Even though she's pretty sure she didn't do it.
Outlander Season 4 2018

Things aren't looking good for Outlander's Claire (Caitriona Balfe) on the Ridge. To paraphrase Tom Christie, when you're up to your elbows covered in blood, hovering over the dead body of the woman who is allegedly carrying your husband's baby, people will presume things. 

Tom (Mark Lewis Jones) and Allan (Alexander Vlahos) are beside themselves. Jamie (Sam Heughan) steps in when they claim they can't bury Malva in a holy cemetery because of her sinful nature. Malva will be laid to rest properly. He and Claire will see to it, and Roger will perform the funeral ceremony. 

As Jamie lays the bloody corpse on Claire's operating table, we hear the whispers of Claire's demons buzzing around in her head. Devil. Witch. Murderer. The shadows coil around Claire's hands as she shakily threads her needle to sew up Malva's slit throat. The surgeon turns to alcohol instead of ether when the darkness is too much. Once Jamie joins Claire's afternoon whiskey, it's clear his feathers are a bit ruffled, too. 

The bad news is that no one can find any evidence of foul play. This means all fingers point to Claire as the culprit. As soon as the fisherfolk show up, demanding to see the body and inquiring if Claire forgave Malva before she killed her, Claire sinks deeper into the darkness. Lionel Brown's figure shows up everywhere, haunting her night and day. 

Caitriona Balfe as Claire and Sam Heughan as Jamie on 'Outlander'
| Credit: Robert Wilson/Starz

Who had the means, motive, and opportunity to kill Malva? As Lionel continues to taunt her subconscious, Claire eventually realizes that she might have done something unthinkable. Claire likens it to that feeling that you can't shake. It's as if she left the stove on (or a candle burning in this timeline) and forgot to turn it off. Something is wrong.

Thank goodness she confesses to Jamie that she nipped some ether to "have a little lie down," and he seemed genuinely concerned that she was putting herself to sleep. Claire admits that she half remembers Malva banging on the door to get in. Then she remembers being awake and threatening the girl. 

Jamie is convinced Claire's mind is playing tricks on her and encourages her to get some rest. But unfortunately, a figure of Lionel in the corner of her room inhibits her from sleeping the old-fashioned way. Plus, we now have Lizzie (Caitlin O'Ryan) and the Beardsley twins to worry about.

Talk about a scandalous story line! These crazy kids have entered into a thruple and have no qualms about it. The one little problem is the fact that Lizzie is pregnant, and she has no idea if it's Kezzie or Josiah's baby. Ian is the one to discover the secret, and he immediately tells his uncle. Jamie's solution is that Lizzie will marry one of the brothers, or both will die. Easy peasy. 

When Claire speaks to Lizzie, she says she wasn't forced into anything. Lizzie loves them both because they are one soul. So what seems to be the problem? 

Really Lizzie? Someone on the Ridge is murdering young unwed pregnant girls. I'd say that's a big problem! Also, if the fisherfolk found out, they could stone you to death. You need a plan, my friend.

Meanwhile, Roger (Richard Rankin) has totally embraced his role as honorary minister and confides to Jamie that he may want this to be a full-time gig. Roger has a real problem with the "thou shalt not kill" part of the Old Testament, and he's not going to find it any easier once war comes. However, he is more than willing to defend those in need. Does that make him a coward?

Jamie is more than willing to stand by Roger's decision to be ordained as a minister. And he would be thrilled if Roger stayed on the Ridge to help Brianna and Claire and the elderly. War is always coming. Go where you are needed. 

Right now, they are both needed at the chapel. Not even 10 people show up for Malva's funeral. And when it's time to lift the coffin, there aren't enough men to carry her to the graveyard. Allan barks for Jamie to stay seated when he offers an extensive, broad pair of shoulders. Ian takes up the last corner, and they begin to descend the steps outside. Claire notices the tiny baby's coffin and moves to pick it up. Allan spews disgraces. He believes both Malva and the baby are dead because of Claire. 

The Beardsley boys have finally shown up in the barn. Jamie grabs two straws and instructs them each to take one. The shortest straw wins Lizzie — and Kezzie is the lucky winner. Next, Jamie performs a two-sentence handfast ceremony. They're married now. The end. Then he swears that no one speaks a word to anyone before instructing Josiah to the Ridge the next day and to not return until after the baby is born.

Speaking of babies, Brianna (Sophie Skelton) isn't so sure she's ready for Roger to sacrifice his time as a minister to the Ridge. She's been down this road before with her mother, who often left at a moment's notice to care for other people in the middle of the night. Roger reminds her that he is a husband and father first. He won't sacrifice his family. 

Brianna concedes. Roger can be ordained as long as she doesn't have to convert. She's a Catholic woman all the way. Roger laughs, claiming anyone who has a problem with Brianna can go to hell. Might I suggest he workshop that last little bit before he's officially a minister? 

I think my favorite part of the episode is when Lizzie and Josiah ask Roger to marry them. He performs a handfast like Jamie did with Kezzie. I wouldn't call this a loophole. It's like they think they're living in 2022 or something. 

The next day, a brooding Lizzie whines to Claire that it's unfair for Josiah to have to leave. Claire reminds her that she should have told them sooner about her relationship with the boys. Lizzie says that she did try to tell Claire — on the day Malva died — but she wouldn't answer the door. At this point, Claire realizes that she didn't kill Malva. Lizzie would have seen or heard her! 

Claire has a newfound freedom. She rushes to her surgery room and puts the ether away. She's not crazy!

Annnnd, that's when Lionel shows up again. Will this ghost ever leave Claire alone? He drones on and on about how it doesn't matter that Claire didn't kill Malva. Claire's done enough damage without Malva's name in her journal of sins. 

Jamie enters the room and notices Claire's demeanor. He listens intently as she babbles on about being crazy and seeing dead people. She swings dark and she doesn't like it. Even though she knows she didn't kill Malva, look at all the other things she's done! Everything is a mess because she was desperate to be with Jamie. She changed the timeline. It's all her fault.

Jamie reminds Claire that he wouldn't have it any other way. Without the stones, Brianna would not have been born. Roger has a wife and son, and one on the way. Fergus is married with kids. Their entire world crumbles without Claire. And if she can't make the voices stop, he will help her conquer them. They will face this together. 

Claire weeps in Jamie's arms. She's thankful he is willing to tackle the demons and darkness. He tries to comfort her. No one has charged her with a crime.

Cue a group of angry men galloping up on horses in front of the Ridge. The Safety Brigade is back, and they have a warrant for Claire's arrest. Unfortunately, it seems everyone in the region thinks Claire killed Malva Christie. And I'm not sure an ether nap is going to help her escape this nightmare. 

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Outlander Season 4 2018

Diana Gabaldon's genre-bending time-travel novels come to life in the Starz series.

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