Spoiler alert! Do not read on unless you’ve watched the season 6 finale of “Outlander”, “I Am Not Alone”. Major spoilers ahead!
“Outlander”s shortened season 6 took its bow on Sunday night, as the Fraser clan faced yet another dangerous threat to their livelihood. This time, it comes in the form of Richard Brown and his committee, who storm Fraser’s Ridge to demand justice for the murdered Malva, with his sights set on arresting Claire (Caitriona Balfe).
After a tense showdown, Claire and Jamie (Sam Heughan) ultimately agree to go with the committee to a nearby town in order for Claire to stand trial — thanks, in part, to an unlikely ally they find in Tom Christie (Mark Lewis Jones), who vows to help keep Claire safe, even though the person she stands accused of murdering was his own daughter. (Perhaps a hint that he knows more than he’s letting on?)
The journey gets more harrowing when Richard Brown (Chris Larkin) decides to change course in order to find a judge — plotting a long route to Wilmington through towns of people whose opinion of Claire and Jamie has been tarnished by Brown’s lies — and even more dire still when Claire and Jamie are separated. Thankfully, Young Ian (John Bell) arrives just in time to help free Jamie from a plot to send him back to Scotland, and the season ends with them riding off, presumably in the direction of Wilmington, as Claire’s fate still hangs in the balance.
While “Outlander”s sixth season had to pack a lot of dramatics into its shortened, eight-episode run — due in part to COVID-19 filming restrictions, as well as Balfe’s real-life pregnancy — the cast and producers assured fans that there’s plenty more drama and some major resolutions to come in their “super-sized” season 7.
“We absolutely had a lot of challenges this season, with the COVID protocols, and obviously we kept everyone safe, but they did add an extra level of challenge to your everyday working environment,” Heughan recalled to ET’s Will Marfuggi ahead of season 6’s premiere. “Also, Caitriona was pregnant… five, six months pregnant right towards the end when we were doing all the action stuff. And it was the height of winter in Scotland. We don’t normally shoot through those months. So it was tough. But I think we have such a great crew now and cast that everyone just mucks in and gets on with it.”
“The challenge of light and weather really hit us hard,” producer Matthew Roberts added of the show’s altered shooting schedule. “Our cast and crew embraced that, and got just beautiful, beautiful shots when the snow came, so that worked out. And then with Caitríona’s pregnancy, we just had to reschedule the show… We condensed season 6 and got all the good material in there. And then we’re going to give you a super-sized season 7, which will present its own challenges — as it already is, because we’re already writing season 7.”
Ultimately, the impending American revolution may become a factor in Claire’s fate, as the unrest in the colonies becomes more evident the farther the family ventures from Fraser’s Ridge. But while Claire knows the outcome of that war, it’s “all those really important steps that lead up to it that she’s not so clear on, which would be much more helpful to them,” Balfe noted.
“I think it’s a really tough position that they’re in,” the actress added. “I think Jamie carries sort of the larger brunt of that burden with having to decide where his loyalties are, his allegiances are, at any given time, because they know that at a certain point, they’re going to have to go against the crown. But at this present point, the crown is who kind of rules the law and you have to appease them and you have to be seen to be loyal to the crown. So it’s a really delicate balancing act that they’re trying to do.”
Balfe and Heughan also spoke with Variety about what fans can expect.
“We originally were supposed to film 12 episodes,” Balfe said. “That was the original idea. But this felt like a really natural point. If we had to stop somewhere, this felt like a good place to stop. It’s such a great cliffhanger to be on. There’s that point of hope, but you’re definitely left kind of on the edge of your seat wanting to see what’s gonna happen next.”
Heughan added the season finale was “breathless” before noting how Jamie and Claire’s world is “completely destroyed.”
“Normally, the popularity and the strength of their reputation is something that they’ve utilized, but this time it’s strange,” he said. “Their allies come in different shapes and forms. In this standoff with the Browns, Tom Christie, in a very odd way, comes to help them. The situation they’re in now, for Jamie certainly, he’s clearly gonna go find Claire and luckily does have some allies left. But it’s a very different world that we’re used to. We see that throughout this journey of the last two episodes. We see the world, the actual physical world around them, is also very unsettled. A lot of terrible with the upcoming revolution. But you can count on one thing and that’s that Jamie’s gonna go find Claire.”
Executive producer Maril Davis wouldn’t say much about season 7 but did describe the upcoming Revolution “like ‘winter is coming’ in ‘Game of Thrones'”.
Season 6 of “Outlander” is available to stream now on Starz. See more in the video below!
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