The world turned upside down in Outlander Season 6 Episode 6 ‘The World Turned Upside Down.’ Characters in “Outlander” have died in a variety of ways, some of which were sad and others which were anxiously awaited. Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) was sickened by an unknown sickness, and Malva (Jessica Reynolds) Christie tried to seduce Jamie (Sam Heughan) while she was in bed and was found dead on the ridge later in the episode. If you missed the Outlander midseason finale recap, here’s a rundown of what happened in the show.
At the meetinghouse, Roger finishes another Sunday sermon but notices the MacNeil family is absent. Claire, Bree (Sophie Skelton), Lizzie (Caitlin O’ Ryan), and Malva visit their cabin for a wellness check, and it turns out that the entire family is gravely ill. Dehydration kills Mrs. MacNeil and one of the children. Claire bemoans her inability to save them, but she forgets that her medical aides are 18th-century people who believe she is ill.
Claire discovers the amoeba that causes dysentery under the microscope. The Ridge residents refer to it as “the flux,” and they’re being advised to boil their water until they determine out what’s causing the pollution. The virus claimed the lives of several more residents. Claire is operating on very little sleep and food, putting her at risk of disease. Bree sees that the Sin-Eater hasn’t been spotted in weeks, if not months, which is unusual given the number of funerals. Claire passes out, indicating that she is too ill to help anyone else suffering from dysentery.
Claire is in and out of consciousness for almost a week due to headaches, chills, and a fever. Malva was doing her usual apprentice job before Claire passed out, and she persisted on staying after Alan called her home. Roger, Bree, Lizzie, and Jamie take turns keeping an eye on her condition. Claire sees her own heart, the body of a snake, and Jamie sitting next to the window with Malva rubbing his back in a dream/vision one night. This perplexes her, as she later tells Jamie that while she was unwell in Paris, she dreamed of a blue heron as a sign of healing. Claire’s perplexity was compounded when Malva and Mrs. Bug cut her hair in an attempt to halt the fever. Unfortunately, the only thing that can cure the fever is time. Tom Christie was also ill, although his symptoms were similar to hers and were unconnected to dysentery. Claire requests a stool sample to determine what sickness he is suffering from. Jamie finds a dead elk upstream from the MacNeils, which has poisoned the water and caused the dysentery outbreak.
There is a time pass to the following spring once the outbreak is over. Meanwhile, Jamie and Roger are attending negotiations concerning a trade boycott of the United Kingdom. These actions indicate that the war is getting closer. The full shock of war on the Ridge begins as they gear up to attend to a convention to pick delegates to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. When the Christies arrive at the mansion, they demand to speak with Jamie. Malva reveals that she is expecting a child and believes Jamie is the father. Malva describes what happened as Jamie drunkenly persuading Claire to sleep with him after Claire’s vision of Malva touching Jamie’s back turns into Malva describing what happened as Jamie drunkenly persuading Claire to sleep with him. Malva stops short of calling what transpired rape, but the specifics make it difficult for Jamie to deny it. This story convinces Tom and Alan, and they demand Jamie pay child support. Claire smacks Malva in surprise and then flees the room, perplexed and worried. The male Christies are told to leave by Jamie.
Claire is the sole one that raises doubts about the story. Malva is a “whore,” implying that she deserved to become pregnant. Jamie knows that Claire needs to know that her entire former life isn’t fiction and that her faith in him was not misplaced. After Claire returned to the 1940s, he admits to sleeping with Mary McNab before being taken to Ardsmuir. Claire is aware that Jamie is telling the truth, and that Malva had no choice but to cover up her error with a male suitor. Regrettably, everyone on the Ridge believes Jamie is the father. In New Bern, Roger and Jamie can’t avoid the rumors, and it turns out that Jamie made a strong political impression but was not chosen to represent North Carolina in Philadelphia. Claire is a vile figure in the hamlet for supporting Jamie, despite the fact that she is already suspected of witchcraft. Claire tries to get Malva to reveal the true identity of the father, but Alan intervenes. Malva flirting with Ian in Episode 3 did turn into a one-night stand, Ian acknowledges to Claire. He recognizes his responsibility but is unsure what to do about it. Roger’s story about breaking up Malva and Obadiah Henderson is retold. Is Henderson the father, or is there someone else we don’t know about?
Claire is having a hard time dealing with the stress. She has another vision of Lionel Brown. She has hallucinations of murdering Malva after she taunts her about being old and unattractive and not satisfying Jamie while on ether. Claire is the type of woman who loves female friendship above all else, and Malva’s presence in the vision, as the snake, is exacerbating the situation. This is the symbolism of the episode’s title in action. Claire emerges from the ether and takes a stroll outside. She discovers Malva’s death and is unable to save the unborn baby through a C-section.
Malva’s death not only leaves the viewers in mourning for the innocent baby but also leaves more questions than answers. Who killed Malva and why did they do it? Is the child’s father Ian or Obadiah Henderson? Was Malva lying to cover up an attack if the child’s father was someone else? What was the ailment that both Claire and Tom Christie had, and was Malva to blame?