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    ‘Outlander’: Caitriona Balfe & Sam Heughan on ‘Western Feel’ of Season 6 Finale

    [Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 6, Episode 8 of Outlander, “I Am Not Alone.”]

    Outlander‘s sixth season has come to a close and true to the show’s high-stakes storylines, the finale concluded on a cliffhanger that is sure to leave viewers hungry for more.

    It was truly Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) against the world as Richard Brown (Chris Larkin) and his committee of safety surrounded Fraser’s Ridge, calling for the arrest of Claire for Malva Christie’s (Jessica Reynolds) murder. Determined to keep in place, the couple became engaged in a shootout as they refused to comply.

    Ultimately, the standoff leads to Claire turning herself over alongside Jamie with no one else able to help them out of the predicament without causing more bloodshed. On the road to judgment, they face harsh treatment and the threat of potential death, but worst of all, Jamie and Claire are separated yet again.

    Outlander Season 6 finale Caitriona Balfe

    (Credit: Starz)

    Thankfully, Caitriona Balfe assures TV Insider that there aren’t any years-long separations ahead for the couple, but viewers will have to wait until Season 7 arrives to see them united. “I wouldn’t say it’s too, too long,” Balfe teases of Jamie and Claire’s eventual reunion.

    For now, Jamie has been saved by Young Ian (John Bell) and the Cherokee after he was tied up and set to be shipped back to Scotland. Now, Jamie must find his wife who is currently being held prisoner in Wilmington, North Carolina. “It’s a great cliffhanger, isn’t it?” Heughan asks, acknowledging the task that awaits Jamie following his escape.

    Season 6 was originally intended to include more than eight episodes, but circumstances like filming complications during the pandemic made way for a revised ending that the writers and producers decided on, says Balfe. “[The writers and producers] felt like this was a good time to stop [in the story],” she notes. “Obviously, I also had points where I couldn’t keep filming,” she adds. Balfe’s real-life pregnancy coincided with production on Season 6 as well.

    Outlander Season 6 finale Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe

    (Credit: Starz)

    The shootout, at least, provided fans with an exciting footnote the conclude the season. “We were very lucky we had [director] Jamie Payne,” Balfe credits for the intense scenes. “He’s an incredibly thoughtful director. Sam and I were both so excited that we were having this slightly Western feel to this episode. It felt very Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

    And the shooting isn’t the only fire that Jamie and Claire face as they’re pelted with stones by judgemental settlers who are misguided into thinking they’re murderers. “There’s a lot of turmoil in that build-up of the revolution, and you can see it in the background,” Heughan says. “There’s this unsettled nature…and I think it is interesting to see the Frasers lose their support and reputation.”

    Hope is not all lost, however. It’s storylines like this that make way for some of Jamie and Claire’s sweetest scenes, says Heughan: “[But there’s also] these really, really intimate moments, like the evening they spend together.”

    Outlander Season 6 finale Sam Heughan

    (Credit: Starz)

    “The last dinner,” Balfe chimes in as Heughan agrees. “You see how they just love each other’s company and you might even see Adso occasionally, but [the director] really brought some tender moments. So, we’re very lucky to work with Jamie.”

    Along with nibbling on scraps from their kitchen, Jamie and Claire seem genuinely scared about their uncertain future in a way that would make any viewer skittish. When they decide against fighting the committee of safety for fear of unnecessary bloodshed, Jamie and Claire turn to each other for comfort. “For the first time, we really see them up against the world,” Balfe says. “It’s like their entire community is turned on them. People that they have given shelter to, people they have opened their homes to — they’re all calling for blood.”

    Outlander Season 6 finale Sam Heughan

    (Credit: Starz)

    Meanwhile, daughter Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and her husband Roger (Richard Rankin) are on the road unaware of their family’s predicament, and Fergus (César Domboy) and Marsali (Lauren Lyle) are relocated in New Bern. So some of Jamie and Claire’s closest and most loyal kin are unavailable to them. “They don’t know what’s coming next,” Balfe continues. “They know that this is probably the last moment of peace they’ll have together, the last moment that they’ll be able to actually share an intimate or romantic moment with each other,” she says, alluding to Jamie and Claire’s passionate love scene in the finale.

    “But also, you just don’t know where your allies are coming from,” Heughan points out. “We have this strange situation with Tom Christie [Mark Lewis Jones] where he’s there and he seems to be supporting and almost hating them [at the same time]. We don’t know what his motives are, so it’s a really unsettled time.”

    That dynamic has been reflected in several interactions between Tom and Claire in Season 6 as well. “He’s a strange fish, Tom Christie, isn’t he?” Balfe says before praising her latest costar. “We just absolutely love Mark Lewis Jones. He’s amazing in this role. And he has brought so much heart to what could be such a pain-in-the-ass character.”

    Outlander Season 6 finale Mark Lewis Jones

    (Credit: Starz)

    Tom was supportive of Claire when she and Jamie were separated in the finale, promising to stay close by as she’s thrown into a jail cell. Considering Richard Brown and the others believe she’s responsible for Tom’s daughter’s death, it’s a perplexing approach. “He’s somebody who, once you understand that there’s so much pain behind all of that standoffish righteousness, we see that Claire and Jamie feel compassion towards him,” Balfe says. “And as we go on, he does become a real ally for them, it’s a very endearing and sweet story.”

    Another dynamic that will hopefully be explored more as the series continues is the one between Jamie and the Cherokee as Ian recruited the tribe to aid in his rescue efforts. “Jamie was reluctant to supply weapons to them in the first episode because he didn’t know which side they would fight on,” Heughan reminds viewers. “They’ve chosen to fight alongside Jamie and support him,” Heughan notes, but also points out that, “whether or not they help rescue Claire, I can’t give away too much, but I would say that they’re definitely a factor.”

    Now in production for Season 7, Balfe and Heughan couldn’t say much about what’s coming up for the Frasers in the next chapter, but they did offer a few teasing words. “Boats,” Balfe says, starting the brief list of morsels they can share.

    “Boats is good,” Heughan compliments, before adding, “Battles… Boats, battles, and babies,” he continues before Balfe chimes in with the last descriptor: “Bye byes.” What that means, viewers will have to wait and see for themselves once Outlander returns for its seventh season. For now, fans will have to settle in for the all-too-familiar Droughtlander while Balfe, Heughan, and their costars continue their progress on the upcoming season.

    Outlander, Season 7, TBA, Starz

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