We had a week off from Outlander, presumably because someone at Starz decided people might not want to watch an episode about murder, depression, hallucinations, and threesomes on Easter Sunday, though I’m pretty sure these old Easter Bunnies would be 100 percent cool with it. After that extra wait, Outlander rose again with… more of the same, really? The most interesting story in the hour got the shortest shrift, and so I’m going to lead off with it.


If you, like me, suspected Lizzie was not trying too hard to pick between the Beardsley twins, then congratulations, we are sex psychics. Jamie had wanted the twins to help search the Ridge for suspicious persons who might’ve killed Malva, but the twins were nowhere to be found. I am not entirely sure why; it’s just a contrivance so that Lizzie has to confess to Ian that she’s pregnant. Ian turns around and tells Jamie, claiming he’s worried for her because everyone at the Ridge thinks Malva got killed because she, too, was unwed and pregnant. This does not jibe with the competing rumor that Claire jealously slashed Malva, but there is no logic on this grapevine. Everyone just wants to believe everything, and also, Ian and Jamie are certainly more likely to believe the former. But I think Ian just wanted to tell. It’s okay, Ian. Just admit it.


It is truly a glorious moment when Claire needs to be like, “WHOA WHOA WHOA, she was with both of them?” Jamie doesn’t much care, as long as one of them marries her, which he’s going to make happen.

Please cherish the look on Claire’s face as she tries to stomach the details of Lizzie’s sexual awakening:

Outlander Season 6 2022

Bless her, the actress playing Lizzie does quite a sweet job with this hella awkward monologue in which she has to explain to Claire just how they all went down on her. Um, I mean, how it all went down. It was when Claire and Jamie went away to foment rebellion amongst the Tree Hill Ravens in Wilmington. Lizzie’s malaria came back. “I could feel the fever coming for me, my blood ran hot and cold,” she says. I bet it did, Lizzie. Sex Fever will do that to you. Anyway, the boys arrived with Brianna’s special gallberry ointment — GALLBERRIES INDEED — which they had to rub all over her body, everywhere, and one of the twins apparently decided he was worried about getting his shirt dirty (!) and in the manner of adult films everywhere, Lizzie was like, “Better take it off then,” you MINX, LIZZIE, and then suddenly they were all greased up and bonking. Hit it, Marvin Gaye:

Malaria is scary
Take my gallberries
Or wait am I Josiah?
We’re a hormone jambalaya
Try my papaya

I’m a big believer
In your sexual fever
Sexual fever!
I missed a spot
Wait you don’t know ’bout G
So nevermind
I’ve got some more salve for ye
It’s ointment time
Sexual fever! Let’s reapply
Sexual fever, please shake my gallberry tree.

Outlander is usually a show that would show us a white hot sexual liaison, especially one that began with The Rubbing of the Ointment. But the actor playing both Beardsleys is pretty untested — they give him as few lines per episode as possible — so maybe a greased-up gallberry orgy was too big an ask. Also, it’s possible that Outlander didn’t want to pay the money it would require to take one actor and his body double and turn them into twins participating in the same threesome. Further, the ookiness of brothers in a tangle of naked limbs might ALSO have been more than they wanted to deal with, especially erotically. But, I’m getting ahead of myself: I looked up gallberries, and apparently — deeply aptly — the term can refer to two very very similar shrubs, both of which are an important source of nectar, mmm-hmm nectar right right right (to be imagined in the voice of the Love Island narrator; oh hell, that is exactly what this show is missing, dammit, now I will never know a moment’s peace).

Over at Casa Amor, while Claire and Lizzie put ten pounds of makeup on their faces in front of their neon mirrors, Claire asks if the boys tricked Lizzie into thinking they were just one person, or whether she really did choose to couple up with both boys at the fire pit. Lizzie insists she knew and went with it anyway: “I didn’t mean to! I mean, I DID…” Claire all but chuckles that she doesn’t think it’s possible to get into a threesome with two men by accident, which is a transition Love Island would absolutely die to use. Lizzie smiles that she felt so safe with them, delivers the worst description of I THINK a nipple that I have ever heard, and then says, “They’re identical EVERYWHERE.” Claire tries not to vomit into her mouth. Lizzie admits she wasn’t so feverish that she didn’t know what was happening — and those boys didn’t have malaria, so they were DEFINITELY down — and then it just kept happening in the subsequent weeks, alternating boys. Lizzie seems very at peace. She says she knew it would sound strange so that’s why she didn’t say anything, but that it just didn’t feel wrong to her because they are two halves of the same soul. They are the rare dual-penised, four-handed, quadra-thighed, double-mouthed soul angel, truly a creature of legend. I know this plot is in the books, but please, somebody tell me whether Lizzie gets to wax rhapsodic about writhing in ointment, or if that twist is purely the show’s invention. I cannot give high enough marks to the commitment of this actress, who spoke of Gallberry Sex Fever with an unimaginable reverence. And there’s no better way to test the temptation of a gallberry martini than with OUR FRIENDS AT CAESAR’S PALACE!!!!! (Sorry, but Love Island’s second-season sponsorship shout-outs were works of art.)

Claire is glad Lizzie is at least enjoying this dalliance, but she can’t be too sexually progressive here, because she has to warn Lizzie that people on the Ridge will probably stone her dead for fornication. She’s going to have to pick one. But later, with Jamie, she can’t choose because she loves them both. So Jamie, bless him, takes them to the barn — “Christ was born in a manger, it was good enough for him” — and makes the twins draw straws. The short straw gets the bride. Jamie, that is SO UNFLATTERING. The short straw is for when you’re Mrs. Peacock and you get stuck searching the house with Professor Plum.

Outlander Season 6 2022

Kezzie wins, or I guess loses in Jamie’s parlance. “It’s you and me, honey bunch,” Kezzie says. Jamie handfasts them and then tells Josiah that he should flee until the baby is born. I don’t… understand why? Is ANYONE on the Ridge going to smell this particular rat? I don’t think they have the imagination for Gallberry Sex Fever. This is why Lizzie and Kezzie — Kezzizzie? — look so sad up here, FYI. But Lizzie, Kezzie, and Josiah are smart, and Roger Mac is not, so they sneak over to Chez Mackenzie late that night and pretend the baby is for sure Josiah’s, and beg him to handfast THEM. And Roger DOES.

Outlander Season 6 2022

A double fasting! It’s a Fastfest! And thus, Lizzie’s polyamory becomes polygamy. It’s not until the next day that Claire and Jamie compare notes with Roger and Brianna, and realize Lizzie got herself handfast to each boy, in a way that seems equally valid all around. “An unholy trinity, certainly,” Roger joke. “What can I say? The lord works in mysterious ways.” Jamie grunts that Kezzie was first, and so that’s all anyone needs to know. Good for those three, I say. I mean, other than… the fact that brothers sharing something intimately and possibly sometimes simultaneously is ooky to me, our Lizzie has come a long way in terms of advocating for her own pleasure. GET IT, LIZ. Someday, she is going to love Utah.


Malva Christie’s Last Stand is the opening monologue of the show. We see a snippet of how she prostrated herself for the congregation: “I’m standing before you today to tell you that the devil is real. They say he comes before you in the guise of an angel, but he spoke to me in the guise of a man. He seduced me. I lost my innocence. It was stolen. Taken by someone I trusted.” I assume all the other dudes from the Ridge that she slept with are, at this point, shifting uncomfortably in their seats. “My baby will be a bastard in your eyes, but I hope you can see it in your hearts to treat us kindly,” she finishes. Jessica Reynolds is a good actress, and I know the books somewhat dictate things, but its a shame they couldn’t rejigger things a little because she will be missed — she brings a spark to all her scenes, even if it’s a spark of eeeeeeevil. (I honestly don’t even think she’s evil; I think circumstances made her desperate.)

We cut from her crafty, cunning plea for mercy, to Tom Christie approaching his daughter’s corpse. Jamie and Claire and Allan are staring at it, too. She is holding the baby. It’s grim. Allan asks who Claire saw, and says surely she must have seen SOMETHING, and in my notes I wrote, “HE DID IT.” He must have, right? This character has been rendered totally pointless otherwise. He doesn’t do anything else, so he MUST have a bigger role to play in… well, the finale is next week, so next week. Claire tries to explain that she was napping and then popped out with a pruning knife to garden, and found the body and was determined to save the baby if she could. Tom is suspicious of her, and yet, there’s a part of him in this scene that I think accepts the logic that Claire would not have killed Malva. (That part of him is silent, of course, but it’s in the actor’s demeanor.)  Tom is dismayed to learn that death would have been quick — too quick for her to pray for God’s forgiveness. He wants to chuck her in the woods, because she’s a sinner and a hooooooor, but Jamie and Claire protest and say she deserves to be interred in consecrated ground. “Over my dead body,” Tom says. “No. Over MINE,” Jamie snarls. Oh, Jamie, you are so hot when you’re defending the afterlife. Tom doesn’t even know what he’d say about her at a funeral, and Claire says, “That Malva Christie was full of life and light, and there was fire in her eyes, and when I held her tiny baby, I felt that same light in him.” Claire promises to clean up the body and Allan stomps away, pouting, as Jamie scoops up the body in a sexy way where I hope it was Jessica Reynolds getting to experience this, and not a dummy.

The rest of the episode drags on and on AND ON by hitting several of the same beats over and over again. Do you want another scene of Lionel Brown taunting Claire? Sure! How about LOTS of them! They’re on special. Would you like a townsperson repeating rude things about Claire? Let’s do it at least twice! Would you like to be confused by how the Frasers still employ Mrs. Bug, even though she clearly now thinks Claire is a demon and probably Jamie too? Great!

Outlander Season 6 2022

First, the gossips: Two Ridge denizens, Hiram Crombie and Obediah Henderson, separately stop by Chez Witchcraft to accuse Jamie of being a philanderer, and Claire of murder. “Are we all to suffer because you regret marrying a jealous English woman with a sharp tongue and even sharper knives?” Crombie asks, and later, Obediah offers up, “Everyone on the Ridge has questions about you and your wife. Is it true she cut the baby out before she slit her throat, or was it the other way around?” Roger helpfully reminds Obediah that Roger caught him exploring Mount Malva, and Obediah mumbles and fumbles that they hadn’t seen each other in a long time, before intoning that they all know the Frasers should look for the murderer close to home. Claire spies Mrs. Bug whispering things and shooting disapproving looks up at her window. Basically, Fraser’s Ridge is HOPPING with the steaming hot tea, and since nobody wants to come forth and admit they too dallied with Malva, it’s all going to land on Jamie. And thus Claire.

Claire, though, is falling apart. The captions tell us that a lot of UNSETTLING STRING MUSIC scores these moments, and that is accurate. I also wrote, several times, “Oh, God, more dreams,” because Claire hallucinates everyone: Malva, Geillis, Dougal, Jack Randall, Frank, anyone who’s ever crossed her or said anything hateful to her or about her or both, most of them featured in audio only clips from episodes that are blurred JUST enough to make them, I assume, less expensive to recycle. No residuals for YOU, Tobias Menzies!

Lionel comes to Claire no fewer than six times. SIX. And it’s the same basic idea each time.

Is it me you’re listening for?
I so love our little chats
Where I hiss and spit and spew
Where I tell you you’re a demon
And a violent jealous shrew.
I know how to pierce your heart
And my contract wants me to
Come back seventy times per hour
To taunt you.

Outlander Season 6 2022

When she tries to stitch up Malva’s neck wound, he whispers, “Plucked up the courage to kill this one yourself, did you?” After she overhears Hiram Crombie’s accusations, he says Hiram summed her up pretty well: “You’re selfish. You took the life of an innocent young girl to protect that husband of yours when you swore to do no harm. Not as if you haven’t done THAT before though, is it? The lying, the loveless marriage, leaving when you should have stayed, staying when you should have gone.” He calls her a murderess. He blames her for Brianna’s rape and Lizzie’s pregnancy and Malva’s death, all while Claire ether herself (I believe she turns to it twice in this hour, though there is an implied third ethering when she tells Jamie she’s going to get a cup of tea and he stares after her, worried and hot and worried in his reading glasses). Lionel is no longer embodying Claire’s trauma at his hands; he’s now the form she’s giving to all her guilt and anxiety. I feel two opposite ways at once here: I think it’s natural that the emotional ripples from Claire’s time-travel would back up on her and crash this way, much like that one episode of Grey’s Anatomy where the show seemed to realize what crappy doctors they all often are, and decided to chuck Meredith in front of the medical board to defend herself. But it is weird to see Claire crumble, and for me not remotely believable that she would EVER think she might have killed Malva. (Spoiler, Meredith got off the hook, and so will Claire.) And yet here Claire DOES think that it was possible. She even announces it when, at dinner, Roger and Brianna fondly recall Perry Mason and his hunt for means, motive, and opportunity. Privately, Jamie says he can’t believe she’d even suggest such a thing, but Claire says she just feels it in her gut: “You know when you leave the house and you think you’ve left the oven on” — she quickly corrects this for Jamie’s sake into a candle burning, which is nice — “and you know you probably haven’t, you’ve never done it before, but what if this is the time that you did and this is the time the house burns down?” PROPHETIC, as I believe Fraser’s Ridge is going to burn down soon, not that anyone seems too fussed about that newspaper detail even though it was the ENTIRE REASON Brianna and Roger went back in time. Claire confesses to, but then thoroughly handwaves, ethering herself just a little bit that day, then describes the vision she had of Malva, wondering if it was a memory. “What if I did do it?” she asks. This is just strange to me. Claire may be deep in her feelings about Lionel Brown, but you can’t convince me Claire would EVER wobble on whether she had committed a murder.

Later, Claire runs into Lizzie, and yada yada yada Claire learns that it was NOT Malva coming toward her that day, but LIZZIE, wanting to tell her about her threesome baby. Lionel of course gives her some shit for that from beyond the grave, and Jamie catches her cowering in a corner, so Claire finally blurts out, “For the first time in my life, I don’t recognize myself.” She knows now she didn’t kill Malva, but “what if a part of me wanted to?” Jamie says everyone has darkness within them, but Claire feels like hers has taken over and seeped into every pore. She tells him everything — about seeing Lionel everywhere, about how often she takes ether, about how it’s the only thing that shuts him up. (Someone made the salient point two weeks ago that she should’ve tried more of the weed she gave Jocasta.) “I’ve tried to compartmentalize everything… put things in neat little boxes. Frank, my patients, grief, the past, the present, you. But the floodgates have opened, and it’s not just Malva, it’s all of it,” Claire cries, saying essentially that everything bad that’s ever happened to them — Brianna’s rape, Roger being sold to the Mohawk, Malva — is because she couldn’t suck it up and live without Jamie. He reminds her of the other side of the coin: Jemmy, Fergus meeting Marsali, Jamie being happy again. “There is pain, but you have brought so much to so many. Without you, our whole world crumbles into dust,” he says. Claire is afraid she can’t cope without the ether, but Jamie points out that he let her into his darkness when he was in prison, when he was struggling to build a life without her, and that she needs to let him in now. “I can’t do that when you put yourself to sleep,” he says. “Don’t sentence yourself to crimes that no one is charging you with.” Okay, but just as the two of them agree they wouldn’t actually change a thing because they’re still so horny for each other, we hear hoofbeats.

Outlander Season 6 2022

Someone is here to charge her with a crime: Richard Sourface Brown wants to arrest Claire for the murder of Malva Christie. It was only a matter of time before the smoking gun of Richard’s dumb safety committee went off.


Roger’s arc kicks off with Brianna reminding him, for the umpteenth time, that he is not a real minister. And that perhaps he is not aware that he is not a minister.

i sing
i am a minstrel
only one letter different really
use your imagination
if you have one
you science copyright infringer
oooh sick burn, me

Mr. Bug needles Roger about how he doesn’t like to do the grisly work on the Ridge, like butchering animals. Roger wonders to Jamie later why he’s still so squeamish.

you see
ive killed a man
but i cant kill a cow
i can eat a cow
should we have eaten the man

would it have helped
please say no


I’m kidding, Roger of course did not take it that far; the point of the chat is that Roger wants Jamie’s blessing. It turns out Roger really likes being a preacher because he finally feels useful in a way that requires very little manual labor and a whole lot of intoning mysterious things about God that no one can prove, and which he can make up on the fly to suit the situation (I’m paraphrasing). And he doesn’t think a real minister is ever actually coming. “Someone has to do it. I’m thinking it’s me,” he says. Jamie pats him on the arm and says, “I have eyes to see it, lad.” Roger is thrilled. THESE MEN ARE THE SAME AGE. COME ON. We’re supposed to think Jamie has a paternal pull on Roger, and would be old enough to be his father, but these two look like bros out for a walk to the distillery. Roger, I think, is a bit worried that by becoming a preacher he will therefore not be fighting in the war, and that Brianna will think he’s a wuss. But he insists, “I couldn’t fight with an army, I don’t think, but I could take up arms to defend those in need.” Jamie’s like, “Works for me,” and then adds, “Your wife, she has eyes, too.” Which is his way of saying, “She knows who she married.”

Roger also spends a lot of time working on his sermon for Malva’s funeral. Which is very funny because when we get to it, he says maybe three sentences, one of which is about how just because Malva wasn’t married, it doesn’t mean God hates her, and that everyone has sinned, so just chillax and let God handle it with his celestial gavel. Jamie goes to help with the coffin, but Allan makes Ian do it instead. Claire does not read the room correctly, and goes to pick up the baby’s tiny coffin.

Outlander Season 6 2022

Allan lets go of Malva’s, and while everyone else tries not to drop her, he snatches the baby’s coffin and sneers that “you bastards took my sister from me, and yet you still get to live your perfect happy little lives as if nothing happened.”

Outlander Season 6 2022

He stalks out with the coffin, and if it turns out Allan was also abusing Malva, then the baby is also his sister and thus his line here works in two ways. He is a creep and I think this has to be where the story is going. Also, please, let us acknowledge one more time how hard it must have been for Caitriona Balfe to film some of this while with child herself.

Speaking of going: Roger and Brianna are going. YAY. GO ANYWHERE. Brianna is sad people think Malva’s baby isn’t going to Heaven. Roger says that as a husband and father, he wants to believe it is, but as a minister he’s not certain. Bree tartly says she’s glad he’s more husband than minister. Also, cram it, Roger. I don’t like agreeing with Brianna. Look what you’ve made me do. Roger leans in and explains that he’d like to make this ministry thing official, because it gives him the same thrill that teaching used to — but better, because he feels like people here need it more than his students did.

i just
its called worship
hero worship
and im drunk on it

Brianna of course makes this about her, and how she grew up with a parent constantly on call to other people. She blames Claire’s career for their family’s sad state, which is pretty unfair, especially with all the extenuating circumstances she knows now. Also, seriously, Brianna, literally no one wants Roger around that much. He won’t be on foot 24/7 roaming the Ridge and fighting off fans. Roger promises that he’s a husband and father first, period, and this won’t interfere with their family. But he’d really like to baptize their baby himself. Roger never tracked as a particular man of faith before (in the show; I know the books may differ), even with his Reverend grandfather, so this strikes me as putting on airs a bit. Brianna swings it back to herself: “People crying at our kitchen table, day and night? What would I even serve them? I’m not THAT good at baking.” OKAY BREE.

serve them scorns
i mean scones
piping hot
full of petty
i mean pecans
great talk
thanks for the input

This all ends with them agreeing to go to the Presbytery in Edenton so that Roger can be ordained and spread his wisdom like great, great seed, fertilizing the Ridge with The Dogma of Dogface. How lucky we are.


When Ian is scouting for suspects, he finds the Sin Eater, and answers our question: The man died in his own tent, and no one noticed. Ian did spot the missing fingers and Bree connects them to the love potion, but no one puts two and two together correctly; they just wonder if a jealous wife lopped them off to win her husband back from Malva, and then killed her.

Mr. Bug sucks. Jemmy hears him telling people that all murdered people turn into ghosts, and when Brianna tells him to say a prayer every time he thinks he sees one, he asks if that would stop his grandmother from turning HIM into a ghost. Woof, that’s dark. It also might have been fun to see play out in real time, but instead we get Brianna’s flat retelling. Both Big can bug off, as far as I’m concerned.

Jamie and Claire attend Malva’s funeral to be kind, but she’s dreading facing her “prospective jurors” in the court of public opinion. But in the actual scene, there are only like six people there, meaning hardly anyone from Fraser’s Ridge even bothered to come grieve and then point a finger and scream, “BOOOOO.” Stupid Covid.

[Photos courtesy of STARZ]
Tags: Outlander