With a heart-wrenching season finale, chapter five of popular historical-cum-science fiction series Outlander laid the ground for an even more thrilling season 6.
A brutal assault
Infamous for its rampant use of graphic sexual assault scenarios, the show won hearts with a much more woke depiction of gang rape in season 5 finale.
Considering the victim this time around was none other than the lead Claire herself, the finale episode wasted no time and dived straight into the assault.
However, the scene started with a dream-like scenario in which Claire is back as a twin the 20th Century with her extended family celebrating Thanksgiving. Except she is only visualizing this scenario to escape the brutality of the reality where she is under a violent assault.
As an undercover woman medical practitioner in the 18th Century, Claire used the pseudonym Dr. Rawlings to share her wisdom with the masses. She helps the wife of one Lionel Brown from avoiding pregnancy, much to the chagrin of her husband.
When Lionel uncovers the truth, he attacks Claire with a group of men, who gag her and tie her up to a tree before taking turns abusing her.
Based on the novel series by Diana Gabaldon, the current season, however, deviated from book five and moved up the crucial plot point of Claire’s rape from season 6 to season 5. The final episode, titled Never My Love, was written by show runner Matthew B. Roberts and Toni Graphia while Jamie Payne was the director.
Meanwhile, Claire’s daughter Brianna (Sophie Skelton) along with Roger (Richard Rankin) and Jemmy travel through the magical stones thinking of “home” and find themselves in the 1770s once again.
And the Mackenzies and Young Ian (John Bell) also reach the big house to find the cross lit up — an indication of trouble. Claire’s husband Jamie (Sam Heughan) fills them in, and Roger and Ian accompany him to save Claire.
The episode particularly succeeds in putting the power of its women on display. Shaken and badly bruised, Claire still demonstrates a powerful resilience when she declares,
“I’m supposed to be shattered by this. Well, I won’t be.”
Even though Jamie succeeds in defeating and rounding up Claire’s captors for revenge, Claire chooses to honor her oath not to take a life.
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However, Marsali (Lauren Lyle) and her baby seemed to have survived the previous ambush. When Marsali finds out that Claire had chosen mercy over vengeance for Lionel, she sticks the needle and kills him instead. (After Claire, Marsali was cheered the most in this season finale by fans online.)
Elsewhere, Brianna’s husband Roger has also killed a man during the siege to save Claire. He is seen struggling to confess to his wife that he’s a murderer and questions his morality.
As for Jamie, after realizing Lionel was killed, he takes his body back to Lionel’s brother, Richard. The latter then goes on to promise retaliation when the time comes.
But that’s not the only danger Jamie has to worry about. Back at the Fraser’s Ridge, where the family is enjoying a tranquil moment, Claire remarks ominously, “who knows how much longer we’ll have this peace knowing what’s coming.” She is referring to the impending American Revolution.
In the upcoming season, the show’s executive producer and show runner Matthew B Roberts told Deadline that “right now, Season 6 covers Book 6.” This despite some borrowings from Book 6 — A Breath Of Snow And Ashes — in the fifth season.
Roberts also added that “season six brings us closer to the Revolutionary War, and Jamie and Claire will encounter a new group of settlers in and around Fraser’s Ridge.”
A spin-off may also be in the pipeline. Lord John Grey, who is also the center point of a short story series written by Diana Gabaldon, is expected to lead the rumored spin-off.
“One never knows where Lord John Grey might turn up next,” said Roberts.
Speaking about how long the series could go on, Roberts is hopeful for more seasons past six.
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“Diana is still writing this story, so we would love to continue making the series as long as fans want to watch,” he said.