In Outlander's 'Sticks And Stones,' Claire Faces Both And Is Unsurprisingly Worse For It

Things aren't getting much better in "Sticks and Stones," the latest "Outlander" episode where Claire has trouble dealing with the horrific events that happened just outside her door at the end season 6's previous episode.

Things are bad, but things aren't completely horrible this episode, at least. There's a love triangle of sorts that gets some screen time, and Roger appears to have found his calling. For Claire, however, things are really bad. And it looks like things are going to get worse before they (hopefully) get better.

Read on for a spoiler-full discussion of the "Outlander" season 6 episode, "Sticks and Stones."

Malva's still dead, and it's not great

Malva and her baby are still dead and it's awful! After an opening of an alive Malva confessing about her "sin" to the clergy and implying that Jamie Fraser (the man she accused of impregnating her) is the devil, we cut to the surviving Christies, Claire, and Jamie standing around her and her baby's corpses.

Tom Christie wants to bury them both in the woods but Jamie insists on a proper funeral and a consecrated grave because he's a decent guy. Allan clearly is already set on accusing Claire of the murder of his sister and things are just bad for everyone here, living and dead.

Claire is especially shaken up by Malva's murder, more so than almost any time we've seen her before on the show. Her hands shake as she tries to stitch up Malva's lacerated neck, and she's hearing and seeing Lionel Brown, who is telling her awful things, including that she's the one who killed Malva. Claire is shaken and Jamie tries to calm her while the sentiment that Claire was behind the murder is already starting to take hold on the Ridge. 

Things get worse at the funeral, where Allan hates that the Frasers are there and flips out when Claire goes to carry the tiny baby coffin. In his eyes, the Frasers are responsible for the impregnation and death of his sister, and he's angry that they aren't being punished for what he thinks they did.

Surprise! Lizzie loves both Beardsleys

"Sticks and Stones" also spends time with Lizzie and the Beardsleys, who have had their own romantic happenings this season. Those romantic happenings take the form of a three-way lovefest; Lizzie's been sleeping with both of them and is now pregnant and doesn't know which Beardsley is the father of her unborn child. Jamie and Claire find out the news via Ian, and neither of them is thrilled, especially given the recent murder that occurred on their doorstep.

The Beardsleys are in hiding at first — all three of them love each other and want to stay together as a throuple and are afraid of what will happen when the Frasers find out — but Jamie insists that she must marry one of them and the other must skedaddle until the baby is born. Lizzie and her two Beardsleys don't like that idea, however, and they trick Jamie and Roger to separately have Lizzie handfast to both of them. I wonder how this is going to sort itself out!

Claire still isn't doing well, and now has to face arrest

The bulk of "Sticks and Stones," however, focuses on the mental torment Claire is growing through. For most of the episode, she's still not sure if she killed Malva or not in an ether-imposed stupor. Fortunately, she confides everything she's feeling to Jamie, including how she's been using ether to shut out the voice of Lionel Brown in her head.

Jamie does all he can to console her but Claire is doubting her life choices, specifically coming back in time to be with Jamie. If she never came back in time, for example, Bree wouldn't either, and wouldn't have gotten raped. Even when Claire finds out that it was Lizzie knocking on the door the day Malva got murdered and that she truly didn't kill Malva, she's still completely wrecked emotionally.

Jamie as always has the kindest words to say to his beloved. "Without you, our whole world crumbles into dust," he tells his wife. Claire seems a little bit better. But the next day — just after she and Jamie say goodbye to Bree, Roger, and Jemmy, who are heading to Edenton so Roger can get ordained as a minister — the Brown's "Committee of Safety" comes riding up to Fraser's Ridge and says they're there to arrest Claire for Malva's murder. It's not looking good for Claire, though we'll have to wait for next week's episode to see how things play out.

Other thoughts

  • The image after the opening credits of a ladybug crawling up a reed speckled with blood was poetic, y'all.
  • That malaria/Lizzie/ointment reference from an earlier episode was actually foreshadowing for foreplay between Lizzie and her identical lovers. Can you get more romantic than losing your virginity in a threesome when you're recovering from malaria?!
  • Roger mulls this episode whether he can join the war effort when the revolution comes. He ultimately decides he can take up arms to protect those in need, just like a superhero. Good on you, Roger.

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