Outlander Star Breaks Down Jamie's 'Inconceivable' Path And Lord John's Decision

Outlander Jamie and Lord John ward off tar and feathers
(Image credit: Starz)

Spoilers ahead for the fifth episode of Outlander Season 6, called "Give Me Liberty."

Claire and Jamie left Fraser's Ridge for the latest episode of Outlander, but their journey to Wilmington wasn't exactly a break from trouble. They went to listen to Flora MacDonald – a.k.a. the woman who helped Charles Stuart escape Scotland and inspire the "Skye Boat Song" that Outlander fans know well – speak; in the process, Jamie showed support for the Sons of Liberty, to the very great dismay of Lord John Grey. Yes, David Berry reprised his fan-favorite role as the Englishman who has loved Jamie for decades now despite seemingly saying goodbye to the role in 2020, but it wasn't an altogether happy reunion between the characters, and the actor weighed in on what happened.

John originally defended Jamie by saying that his loyalty was surely with the Crown, and was extremely hurt when he learned that Jamie was siding with the rebels without so much as tipping John off despite their long friendship. Speaking with EW, David Berry explained why his character didn't even entertain the idea of the rebellion:

Historically speaking, the path that Jamie's choosing is, as Lord John says, inconceivable. It's a dream. It's completely nonsense that rebels could actually win. He's looking at it from a very pragmatic point of view. It's not necessarily a principled one of saying the Crown or the Commonwealth is more important or should have dominion over the Americas. It's more, this is actually, in pragmatic and practical terms, what the truth is, and you need to face up to it, Jamie. If you don't face up to it, there's going to be horrible consequences for you.

On top of the sticky issue of Lord John on the side of the Crown and Jamie supporting the Sons of Liberty, history to that point in the timeline is not on the side of a rebellion actually working. John already saw what Jamie went through after his previous failed rebellion at Culloden, and it honestly seems like Jamie wouldn't be throwing in with the rebels if he didn't know for sure courtesy of Claire and Bree that the Brits will not win the war. It's "inconceivable" to John that the rebels could win, and Jamie can't exactly tell him why he's so determined. 

Jamie still had a pretty big ask of his old friend, however, as he requested that Lord John stop the soldiers from breaking up the Sons of Liberty meeting and making arrests. John didn't guarantee that he could – or would – do it, and David Berry explained the meaning behind his words to Jamie:

In those words, the subtext is not about the soldiers. You've hurt me is basically the subtext. You're asking a lot of me again. I'll do it for you. But this is almost too much. I'm telling you here that you better not ask any more of me because I'm not willing to give it. This is him sort of asserting his boundary at that point. And he acquiescences to a degree, but he doesn't give Jamie a full concession. He says, 'I'll delay them.' He doesn't say, 'I'll call them off.' And he won't because, on a personal level, he's hurt by Jamie. It's like, you've betrayed our friendship. I'm going to save you this time, but I'm not [going to go that far]. He's trying to be as equivocal as possible.

Lord John has done a lot for Jamie over the years that they've known each other, even building a friendship despite the very deep unrequited romantic love. Apparently, even he has a limit, as he didn't call off the soldiers, and it took some fast thinking from Jamie to break up the Sons of Liberty meeting in time for all of them to escape arrest. Of course, Jamie had to rebuild some of his credibility with them after he helped John stop a printer from being tarred and feathered, but things could have gone much worse. David Berry continued: 

But he follows it up with, 'Be careful.' He just can't help himself. He's so hurt in that moment that he's like, 'Okay, you're asking a lot of me, I'll delay them.' And he's saying, 'Well, here's this guy, he doesn't care about his own welfare or my friendship to him,' but because he loves him, Lord John can't help himself and says, 'Jamie, be careful.' There's a lot of partings and goodbyes in every Jamie and John scene. That's something that I put a lot of effort into concentrating on, because the subtext every time Lord John says goodbye is he wants to say, 'Goodbye, and I love you.' But of course he can't say that. And that's always the parting message that Lord John wants to give Jamie, no matter what the circumstances are surrounding that goodbye.

If Lord John has a breaking point when it comes to Jamie, he evidently hasn't hit it yet, and his love for Jamie outweighs everything else. It's a sign of how likable David Berry has made his character that he has become such a fan-favorite in a show that is anchored by the love story between Jamie and Claire, to the point that he's a popular pitch to get his own spinoff. With a spinoff said to be in development as a prequel, it's actually not out of the question at this point! 

Whether or not this was the last time that David Berry will appear as Lord John in Season 6 remains to be seen. The season doesn't have many episodes left, and the Frasers were headed back to the Ridge by the end of "Give Me Liberty," so their paths may not cross with John again any time soon. Season 7 is already guaranteed and received a super-sized episode order, so the future is looking pretty bright for fans... if not necessarily the Frasers, especially if that mysterious time traveler who just turned up will cause some trouble. 

See what happens next with new episodes of Outlander on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Starz in the 2022 TV schedule. There was some trouble back at the Ridge while Jamie and Claire were in Wilmington, with Malva evidently taking what she learned by watching them in action to heart. She jumped to blackmailing Roger extremely quickly after being caught in a compromised position, which put a bit of a damper on the wonderful news about Brianna being pregnant. Be sure to tune in on Sundays to see what happens next! 

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).