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Did Sam Heughan & Maril Davis Confirm The 'Outlander' Ardsmuir Flashback Theory?

- Outlander -
Did Sam Heughan & Maril Davis Confirm The 'Outlander' Ardsmuir Flashback Theory?

Do you long for the days when Outlander took place in the Scottish Highlands? Well, executive producer Maril Davis teased at New York Comic Con that Season 6 will be feeling its Scottish roots. Although the Frasers are quite settled in North Carolina, there might be a flashback to Scotland in Outlander Season 6. The season premiere is called "Echoes," and Davis and Sam Heughan's comments at New York Comic Con may confirm a theory that Outlander will show Jamie back at Ardsmuir Prison.

During the Outlander panel on Oct. 9, a fan asked if the Highland themes that were particularly present in Seasons 1 and 2 will ever return to the show. "We're always trying to bring a little of the Highlands back in everything we do," Davis said. "And certainly the way we start off this year, you'll hopefully see a little bit of that."

Davis was very cautious to not give away any spoilers during the panel. But with Davis saying that this ode to the Highlands will take place at the beginning of the season and knowing that the Season 6 premiere is named "Echoes," a flashback to bonny Scotland in the first episode makes sense. And perhaps, this flashback will be to Ardsmuir to give insight into Jamie's relationship with Ridge newcomer, Tom Christie (Mark Lewis Jones).

Heughan's comments at Comic Con seemed to back up this idea of an Ardsmuir flashback in "Echoes." "They initially are integrated into the new community," Heughan said of the Christies. "But very soon, we start to see a lot of the history that's been between Tom and Jamie really get under the skin of everyone." (Based on Heughan's comments, it also seems the show may bump up Tom's influence over the other newcomers to the Ridge.)

So, viewers should expect to get Tom and Jamie's history "very soon." And ahead of Season 6 production, Heughan had teased that Tom was an "ancient foe" of Jamie's from Ardsmuir Prison. In the book series by Diana Gabaldon, Tom Christie was introduced in Book 5, The Fiery Cross. Roger invites Tom and his children Malva and Allan to live on the Ridge while Jamie is incapacitated due to his snakebite. Afterward, former prisoner Kenny Lindsay tells Roger about Jamie's relationship with Tom at Ardsmuir. Jamie also recollects to Claire a notable incident at Ardsmuir that Tom was present for.

Since Tom wasn't introduced in Season 5, the show will need to make quick work of establishing the Christies as this season's big baddies to follow the storylines in A Breath of Snow and Ashes. So what better way to establish the tension early on than by showing Jamie and Tom at Ardsmuir together? It doesn't even have to be a scene that was outlined directly in Books 5 or 6, as long as it sets up how different these two men are.

There's been some evidence that Outlander will be returning to the Highlands, specifically Ardsmuir Prison, with Paul Donnelly (Ronnie Sinclair), Gary Lamont (Evan Lindsay), and Heughan posting that they were hanging in the Highlands for the last days of production. It also seemed that Lamont and Keith Fleming (Lesley, who died in Season 4) were working together at this time. All of their characters were imprisoned at Ardsmuir together after the Battle of Cullodon. This great Reddit thread by user thepacksvrvives further unearthed that Jay Villiers may be returning as Colonel Harry Quarry, the governor who preceded Lord John Grey in "All Debts Paid."

As for other touches of Highlands culture that the show could be revisiting, that Reddit thread also noted that Flora MacDonald's barbecue may be happening. And it could include an appearance by none other than Bonnie Prince Charlie himself, Andrew Gower, which likely means a flashback of Flora helping Prince Charles flee over the sea to Skye. But as having that moment would be odd in the Season 6 premiere, my hunch is that Davis was talking about a return to Ardsmuir during Comic Con.

Though the Ardsmuir flashback isn't guaranteed, it does seem the 90-minute first episode of Season 6 will provide some much-needed backstory to set up the rest of the season. "It just gives so much more time for the characters to develop and for us to learn, as an audience, more about their situation," Heughan said at Comic Con. As for the titular "echoes" in their bones that the characters will be feeling in the Season 6 premiere? Well, showrunner Matthew B. Roberts previously told Elle.com about the episode's title, "When you see the first episode, the title will speak for itself. Each character will be dealing with something from their past and it will help us tell stories going forward." And the biggest blast from Jamie's past this season will undoubtedly be Tom Christie.

Images: Starz

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