Spoiler warning: This article contains spoilers from Outlander Season 6, Episode 7, “Sticks and Stones.”
This episode of Outlander is full of drama and comedy and is going to go down in history as one of its best. Like all the great episodes of Outlander, the stress level is incredibly high, and Jamie and Claire (Sam Heughan and Caitríona Balfe) are, as usual, at the center of complete and utter chaos. But somehow the show manages to weave a full-length comedy throughout this episode in a way that you wouldn’t think possible. Season 6 continues to be one of the strongest seasons, and episodes like this are why. Here’s a tease: Lizzie sees double. Claire gets caught red-handed and reveals a secret, Jamie must defend Claire and marries two people, Tom is a jerk, Allan yells at everyone, Roger gets religious, Malva is still dead, Ian tells his aunt and uncle someone is pregnant, and Brianna gets ready to leave. Buckle in because you are in for a wild ride.
Remember when Malva told Jamie and Claire her father made her tell the whole congregation that Jamie fathered her child? Well, it opens with that exact scene. Malva (Jessica Reynolds) gives a speech to the church saying her innocence was stolen. Tom wins. This speech will destroy Jamie and Claire in this community. Tom Christie, I hope you get yours, sir. There may be nothing you can do to make this up to us. And by us, I mean me, Claire, and Jamie. RIP Malvemort, you wee knocked-up liar. It’s a shame Reynolds’s stint on the show was so short, as her performance even from beyond the grave is fantastic.
Claire is a terrible gardener
We open on the Garden of Death, with Tom, Allan, Claire, and Jamie looking down at Malva and her son’s dead bodies. Things do not look good for the Frasers, mainly Claire who is covered in blood. Tom looks distressed that his human whipping post is dead. Malva’s baby is lying on her chest and Allan covers the bodies. This is sad. Poor Malva. That girl clearly was not set up to win this life. Claire looks devastated and Allan looks up at her with venom, “You didn’t see anyone?” He insists Claire must have seen something. Jamie is giving him the evil “don’t disrespect my wife” eye. Claire says she was “busy” in the surgery, and Malva may have knocked. Allan asks her why she didn’t answer. Ether sir. Quick round of applause for the Twitter fan @abootlanders who made this Easter meme: “Happy Ether.”
Allan says Claire must have gone outside with a knife. Poor Claire, pause for a quick #ClaireHair shout-out — can Claire Fraser look good with any hairstyle? Yes, she can. Ms. Claire-ol. Or should I say Cl-hair. Okay, fine sorry back to the Balfening. This is definitely going to be one of Balfe’s stand-out scenes. Claire’s like, “It’s a damn fruit knife, Allan, I was snipping wee herbs, not your wee sister.” Jamie asks what he’s implying, and Tom all but says he thinks Claire killed his daughter. Claire reiterates Malva was dead already and she had to try and save the baby. Claire Fraser will never not try and save someone — even you Tom Tom and your little whippy hand. Tom asks Claire how long it took for Malva to die and as a healer Claire says, “Whoever did this slit her throat, so she died quickly.”
This garden gets very intense, very fast. Tom says hateful things about Malva being a whore and the baby being Jamie’s bastard, and hence they will not bury them in a proper cemetery. Jamie says, “That is not my child, but that is your daughter!” Tom yammers on about praying for her forgiveness. Jamie lays down the law and says Malva and the baby will be laid to rest properly. Tom, you’re really the worst. Go bury yourself, sir. And you can pray for my forgiveness which you will never ever get. Tom tries to fight Jamie but Jamie says absolutely not, whippy whiny man. Allan cries. Tom asks what they can possibly say about Malva, and Claire gives the sweetest garden eulogy, a Malvalogue. She says Malva had a light in her, and she felt that same light in her son.
Claire thinks she killed Malva
Claire says she’ll take care of Malva’s body so people aren’t terrified at her funeral. (Claire Fraser is about to be the star of Six Feet Under on the Ridge). Allan storms off, and Tom follows. Allan is a strange bird. That’s all. Jamie picks up Malva’s body and brings her inside. Claire looks at dead Malva. She doesn’t need this stress. Oh no, she sees her ether mask. She is shaking as she’s about to try and sew Malva all shaky hands. Not a big deal, to be honest, Malva is dead.
Then Claire has a hallucination of Lionel Brown, who makes her think she killed Malva. She flashes back to a door pounding. Claire runs out and runs to the bar and pours herself a drink. She really chugs that liquor! Jamie sees her and says, “I wouldn’t blame you if there’s none left.” He joins her but looks very concerned. Mrs. Bug whips in and lives up to her name by being very buggy. She tells them Mr. Crombie is here to see Malva and says how are they to live with such a scandal! Scram ma’am. That’s how. Mrs. Bug tries to talk shit about Malva and Claire says, “No!” She is not having it! Then Mrs. Bug says to Claire, “I heard she was Mr. Fraser’s bairn, you must have hated her guts!” What are you TMZ of the Ridge?! Get out of here! Jamie agrees with me and says, “Enough!” Claire tells Jamie she doesn’t want anyone to see her and then throws back another drink.
Jamie goes outside and talks to Hiram Crombie, who accuses Jamie of sleeping with Malva. And then Hiram says the worst thing I have ever heard: “Are we all to suffer on the Ridge, because ye regret marryin’ a jealous English woman with a sharp tongue and even sharper knives?” Finish him, Jamie! Listen Mister beardy beard face who I didn’t even know existed before this scene, you will not disrespect Claire. Claire overhears and closes the window. Jamie says, “If you value your life choose your words wisely Crombie.” I wholeheartedly agree Jamie! Crombie crumbs away.
Back to Claire’s super depressing dead body party. She “sees” Lionel again as she stitches up Malva. Claire begins doubting herself and thinking she may have killed Malva. You didn’t, you little ether bear. And you weren’t ether walking Claire! Lionel tells Claire she’s a liar and brings up Frank. Claire reaches for the ether. This episode is very well-written. What Lionel says about Claire’s marriages although wrong, is written very poetically, “The lying. The loveless marriage. Leaving when you should have stayed. Staying when you should have gone.”
The Ridge turns on Jamie and Claire
Lizzie comes in to say Obidiah Henderson is here asking about Ian. Bree looks at Lizzie’s hair which has twigs in it and asks what she’s been up to. She says, “Feeding the horses.” With your head? Excuse me? Jamie tells Lizzie not to roam about alone. Roger and Jamie talk to Obidiah. (He’s the one who Roger found having sex with Malva). And considering Obidiah was “Hendersonning” Malva, he is pretty righteous accusing Jamie of sleeping with Malva. He says he heard Claire cut the baby out before she killed Malva. Mrs. Bug is responsible for this misinformation. Jamie tells Henderson to leave. This isn’t great for our Frasers.
Lizzie talks to a horse
Later that night, Lizzie is talking to a horse — yes, you read that correctly — and apologizing for lying about feeding him. Hmmm, what were you up to little twiggy hair? Ian rolls in with Rollo, and asks where the Beardsleys are. Lizzie gets nervous and says she doesn’t want them to be in any trouble. Perplexed, Ian says, “Tell me the truth.” And the horse says, “You can’t handle the truth!” Not, not really. At family dinner, Lizzie, Ian, Roger, Bree, and Jamie sit down to eat. Claire’s upstairs resting. They’re trying to think who could have done this. Ian says he found the sin eater dead. Remember, Malva stole his finger bones. Will we ever know why?
Jamie asks Ian where the Beardsleys were, and he lies to Lizzie’s relief and says they were doing their own search. Ian says the sineater was missing finger bones! RIP tiny little knocked-up bone collector. Brianna remembers the love charm they found with finger bones. The team of detectives deduces a jealous woman may have killed Malva. Where’s Claire, they are bad at this. Bree says they need Perry Mason, and honestly, they do. Ian is like who the heck is Perry Mason? Roger says Perry would want to know who had the means, motive, and opportunity, and Claire appears and says, “Me.” Now that’s an entrance. Then everyone gives each other worried eyes.
Claire tells Jamie what she’s been up to…
Later in their bedroom, Jamie says to Claire, “You didn’t do it, why would you say that?” Claire tells Jamie she feels something happened and compares it to feeling like you’ve left the oven on but not being sure. Jamie’s like what? Claire finally tells Jamie she saw Malva, and then took some ether! He says, “Christ, Sassenach you put yourself to sleep?!” Uh oh. She says just a little and then moves on with her story about her dream about Malva. Jamie looks concerned, “Your mind is playing tricks on you, you didn’t harm her.” Yes, JAMMF you know your wife. He says, “It doesn’t matter what others think, we’ll find who did this.” Jamie has more faith in Claire than she has in herself and even though this is a very stressful episode, this is a nice emotional break, for exactly four seconds. Now let’s get back to the ether. But they don’t. Later that night Claire can’t sleep and starts seeing Lionel and curls into a ball. Eek.
One thing about Jamie’s reaction to Claire and the ether is that it’s perfect. Upon first look, one may think oh he didn’t react at all. But the great thing about these two, is they know exactly what the other needs. He knows the way her mind and brain work and admonishing her is not the way to help her.
The next morning, Claire is at the window and sees Mrs. Bug TMZing her way around the Ridge snickering about Claire to others. In a voiceover, Claire asks, “Who was I now? Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp. Dr. Randall. Mistress Fraser. Wife. Mother. Grandmother. Witch. Murderer?” You’re Claire F-ing Fraser! Sorry back to Claire’s nice monologue. Everyone on the Ridge is getting ready for Malva’s funeral — this seems like it will go very wrong.
Someone is pregnant!
Claire and Jamie come down the stairs and Ian says I need to tell you something. Ian says Lizzie is with child, and Jamie looks shocked and asks if it’s Ian’s, and Ian says, “No!” Jamie asks who debauched her. That is a great term, Jamie Fraser. You debauched Claire quite a lot sir. So don’t you be pointing fingers. Actually, Claire technically debauched you, Jamie. Jamie demands a name. Ian says, “Beardsley!” Way to buckle under pressure Ian! Now, Claire looks shocked. Which is not easy to do by the way. Jamie asks which Beardsley twin. Ian says, “She doesn’t know which one is the father.” And Claire and Jamie’s faces are priceless. Hello, Outlander you win an award this season for having peak stress mixed with peak humor for every single episode. Not an easy feat! Claire says, “You mean both of them?” Lizzie got bizzie with twizzie! Omg, gurl. Is that a threesome? Or did she do it separately with both of them? I need more information!
Jerry Springer has come to the Ridge. “Jamie Fraser you are not the father!” Jamie wants to bring both boys in to get to the bottom of it. Claire says she’ll talk to Lizzie. And Jamie is very 1700s right now and says one of them better marry her, or he will murder both of them. Jamie is a hilarious dad sometimes. Claire’s face is like we don’t need this shit. Can’t wait until she finds out about the threesome deets.
Roger is working on his sermon for Malva’s funeral. And Brianna says Jemmy told her the Bugs told him murdered people turn into ghosts and it freaked him out. The Bugs continue to be annoying. Roger says, “Let’s tell him to just say a prayer.” And Brianna says, “I did, but then he asked if it would stop his granny from turning him into a ghost too!” Noooooo, who is talking against Granny Claire to her grandson?! I want names!
Claire and Lizzie’s sex talk
Claire asks Lizzie, “How far along?” Omg. Lizzie tells Claire everything! I can’t even write this part, because I am screaming! Claire Fraser even looks like she’s blushing. This is a fantastic scene. Claire looks like she’s trying not to laugh. Long story short, remember when Lizzie fainted from her recurring malaria and the Beardsley boys brought her ointment. Well, she told them to rub it all over! And one of them didn’t want to get it on his shirt so she told him to take it off and then… Claire says, “One thing led to another.” Then Claire asks, “Both of them at once?!” And Lizzie says she didn’t mean to! Or rather, she “didn’t mean two!” #Twinjoke. Claire stops her and says her full name in the most mom way ever! “Elizabeth Wemyss I’m not sure it’s possible to engage in sexual relations with two men without meaning to.” That is a fact, Claire’s not wrong. Lizzie looks like she may die. Claire asks did you think it was one twin then they fooled you? Lizzie says “No! It was my choice!” Okay, gurl, first threesome on the Ridge. Lizzie goes into such detail! She tells Claire she felt “safe with all arms around her! And a chest in front of her. And their wee paps!” How is Claire keeping a straight face?! (I had to google “paps.” They’re nipples, you’re welcome). Lizzie says, “They’re identical everywhere!” Lizzie stop telling Claire about the Beardsleys peenies! Balfe’s reactions as Claire here are classic. Claire is like please let this awkward threesome story end. Then Lizzie says yet another hilarious line, “We were slippery with the ointment and naked beneath sheets and it happened.” Who wrote this episode? Give Diana Gabaldon and whoever wrote this episode the highest of awards for this scene.
Claire was sitting there listening to Lizzie go on about certain… *ahem* details like 😳😬 pic.twitter.com/AoDuRQCIkG
— SA7AH (@TinyTunney) April 24, 2022
Claire says, “And it kept on happening…” Lizzie says, “More than once with each of them since. It felt so nice mistress!” Yes, sex is nice Lizzie! Claire knows! Jamie knows! And now you and Twizzie know! Please tell me we get an equally hilarious conversation with Jamie and the twins. I hope Jamie doesn’t kill them on the spot. Claire says, “I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself.” Aww, Claire is always a fan of people enjoying sex. In fact, if Claire Fraser could have two Jamies, she would. Actually, maybe not. Jamie and Claire are so devoted to only each other they’d probably not do that. They wouldn’t want to cheat on each other with each other. It’s true.
Claire tells Lizzie, “You’re risking a huge scandal. Hiram Crombie, if he found out, he’d stone you for fornication.” Whoa, wait Claire just said that as if we all should know that’s a possibility! Lizzie says the pregnancy is a miracle and Claire’s like there’s only one thing you can do and that’s to marry according to Jamie. And then adds, “You can’t have both!” And then Claire says exactly what I just said, “Well, if both the Beardsleys are still alive after Mr. Fraser finds them.” We know Jamie might beat the Beard out of them. Claire says Jamie might pick for you or kill one of them. This is the funniest Outlander scene maybe ever. Shout out to Caitlin O’Ryan and Caitríona Balfe for this scene. Release the bloopers immediately, Outlander.
Jamie gives Roger his blessing & tells him he’ll never be a vegetarian
Jamie, Bree, and Roger are back at the Ridge and Jamie asks if Ian’s back yet. Roger sees Mr. Bug and confronts him about scaring Jemmy. Jamie tells Mr. Bug to leave. Then Jamie asks Roger to come with him and asks if he’s seen the Beardsleys. Twizzie better hide from Jamie forever. Jamie and Roger have a conversation about vegetarians! Jamie Fraser does not understand this concept. And it’s brilliant. Another funny scene. Roger brings up how he killed a man in Brownsville. Roger tells Jamie he likes being able to help and he’d like to be a minister. Jamie gives him his dad-stamp of approval. Awwww. Roger tells Jamie he hasn’t told Brianna with the war coming, he doesn’t want her to think he’s a coward. And Jamie says he’s fought alongside priests and assures Roger, Brianna will be fine with it.
Claire goes back to Malva’s dead body and hears Lionel again. He says, “You led Malva astray with your meddling. You bring pain to everyone: your daughter…” (Referencing Brianna‘s rape). Damn it! Claire goes for the ether. She doesn’t even lie down, she takes it sitting up! Oh no, I hope she doesn’t bonk her head! Claire has an ether nightmare and hears the awful things said to her by Blackjack Randall, Lionel Brown, Frank, Tom, Geilles. Then we see flashes of all the awful stuff that has happened to Claire in the over six seasons. Season 7 should just be Claire and Jamie on a beach sipping piña coladas.
Two Weddings and a Funeral
As Claire and Jamie walk to the church, Jamie notices how scared Claire looks, “It’s a funeral, not a trial.” Eh, I don’t know about that JAMMF. Neither does Claire. Jamie reminds her what she says to the kids, “Sticks and stones may hurt my bones but names will never hurt me.” Why is there so much talk about stones and stoning? Outlander are you about to go from a comedy to a terror show again?
Roger gives the eulogy at Malva’s funeral, and it’s really good. Roger is a great minister. I’m glad I’m not actually at this funeral because I would probably be clapping for Roger and it would be weird to do a standing ovation at a funeral. But he deserves it. Jamie gets up to help carry Malva’s coffin, but Allan spits, “No.” So Ian steps in. A tiny coffin for the baby is left behind and Claire goes to pick it up. Allan screams at her to put it down, “They’re dead because of you!” Um, we do not know that, Al! Circumstantial evidence. Just because she had a knife and there was a lot of Malva’s blood all over Claire means nothing.
Allan grabs the baby’s coffin from Claire, and Ian leaps in front of Claire protectively. I love young Ian (John Bell). His protection of and love for his aunt is the best. Ever since they first met in that brothel and he thought his aunt was a prostitute. Allan calls them bastards and says they took his sister from him. He runs out with the baby’s coffin. They bury Malva and the baby, and seeing that tiny coffin on top of her coffin is extremely sad. Jamie and Claire walk away hand in hand, clearly a divide between them and everyone else.
“The Handfast & the Furious”
Lizzie is waiting for Jamie and Claire. Ruh roh. Jamie basically says, “You’ll need to be wed ASAP!” Lizzie asks, “Which one?” Valid question. Then she says she loves them both. Jamie says she needs to get married so others don’t call her a whore but he specifies he doesn’t think she’s one. Though he does use the phrase, “spreading your legs,” which I have a problem with, when men say that, as if women are the only participants in sex and the ones to “blame.” These dudes aren’t tripping and just randomly falling into vaginas. Lizzie says she will name the baby “Beardsley,” and the twins are “one soul in two bodies.” Jamie looks at Claire, and tells Lizzie they better get their “two bodies” here. Imagine for a moment having this conversation with your parents. Excuse me while I die, imagining this. “So Mom and Dad, there was this slippery ointment, and…” Dead.
Jamie, Claire, and Lizzie go to the stables and the Beardsley twins appear. Jamie says, “We’re going to draw straws and whoever draws the short straw, weds her.” What is this comedy?! I love this episode! I LOVE THIS EPISODE. Claire watches and Lizzie and Twizzie are confused. Kezzie (I think) draws the short straw, so Jamie handfasts them. (Handfast is an informal wedding ceremony that Roger and Brianna, and Marsali and Fergus did). Lizzie and Kezzie say yes and look super sad. Jamie tells them to tell no one until they are properly wed. He tells the other Twizzie to leave and not come back until the child is born. Then Jamie storms off, Claire squeezes Lizzie’s arm and runs after Jamie. Claire better talk Jamie down from this Tom Foolery. Let Lizzie be a bigamist for Claire’s sake! (You know since, Claire’s a bigamist too). The best way to describe this scene is handfast and the furious, because it’s a real fast ceremony, and Jamie is furious. Worst wedding ever.
Roger wants to go to minister school
Roger tells Bree that being a minister is his calling. Brianna says when her mom was called to the hospital, she’d leave, and they both suffered. Roger says, “Looks like things turned out alright.” Define all right, Rog? Brianna gives her half-blessing. Roger says, “Okay, cool let’s leave as soon as we can.” What where?! To get ordained?? Wait a minute, why is everyone leaving?! Stop it. I just want the Christies and the annoying people of the Ridge to leave.
Claire confesses everything
Claire and Jamie are in bed she gets up and says she needs to go get a cup of tea and sees Jamie give her a look. He takes off his tiny glasses and she says “What? Tea is the best thing in the world, ask any English person.” Please follow her downstairs Jamie. He does not, but he looks concerned. Imagine if Santa Claus was deeply disappointed in you, tiny glasses and all.
The next morning, Claire sees a sad Lizzie and says, “Why are you avoiding me Mrs. Beardsley.” Ha, Claire with the “Mrs. Beardsley” burn. Lizzie is mad Josiah has to go away. Claire says Jamie has made his decision, which with everything going on at the Ridge, is the only option. Then Lizzie reveals, “I was going to tell you the day Malva died, I even knocked on the door, but the door was locked!” Boom! Claire didn’t do it! Claire is so happy and relieved. She puts her ether kit away. And then sees Lionel again. Claire is fully having a breakdown. She runs out; Jamie sees her and runs after her. He asks her what is happening and goes to check her surgery. She says, “You won’t believe me.” She tells him it feels like she’s going crazy and can’t bear for him to see her like this. “I didn’t kill Malva, but what if I would have for us?” she asks. Jamie says, “You didn’t.” She admits a part of her wanted to, and Jamie says, “We all have a darkness inside of us.” Claire finally confesses, “It’s eating away at me and I hear Lionel’s voice, he’s taunting me and the only thing that drowns him out is ether.” Jamie listens. Claire says she’s tried to compartmentalize by putting her stress into little boxes: “Frank, patients, grief, past, present, you,” and now the floodgates have just opened.
She says it’s all her fault. (Twitter fan @agustinavids caught this season 2 parallel). Because she changed things — Brianna’s attack, Roger being sold into slavery, she says, “It’s all because of selfishness. Because I desperately wanted to be with you.” Jamie asks her, “Do you think Bree feels that way? She wouldn’t have been born. What about Roger? Your ‘selfishness’ has given him a wife and a son. If we hadn’t gone to France and found Fergus, he wouldn’t have Marsali. Although there is pain, your selfishness has brought so much to so many. Without you, our whole crumbles into dust.” Claire cries and says what if I never get better? Jamie says, “After Wentworth, (when he was brutally attacked by Blackjack Randall), you found me in the dark, I let you into my mind and my soul. Let me do the same. Dinna lock me out. Let me join you.” These two. He says he can’t help when she puts herself to sleep they have to face it together. “If you’re selfish, let me be accused of the same crime,” Jamie continues, “If it’s a sin that you chose me, then I will go to the devil himself and bless him for tempting you to it.” Claire replies, “I’d do it all again to be with you.” Claire weeps as they hug. Twitter fan @senoritav76 says this scene was even more powerful than last episode’s stables scene.
"I dinna care what the right or wrong of it may be, so long as you are here wi' me."
— Elle 🍀 Live-Tweeting Outlander (@displaceintime) April 24, 2022
Balfe shows throughout the entire episode just how broken Claire is. It’s good the show hasn’t glossed over Claire’s brutal assault, it is not something that is solved in an episode. And Heughan, with a quiet strength, reflects this same light with the ability to listen and allow his partner to shine. Again, these two consistently show what a strong marriage looks like every step of the way, through heartbreak, loss, trauma, joy, and pain. And for Balfe and Heughan, the chemistry has grown and evolved but gives off the same fire no matter what age they’re portraying their characters at. This is a show about not only being in love but what it takes to stay in love. And that, we love.
“After wentworth, you found me. In the dark. I let you into my mind, into my soul. Let me do the same. Dinna lock me out. Let me join you. I canna do that when you— when ye put yerself to sleep. We have to face this together.” #Outlander pic.twitter.com/1rEJtGD7lZ
— Jammf comfort *:･ﾟ✧ spoilers (@jammfcomfort) April 24, 2022
Back at the cabin, Lizzie and Twizzie tell Roger they want him to marry them! Lizzie tells Brianna she’s pregnant. Oh wait a minute they’re not telling Roger and Brianna that Jamie already handfasted Lizzie to other Twizzie! Sneaks! Roger is pretty funny, says he needs to put his pants on first. He doesn’t want to conduct his first wedding “bare-arsed.” Okay, Lizzie and Roger are now tied for best lines in this episode.
Roger & Brianna leave and Jamie & Claire’s dinner is interrupted
Jamie and Claire help Roger, Brianna, and Jemmy pack for Edenton. Brianna gives Claire a wedding present to give to Lizzie. Then Claire and Jamie learn what those sneaks did! Jamie says he’ll be having a word with them, “God help them!” Lol. Hilarity ensues. If you look closely, you can see Claire grab Jamie in the most calm down subtle wife way and it’s epic.
Later that evening, Claire and Jamie set the table and discuss Lizzie and Twizzie. Jamie says marriage is a serious undertaking, requires patience, and Claire adds, “And monogamy — maybe they should have started with that!”
In the distance, Claire and Jamie hear a thundering sound and see an army pulling up. This is not good. Guys, guns, and Richard Brown roll up, “Mr. Fraser I’ve come for your wife, we’ve come to arrest her for the murder of Malva Christie.” Yeah, Jamie Fraser will die before he allows this. What a fantastic episode. The reason this worked so incredibly well is because every single storyline was woven back to Jamie and Claire. Is it next week yet?! Oh no, there’s only one more episode in season 6! As for next week’s season finale, Balfe told us exclusively before the season started, that episode 8 is her favorite Jamie and Claire episode. Here’s a hint: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Watch to find out why she loves it so much.
Before you go, check out the all-time best ‘Outlander’ episodes you need to watch.