Outlander: Does Malva's Real Murderer Still Matter For Claire's Situation In The Finale?

Outlander Season 7 Jamie and Claire
(Image credit: Starz)

Spoilers ahead for the penultimate episode of Outlander Season 6, called “Sticks and Stones.”

The sixth season of Outlander is quickly approaching the end, and all signs point toward the show delivering another shocking finale. Hopefully, it won’t be nearly as devastating as the episode that ended Season 5, but Claire’s predicament as of the end of “Sticks and Stones” is definitely not good. The murder of Malva turned the Ridge upside down even more than when she accused Jamie of fathering her unborn child, and the episode ended with the Committee of Safety – led of course by Richard Brown – arriving at the Ridge to arrest Claire for murder. Claire is innocent, but at this point, does it actually matter who did the deed?

As Brianna and Roger pointed out while channeling their inner Perry Mason, the person who would look the most guilty would be the one with means, motive, and opportunity. And as Claire pointed out, that description fit nobody on the Ridge as well as her, and even she spent most of the episode considering herself a suspect due to her ether fugue. She ultimately figured out that she didn’t kill Malva, but the fact remains that she quite literally had Malva’s blood on her hands, and the Frasers couldn’t exactly call in a forensic team to preserve and investigate the crime scene. 

Nobody else even looks guilty for the crime, and the promo mentioning the Beardsleys was a misdirect. I can’t say that the reveal that the twins were in an out-of-wedlock throuple with a pregnant Lizzie is any less shocking than a reveal of Malva’s murderer would have been, though! Unless somebody confesses and has a believable story, I can’t see the discovery of the real killer making much of a difference. There is a vendetta against Claire, and no way to prove her innocence in the late 18th century with no witnesses.

Even if Jamie and Co. figure out who killed Malva, it may not be able to help Claire, and they can’t just run away together like they could back in the early days of the show (which you can revisit with a Netflix subscription) to escape accusations of witchcraft. Plus, if Claire starts going on about seeing Lionel Brown and not being sure what’s real and what’s not to anybody other than her nearest and dearest who understand her trauma, it could be used against her. Considering that Richard Brown is the one who intends to arrest her, she’s probably not going to get the benefit of the doubt. 

Of course, this is all assuming that they successfully arrest Claire. Jamie isn’t likely to just hand his wife over, and there are some scenes at the Ridge in the trailer that suggest there’s still more to come between those loyal to the Frasers (who are admittedly more and more in short supply) and the Committee of Safety. The timing couldn’t be much worse, with Fergus and Marsali moved away, and Bree and Roger leaving so that Roger could become ordained. Even if Roger wouldn’t have been much good in a fight, Bree is a crack shot!

Only time will tell what happens with the Committee of Safety intent on arresting Claire, but the promo for the Season 6 finale on May 1 indicates that fans should prepare for an intense hour before heading into the next Droughtlander. Take a look:

Tune in to Starz on Sunday, May 1 at 9 p.m. ET for the sixth season finale of Outlander. It may seem like the show is ending shortly after it started due to the shortened episode count, but Season 7 is already guaranteed to be on the way, and with the highest episode count for any season since the first. 

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. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. 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).