How Outlander Will Handle The 'Wedge' Between Claire And Jamie, According To Caitriona Balfe And Sam Heughan

Outlander Season 5 Claire and Jamie
(Image credit: Starz)

After the longest Droughtlander in show history, Outlander is finally only days away from premiering its sixth season on Starz, more than two years after the fifth debuted back in early 2020. With the Revolutionary War fast-approaching in the Colonies, and the Frasers knowing all too well what’s going to happen once the fighting breaks out, they have plenty on their plates when it comes to surviving what’s coming. For Claire, however, she also has to deal with the brutal attacks at the end of Season 5 that left her traumatized, and that trauma will affect Jamie as well. Stars Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan weighed in on the “wedge” that’s on the way, but hope is not lost for the Frasers!

The Outlander stars spoke with CinemaBlend and other outlets about what’s on the way, and they previewed how Claire and Jamie’s relationship in Season 6 will compare to earlier seasons, before Claire’s attack. Caitriona Balfe shared how Claire will be processing, and what that means for Jamie:

I think, when any one person is going through trauma, there's a side of them that they're trying to protect, that they're holding back from sharing with somebody else. And I think we see this with Claire and Jamie. She ends up having a secret, right? You know, her secret is that she's struggling, and that she's leaning on something other than her family and her relationship to get through it. And I think that that's a very common thing with trauma, that people end up hiding in a certain way, or hiding a part of themselves. And any secrets between a couple, I think can just drive us a slight wedge between them.

Claire put on a brave face at the end of Season 5, but since Outlander isn’t exactly jumping years ahead in time to begin Season 6 after the war, she still has a lot to process, and she evidently won’t be opening up to her husband about all of it straight out of the gate. Some of the early footage for the new season indicates that they’re still as much in love as ever when the show returns, but not even Claire can just shake off what happened to her. 

While fans surely aren’t rooting for a “wedge” between the two characters, it’s understandable that Claire has her own way of processing… even if it means keeping a secret. At least Sophie Skleton has previewed that Brianna will be keeping an eye on her mom, in light of what she herself went through because of Stephen Bonnet. Plus, none of this is to say that Jamie will be entirely blind to any ways that his wife is struggling. Sam Heughan shared his thoughts on the situation from Jamie’s perspective: 

Jamie's aware, obviously, that there's something going on, or he certainly suspects, but also wants to give her time and space. He knows that she will come to him or talk to him about it, if and when the time is right. But I think also he's distracted by a lot of the other external forces, you know, with the loyalties and where they lie. So yeah, I guess they lose their connection or sight of each other briefly, but again, obviously, to get through any of these kinds of traumas they need each other. And that is the same in this case.

Jamie certainly does have a lot on his mind for Season 6, even beyond the looming Revolutionary War and what happened to Claire. The Christie family will arrive in North Carolina, and Tom Christie’s history with Jamie at Ardsmuir doesn’t mean that Jamie will welcome him with the most open of arms. It sounds like Tom’s children, Allan and Malva, might bring their own share of trouble. Plus, based on some comments from Lauren Lyle, things might get dark enough for Fergus and Marsali that Jamie will have to worry about them too! Hopefully those distractions just won’t keep him from giving Claire the kind of support she needs. 

If the first five seasons of Outlander have proven anything, it’s that Claire and Jamie can pretty much survive anything as long as they have and rely on each other, so hopefully the show doesn’t go too far with any wedge between them. Neither of the stars’ words suggest that the sky is falling for one of TV’s most complex love stories, and it sounds like fans have a lot to look forward to when the show returns.

And luckily, that return is sooner rather than later! Outlander will be back for Season 6 with a super-sized premiere on Sunday, March 6 at 9 p.m. ET on Starz in the 2022 TV schedule. There’s even more to look forward to on the Outlander front as well, as a prequel spinoff is reportedly in the works

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).