is of the party on horseback, riding back across the beach as the music swells. They are obviously in pursuit of Claire, but now we must endure another Droughtlander before we can see how it all plays out. 

Given that this was not the original intended final episode for season 6, it certainly serves its purpose well, right down to the now familiar panned drone shot technique at its end. Throughout the episode, there are a number of parallels to earlier dark times, particularly from season 1, which further serve to heighten the drama. Even the love scenes between the two couples of Jamie & Claire and Roger & Brianna juxtapose each other cleverly, moving from joy to despair. Much is made of journeys in this episode: from journeys seeking justice, to memories of journeys past, to possible time travelling journeys of the future, to journeys of the soul and journeys of rescue. It is a clever episode, well acted and directed, and certainly whets the appetite for an extended season 7. In a show where time is a central theme, we will all have to endure the slow passing of it until the questions of this finale are answered! 

This episode recap was written by Susie Brown, a writer and teacher-librarian who lives in Australia. She was impressed by the drama of the entire hour, but her favourite moment is probably the shot of Ian looking down from his horse, as he came to Jamie’s rescue.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Welcome William Ransom to season seven of Outlander, played by actor Charles Vandervaart


“We are happy to welcome Charles to the Fraser family for season seven of Outlander, joining the cast with the other talented actors that bring our stories to life,” Matthew B. Roberts, showrunner, writer, and executive producer said in a statement. “Scotland will again be our production home as the Frasers and MacKenzies try to make a home against the backdrop of the Revolutionary War. This season promises more adventure, time travel, and emotional peril than any season before"

Executive producer Maril Davis added, “The character of William Ransom is a wonderful role, and one fans have been eager to see. Finding someone with the talent and physicality to play Jamie’s son was a daunting task, but Charles’ charisma was evident during the audition process and we are excited to see what he will bring to William’s multi-layered journey.”

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Meet the Christies


Just hearing the actors chat about their characters is everything... 

“Confessions of the Soul” - A recap of Season 6 Episode 7 by your Aussie Blogging Lass

Outlander Homepage Originals 

What is a soul? There are many definitions, but one of the most useful is: “the part of you that consists of your mind, character, thoughts and feelings.” Under this definition, people can keep their true soul hidden - and this is something that a lot of the characters have been doing up to this point. Claire has told no-one of her inner torment and the thoughts that are plaguing her. We do not know what caused Malva to accuse Jamie, nor the identity of the soul who ultimately chose to take her life. The remaining Christies - Tom and Allan, are mysterious souls, keeping their feelings and thoughts tightly hidden behind a cloak of religious belief. Indeed, most of the main characters - Roger, Brianna, Fergus, Marsali - have all had moments of soul searching throughout this season. But it is in this penultimate episode that events take an even more emotional turn.

The episode begins with a flashback of Malva’s testimony in the meeting house. She is telling the congregation, on the orders of her father, about the man who abused her and stole her innocence. The Devil is real, Malva says, although he visited her in the guise of a man, not an angel. This man was someone she had trusted, someone who was meant to be kind to her. Ending with a plea, Malva says that although her baby will be a bastard, she hopes that people will still treat her kindly. 

It is a testimony reminiscent of the tearful performance given by Laoghaire in season 1, when Claire was on trial for witchcraft. Claire was there to witness those lies, whereas Jamie, the unnamed accused in this version, is not. There is an interesting parallel to be drawn between these two women: both from unhappy family backgrounds, both obsessed with a Fraser (albeit a different one) and both adept at tearful confessions where they appear to be the wronged victim. 

Malva does become the victim though, and following the opening credits, we see the shocked face of Tom Christie, fighting for control as he looks upon the body of his daughter, lying in the vegetable patch. The baby has been laid on her chest and Allan covers her with a sheet, asking Claire if she had seen or heard anyone. Claire tells him that she had been busy in the surgery, and although she thought she saw Malva approaching the house, if the young woman had knocked, she hadn’t heard. 

Allan challenges Claire’s story, asking why she went outside with a knife. Claire replies that she was carrying a pruning knife and had been going to the garden. Jamie asks what Allan is implying,  but Tom responds that there is no implication - Claire stands before them “up to her elbows in blood.” Claire explains that while it had been too late to save Malva, she had had to try and save the baby. 

Tom asks Claire how long it would have taken for Malva to die and Claire answers that with the cut to her throat, it would have been quick. But rather than wanting to know if his daughter had suffered, Tom merely wants to know whether there would have been time to pray for forgiveness - a short prayer to make her right with God. He announces that Malva and the baby will be buried out in the woods, as a whore with an illegitimate child cannot be buried alongside God-fearing men and women.

It is a shocking, yet not unsurprising, comment. 

“She was your daughter!” Jamie says.

“He was your bastard son!” Tom retorts. 

“He is not,” Jamie declares, before saying that whoever the baby belonged to, both Malva and the child will be laid to rest properly. 

Again, Tom puts his religion before his daughter, saying that he will not have the angels weeping and the demons rejoicing because a sinner has been laid to rest in holy ground. But Jamie has the last word. If Malva is to be buried on his land, he tells Tom, then it will be after a funeral and in consecrated ground. 

Tom wants to know what can be said about Malva during the service.

Claire answers, “That Malva Christie was full of life and light, that there was fire in her eyes. And when I held her tiny baby, I felt that same light in him.” 

Claire promises to take care of Malva, to ensure that her body is made fit for a funeral. Jamie tells Tom and Allan that they will gather at the meeting house in a few days and that Roger will perform the service. 

Without a word, the Christies go, leaving Jamie and Claire to move Malva’s body from the garden. Jamie carries her inside and as Claire follows, walking almost as if in a trance, she notices the eyes of other people from the Ridge watching her. 

Steeling herself to begin the restoration of Malva’s body, Claire begins with the ritual of washing her hands. She is unsteady and the ether mask sits temptingly close. Claire’s hands shake as she struggles to thread the needle and she hears the voice of Malva as it spoke during her hallucination, telling Claire that the ether is of the devil, as is she. But it is not only Malva who is haunting Claire. A montage of images races through her mind, culminating in the voice of Lionel Brown, who asks whether Claire had plucked up the courage to kill Malva herself. 

The hallucinations continue, with Lionel taunting Claire, telling her to pull herself together, lest Jamie be forced to rush in and save her. 

“Because you know something?” the voice continues, now becoming a shadowy figure behind Claire’s shoulder. “He can’t save you from yourself.” 

It is too much for Claire and she runs from the surgery. Instead of using the ether, she has chosen a different method of trying to numb herself (and it is a very small nod to how Claire dealt with her PTSD in the book) with alcohol. She pours and drains two glasses in quick succession.

Jamie has come into the room. He stands watchful and concerned, but merely tells her that he wouldn’t blame her if there was nothing left in the bottle and decides to join her. Claire turns away, asking if Jamie had found anything in the search. Jamie replies that nothing has been found yet, although Ian and the Beardsley twins are out looking and will warn Roger, Brianna and the other settlers. As he expresses the hope that they find something, Claire asks: “Who could do something like this?”

Mrs Bug marches into the sitting room, demanding to know where Lizzie is to answer the door, as Hiram Crombie is standing on the back porch wanting to talk to Jamie. He has been poking about the garden, Mrs Bug tells them, wanting to see Malva for himself, but both Jamie and Claire are adamant that Malva has suffered enough indignity. 

Mrs Bug is indignant and speaks far more boldly than she has up until this point. It is clear that the tide has turned: she is no longer a happy member of the Fraser’s Ridge staff, but a member of the Ridge with her own suspicions about her employers. She tells Jamie that others will be asking questions as well, and comments that they all have to live with a scandal. She recalls the moment that Malva had told everyone in the meeting house that she was having Jamie’s child and looks directly at Claire: “You must have hated her guts,” she says. 

Jamie immediately admonishes the older woman, saying that the dead cannot speak for themselves.

“Shall I show Mr Crombie in?” Mrs Bug responds, with a hint of defiance. It has not been an open challenge, but further evidence that her feelings towards Jamie and Claire have changed.  Jamie tells her to instruct Crombie to wait outside and she turns with a curt nod and leaves. Claire doesn’t want anyone to see her in her present state and Jamie tells her not to worry, saying that he will speak to Hiram and find out why he has come. 

At first, it seems that Crombie has only come to bring the Christie family bible for Roger to use at the funeral service. Jamie thanks him for bringing it, but as he turns to go back inside, Hiram continues to speak. He tells Jamie that he won’t forget the look on Tom and Allan’s faces when they had spoken of what happened. Jamie agrees, adding that it was a terrible shock for everyone.

This is the opening that Hiram needs.

“Was it then?” he says, challenging Jamie. 

Jamie turns back from the doorway, telling Crombie to speak plainly. If he is to make unfounded accusations on Jamie’s doorstep, he needs to do it in no uncertain terms. 

This Hiram does, accusing Jamie of sinning in the eyes of the Lord, and wondering whether Claire has forgiven Jamie for “lying with a flower faced Scottish lass?” He doubles down on the accusations, wondering aloud whether everyone on the Ridge has to suffer for Jamie’s regret of marrying a sharp tongued English woman with even sharper knives.

Jamie moves menacingly towards him and Crombie takes a step backwards, next asking whether Claire had forgiven Malva. 

“I(f you value your life, choose your next words wisely, Mr Crombie,” Jamie says.

But Crombie has no more words. He merely puts on his hat and stalks away. 

Claire makes another attempt to sew up Malva’s slit throat. Once again, Lionel’s ghost is at her elbow, asking Claire whether she had truly thought Hiram had only come to borrow a cup of sugar. 

“He just about has the measure of you,” Lionel says. “And he won’t be shy about telling his friends.” 

The hallucination continues to taunt Claire, accusing her of taking Malva’s life to protect Jamie, when she had sworn to do no harm.

“Not as though you haven’t done that before though, is it?” Lionel says. “The lying, the loveless marriage, leaving when you should have stayed, staying when you should have gone.”

As Lionel continues to taunt, Claire reaches for the ether mask and bottle. 

Brianna and Roger are discussing whether Roger should pay a call on the Christies to find out how they are. Brianna says that they need time with their grief and that they wouldn’t be expecting Roger to call in any case. Jamie comes in and Brianna asks if she can do anything.

“It might be your turn to pacify Mrs Bug,” Jamie replies.

But there is another interruption. This time it is Lizzie, announcing the Obadiah Henderson is now at the door, asking about Ian.

Brianna is curious. Pulling grass from Lizzie’s hair, she asks what the younger woman has been doing. Jamie adds that Mrs Bug has been looking for her and has been worried about her. 

Lizzie replies that she was just out feeding the horses, but had returned to the house as soon as she heard the terrible news. Jamie warns her about going out alone, adding that they don’t know who’s about. 

Roger and Jamie go together to confront Obadiah Henderson. He is incensed, wanting to know why Ian is “roaming around like the damn Spanish Inquisition” and adding that Ian had hit him a few months before, giving him a black eye. 

Roger tries the compassionate approach, telling Henderson that he understands how upset he must be and offers condolences. 

Henderson is immediately defensive. He has offered condolences of his own to the Christie family, he says and doesn’t need any offered to him. Roger presses further, saying that he knew that Obadiah was “friends” with Malva and that perhaps the friendship was something more. 

“What are you suggesting?” asks Henderson. “Do you think I had something to do with this?” He presses further, asking whether that has been said to Ian, and asking why Roger has the gall to suggest anything like this in front of Jamie. 

“Everyone on the Ridge has questions about you and your wife,” Henderson says to Jamie, asking if the rumours are true that Claire had cut the baby out of Malva before slitting her throat. 

“Or was it the other way around?” 

Roger shuts the door to the house so that Henderson’s accusation cannot be heard inside. Jamie is trying hard to maintain his composure. 

“I’m glad to have you on the Ridge, Mr Henderson,” he begins, “ but…”

Henderson cuts him off, asking whether Jamie plans on threatening him the same way he had threatened Hiram Crombie. 

Roger intervenes again, reminding Henderson that he himself had witnessed Obadiah with Malva. Slightly more contrite, Obadiah says that he hadn’t seen Malva for a long time. He wants that information passed on to Ian, or else he will give Ian a black eye in return. Jamie says that they will keep that in mind, but as he turns to go inside, Henderson fires one last accusation to Jamie’s back, suggesting that perhaps Ian should start asking questions closer to home. 

Lizzie is in the stables with Gideon, one of the horses, apologising for lying and not feeding him earlier. Ian comes in and asks her whether she has seen the Beardsleys anywhere. He explains that Jamie had asked him to take them to search the Ridge, but he hasn’t been able to find them. 

Lizzie is evasive, telling Ian that she’s not really sure, but that they should be home by now. Ian asks if there is something she isn’t telling him. Lizzie is again evasive, saying that she doesn’t want them to be in any trouble. 

“What trouble could they be in?” Ian asks. He tells Lizzie that she needs to tell him the truth, as Jamie will ask why the twins were not with him, and that if she knows or has seen anything, she needs to say. 

Jamie, Roger, Brianna and Ian are eating dinner at the table, discussing the fact that it is hard to imagine anyone on the Ridge doing anything like what happened to Malva. Lizzie comes in with cold potatoes and butter, asking if she should set a place for Claire, but Jamie says that Claire is upstairs, resting. 

The group continue trying to rule out suspects. Roger doesn’t think it was Henderson, given that Henderson knew that Roger had found him and Malva together. Ian adds that they know it wasn’t the Sin-Eater, given that Ian had found him dead in his hut. Jamie asks if the Beardsleys had helped Ian to bury him and Ian lies, saying that the twins had gone to search in a different part of the woods. In the background, we see Lizzie look obviously relieved. The conversation returns to the Sin-Eater and while Ian thinks that the older man died in his sleep, he shares the news that all the finger bones on one hand were missing. Brianna links the finger bones to the love charm and Ian wonders if a jealous woman could have made it and killed Malva. Roger says it might be circumstantial evidence, but they could hardly prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

“Where’s Perry Mason when you need him?” Brianna asks. 

Roger agrees. They can’t report the matter to the police, or to anyone, he says. Where can they start?

Ian asks who Perry Mason is and Brianna explains that he is a lawyer from their time who defends the falsely accused. Roger surmises that Perry Mason would want to know who had the means, motive and opportunity to kill Malva. 

“Me,” says a voice. Claire has entered the room. 

Later, Jamie asks Claire why she would even have suggested such a thing. Claire explains that she has a feeling she just can’t shake. She admits to Jamie that she had seen Malva coming towards the house and had taken some ether for a “lie down.” 

Jamie is shocked. 

“Christ, Sassenach, you put yourself to sleep?” he asks.

“Only for a little bit,” Claire replies, adding that she didn’t want to talk to Malva. She tells Jamie of her nightmare, where Malva was banging at the door, and then was suddenly inside the surgery, shaking her awake. Claire tells Jamie that in her recollection, she then lost her temper and threatened the young woman. 

“What if it wasn’t a dream?” she asks Jamie. “What if I did do it?” 

Jamie is dismissive of the thought. Claire couldn’t have harmed Malva, he says. She isn’t capable. 

Claire points out that she had the means, motive and opportunity and everyone thinks that she is the culprit. 

“So what if they do?” Jamie answers. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, he tells her. Whoever the real culprit was, they will find them. 

But in the dead of night, Lionel’s ghost has ventured further from the surgery. He now sits menacingly in the fireplace of their bedroom and Claire puts her hands over her face in horror.

The next morning, Claire stands at the window looking out. She sees Mr and Mrs Bug outside, gossiping with another woman and looking up at the window. Her voiceover muses about the phrase “only human” and how people only use it to justify their mistakes, in an effort to convince themselves that the person looking back at them in the mirror isn’t so bad. Against a montage of images where Lizzie and the Beardsleys collect a black dress from Tom and Allan makes a baby-sized coffin, Claire is having a crisis of identity. Who is she? Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp, Dr Randall, Mistress Fraser, a wife, mother, grandmother, witch or murderer?

“Murderess suits best,” whispers Lionel’s ever present voice. 

Coming downstairs, Jamie and Claire are met by Ian, who is waiting with news, not about Malva, but Lizzie. Ian tells them that Lizzie is pregnant, but not by him. Jamie demands to know who is responsible for debauching her and Ian replies with one word: Beardsley. When Jamie asks which one is the father, Ian explains the real problem. Lizzie doesn’t know. 

Jamie decides to meet with both of the men to find the truth, but is worried about the story spreading. Ian apologises for not saying anything at dinner, but explains that he hadn’t wanted to embarrass Lizzie. However, with the scandal of Malva having also been unwed and with child, he felt they needed to know. For Jamie, the solution is simple: he will have one of the twins married to Lizzie he says, or both of them dead at her feet. 

Meanwhile, Roger is preparing his sermon, while Brianna comes to tell him of a problematic development. Conversation between the Bugs has frightened Jemmy, who now thinks that murdered people turn into ghosts. Even worse, when Roger suggests telling Jemmy to say a prayer if he thinks he has seen a ghost, Brianna replies that Jemmy asked her if that would stop his granny turning him into a ghost too. The fisherfolk are blaming Claire for Malva’s murder and Jemmy has overheard the gossip. 

At the house, Claire is talking to Lizzie about her pregnancy. In possibly the only lighthearted scene in the episode, Lizzie explains how her ménage à trois with the Beardsleys began. When she had been afflicted with malaria and the twins arrived with her gallberry ointment, she had told them to rub it all over her. One of the lads had worried it would spoil his shirt and so she had suggested he remove it and one thing had led to another. 

Claire asks her to clarify : had she really slept with them both at once, or had the twins fooled her into thinking she was only sleeping with one person? Lizzie assures her that she had not been duped and that it had been her choice. After waxing in lyrical detail about their bodies, Lizzie assures Claire that she had known what she was doing. She had felt safe with their arms around her and had enjoyed being naked and slippery under the quilts. But it had not been a one-off occurrence, as Lizzie tells Claire it has happened more than once with each of them since. 

“It feels so nice, Mistress,” she says, adding that it hasn’t seemed wrong at all. 

Claire warns Lizzie that she is risking a huge scandal and the younger woman is stunned to learn that people like Hiram Crombie would stone her for fornication if they were to find out. 

“Why?” Lizzie asks. “It’s not harming anyone. And it’s no one’s business but ours.” 

“Everything that happens here is everyone’s business,” Claire replies. “You know that.” 

She asks Lizzie if the three of them have a plan. Lizzie will have to marry and she cannot marry the both of them. 

Roger takes Mr Bug to task about the stories that Jemmy has overheard, asking the older man to be more careful around the young boy. But Mr Bug is unrepentant. He tells Roger that Jemmy cannot be sheltered from things forever. Sarcastically, he comments that a sow needs slaughtering for bacon and that he would ask Roger to help, were it not for the fact that it could spoil Roger’s lunch. 

Roger and Jamie continue the conversation about slaughtering animals for meat, with Roger assuring Jamie that he hasn’t yet joined the rank of vegetarians, but that the idea of killing the animals does bother him. He finds it ironic, he says, that he should be troubled, given that he himself has killed a man. 

“What I did to that Brownsville man,” Roger says, “isn’t that the same as what happened to Malva?” 

He begins to quote the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill” but Jamie stops him, pointing out the inaccuracies of the translation. In Greek and Hebrew scriptures, the same commandment is “Thou shalt not Murder.” 

“It makes me wonder where God is in all this,” Roger muses, “and where I stand.” 

He asks his father-in-law how he can preach to others and Jamie interrupts, saying that he can see that Roger wants to take care of the people of the Ridge.

“It’s the burying and christening and maybe just being able to help,” Roger continues. It doesn’t look like a minister is coming to the Ridge and someone has to do the job. I’m thinking it’s me.” 

This is not news to Jamie, who replies that he has eyes to see it. Roger will need to see about being ordained, but there is the added complication of the approaching war. Roger admits that he also hasn’t told Brianna yet, not wanting her to think him a coward. He couldn’t fight with an army, he tells Jamie, but he could take up arms to defend those in need. 

“And that is enough for me,” Jamie says, adding that Brianna has eyes too. 

Having Jamie’s support is important to Roger and he smiles as his father-in-law walks away.

Claire continues to be tormented by Lionel’s ghost, now hearing it blaming her for everyone’s trials, including Brianna’s rape at the hands of Bonnet while trying to recover Claire’s ring, and even Lizzie’s current predicament. How, Lionel asks, can she make it right? Once again, Claire turns to the escape of ether, but this time she hears the voices of many characters from the past, including Dougal and Colum MacKenzie, Geillis Duncan, Father Bain and Geillis Duncan, mingling with voices from the present.

As Jamie and Claire walk to the meeting house for Malva’s funeral, Claire comments that they are going to meet her prospective jurors, as she stands trial in the court of public opinion.  Jamie says he won’t entertain any such rumours with a response, reminding Claire of the “Sticks and Stones” rhyme that she says to the children. He puts his arm around her shoulders, declaring that if anyone wants to say anything to her, they will need to say it to him first. 

The funeral itself is a small affair and Roger takes the opportunity to remind everyone that they are all sinners and that God does not judge someone’s worth by their label, their actions, or what has been done to them. God forgives, Roger tells the group. He asks them to stand, before taking Malva and her child outside to be buried. 

But while God may forgive, Allan Christie does not. When Jamie steps forward to help carry Malva’s coffin, Allan says, “No, not him”, prompting Ian to step forward and take Jamie’s place. When Claire moves to carry the baby’s coffin, Allan almost drops his sister’s, so intent is he on wrenching the infant’s coffin from Claire’s arms. 

“They’re dead because of you,” he hisses. “You took my sister from me and yet you still get to live your perfect little lives as if nothing has happened.” 

Outside, Malva and her son are finally laid to rest, and Jamie and Claire walk away from the rest of the group. They know they are not welcome and suspicion is everywhere. The music is suitably sombre to match the gravity of the situation. 

Jamie is perhaps not in the best frame of mind to deal with Lizzie’s predicament, telling her curtly that she needs to be wed and the sooner the better. When asked which brother she will marry, Lizzie replies that she doesn’t want to choose as she loves them both. She rejects the suggestion that she will be branded a whore, but Jamie tells her that’s exactly what will happen - spreading her legs for two men and married to neither, with a child in her belly whose father she cannot name.

“I can name him,” Lizzie retorts. “His name will be Beardsley.” She tries to make Jamie understand. Jo and Kezzie are one soul, she says, in two bodies. 

But Jamie is not convinced.

“If you care about the fate of that soul, you’ll have those two bodies standing before me imminently,” he replies. 

The twins are out in the stables, which Jamie declares is as good a place as any for a hand fasting, given that Christ was born in a stable. Using the short straw method, Keziah is chosen and Jamie performs the quick ceremony, declaring them hand fast until a priest can be found, and telling Josiah that he needs to leave until the child has been born. 

Brianna tells Roger how saddened she is by the fact that many people believe that Malva’s baby is not in Heaven because he had not been baptised. She asks Roger if he believes the same. He replies that as a father he wants to believe that the child is in Heaven, but as a minister, he isn’t sure. When Brianna comments that she is glad that Roger is more husband than minister, he takes the chance to raise the subject of his profession. 

“But what if it’s my calling here, Bree?” he asks. “What if I want to make the preaching official?” 

He gets the same thrill as when he teaches, he tells her, only this stirs his soul as well. He wants to see about becoming ordained. Brianna understands, saying that he is so good at it, but wants to know what it would mean for their family. Each of them had been raised with parents constantly on duty, she says. Having grown up with Claire as a doctor who would leave at the drop of a hat whenever a patient needed her, Brianna says that she suffered because of it.

Roger assures him that whatever happens, he has been called to be her husband and a father first and that he will not doing anything at the expense of his family.

“You really want this, don’t you?” Brianna asks. 

“Just think how amazing it would be if I could baptise our child myself,” Roger replies, adding that he has heard of a presbytery in Edenton. 

“Well,” Brianna says, “I suppose we have some time until the baby comes.” She begins to think of the possible complications: what would she feed crying people at their kitchen table? What about the fact that she is Catholic? 

“If they don’t like it, they can go to Hell,” Roger replies, prompting Brianna to say that she hopes he will have a more diplomatic response when the time comes. But it is an acceptance, and the two make plans to begin packing for Edenton. 

The next morning, Claire confronts Lizzie, who has been avoiding her. Lizzie is upset - does Josiah really have to leave? She tries to explain, telling Claire that she had been planning on telling her about the pregnancy, having come to see her on the morning that Malva died. Lizzie had banged on the door, but had found it locked.

This is an important revelation to Claire, who had assumed it was Malva who banged on the door that fateful day. This means that Malva couldn’t have come into the surgery and she couldn’t have threatened her. 

Thanking Lizzie for telling her, she walks back inside and heads into the surgery. Putting the ether mask and bottle away with the hint of a relieved smile, Claire turns around, only to clearly see the ghost of Lionel looking at her. But this time, he doesn’t appear ghost-like, but as real as anyone else. 

“I didn’t do it,” she says desperately.

“That doesn’t change a damn thing,” Lionel retorts. 

Claire cannot get rid of him so easily. She may not have killed Malva, Lionel says, but she led the young girl to her grave.  Claire repeats “I didn’t do it” over and over, as Lionel tells her that it doesn’t absolve her of her guilt. 

Running out of the surgery, Claire finds Jamie, who immediately asks what is wrong. It is obvious that Claire is scared to go back into the room, so Jamie goes first, walking past the spectre of Lionel, who only Claire can see, putting a finger to his lips as if to quieten her. 

Tentatively, Claire enters the room, finally admitting to Jamie that she feels like she is going crazy. For the first time in her life, she says, she doesn’t recognise herself. There is a darkness inside her and she can’t bear for Jamie to see her in such a state.

“I didn’t kill Malva,” Claire begins, “but what if a part of me wanted to?” 

Jamie says that everyone has a darkness inside of them, but Claire admits that she feels like it is possessing her, eating away at her. 

Much as he did when Claire confessed to being from the future in the first season, Jamie says nothing here - just listens and watches, as Claire talks. 

Tearfully, she tells Jamie that she can hear the voice of Lionel Brown, taunting her. The only thing that drowns him out is taking the ether. She has tried for so long in her life to compartmentalise everything, in order to cope. She has put things into neat little boxes she says: Frank, her patients, grief, the past, the present, Jamie - all have gone into a box. But now the floodgates have opened and it’s not just Malva, but everything. Everything is her fault, Claire says, because she has changed things. Brianna’s attack, Roger being sold into slavery, everything since she first arrived in the 18th century, has happened due to her selfishness, all because she had desperately wanted to be with Jamie. 

“Do you think Bree feels that way?” Jamie asks, softly. “She would never have been born. What about Roger? Your selfishness has given him a wife and a son.” 

Jamie continues to recount their lives: if they hadn’t gone to Paris, they wouldn’t have found Fergus and he in turn wouldn’t have found Marsali. 

“So although there is pain, your selfishness has brought so much to so many. Without you, our whole world crumbles into dust,” he says.

But Claire is still distraught. What if she can’t stop the voice without the ether, she asks. What if there are no magic words to put it right?

“I feel like I’ll never get better,” she sobs.

Jamie reminds of her of the time after Wentworth, when she had found him in the dark, and he had let her into his mind and soul. He wants to do the same for her now, but can’t do that when she puts herself to sleep.

“We have to face this together,” he says, entreating her not to sentence herself for crimes that no-one is charging her with. “If it’s a sin that you chose me, then I will go to the devil himself and bless him for tempting you to it.”

“I would,” Claire replies. “I’d do it all again and more, to be with you.” 

At last, she allows herself to collapse against him, and he holds her tenderly. It is as if, to quote Lizzie from earlier in the episode, she feels safe with arms around her. 

Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan have always had amazing chemistry and both know how to deliver an emotional scene with tenderness. This scene was no exception and the acting was honest and heartfelt. This particular reviewer hopes that this will spell the end of the ether storyline, however. As a book reader who understands the need to tell things in a different way on screen, it has nevertheless always seemed a departure from Claire’s true character, no matter how beautifully portrayed the scenes have been.

Roger and Brianna have been visited in the dark by Lizzie and the Beardsley twins, asking if Roger will marry Lizzie and Jo, with Kezzie as witness. Brianna asks Lizzie if she is in trouble and Lizzie admits that she is with child and says that they want to be married before the baby comes, but it may be a while before they can find a priest. She hastens to add that they love each other very much and Jo adds that they want to do right by each other, a phrase that can easily be read two ways.  Knowing that Roger and Brianna are leaving for Edenton in the morning, they have come now. 

“Go on,” Brianna says to Roger. “Do it for them. Please.” 

Unaware of the previous hand fasting ceremony between Lizzie and Kezzie, Roger does so, after pausing to put on his britches, so that he doesn’t conduct his first wedding bare-arsed. 

The following morning, as Roger, Brianna and Jemmy prepare to leave, Brianna asks Claire to pass on a small wedding gift to Lizzie, explaining the hand fasting ceremony the previous night. Jamie and Claire reveal that this is the second such ceremony, and Jamie and Roger realise that both ceremonies are equally valid. 

“I’ll have a word with them,” says Jamie, solemnly. “All three of them, I swear. God help them.” 

Roger adds that Lizzie and the Beardsleys have become an “unholy trinity”, musing that the Lord indeed works in mysterious ways. 

Back inside after Roger, Brianna and Jemmy have left, Jamie and Claire discuss what will be said to the - now 3 - Beardleys. Jamie uses words like serious business, patience and sacrifice, whereas Claire muses that perhaps they should have started with monogamy. Since Jamie performed the first ceremony, he says, in the eyes of the Ridge, Lizzie will be married to Kezzie. 

They are interrupted by the sounds of horses. The music rises as we see wagonloads of men arriving, armed with rifles. It is Richard Brown and his committee of safety. 

“Mr Fraser,” Richard Brown calls, as Jamie appears on the porch, Claire behind him. “We’ve come for your wife.” 

Jamie tells him that he and his men can be on their way, but Brown informs him that Jamie is wrong.

“We’ve come to arrest her for the murder of Malva Christie,” he calls out.

Claire disappears into the shadow of the doorway, eyes wide, as the music swells and the episode ends.

We have heard many confessions during this episode - from Malva’s false confession in the meeting house, to Lizzie’s scandalous confession of loving two men and not knowing which of them has fathered her child, to Roger’s soul searching confession as to what he believes his true profession to be, to Claire’s final heartbreaking confession to Jamie that she has lost who she is. With so many souls laid bare, it remains to be seen what will happen in the final episode of season 6. As book readers know, there are many possible cliffhangers. One thing is certain though: what a finale is in store!

This episode recap was written by Susie Brown, a writer and teacher-librarian who lives in Australia. She applauds the heartfelt acting throughout this episode and understands the concept of feeling safe with arms around her - although certainly not by two men at once!