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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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®
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