Season 6 of Outlander has finally dropped. Episode 1 opens with a trip into the past as we dive into this super-sized episode.
And, because of this, we finally get a chance to meet Tom (Mark Lewis Jones), who heads the Christie family settling at Fraser’s Ridge this season.
For those who want to sit back and enjoy the ride as it unfolds, continue on with this recap. For those who want even more context about this new family and the dark storyline that will likely unfold, you can check out this previous article to find out more.
Outlander takes a step back in time
It’s what Outlander does best, stepping back in time, but this one is a little different. Instead, it’s a flashback rather than any actual time traveling.
We head all the way back to Ardsmuir Prison in 1753 when Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) was serving time there. Previously, viewers have already gotten a chance to experience this hell with Jamie but, this time, it is to not only remind us of how horrible it was but to introduce Tom Christie.
Tom is a deeply religious man who, literally, no one likes. He doesn’t go out of his way to make any friends either but that will bite him on the a** when we flash forward back to the “present” day of 1773 in North Carolina where Jamie has set up residence.
When conflicts arise among inmates, it is Jamie who notices Tom is also a Freemason and decides to become one in order to gather the men around him and to stop all the bickering. And, boy, doesn’t that p**s Tom off even though he is a Freemason too.
Surely that should be a conflict with his deeply religious beliefs? Yeah, it probably should but, also, Tom is a man who looks after himself first even if he preaches he puts God before all others.
Tom Christie must swallow his pride
Jumping forward to 1773, it seems that Tom has fallen on hard times and must take Jamie up on an offer he made to all inmates at Ardsmuir Prison. Turning up at the Ridge, Jamie is surprised to find Tom and, as he says to Claire (Caitriona Balfe) later on, he is wishing he had been rude enough to extend his offer of land at Fraser’s Ridge to all those who shared the prison experience with him — except Tom Christie.
Still, Jamie doesn’t back down on his word and lets the sod onto the Ridge, helping out wherever he can rather than kicking Tom to the curb.
It’s here that we meet Tom’s adult children, Malva (Jessica Reynolds) and Allan (Alexander Vlahos). You can tell already that they have had the fear of God beaten into them — and that’s before that little unsavory scene where Tom reminds Allan that his mother is currently burning in the pits of hell.
While Jamie may have allowed the Christies to settle on the Ridge, he is not above reminding Tom that his word is the law and screw his god. Tom, while still trying to be humble in front of everyone also manages a few sneaky retaliations, mostly about how he will build a church and school for everyone in order to make them proper people in the eyes of the Lord.
Except, no one in his group actually has any building skills and Jamie has to show them how to do that too.
Marsali is having a rough time
While all this is playing out, Marsali (Lauren Lyle) is pregnant. I mean, when is she not pregnant?
However, this time around, things are not all sunshine and rainbows. Instead, Fergus (Cesar Domboy) is drinking everything he can lay his hands on while replacing the distillery that burned down in Season 5 of Outlander.
There are problems within this family that have not yet been broached but will certainly do so in upcoming episodes of Outlander if this previous trailer is anything to go by.
Claire is still suffering
For those who were wondering about how Claire would be coping when Outlander returned after her vicious attack and gang rape by the Browns, well, she’s okay… on the outside.
She is presenting well but her daughter, Brianna (Sophie Skelton) knows better, having been through a similar ordeal herself with Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers).
Still, Claire knuckles down and insists she’s just fine — until the Browns turn up at the Ridge.
It seems that young Allan Christie has stolen a gunpowder horn from them and they want it back. While Jamie and Tom deal with the situation, Claire heads inside to keep away from the brutish tribe.
Then, later on, when she wakes from some awful dreams, she uses her newly-created ether to knock herself out rather than deal with the images constantly running around in her head.
Sure, oblivion is okay in certain situations but this might be taking it a little too far and I hope that someone works it out real soon that Claire is using such a powerful drug to numb herself.
Jamie is offered a new position
Finally, Jamie is offered a new position by Major MacDonald (Robin Laing). With things heading clearly toward the American Revolutionary War, the English wanted some Indian Agents to act as a middle man between the government and the Native American Indians.
At first, Jamie refuses such an offer but, then, when it is revealed the position will go to Richard Brown (Chris Larkin), the man who vehemently hates Indians, Jamie then rethinks the offer and accepts.
Season 6 of Outlander currently airs every Sunday night on Starz.