Outlander May Have Cost Jamie A Key Ally, But Who Is The Mysterious New Figure?
Jamie and Claire's situation is growing more and more dire with the potential loss of an ally, and a mysterious newcomer could mix things up even more.
Spoilers ahead for Episode 5 of Outlander Season 6, called “Give Me Liberty.”
Outlander kicked off “Give My Liberty” with a blast to the past by revealing what happened to Charles Stuart after the failed uprising, and Bonnie Prince Charlie’s escape across the sea with the help of Flora MacDonald was the inspiration for the “Skye Boat Song” that fans are undoubtedly very familiar with by this point as the show’s theme tune. In the series' present in the U.S. Colonies, rebellion and war are brewing again, and a trip to Wilmington to hear Flora speak may have resulted in the loss of a key ally for Jamie. It also introduced a mysterious new figure who is clearly not where – or when – he is supposed to be.
So, with Season 6 now more than half over, let’s look at what happened in “Give Me Liberty” and what it could mean for what comes next.
Jamie And Lord John Are On Opposite Sides
David Berry returned as Lord John Grey for a reunion with his good friend Jamie, although his true purpose was to find out whether Jamie is still loyal to the king or leaning toward rebellion. Jamie initially had to lie to his old friend, and it was pretty clear that he might actually be on John’s side if he didn’t know what the future holds courtesy of Claire and Brianna.
John had every faith that Jamie would stay loyal, particularly when Jamie helped him defend a printer who was going to be tarred and feathered by townspeople and Sons of Liberty for filling an order to print what seemed to be a “Tory” document. He couldn’t keep lying to John, however, and came clean about which side he’s truly on, and that he was planning on attending a Sons of Liberty meeting.
Lord John was distraught, and clearly didn’t understand what Jamie thought he really needed freedom from, but he also couldn’t just completely turn a blind eye. He promised to stall the redcoats as much as he could before they could raid the meeting, but wouldn’t stop them altogether. Lines have been drawn with war brewing, and it certainly looks like Jamie and Lord John are on opposite sides.
For all of their differences, John has been a strong ally for not just Jamie, but the Fraser family as a whole. Plus, he’s raising Jamie’s biological son. If “Give Me Liberty” was the end of Jamie and John’s relationship as trusted (and trusting) friends for the foreseeable future, it could be a major loss for the Frasers.
Of course, it was nice to see Lord John again, particularly after David Berry shared a message back during Season 5 that suggested his time on Outlander was finished. Does this mean that fans can start hoping all over again for a Lord John spinoff series? It’s worth noting that news broke back in February that a prequel spinoff was in development at Starz, so Berry’s return may mean that we don’t want to rule out the possibility of him getting his own show.
As for what’s happening in this show, it seems that Lord John might be absent again for a while as Claire and Jamie return to the Ridge. The more immediate threat – or potential ally? – might be the man who was revealed at the very end.
Another Time Traveler Is In The Mix
Outlander dropped a clue early on in “Give Me Liberty” that time travel might have a part to play again, when Flora MacDonald’s stolen necklace was recovered with one jewel missing, which fans may have recognized as a sign that somebody might be trying to travel through stones again with a gemstone. It wasn’t until the end of the episode that Outlander actually confirmed that another time traveler is in the mix, and in a pretty thrilling way.
As Claire and Jamie were preparing to head back to Fraser’s Ridge, Claire thought that she heard a familiar song, but ultimately dismissed it as the wind. If she hadn’t, and if she’d followed the source to find the whistler, she undoubtedly would have made a very big discovery, because the song was none other than “Colonel Bogey’s March.”
“Colonel Bogey’s March” was originally composed back in 1914, so the only way that anybody could have been whistling it in late 18th-century North Carolina would be if they came from the future. It’s safe to say that the whistler was at least old enough to memorize a tune by 1914, but it stands to reason that the man could have been born quite a bit later.
This particular song is famous for its inclusion in the 1957 film The Bridge on the River Kwai, which is a movie that still influences modern filmmakers. If I had to guess, I’d say that the time traveler who appeared at the end of “Give Me Liberty” is from some time after 1957 and with some knowledge of the American Revolutionary War era.
It’s also worth noting that this wasn’t the first song from the 20th century to make an appearance in the episode, as Roger was singing a tune that he told Brianna was from the 1950s, but Amy McCallum of the fisherfolk was convinced she’d heard it before. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that this time traveler was walking around the American Colonies and spreading anachronistic music wherever he went, but it was interesting that two 20th century songs had parts to play in this episode.
Who The Mystery Man With Flora's Gem Could Be
So, who is this mysterious man? I would say that there are two options at this point: Wendigo Donner or somebody brand new. Donner appeared back in Season 5 as part of the group that kidnapped Claire, and he revealed himself to her as a time traveler, although he would not help her. He originally came with some others who wanted to prevent the Native American genocides, and was not among those who assaulted Claire and were killed by her rescuers at the end of the fifth season.
“Give Me Liberty” didn’t show the face of the whistler, but Donner traveled back from 1968, which would fit with the timeline of The Bridge on the River Kwai, and Donner’s goal back when he first encountered Claire was to get gemstones and travel home. Although the whistler had a great deal of long hair to obscure his face, I think the odds are pretty good that Outlander just revealed where Donner ended up after disappearing in the Season 5 finale.
Alternately, the whistler could be anybody else who happened to stumble on some traveling stones, have a gemstone handy, and the right biology. On the whole, however, my money is on the next episode revealing that Wendigo Donner is back, for better or for worse. Not many episodes are left before Season 6 comes to an end, so there’s not much time remaining for Outlander to continue telling this story before the next Droughtlander.
The good news is that Season 7 is already super-sized after the episode count was cut for Season 6, and there is still plenty that can happen between the end of “Give Me Liberty” and the Season 6 finale. Trouble seems to be brewing on the home front for the Frasers as well, as Malva is acting up after what she witnessed at the end of the previous episode. See what happens next on Outlander (opens in new tab) with a new episode on Sunday, April 10 at 9 p.m. ET on Starz, and check out our 2022 TV schedule for more viewing options now and in the coming weeks.
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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, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.