- Outlander -Claire's Surgery On Tom In 'Outlander' May Be A Turning Point, Hints Mark Lewis Jones
Spoilers ahead for Outlander Season 6, Episode 3, "Temperance."
Claire might have mended Tom Christie's hand, but she's still got a long way to go if she wants to mend his sanctimonious mind. Still, she did have an impact on him when Claire performed hand surgery on Tom in Outlander. The surgery scene was nearly straight from the book, down to the puke bucket and the Bible passages, as was his sleepover at the Big House. But in Diana Gabaldon's A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Tom's forthcomingness to Claire was due to the large amount of alcohol that Mrs. Bug had supplied him. In the show's version, his willingness to open up to Claire after the surgery might have to do with something else... Tom's growing feelings for Claire.
Sure, when Tom's sleeping over in the surgery, he might be loopy from the pain of his hand surgery (which he did with very little liquor, unlike Book Tom). But it's still notable that he can't help but comment about Claire's unkerchiefed head. And it's not simply because St. Paul says all pious, married women should wear them. He's clearly captivated by Claire's mane of unruly locks. Add that to her unorthodox medical skills, her intelligence, her tendency to call out his hypocrisy, and her unreserved manner, and it seems Tom has become enchanted by the witch of Fraser's Ridge. (Tom's sure got a type, doesn't he?)
In an interview with The Dipp, Mark Lewis Jones discussed Tom's growing interest in Claire and how the surgery seemed to push his feelings further over the edge.
"There is an enigma there isn't there?" Lewis Jones says of Claire's bewildering personality. "For Tom, the stuff that happens in the surgery, despite himself, despite his kind of strictness with himself about any feelings in that way, something has awoken. He can't help it."
Claire asks Jamie if Tom's scared of women, or just "afraid of sinning," since he was so uncomfortable with her touching him. His religious rigidity does seem to be part of it. And Jamie notes how Ardsmuir might have changed him (Jamie sharing his own wanting to feel the touch of a hand was another beautifully adapted moment from the books.) But Tom's discomfort may also stem from how he specifically feels about Claire.
"They were lovely scenes to do those because they really brought out whole new, strange sides to the whole thing," Lewis Jones says about the surgery and the aftermath. "Things you didn't really expect."
Overall, Lewis Jones finds the entire Christie storyline in Season 6 to be rather unexpected. "Each of the Christies have their own journey and it takes some funny turns and twists," the Tom actor adds. "But the Christie family itself has its own journey as well and it's not what you think it's going to be. And I think that's a really good thing. It's difficult to predict what's going to happen with the Christies and which way this is gonna go."
Tom isn't idolizing Claire as demonstrated at the end of the episode when he sends back Tom Jones to her with the message, "This is filth. I thought better of you." (For her part, Claire seems more amused than perturbed.) And Tom's not being influenced by Claire's progressive views that much since "Temperance" showed him beating Malva again with his newly-fixed hand. But by his defense of the Frasers at the quarter day, telling the cruel Fisher-folk to respect them with "pity and kindness," Tom's already softening his stance toward the family. And it seems there's one particular Fraser to thank for this shift... and it sure as hell isn't Jamie.