Outlander Season 6 Premiere Recap: Claire’s Dependence on Ether, Where’s Adso, and More

Outlander season 6 is here! The new season—based on the sixth book of the series, A Breath of Snow and Ashes—premiered with an 80 minute super-sized episode in which the Christie family moved to Fraser’s Ridge, Lionel Brown’s brother, Richard, made a very imposing appearance, and the American Revolutionary War loomed in the not-too-distant future. Most important, we reunited with Claire and Jamie and Brianna and Roger. Friends, it had been too long. 

The episode starts by going back even further in time, to 1753 at Ardsmuir Prison where Jamie is sporting his chin-length reddish hair and keeping the hope alive for a possible reunion with Claire. There, we meet Tom Christie, who clearly has an obsession with Jamie and not the good kind. He’s not the worst villain by any means, but there’s animosity between the two men. 

Later, when a fellow prisoner is killed and an old man places a tartan cloth over his body, Jamie takes ownership of the act so as not to get the old man in trouble. The result, tragically, is that Jamie is subject to another whipping on his already deeply scarred body. While Tom Christie actually seems to feel some sort of emotion for Jamie’s pain, Jamie is only focused on an angel-like image of Claire that he’s conjured up in his mind as a coping mechanism. 

In the days that follow, Jamie gathers his fellow prisoners and says it doesn’t matter if they are Catholics or Protestants, as all of them are Scots, and from now on they will be free masons. Talk of politics or religion is forbidden, he says, before adding, “Who will join me?” As various men walk up to join Jamie’s cause, the governor summons him for lunch; he leaves, but not before taking one last look at Tom Christie. 

It is then that we flash forward to North Carolina in 1773 and see Tom Christie walking up the bend to Fraser’s Ridge. At that moment, the opening credits play and I’ve never been so happy to hear “The Skye Boat Song.”

The episode—titled “Echoes” and directed by Kate Cheeseman—begins with Jamie entering the house to see Claire asleep on the bed near her lab. She’s in such a deep sleep that he becomes worried something has happened until she wakes up. She’s scared at first by Jamie’s concern, but then a look of delight comes across her face. “It worked,” she says as she picks up a nearby hourglass. She’s developed anesthetic, also called ether, which she explains will allow her to operate on patients so they won’t feel a thing until they wake up. Jamie says it would be a shame not to feel anything, and he kisses her. Jamie wants to put everyone to sleep for 100 years except for them. “I can’t wait for this war to be over,” he says. I also can’t wait for these two to have more of these moments, as there’s no chemistry like Jamie and Claire chemistry

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