'Outlander': 6 of the Biggest Questions Answered From Season 6, Episode 1

The droughtlander can be declared as officially over. Outlander Season 6 is here and the first episode didn't disappoint.

Not only does Episode 1, titled "Echoes," see the long-awaited arrival of the antagonistic Christie family, but Marsali (played by Lauren Lyle) also went into labor, and fans were treated to a flashback of Jamie Fraser's (Sam Heughan) days at Ardsmuir prison.

Nevertheless, it has been almost two years since Outlander aired on our screens and there are some questions lingering from Outlander Season 6, Episode 1.

With the help of Sam Heughan, Newsweek has everything you need to know.

Six of the Biggest Questions Answered

1. Why Was Jamie in Ardsmuir Prison?

At the beginning of Outlander Season 6, audiences are transported back to 1753, when Jamie Fraser was still incarcerated at Ardsmuir Prison.

Jamie, alongside other Jacobite rebels, was imprisoned there for fighting in the Jacobite uprisings and the Battle of Culloden in 1745. The prison was guarded by British red-coat soldiers.

There, we learn he met Tom Christie, who was also incarcerated for supporting the Jacobites.

In Episode 1 of Outlander Season 6, we learn Jamie and Tom have never seen eye to eye. At Ardsmuir tensions had risen between the Protestant faction, headed by Tom, and the Catholics, whose de facto leader is Jamie.

As they work on the prison grounds, the Catholics and Protestants fight amongst themselves, with Jamie taking a flogging to protect one of his men.

When the Governor of Ardsmuir prison granted Jamie his wish to become a freemason and turn the prison into a Mason Lodge to keep the peace, Tom was left powerless.

In 1756, The Seven Years' War began and Ardsmuir was closed down and the prisoners were deported to the New World. Tom was sent to South Carolina, where he worked for plantation owner Mr. Everett as a schoolmaster, but thanks to Lord John Grey (David Berry), Jamie was allowed to stay in Scotland and continue his sentence as a paroled prisoner on Helwater in the Lake District.

2. What Is an Indian Agent?

In Season 6, Episode 1, Jamie Fraser is asked by Major MacDonald to become a British agent.

An Indian agent was an individual who was tasked with liaising with the aboriginal tribes on behalf of the British government.

In Outlander Season 6, the American Revolution is fast approaching and the British government is doing everything it can to prepare for the outbreak of war. When Jamie and the Frasers moved to America to build Fraser's ride, they swore an oath to the crown.

Following the death of Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) at the hands of the Crown, Jamie had renounced his oath to the Crown but in Episode 1, found his loyalties put to the test.

However, when Major MacDonald revealed the role would go to the evil Richard Brown (Chris Larkin), Jamie Fraser reluctantly agreed to serve as an Indian agent. Part of his role is now to work closely with the local tribe, with the hopes they will ally with the Crown in the event of war.

Speaking to Newsweek, Sam Heughan teased what Jamie's role as an Indian Agent means going forward.

Heughan said: "He's been instructed by the British to be an Indian agent, to go and work with the Cherokee and bring them on the side I guess and Jamie doesn't know from history which side the Cherokee will fight on. Will they fight for the British or will they fight for the rebels? And Jamie knows, well he has an indication that he is on the wrong side, the losing side. He knows from history and knowledge of the future that the British are going to lose, so he knows he needs to switch sides at some point.

"He's reluctant to give them [the tribes] weapons, which is what they're asking for. There's the second episode we're there in the village and it's just incredible that we recreated this enormous Native American settlement and we had all these actors come over from Canada and they really brought their culture with them and we shared it with us and it was so fun to work with those actors, it was great."

3. What Happened to Claire Fraser?

It has been almost two years since Outlander Season 5 concluded and audiences who are new to the show or can't quite remember the last season may be wondering what is wrong with Claire Fraser (Catriona Balfe).

At the end of Season 5, Claire was taken captive by Lionel Brown (Ned Dennehy) after he discovered that Claire was writing under the name of Dr. Rawlings to publish articles about innovative medicine.

Despite her attempts to escape, she was sadly beaten, tied up, and raped by Lionel's men. Thankfully, she survived the ordeal and Lionel was killed by lethal injection by Marsali, but naturally, Claire still has to process what she went through.

In Outlander Season 6, Claire has discovered ether, what we today know as a surgical anesthetic, and has begun to self-medicate at home and Jamie has absolutely no idea.

Heughan told Newsweek: "Claire's struggling with what happened to her and normally, she's pretty pragmatic but she seems to really struggle and that's why she's self medicating. She's knocking herself out and Jamie is not aware of what she's been through.

"Obviously, he went through something similar but I think he is giving her space to deal with that and he thinks she will speak to him about it or consult with him when she is ready, that is usually how they operate, they are very very close. So, the fact that she doesn't tell him becomes a real problem."

4. Who Is Alan Decker?

At the end of the first episode, a tribute was paid to Alan Decker, who died in December 2020, aged 69.

The title card read "In loving memory of our friend and colleague Alan Decker."

Decker was an American re-recording mixer who worked on Outlander as well as Homeland, Your Honour, The Simpsons, Suits, Chicago PD, Bates Motel and Good Girls.

In 1999, he won the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Programming for his contribution to the National Geographic's Avalanche: The White Death.

5. Which Book Is Outlander Season 6 Based On?

Outlander Season 6 is based on the sixth book in the Outlander novel series by Diana Gabaldon, titled A Breath of Snow and Ashes.

6. Who Are the Christie Family Actors?

In Outlander Season 6, Episode 1, we are introduced to the Christie family, consisting of patriarch Tom, Allan and Malva Christie.

Fans of the Outlander novels will already know the Christie family brings a serious amount of trouble to Fraser's Ridge and particularly for Jamie and Claire Fraser.
So, who are the actors behind the antagonistic family?

Welsh actor Mark Lewis Jones takes on the role of Tom Christie in Outlander.

Jones, is best known for playing First Order Captain Moden Canady in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Tecton in Troy and Kinney Edwards in Gangs of London.

He is also the voice of Letho of Gulet the King Slayer in The Witcher.

Alexander Vlahos plays Allan Christie in Outlander, Tom Christie's son.

Vlahos is best known for playing Philippe, Duke of Orleans in Versailles, and Modred in Merlin.

Jessica Reynolds stars as Malva Christie, Tom Christie's niece.

Outlander is Reynolds' biggest acting role to date. Her previous credits include The Ballad of Audrey Earnshaw and My Left Nut.

Outlander Season 6 airs Sundays on Starz and Starzplay.

outlander season 6
The cast of "Outlander" Season 6. The Starz show is coming back soon. Starz