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‘Outlander’ Season 6 Episode 7 Recap: “Sticks and Stones”
How is it possible that we’ve already reached the penultimate episode of outlander‘s sixth season? It’s come around pretty quickly, and it seems we’re finally reaching the climax of this season’s biggest storyline in “Sticks and Stones” that’s likely to leave us with more questions than answers. However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves — first let’s deal with the matters at hand.
Malva (Jessica Reynolds) is dead, you’ll remember, having had her throat slit and her body dumped in a field outside Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) house. In the opening scenes of this week’s episode, we get a flashback of Malva’s impassioned speech to members of the community in which she insists that the devil came to her in the form of a man and seduced her and stole her innocence. We know that’s total ballooney, of course, but it hardly matters now that she’s gone.
In the present, Tom Christie (Mark Lewis Jones) and Allan (Alexander Vlahos) arrive at Fraser’s Ridge after learning what’s become of Malva. Both men seem to think it’s pretty fishy that Claire did n’t see anyone or anything from inside the house, but then they do n’t know she was knocked out cold thanks to her ether. Anyone who’s read the books here knows who the real culprit is here, but it’s also not hard to tell who’s going to get the blame for Malva’s death initially.
Of course, Claire already blames herself. After all, had she not been unconscious, she may have seen the murderer approach Malva and may have been able to save her life or at least identify the suspect. As it is, she blames herself. So does the rest of the community, of course, who already saw Claire as tainted due to Jamie supposedly impregnating Malva and then refusing to marry her in the first place. Kinda makes you glad to live in a time with paternity tests, don’t you think? This could have been quashed pretty much immediately.
The B-plot for this episode involves our dear sweet Lizzie (Caitlyn O’Ryan), who seems to be going missing quite a lot. When she does turn up, she’s got sticks caught in her hair. Could she be busy getting it on with Josiah (Paul Gorman) and/or Keziah Beardley? Spoiler alert: both of them! We’ll get to that more later.
Back to Claire, whose season-long descent into PTSD-laced madness is finally coming to a head. She finally comes clean to Jamie about the fact that she’s been using ether to escape the voices and visions she has of Lionel Brown, hallucinations of whom have become so frequent that he barely seems to leave her. She admits that she feels everything is her fault, from Brianna’s attack by Stephen Bonnet to Roger being sold into slavery and all the stuff that she has gone wrong since she selfishly went through the portal to be with Jamie. However, he assures her that he’s going to help her through this dark period, which seems to provide a bit of comfort.
Elsewhere on the Ridge, Roger (Richard Rankin) has decided that it’s unlikely that any priest will be joining the community anytime soon so he thinks he’d like to take on the job permanently himself. He’s not ordained just yet, but he’s willing to go and get ordained so that he can properly help everyone in the community in any way he can. It’s an idea Brianna (Sophie Skelton) is n’t all that fond of, particularly because she it’s so time-consuming and very intense. However, she can see how badly he wants it and she eventually decides to support him.
Meanwhile, Lizzie’s got a secret and it’s that she’s pregnant. That’s scandalous in general, but even moreso because she’s not sure which of the Beardsley brothers is the father. Claire seems like she has to keep herself from laughing as Lizzie explains her erotic liason with the brothers, sharing that they brought some gallberry ointment when she got malaria and they all got slippery under the quilts and started sleeping together. It’s happened several times since, as well, and she doesn’t want it to stop. While Claire’s not all that into hearing the gory details, it’s unlikely she’d be all that scandalized by the idea of a throuple (which, as you may remember, I’ve been calling since the first episode of the season). However, this is the 1700s and it just won’t fly in the community. She’ll have to marry one of them, of course.
Jamie makes the brothers draw straws and the one who pulls the short straw has to marry Lizzie on the spot. It’s Keziah who gets lucky, and Jamie performs a handfast ceremony and orders Josiah to leave until the baby’s born. Of course, the whole thing being on the hush means that Lizzie manages to take Josiah to Roger’s house, explain her pregnancy predicament, and get him to handfast herself and Josiah too. Uh oh!
Of course, before Jamie gets to have a word with the three of them, Richard Brown (Chris Larkin) and his motley crue of justice enforcers turn up at the Ridge and declare that they’re there to arrest Claire for the murder of Malva Christie . We knew it was coming, but that doesn’t make it any less terrifying. Needless to say, next week’s season finale is going to be a doozy.
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor from New York who cares too way much about fictional characters and spends every time writing about them.