Category Archives: Caitriona Balfe

Outlander Season 6 Finale, I am Not Alone

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We have reached the end of the very short Outlander series 6, and it’s the battle for the Fraser’s, the darkness of vengeance, and the MacKenzie Family Road Trip all in this episode.

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Mob Vengeance

Let’s talk about the one character in the series who had to wait two seasons for its lines. That’s right, the Big House. When one has to do battle for what they hold dear, The Frasers retreat to the house they have painstakingly built. Which becomes part of their night-long defense again the Browns Committee. We watch all that lovingly made woodwork shot up, which if you check out the Instagram account for Outlander Starz there’s some information on how they had to set up the sFX on the shots to look realistic and feel realistic to Catriona Balfe (Claire), and Sam Heughan (Jamie).

The battle takes up the first part of the episode, showing Claire and Jamie willing to go down with the house. The Brown’s take on Claire wonders if this is the right time, the newspaper article telling of the fire that kills the Frasers in four months. Jamie reminds Claire that printer dates aren’t always exact, having been one himself. Claire tells Jamie she would rather die than go with them. In the course of the long night, the couple reconfirms their love, even in desperate sex scenes( juztaposed with the MacKenzie’s joyful camping trip, in tents). So huzzah for the house, that many feared would be fired this season. Just wait.

Road Trip

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While the MacKenzies are on their way to Edenton to see if Roger can get ordained or go into seminary training, they have a family road trip with a real wagon instead of the station wagon they would have had in the 1970s. Along the way that young rascal Jemmy picks up lice from the fisher folk kids, has his hair cut off (wait, there is a part of this that they didn’t follow up on. Just cutting hair doesn’t get rid of lice and Brianna should know this, turpentine?). She notices a weird scabby thing on his head and Roger states it’s a natural thing, sometimes hereditary, and starts talking about his…and the realization that Jemmy may really be his son makes everyone all smiles. Roger then asks Brianna to cut off his hair, too. It’s a father and son thing to do.

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Surrender

Mr. Crombie comes to the big house with the fisher folk and tries to reason with the Frasers that they should go with the Committee and everyone can see justice before a judge. In the debate that heatedly follows, Tom Christie offers himself as surety to make sure that no harm comes to Mistress Fraser since he is the aggrieved party, he should have a say. So another long, unpleasant road trip reminiscent of Season 1 continues, where Claire is a prisoner and Jamie stays by her side. The Browns make sure that the countryside knows who they are taking to the goal, and they are pelted with rocks and physical assaults along the way. And seemingly the Revolutionary War is there to add to, or keep them from justice, as the towns they go through have had uprisings and destruction, and no real courts can be found. All along the way, Tom Christie rides behind them and sees for himself that there is justice, true justice. Jamie verbally jabs at him a few times. Claire is separated from Jamie, and Tom vows to protect her, to make sure that she is safe until trial.

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Tom’s Infatuation With Claire

Since Malva’s death, we have watched Tom Christie realize that this is not true justice, and he questions the whole of the situation. He was hellfire and fury over Malva’s sins and refused to have a Christian burial for her. He has gone from an understanding and uneasy friendship and respect with Claire, which is if you had not picked on this by now, really he has a crush on the woman. When Allan vehemently accuses Claire of Murder, Tom sort of falls to the wayside, where you can see him questioning how someone who has pledged to do no harm, to treat the sick, and quite frankly put up with Tom’s self-righteousness to help heal his hand. He has respect for her. He also has feelings for her. And recognizes this is becoming another witch trial.

He seems to be under the burden of not wanting vigilante justice, but true justice. When he sees that the Brown’s Committee of Safety is encouraging violence and vengeance against the Frasers, which is really about how they have prospered and others have not. His common sense makes him more determined than ever to make sure that Claire isn’t harmed before coming before a judge. When finally they find a justice of the peace, Claire is thrown into the jail cells. Tom assures her he will stay in town until her husband comes. Good thing Jamie got his rescue from being taken back to Scotland.

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All Hail The Production Crew and Actors

While many of you are perplexed, and some of us readers know a bit more, it was a rather choppy way to leave off the season. Now, let’s look at it from the productions view point. A massive worldwide shut-down and slow reopening of filming began. In the studios and local shoots, the production team had to have the parking lots turned into a Covid testing station, then deciding to cut down to 8 episodes from the 12 typical of Outlander production had great challenges. I believe that they did a remarkable job in getting the production completed at all. Filming is currently underway for Season 7, which they have promised to add on extra episodes to help make up for the shortened season. I say have a little faith.

If the filming was dire and not what you typically take for Outlander quality, let’s look at the fact that several of the original crew have left, and gone on to their next big project. The times are changing in the world and will be reflected in some of the production. Life during the 18th century was not all rosy and much of what we think of our 13 colonies was not grand and beautiful for some time. There were Loyalists and rebels. It was a revolution after all. One of several in the world at that time. And it dragged out for some years.

So what do we have to look forward to in Season 7?

  1. Jamie has to meet his son, again, and be on opposing sides of a conflict again with someone he loves.
  2. 2. The Ridge needs to get over the petty anger and distrust if they are going to survive a revolution.
  3. It will not be until Spring 2023 before we see Outlander Season 7, so reread An Echo in The Bones.

Sticks and Stones Break More Than Bones: Outlander’s Penultimate Season 6 Episode

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Welcome to the penultimate episode of Season 6, 607: Sticks and Stones. We left our last episode with Claire up to her elbows in Malva Christie’s blood after performing an emergency Cesarian to try and save Malva’s child. With Malva’s throat cut, and Claire holding a knife, we know where this is going.

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Who Killed Malva Christie?

Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) know that Claire did not kill Malva. However, the burden of proof will come to be too much. Everyone begins to speculate, pointing the finger at the Frasers. The Frasers and their household, as well as the Mackenzies, help to prepare for Malva’s funeral despite Tom’s (Mark Lewis Jones) declaration that she will not have a proper Christian burial. Jamie asserts his authority, she will be buried properly.

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Hiram Crombie, Obidiah Henderson, The Bugs, and the fisher folk all turn on the Fraser’s, regardless they would not have a home without being invited by Jamie to settle. They are all resentful of the Laird and the Big House.  The Christies certainly have been doing their best to wreak havoc.


Know Your Enemies

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Tom has been very forthright about everything so far, and of course, at his assistance, Malva was made to confess her sins in front of the congregation of the fisher folk. Malva, of course, turned this to her advantage, making it clear that she was the victim of Jamie Fraser and hoped that the congregation would look kindly upon her and her child.

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Jamie, Claire, and the Mackenzies attend a small memorial for Malva where Roger (Richard Rankin) gives a sermon. While there are not enough men in the service to bear her coffin when Jamie offers to help, Allan Christie (Alexander Vlahos) says “Not you!”, and continues to blame Jamie, fiercely, for her death. Remember, he who casts…. When the coffin goes out, Claire notices no one has taken the child’s coffin and picks it up. Allan comes in and berates Claire, and grabs the coffin from her. If you haven’t guessed it by now, for a brother who was so mean to a sister, he sure is over-protective now. What’s really going on here?


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Oh, then there’s Lizzie (Caitlin O’Ryan). We should be used to her getting herself into predicaments if not everyone else to boot. Or should we just say that Lizzie is just ahead of her time? It certainly seems so when it’s found out that not only is the big scandal of Malva’s death weighing heavy on the Frasers, but Ian enlightens them to their maid Lizzie, who is really a part of the extended family, being with child. The thing is, she doesn’t know which of the Beardsley Twins, Jo or Kezzie (Paul Gorman), is the father. Claire takes on Lizzie while Jamie flies off to mite justice as only Jamie can.

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Claire finds playing a psychiatrist a difficult role when Lizzie explains how she ended up in a Thruple with the lads. If it hadn’t been for the medicine that had to be coated all over her skin for malaria, and her chills, well once Lizzie starts telling her story and pure joy comes out of her, you start cheering all three on. But as Claire has to point out, society will not accept such a thing and Lizzie will have to wed one of the lads.

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They are two people, but one soul

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“You can’t save you from yourself.”

Jealousy, anger, revenge, and pure resentment of the people of Fraser’s Ridge are taken out on Claire and her strange witchcrafty ways. Claire’s haunting by Lionel Brown intensifies as she doubts her sanity, and whether or not she was the one who killed Malva. Lionel Brown will not leave Claire alone, or should I say that Claire’s ether addiction is blurring the lines between reality and the demons in her mind. Flashes of voices from her past of accusations from Dougal MacKenzie, Geillis, and Frank taunt her as well. It gets so bad that Jamie finally realizes there is definitely something wrong, as Claire sees Lionel clearly in her surgery and Jamie does not. Finally, Claire tells Jamie what she has been doing, using the ether to deal with the fact she can no long compartmentalize her traumas, as a physician should. Whether it’s whiskey or ether, Jamie tells Claire that she can count on him to help her through this dark part of herself. After all, she was there for him after Wentworth.

Caitriona Balfe pours so much of herself into this role, all while being pregnant during filming. A fantastic way to use all this emoting from future motherhood into a character. It could not have been an easy block to film.


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Revenge Is Most Definitely Served Cold

Too late Lizzie, who is always late with a thing, tells Ian that it was she who knocked on the surgery door, not Malva, when Claire retreated to her ether avoidance. Claire begins to believe it was not her after all that could have harmed Malva.

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When it seems that the Frasers had had just about enough, and they realize after Roger Mac tells them he wed Lizzie to Josiah after they had wed her to Kezzie, that they can finally have a moment of peace. Richard Brown (Chris Larkin) and The Brown’s Committee of Safety, you know the ones that are the colonial version of The Watch, turns up in full force. Richard Brown announces they have come for Claire Fraser for the murder of one Malva Christie. Of course, this all conveniently happens when Roger and Brianna have left The Ridge.

Are you ready for the battle of the Big House, as Jamie and Claire fight for their lives? Watch the season finale on an extended episode 608 I Am Not Alone on Starz® May 1, 2022 at 9pm CST.

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Outlander Episode 606: The World is Turned Upside Down and Backwards

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A war is forming around Fraser’s Ridge, a slow-burn build-up to a revolution that Claire (Caitriona Balfe), Brianna (Sophie Skelton), Roger (Richard Rankin), and now Jamie (Sam Heughan) know is coming. But many of The Ridge have experienced conflict in their own country of Scotland, and suspicions and superstitions always are inflamed prior to a conflict. So begins episode 606 “The World Turned Upside Down”, with Roger Mac giving a sermon in which he tries to use the bible to illustrate how people should not allow fear and superstitions to cloud their good judgment. Of course, we know that this will be ignored for the most part, as especially the fisher-folk are very superstitious and look to Tom Christie as their leader.

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After the sermon, Roger remarks ” Has anyone seen the MacNeill’s lately?” It’s not like them to miss a Sunday service. Claire remarks that she and Brianna can look in on them to see if a health issue is keeping them away. Brianna remarks that it shouldn’t be a problem getting Malva to come, she rarely leaves Claire’s side. Claire admits to missing Marsali as her assistant and hopes that her and Fergus’ new life in New Bern as printers is working out for them. Jamie is remorseful for not seeing the solution sooner, Fergus needed to provide for his family.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

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Lizzie, Claire, Brianna, and Malva arrive at the MacNeill’s cabin and see the yard in disarray. There are Corbies on the roof and as Lizzie remarks, ” There’s something dead nearby.” helpful as always, there is a stench of death on the wind. Claire whips her troops into action, barking out orders as they enter the fetid cabin and open all the windows to get the light in. They discover several children, Mr. and Mrs. MacNeill are all ill. Mr. MacNeill tells Claire it’s the Bloody Flux. Malva takes the baby out of the crib and tries to revive the baby (hint: very un- characteristic for her since she is never really seen with any of the children on the settlement), Claire orders the boiling of water. Mrs. MacNeill dies after Malva cries out that the baby is dead.

Later, Claire shows Malva an amoeba under the microscope that is the culprit. She is determined to find the source and how it got into the water supply for the cabin. Malva is all too eager to assist. Over the course of the next few weeks, there are many cases on The Ridge, and during a burial service, Claire, Jamie, Brianna, and Roger, who is comforting the families. Claire becomes weak and faints in Jamie’s arms.

Storm Clouds, My Heart, and a Snake

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Claire falls very ill with all family members, and Malva never leaves her side, even refusing to go home when it is late and her brother comes to fetch her. In Claire’s delirium she sees Malva and Jamie together, in intimacy, visions of stormclouds, the amoeba under the microscope, holding her beating heart in her hand, and a snake (Eastern Kingsnake). We can guess much of the meaning. She finally awakens to Roger sitting by her and discovers that Malva and Mrs. Bug have cut her hair off, claiming it would help with the fever.

Claire recovers slowly, and after discussing her symptoms with Jamie, tells him that her illness was not the same amoebic dysentery that struck The Ridge. She learns that Tom Christie is still ill, and when no one is around, Claire sneaks off to check on her patient. Tom is shocked she is out of bed, and she sarcastically mentions that he should approve of her shorn head. They discuss their symptoms of severe headache, delirium, and disturbing dreams. Claire and Tom discuss how could they have gotten sick when neither has seen each other for weeks. Claire suspects poisoning, but who and how?

The She-Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

The Christies arrive in a wagon, full speed and anger. They arrive at the big house and Claire and Jamie meet with them. It is announced by Tom that Malva is with child. Allan tries to attack Jamie unsuccessfully and has just been awaiting his revenge for being publicly humiliated by Jamie in front of The Committee of Safety. Please keep that in mind. Malva puts on a fine performance as the innocent woman trying to comfort and care for a distraught Jamie, that she and Jamie had lain together more than a dozen times, and keeps imploring Jamie to admit to it. While Jamie knows that she has been seen with several men, as he had warned her to be careful of, he denies it is his child. Tom demands support for Malva.

Claire is furious, and while she doesn’t believe any of it, she is betrayed after taking Malva under her wing. She slaps Malva and stocks to the stables. Jamie finds her there and asks if she could possibly believe this. Claire admits that she doesn’t think it happened, but the rage and fear that has built up, and her recurring fears and hauntings by Lionel Brown’s ghost, bring to a head her feelings. She sacrificed everything to come back in time to find him. Brianna, Roger, and young Jemmy, shouldn’t be there.

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Despite the rumors and accusations on Fraser’s Ridge over the next weeks, Jamie and Roger the historian, are off to the Continental Congress. It’s a historic event that Roger in his geekiness must see and hear, and Jamie hopes to become a part of The Sons of Liberty.

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The Hand That Feeds

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Claire walks unsteadily to the Christies to try to reason with Malva and find the true father of her child. She has already had Young Ian admit to having Malva once, and offer to marry her if it would take the heat off of uncle Jamie. Claire implores Malva, who she has taken under her wing and teaching her, to admit the truth about the baby. Malva seems on the verge of admitting what is going on when Allan rushes out of the cabin. Allan accuses Claire of being a witch. Malva then turns on Claire as well.

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Cherry Bounce

Jamie and Roger return and Jamie tells Claire that the Provincial Congress did not pick him as a delegate to go to Philadelphia, it appears the rumors of his begetting Malva with a child even reached the Provincial Congress. Jamie is disappointed to not be part of the Continental Congress meeting.

After Claire has another ghostly encounter with Lionel, who haunts her surgery regularly, Claire sees Malva heading for the surgery through the window and grabs the leather ether mask. She retreats to hide with ether taking away the pain and frustration.  In her groggy state, Malva confronts her and says how she is going to take away everything that belongs to Claire, especially Jamie. She threatens to kill Malva. When she wakes again, she is disturbed and staggering.  She decides to go out for fresh air and goes to her garden to weed and gather. She comes to her senses and knows that something isn’t right. She looks past her garden, standing, then finds Malva with her throat cut lying just outside of the garden. Going into Claire the surgeon mode, she tries to remove the child that is near to term to rescue it. Alas, Claire finds herself cradling another dead child. We’ve been here before with Claire, and know where it leads.

Remember, the person who accuses the most, has to most to gain by the destruction of the other. Who really is the father of Malva’s baby? The rumors fly in the next episode.

The BTS on the accusation scene gives insight into betrayal and where all the characters and actors are coming from.


Thoughts on:

Malva and Mrs. Bug are co-conspirators in cutting off Claire’s hair. Why you may ask? Simply both women see Claire as being better than they are, one who covets her property, skills, and Jamie. The other, spoiler’s here, has another beef to settle with Jamie. Claire’s glory, and Jamie’s, was her curly hair, and cutting that hair was symbolic in taking Claire’s power away, think Biblical again, as she was also held suspicious for her medical practices.


Alas,  it’s a two-week mini Droughtlander. Rumors abound on Fraser’s Ridge. Who killed Malva? The Committee of Safety come back, and guess who for? Catch Episode 607, Sticks and Stones on Starz® Sunday, April 24

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Jessica Reynolds on the Tragedy of Malva Christie

Mark Me, Dear Flora: Outlander Episode 605 Give Me Liberty

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Mark me, dear Flora, your kindness will not go unremembered

As always, this contains spoilers.

In Episode 605 “Give Me Liberty”, we step back in time to just after Culloden and a defeated Bonnie Prince Charlie (Andrew Gower Cameo), being rescued by Flora MacDonald (Shauna MacDonald), dressed as an elderly and simple woman. Flora uses her guile and is able to convince the army officers that the prince is an elderly woman of no consequence.

Is He Loyal?

Lord John Grey finds himself a guest of Governor Josiah Martin, who reads out the letter of resignation as Indian Agent from Jamie Fraser and asks Lord John bluntly, is it a letter of resignation or a declaration of a rebel. Lord John assures Martin that his good friend Jamie Fraser is loyal, and finds himself asked to attend the Flora MacDonald event to ascertain the loyalties of Jamie and other former Jacobites. This puts Lord john in a rather tight spot, as good friends they may be, but he is always loyal to The Crown.

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This true recount, otherwise known as, where that Skye Boat Song came from, is what makes the celebrated Flora MacDonald of the Jacobites a big draw at Willmington, where Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) have come to meet up with Aunt Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy) and her 4th husband, Duncan Innes (Alistair Findley). The Crown, Governor Martin (Eugene O’Hare), and Major MacDonald (Robin Laing) have produced this gathering to use Flora to rally the Scots who were once rebels, to side with The Crown and keep their loyalty, lands, and business by not joining the rebels in the colonies.

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Jamie and Claire must keep up appearances, however, they will find ways to keep their new allegiance to the new rebellion by walking a fine line. Here history repeats itself as Claire and Jamie begin another subterfuge of appearing to be on the side of The Crown while seeking out information about the rebellion. Claire, Brianna, and Roger have all told Jamie that the American Colonies will unite and win the war, but that is still in the future for Jamie. Jamie doesn’t wish to be on the losing side again.

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To do right by my conscience, and right by my brothers.

While at the inn in Wilmington, Jamie tells Claire of an appointment in the Inn’s pub, where Cornelius Harnett ( James Weber Brown), a member of one of the Committees of Correspondence, wants to meet with him. Jamie meets with Cornelius and recognizes his Masonic ring. He gives him the Masonic handshake under the table and begins a discussion of brotherhood when asked why he is seeking to join The Sons of Liberty. Cornelius is suspicious, as it is all treasonous to meet. Can he trust Jamie? Jamie seeks to convince him that he is a brother of like mind, seeking a path that avoids conflict and uses reason. Jamie is invited to a Sons of Liberty meeting.

A Toast To Us

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After Flora MacDonald’s speech, Aunt Jocasta takes a turn with her health and has a severe headache. Claire, who has long suspected that Jocasta is suffering from Glaucoma, asks if Jocasta would like some help with the pain, and takes Flora with them to the pergola. She produces a pipe and when asked, tells the ladies it is hemp flower. It is remarked that they are like a gentlemen’s society and as everyone gets a bit more philosophical, Claire points out that they should be toasting Flora, for she is brave to have rescued Prince Charlie, who she informs with her “powers of the future” is drinking himself to death in Italy. Mark me, was it 4:20?

Here’s that scene again

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Truth Be Told

While dining after the Flora MacDonald speech, Mary (Mercy Ojelade), Aunt Jocasta’s slave, comes to beg the assistance of the men, a printer down the street is being threatened by rebels for printing the Flora MacDonald broadsheets publicizing the Loyalist speech. Lord John and Jamie rush to aid the printer.

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Jamie always has an affinity for printers and Lord John Grey for justice, quickly runs to the aid of the printer, with a mop of tar as a defense weapon. Lord John is a crafty one. While Jamie may or may not agree with the printer’s political views, he views mob violence as wrong. Lord John is conveniently somewhat convinced of Jamie’s loyalty until he sees that glint in Jamie’s eyes after reading the publication. Jamie mentions his conscience and how he cannot support the over-taxation and the might of The Government against the colonists. Lord John finally sees the truth and asks him if he will be at the meeting that the army will be raiding that night, a meeting of The Sons of Liberty. However, Ainsley Beeston (Freddie Stevenson) has seen Jamie with Lord John, the known Loyalist, rescuing the printer.

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Lord John, out of friendship, tells Jamie he will delay the military as long as he can, giving Jamie time to worn Harnett and Beeston. However, they are not convinced Jamie is not a Loyalist, they have doubts. Jamie must quickly tell them he is there to warn them. The army arrives with torches. The men escape out the back of the inn.

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Form Whom The Bell Must Toll

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The MacKenzies have been left in charge of Fraser’s Ridge again in the absence of Jamie and Claire. When the parents are away, there always seems to be trouble brewing back home. If they only knew how much. While walking with Lizzie, Malva and Marsali, they come across a burnt-out space with bones by the path, that Marsali identifies as looking like a love charm.

Roger (Richard Rankin) has been helping Amy McCallum, again. This of course leads to trouble. While visiting Marsali and hearing about the preparations for moving to meet with Fergus, Marsali guesses that Brianna is “with child” again, and teases her for not telling her sister. Brianna tells her she hasn’t even told Roger yet. Later, after hearing of gossip on The Ridge about how much time Roger is spending with the young widow McCallum, Brianna calls Roger out on it.

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Roger admits that he is trying to help her, as Amy views him as a minister of sorts, and he has a weakness for widows, having lost his own father in the war. Brianna understands that he loves her, and is trying to be kind, however, tongues are wagging. Roger admits that he feels a little useless at home, with brilliant Brianna plotting to bring indoor plumbing to the people of The Ridge, that he is helping someone less fortunate. Roger agrees that his place is with his own wife and child. He will look for a solution.

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Brianna (Sophie Skelton) must also step in while Claire the healer is not in residence. While walking with Lizzie and some of the other women of the Ridge (Marsali, Lizzie, and Malva), Lizzie has a fainting spell. She quickly deduces that Lizzie is having trouble with malaria again. Okay, so if you are a fan of the books, you know about the malaria problems, in great detail, that Lizzie has. When did they ever mention this in the last two seasons?

Anyway, as quickly explained by Brianna, malaria must be causing the ailment. The Beardsley twins Josiah and Kezzie turn up very concerned over Lizzie’s health. Brianna hands them a jar of liniment and explains they must seek a plant to help with Lizzie’s ailment. While this is another dear moment from the book, it’s rather hurriedly thrown in.

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Roger, accompanied by Tom and Allan Christie, hauls a large bell up the hill to the newly built meeting house. Tom tells Roger to go inside and get some rope and tackle to help lift the bell up to the belltower. He runs inside and finds Malva Christie going at it with Obidiah Henderson. He stops them and tells Malva her father is right outside. She rounds on Roger and threatens him, telling him if he breathes a word that she will tell everyone on The Ridge that he is doing more than mending Amy McCallum’s chimney. Quickly Roger brings Obidiah out with him to help put up the bell, while Malva sneaks out the back.

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Roger comes to a solution with “the Amy McCallum situation”, and tells Obidiah to help with mending and fixing things at her place. This way an unmarried man is helping, and maybe staying away from Malva. Smells like more trouble is brewing.

What Was That?

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Claire and Jamie are packing up to leave Willmington. While getting the wagon loaded and about to start off, Claire hears a faint tune she remembers, whistling on the wind. It’s not from the 18th century, it’s a tune from WWI. You may know it as The Bridge on the River Kwai March, however, it is Colonel Bogey March. This makes Claire jolt a bit. When Jamie asks, “What’s wrong, Sassanch?”, she infers it is nothing.

However, in the Willmington goal, a figure behind bars is whistling the tune. Windigo Donner is back.

Tune in tonight on the Starz® App at Midnight for Episode 606, “The World Turned Upside Down”, and Sunday at 9 PM CST on Starz®

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Andrew Gower talks about how difficult mucking about in women’s garb is and some BTS fun.

Inside Flora’s Party at Aunt Jocosta’s. Outlander really throws a party.

Outlander 603 Temperance; Superstitions, Power, and Fear

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Photo: Robert Wilson ©2022 Starz®

Episode 3, Season 6 has so many themes, but what it all comes down to is fear. There is a war brewing and the Fraser’s know it. The people of Fraser’s Ridge have been in conflicts in their homelands, fear the new world and fear and superstitions came with the fisher folk. It is an episode that sets up the story archs for several characters on Fraser’s Ridge, Marsali and Fergus, The Christies, The Fraser’s Ridge Gang (The Weeans), The Cherokee, and of course Jamie and Claire.

Our episode opens with a view of a wide river and a tiny basket carrying a crying baby heads to the rough waters and a sudden drop at the falls. The Fraser Ridge Gang, including young Germain , are rushing down the riverside trying to catch up with the basket. Roger MacKenzie (Richard Rankin) hears and sees the basket carrying the baby, and charges into the waters to retrieve the baby. When the lads think all is lost and the basket goes over the falls, Roger shames them and reveals he has rescued baby Henri-Christian. He quickly begins to Baptise the infant, even though he is not ordained, as his 20th century mind knows this is about superstions and fear. The boys admit that their parents have told them that the child, born a dwarf, is a demon. If they touch it they will burn in Hell. Roger uses the baptism, and uses Henri-Christian’s name, emphasizing the Christian part. He then singles out Germain after telling the boys to go home and that Mr. Fraser will deal with them all later at the big house. He points out that Germain should be protecting his brother, how did this all happen. Germain, shamed a bit, admits that he did not defend his brother due to peer pressure.

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Later, Roger decides to aid in protecting baby Henri-Christian in reminding the people of The Ridge in the Bible story of Moses, the child in the basket found and raised by Egyptians. Good job, Roger.

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Photo: Robert Wilson ©2022 Starz®

Later, after Henri-Christian is brought to safety to be with his family again and there is much discussion about how could this happen on The Ridge. Marsali (Lauren Lyle) comes home to find her bairns asking their father for food, and Fergus (César Domboy) continues to drink. After weeks of Fergus pulling away from he and the family, Marsali finally has it out with him. She will not have a husband unless Fergus is really there with them. Fergus, fuming, tries in vain to discuss what is wrong, but it all comes out wrong, as in making excuses. Having had enough, Marsali tells him to leave.

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Photo: Robert Wilson ©2022 Starz®

The family has not been able to reach Fergus, truly, since Marsali and Claire were attacked. He was in charge of the Ridge at that time, and should have been able to protect them. When Claire, his adoptive mother, tries to reason with him later, he opens up at last about what his life was like in the brothel in Paris, how Dwarf children were mistreated, sold as objects. In France, dwarf children were often left for the wolves. Domboy has truly grown as an actor in this series, and makes the audience really see the real, deep Fergus. He doesn’t want that sort of life for his son. Fergus has been dealing with his own short comings with missing a hand, a very severe handicap in a world filled with labor intensive work and providing for his family has been difficult. He refuses to go back with Claire.

Later, Jamie comes upon him trying to suicide by the creek. He cuts a gash in his arm and Jamie tells him he is a man of worth, he would be lost with out Fergus, that Fergus is his, of his family. Not to mention the damnation of his soul. He drags Fergus back with him for Claire to treat, and eventually they bring Fergus back to Marsali, where they are reconciled and must discuss how to keep baby Henri-Christian safe with the fearful people of The Ridge pointing fingers at the child and ready to blame him for crop failures or any other bad circumstances at Fraser’s Ridge.

Devil’s Work

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Photo: Robert Wilson ©2022 Star®

Tom Christie (Mark Lewis Jones) is a very difficult man. Claire finds herself pushing back at Tom’s blows of self righteousness, the blustering he furls out to protect himself from sins, in every conversation they have. What it really is, and what Claire recognises, that it is fear of loss of control that is really bein dealt with. Tom wants to be the leader, and is often outshined by Jamie, an truly struggles with it. We see the angry side of Tom, as he takes the strap to Malva. In his failed attempt, he realizes he would have better use of his hand to administer the strap if it did work properly. So this is what drives him to Claire for the operation, or so we think, his only motive is to be able to punish the wicked girl.

What is really happening, and if you haven’t seen it, look again, is that Tom Christie is a moth to a flame. He wants what Jamie (Sam Heughan) has, and despite himself and his blusterings, begins to soften towards Claire (Caitriona Balfe). While Jamie tries to encourage him to take the ether for surgery, and Tom refusing on his high moral ground, Jamie discusses his hand surgery and explains to Tom it is no easy matter. Tom of course refuses, saying it’s the Devils work (ether) it is not natural. Claire explains, as if talking to a brick wall, that he needs to hold still while she performs the surgery the ether will make it so. Tom agrees but only with whisky and  Jamie must hold him down. She calls him a masochist out of frustration, and has to explain the term to both men. With a few drams more and Jamie holding Tom in the surgery chair, and some great surgery FX from the crew, Claire manages to do some fine surgery work. Claire then talks Tom into staying in the surgery for the night to keep an eye on him. Tom gives in, but as we see him softening, we must realize that the man is becoming absolutely besotted with Claire. Watch out for the brewing of sin in this little drama, the man has fallen under her spell.

Watch all the drama and kettle boiling while we slowly head towards war. Next up, Episode 4 “Hour of The Wolf”.

All Media Photos: Robert Wilson ©2022 Starz®

Kinship is Tested in Outlander Episode 602, Allegiance

602JamieIndianAgentIt’s another episode filled with conflicts. The Fraser’s, MacKenzies, and people of Fraser’s Ridge, keep bumping up against traditions, religion, customs, superstitions, and of course, loyalties. Families mean kinship, and all that comes with it.

Are You Not My Kin?

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John Bell

And so begins the job of Indian Agent for Jamie Fraser (Sam  Heughan).  Jamie and Ian meet with the local Cherokee Nation as Jamie takes on his new role as Indian Agent for the Crown. Ian is helpful trying to translate, while he mostly knows the Mohawk language. Chief Bird (Glen Gould) and Still Water (Simon R. Baker) tell Jamie that the Cherokee people have fought with the king before, and won. Why would they aid the king now? The settlers are pushing at the treaty lines. How will they defend their own people? They point out they could have killed the settlers if they wanted to, they don’t need guns for that. Jamie is hesitant and refuses to request guns for the Cherokee, questioning where their loyalties lie. Ian asks him why, and Jamie reminds him that Claire and Brianna have told him of what happens in the future to the Cherokee and other nations. Ian asks to know more. It isn’t good.

At the heart of this conflict, Jamie and Ian are the remaining kinsmen. Jamie has lost his Godfather, Murtagh, and must continue his turn as a father figure for Young Ian, who is not so young anymore. Young Ian identifies greatly with his adopted Mohawk family and the Cherokee people he wishes to protect. One of the reasons he identifies with the tribes, is that they are very much a clan, an extended family and honor is important. A rift starts to form as Ian cannot understand why Jamie will not agree to seek guns for the Cherokee. He feels they are family to him. Jamie questions him, is he not a kinsman to Jamie? How can Jamie just give them guns, and hope they don’t use them on the people of the Ridge? Jamie asks Ian to think about it, would giving the Cherokee guns mean they could be used on the people of The Ridge.

Of course, we have a few scenes right out of the book, and there is a good one. One of them is the night that Jamie and Ian spend in a Long House, where suddenly Jamie finds not one, but two naked Cherokee women, Walela (Blair Lamora) and Selu (Barbara Patrick), are under the skins with him. The scene is well played by Sam Heughan, finding himself at the mercy of these two women, not wishing to offend, and Ian (John Bell) enjoying the situation far too much. It adds some much needed humor in an episode filled with doubts. It also makes Jamie head for home and into the arms of Claire.

Roger’s Calling

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Richard Rankin

Roger seems to have the worst of luck, always, before he gets something. He has found himself drawn to helping officiate as a clerical leader on The Ridge, since he was raised by a Protestant Clergyman. He has tried to help a recent widow with her small son, and Tom Christie asks him to officiate at Grannie Wilson’s wake at the meeting house/church.

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Sam Heughan and Robin Scott

Roger sees it as a honor to help, he hasn’t had it easy since coming to the past and sufering as a slave, hung, and losing much of his singing voice after surviving that ordeal. However, as he seeks a purpose, perhaps he can use his speaking voice in helping the fisher folk who have come. So this opportunity of giving a service at the wake, and he hopes it will help unify the newcomers with the Catholic presence on The Ridge. Of course, while Roger is saying words for Grannie Wilson, a stiring of the corpse to sitting upright and demanding to know what is going on spooks everyone and lends more fear and superstition to what will in later episodes become a powder keg situation. After Grannie has her say, and the Sin Eater has had his bread, Grannie does finally have her last breath, after Claire of course checks her over to be sure.

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Roger does get the upper hand later when he comes to the aid of Marsali. She is having a very difficult birth, and Fergus is no where to be found. He knows she needs Fergus and seeks him out. Roger confronts Fergus and tells him to man up, be the man Marsali needs right now. Fergus has been dealing with the aftermath of feeling helpless when Marsali was attacked, and has been drinking heavily. In counseling Fergus, and seeing Fergus go to Marsali’s aid, is Roger finally feeling his calling, to be of good counsel to others in need?

A Haunting

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Jessica Reynolds and Caitriona Balfe

Claire’s PTSD symptoms continue to plague her, as other memories from the past come to haunt her. Alan Christie discouraging Malva from her adoration of Claire’s skills as a surgeon/healer, doesn’t help when he brings up that such women may be suspected of witchcraft. Allan is still smarting from the lashing he took. With that and Claire’s haunted surgery where her attacker was silenced by Marsali, and his ghost seems to be haunting Claire, not Marsali. Claire has been using ether to deal with her stress, collapsing into a motionless heap when she feels overwelmed. What will the people on The Ridge think when she begins to use ether in surgeries? To make people as if dead, then bring them back to life?

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Lauren Lyle and Caitlin O’Ryan

Claire is on cue when Marsali suddenly goes into a long and difficult labor. With Jamie yelling “Where the hell is Fergus?”, and Marsali’s only comfort being wee Adso, Claire uses the labor as a teachable momment with young Malva, which just makes you want to cringe. Claire begins to soften and bring down her guard, encouraging Malva who has no support from her family, to learn healing. Of course we start seeing that Malva covets Claire’s standing and independence, and the power she wields as a healer. Claire is becoming too trusting of the seemingly innocent lass.

And speaking of surgery, the devout Tom Christie comes calling to a frosty Claire, suggesting he may want the surgery he had refused earlier. Claire suggests he comes back when he has full use of his newly injured hand. It seems that Christie is drawn to Claire like a moth to the forbidden flame. Hold that thought for later in the season.

Resolution

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Jamie is walking on the property in the evening and overhears Young Ian talking about his bairn he had with his Mohawk wife while holding Marsali’s baby, Henri-Christian. He confides that he lost the child, and when Jamie overhears this, he makes a decision on writing to the Governor to request guns for the Cherokee. He realizes that the Cherokee people have fears for their families just as he does. They should have the right to defend their own people. Wouldn’t it be better to work on an allyship with them?

Should I also mention the rumor going around that Laoghaire may make an appearance? Because the Christie’s and Brown’s presence is not enough to deal with.

Here’s a Wee Adso making a nuisance on the Majors’s tunic to cheer you up.

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Behind the Scenes in Episode 602 Allegience

Next time on Outlander Season 6 Temperance

All media ©2022 Starz®

Outlander Season 6, The Echoes Just Keep Coming

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Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan

Outlander Season 6 Episode 601 Echoes, Written by Mathew B. Roberts, Directed by Kate Cheeseman

We begin the break from the longest Droughlanders on record with a back story after a long intro by Claire (Caitriona Balfe) talking of echoes, and how they always come back, memories are like echos, and usually interchangable in discription. A long “previously on” montage opens the episode, ending with a backstory of when Jamie first arrived, broken, at Ardsmuir prison.

Freedom of Religion and Politics

And now we have one of the most contentious and bizarre conflicts of the Outlander Universe, the Jamie Fraser v. Tom Christie (Mark Lewis Jones) for the control of Frazer’s Ridge. After waiting nearly two years for a new Outlander season, we get a wam, bam, backstory to this contentious pairing from the Aurdsmuir prison days for Jamie (Sam Heughan). While we get some welcome characters back from Ardsmuir days, echos being as they are, Hayes (James Allenby-Kirk) and Lesley (Keith Fleming) butting heads with the Protestants, Tom Christie is a whole other kettle of fish.

Freemasonry is one of author Diana Gabaldon’s ways of dealing with the obvious frictions of so many people coming together with so many political and religious beliefs, in the confines of a prison, and later the powder keg of the American Colonies. Jamie, being the clever man he is, always adept at learning new languages and cultures of any kind, sees the creation of a lodge in the prison as a way to get the Governor of the prison on side, who has shown masonic signs when communicating with Tom Christie in his chambers that Jamie picked up on, and the prisoners all as equals to stop the feuding. Jamie uses this knowledge later after a conflict between the work gangs of opposing Catholics and Protestants ends with the death of one of the prisoners. Jamie claims he will make a lodge of all prisoners regardless of politics or religion, and challenges Tom to join in, with the consent of the Governor. This is also his way of having an upper hand with Christie over his power with the Governor. By uniting all under a brotherhood where cooperation instead of conflict could happen, Jamie sees a may to managing the mayhem. We see that Tom Christie is seeing Jamie as out smarting him, and using his ways to have the upper hand. A sort of truce is brokered with the men. Of course Jamie get’s flogged again, taking the blame for something he did not do at the prison. Winning the praise of many prisoners. Tom just can’t win.

Can I just say this now, where the heck is Murtagh? This is a flashback to Ardsmuir, and in TV Outlander, Murtagh was there with Jamie after Culloden. Just saying what we were all thinking. Maybe there will be another flashback. I can only assume that the writers did not want to detract from the conflict of Jamie and Tom at the prison. Maybe Murtagh shows up later?

Bad Pennies Turn Up

Unknowingly Roger and Brianna receive Tom Christie in 1773 on Fraser’s Ridge while Jamie is away. Tom Christie turns up with one of the posters that Fergus had printed inviting men from Ardsmuir Prison to settle the Ridge with the Frasers. Unknowingly and in their usual youthful exuberance, Roger and Brianna welcome Tom, his family Alan (Alexander Vlahos) and Malva, and the fisher folk that are his flock, to settle on the Ridge. Later Jamie and Claire return and Jamie is shocked to find Tom Christie in the parlor with the MacKenzies. There is some clipped and not so suble animosity between the two, and Jamie reluctantly welcomes the newcomers. Roger appologizes to Jamie, he did not know that Christie was atrouble maker, as Jamie had never mentioned the man. Jamie makes the best of the situation and rounds up the men of Frasers Ridge to make a cabin building party for the new fisher folk who are obviously used to shoreline living, not deep woods with winter snows beginning.

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Pride Before Sense

Later they are invited to meet with Christie’s flock. When the MacKenzies and Fraser’s arrive to hear Tom’s breaking of the bread speech, where Tom rallies the bedraggled fisher flock with a symbolic loaf, quoting scriptures and declaring that they will build a church. Jamie takes acception right away, stating that is not how we do things on the Ridge. While being a fact of necessity, the folk must have cabins to live in before they begin building any large structures that they have no experience with building. But as often is with religious fervor, it’s about being seen to be giving and giving big to the community, before helping the community to actually survive the winter. And there is a bit of ego involved. Jamie rightly puts Tom in his place in a matter of fact pragmatism. We can see Tom processing this deflating of his pride.

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Tom Christie later comes injured to Claire’s surgery and in helping to address his wounds, notices some disfigurement. Tom, the ever conflicted man, has his sense of propriety, no alcohol shall pass his lips, bettered by Jamie factual praticality. Take a dram or something while she fixes your wounds. Tom gives in a bit and we see some softening when Claire matter of factly takes charge, tossing two male egos aside to do her work. She mentions that she can also see to the other long term injury of his hand, and make Tom’s hand work better at a later date. There are a few more Snapping Turtle bites, but Christie leaves possibly falling under Claire’s spell.

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And of course why have one conflict when you can have two bad echos at once? Latter the Brown boys show up, Richard Brown (Chris Larkin) as you will remember as being the head of Clan Brown, is now head of a Committee of Safety, which is the colonial version of The Watch from Season 1. Earlier his men had spotted Alan Christie with Young Ian hunting and noticed a particular stolen powder horn. When confronting Jamie about this, who is annoyed that they have come to the Ridge as it sets Claire on edge as she goes in the house.

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Tom finally steps up and states that if the horn has been stolen, young Alan will punished for this. A whole lot of testosterone is flying about and finally Jamie, in aserting his leadership bargains with Brown, that he will lash the boy himself. All Jamie can do is try to control a situation that can get well out of hand. And one that get’s young Alan, who was obviously petrified of his father, beaten publicly and humiliated. We’ll see how he get’s his revenge on Jamie, later.

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So begins the long awaited and quiet contentious introduction to The Christies and the havoc they will bring to the Ridge.

Watch a preview of Episode 602 “Allegience”, where Jamie struggles with his Indian Agent Role and Marsali survives a dificult birth. And where the heck is that drunk, Fergus. Sundays at 9 pm EST on Starz®

Edenton Freemason Lodge had brush with Tory plot

Outlander Season 6: Freemasons and Ether History Explained

All media ©2022 Starz®

Outlander Season Six is Here

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Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser and Caitriona Balfe as Claire Fraser

For some of us, it will be one more sleep, for some overseas, it will be two. Of course, that depends on your time zone. And if you have the Starz App it’s a mere 10 hours away, dropping at midnight.

Where ever you are, it’s a day to catch up, plan your viewing parties, finish rereading that last bit. Pull out that copy of ETs Outlander special edition, which has turned back up everywhere, including my local checkout counters.

Back in stores now.

So, there have been many interviews, premieres, and fun events around the globe to celebrate.

Have fun with Sam mixing up where the Eiffel Tower is, and his seeing Val Kilmer.

Caitriona Balfe talks about Belfast and the SAG awards, Outlander, her screen son geeking at the awards. And also, her very younger rabble-rouser years.

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Jimmy Kimmel Live! ©2022 NBC Universal