Outlander's Latest Episode Tests Allegiances And Tees Up Some Witchery

Where do your allegiances lie? Season 6 of "Outlander" explores that question in its second episode, both in terms of the connections among those who live at Fraser's Ridge and also among the others who live in the lands surrounding the settlement.

There is also a birth, a death, and some sexy times, of course. And there's also a scene that I have dubbed to be the most fantastical moment of the show to date! Read on for /Film's spoiler-filled discussion about the 71 minutes of "Allegiance," the second episode of Season 6 of "Outlander."

Being an Indian Agent isn't all it's cracked up to be

In the season's first episode, we saw Jamie (Sam Heughan) take on the position of Indian Agent for the Crown, mainly because he didn't want Richard Brown (Chris Larkin) in the role instead. We start "Allegiance" with Jamie fulfilling his Indian Agent responsibilities by traveling with Ian (John Bell) to meet with the Cherokee. 

The Cherokee understandably want guns from the Crown and a promise that their land won't get taken from them by the new settlers. Jamie, however, is conflicted in whether he will convey their request — he knows there's a revolution coming and that he'll be fighting against the Redcoats when it does. If he conveys the Cherokee's desires to his local Redcoat liaison Major Macdonald, the Cherokee may fight against the revolutionaries down the road, something that Jamie wants to prevent.

When Jamie and Ian come back from their trip (after a humorous scene when a bashful Jamie politely refuses the advances of two Cherokee women), Jamie decides not convey the request to Major MacDonald. Ian is upset with the choice — he wants to give the Cherokee all the help they can, especially when Brianna (Sophie Skelton) breaks the news that things don't turn out so great for the Indians. We also find out at the end of the episode that Ian had a child when he was with the Mohawk. This revelation makes Jamie realize that Ian's family (or allegiance, if you will) is to both the Frasers and the country's indigenous people. Since Ian is Jamie's family, this makes the Indians his family by extension. And so he changes his mind about relaying the Cherokee's request for guns to the Crown. Is Jamie changing history by doing so? We don't know yet, although the momentous music that plays when Jamie seals the letter to the Crown suggests he may be. 

Requisite sexy times

Jamie and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) have their requisite sexy moment in "Allegiance" when Jamie comes back from the Cherokee all randy after his run-in with the Cherokee women. Jamie might be "old" (he's supposed to be in his early 50s this season), but he's still got it! The show doesn't want you to forget he's old, though, and has him admit to Claire afterward that he needs time to recharge before going at it again.

The episode's other "sexy time" moment is also the most unbelievable scene in all of "Outlander" to date, a show whose premise is based on people traveling through time via magical rocks. And no, I'm not talking about the scene in this episode where the old woman comes "back to life" at her own funeral, which wasn't sexy at all (thankfully!) and more humorous than anything. (It also sets up that Claire's going to get in trouble for being a "witch," which I'll get to in a bit.)

The moment I'm talking about is when Marsali and Fergus start boning when Marsali is in labor. Nope! As a person who has given birth, I can't remotely imagine something like this happening, much less Marsali enjoying it, which the show suggests she does! I get we're supposed to see this as a sexy time scene with Fergus and Marsali once again connecting with each other (before Fergus becomes a deadbeat again), but I spent the whole time yelling, "Nope, no, no thank you!" at my television. 

Fergus sucks in more ways than one

Why do so many of the men in "Outlander" just completely suck (except for Jamie, of course)? I've been angry and disappointed with most of them — Roger, for one, especially back in season 4 when he waffled about coming back to Brianna because he wasn't sure he wanted to be with her after she was brutally raped and with child.

And now Fergus is added to that list — he's a drunk and rough with Marsali and simply not there for her and their kids. And why isn't he there? Because, as Marsali tells Claire, he's ashamed that he wasn't there when the Browns hurt them both.

Stop making Marsali and Claire getting attacked by the Browns about you, Fergus! I thought at one point he might get over himself this episode when he finally comes to Marsali and does his boob-sucking sexy time with her while she's in labor, but no! When he discovers that their new baby is a dwarf, he bails again. Be better, Fergus!

But Mr. Christie is worse ... way worse

"Allegiance" also gave us some additional lovely moments with Thomas Christie (Mark Lewis Jones) that just make it wildly clear that he is a complete monster. We start out with him using the Bible to tell Claire to shut the f*** up when she's helping him with his hand wound. And while he first refuses Claire's offer to fix his other hand, he changes his mind when his ailment makes him unable to randomly beat his daughter Malva (Jessica Reynolds) when he's feeling bad about himself. What a swell guy! 

Christie is also almost done with construction on what he hopes will be his church, which Jamie is none too happy about either. "A church in Tom Christie's hand can become a weapon of war," Jamie says at one point, and I'm pretty sure he's right. Jamie visits Christie and politely tells Christie to remember his Free Mason allegiance (there's that word again) and have the building be a meeting house where all are welcome, including Claire, who some of his congregation have already started calling a witch based on one of their members "coming back from the dead" while she was in attendance. 

Speaking of witches, it's clear that both Claire and Brianna are going to be accused of witchcraft and devilry, most likely with Christie leading the charge, at some point this season. Brianna got folded into the mess by inventing matches, something that her family doesn't seem impressed with but a young boy from Christie's group sees and thinks is magic. The premise fills me with dread, but I have a perhaps naïve hope that the tables will turn on Christie and he'll be the one pilloried in Fraser's Ridge in the near future. 

Other thoughts

  • I forgot that Jaime's Cherokee name was Bear Killer. This is another data point supporting that Jaime is, in fact, very badass.
  • Jamie is more than just a badass, however — he is also a tender soul. We see this when he has his covers up to his chest as he huddles away from the Cherokee woman tasked to sleep with him. He contains multitudes, and all of them are great. 
  • Adso the cat gets some love this episode and also gives Major Macdonald allergies — if this is a setup for the Fraser pet to alter the course of the American Revolution with her feline ways, I'm here for it. 
  • Christie's son Allan seems to be a smaller version of his father, while Malva — because she is a sane, smart person — sees her father for who he really is and is clearly struggling to break free. I hope she does and avoids whatever horrible fate happened to her mother.
  • Claire is still using ether to deal with her trauma, which will likely become a larger issue as the season progresses. 

New episodes of "Outlander" premiere on Starz on Sundays.