9 Theories On How 'Outlander' Season 6 Could End

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9 Theories On How 'Outlander' Season 6 Could End

Even with Diana Gabaldon's books as a template, it's never easy to predict exactly what will happen in a season of Outlander. But how Outlander Season 6 will end may be the toughest season finale of all to forecast. With Season 5 already drawing major plots from the end of the sixth book, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (ABOSAA), and Season 6 being cut from 12 episodes to eight due to difficulties of filming during the COVID-19 pandemic, the book-reading fandom is grasping at straws. (Just check out the varying theories about the Outlander Season 6 finale on Reddit.) But never fear! The Dipp's here with some theories on how the season could end.

When Season 6 had its full 12 episodes, I envisioned a possible future where the show could've dipped its toes into the seventh book in Gabaldon's Outlander series, An Echo in the Bone, and beyond. Yet, finishing ABOSAA — let alone diving into the next book — seems like a stretch now. Season 7 will be extended to 16 episodes, so even if plots from ABOSAA are missing in Season 6, they could be told in Season 7. But when it comes to the abbreviated Season 6, here are nine theories on how this chapter could end. Warning: Major book spoilers ahead.

1. The House Fire

ABOSAA ends with that house fire Brianna and Roger discovered in the Wilmington Gazette. If the season was a full 12 episodes, the house fire was a perfect finale — drama, destruction, a new adventure on the horizon. Think of it like the end of Season 3 where from the shipwreck, the promise of a future in America for Jamie and Claire emerged. But the biggest argument against the house fire occurring in Season 6 is that the show won't have time to wrap up the events of ABOSAA in just eight episodes.

Yet, if the show skips the Battle Of Moore's Creek Bridge, skips the gold, and condenses Claire's arrest for the murder of Malva (maybe she doesn't end up with Governor Martin and Tom Christie confesses to the murder earlier), it's certainly possible since Season 5 finished Stephen Bonnet's storyline. The house fire could be another tricky sequence to film in COVID and there's been no evidence that Wendigo Donner actor Brennan Martin was on the set of Season 6. But I'm not ruling it out entirely... especially if Outlander is looking to wrap up the series in the next season or two.

2. Brianna & Roger Go Back To Their Time

Brianna gives birth to a second child, Amanda "Mandy," toward the end of ABOSAA. Mandy is born with a heart defect and Grandma Claire tells Bree that they must go back to the 20th century to save her. The MacKenzies leaving the Ridge for the future isn't the very last thing to happen in the book, but it is toward the end, and in an epilogue, it's revealed they now live at Jamie's home of Lallybroch in 1980 with their two healthy children.

With the last two episodes of Season 5 featuring a failed journey back to their own time, I'm hesitant to say that the show would do something so similar for a Season 6 finale. With limited time in Season 6, it could feel repetitive. But, the show could skip Bree, Roger, Jem, and Mandy's journey through the stones and jump to them living at Lallybroch in the future with an explanation of why they're there to come in Season 7. Although it would be a bit of a shock, the season could end on the uplifting note of Bree and Roger finding the letters Claire and Jamie wrote to them from the past, like in the epilogue.

3. Claire's Arrest

Another likely scenario is that the season will end with Richard Brown arresting Claire for the murder of Malva and her unborn child. It would tie in Richard's pledge for revenge from the Season 5 finale and be quite the cliffhanger. (If the show really needed to condense things, I even have a theory that the show could diverge from the books and make Richard responsible for the house fire during her arrest.)

There is some evidence that the show could end around this point. According to the Writers Guild of America West, the sixth episode of the season may be called "The World Turned Upside Down," which is the same name as Chapter 80 in ABOSAA. In that chapter, Malva reveals she's pregnant and claims that Jamie is the father. If that occurred in the sixth episode, then the final two episodes could deal with the fallout — with Claire potentially finding Malva's dead body in the unknown-named Episode 7 and her being arrested by Richard Brown in the season finale.

Richard actor Chris Larkin confirmed on Instagram that he was on set for Season 6, so he's definitely back. But for the timeline, it's worth noting that he wrapped filming on June 1 and it appears the last episodes shot for the season were Episodes 4 and 5 (based on the fact that director Christiana Ebohon-Green finished her block on June 3 and the talent agency Independent Talent tweeted she was helming Episodes 4 and 5). There's also reports that "The World Turned Upside Down" could be Episode 4 instead of Episode 6. (Perhaps the disputing reports have something to do with a shift after production decided to go from 12 episodes to eight.) If that's the case, maybe Claire's arrest will occur in Episode 5 and the last three episodes will have time to finish the other ABOSAA storylines.

4. Claire & Jamie Are Separated On The Road

If the show wanted to go a bit further ahead in the book — and totally devastate viewers — then the season could end with Claire and Jamie being separated on the road after Claire is arrested. Jamie (of course) accompanies Claire on the journey to Hillsboro where Richard is taking her to a "fair trial" (so he says, but Claire's pretty sure he would kill her if not for Jamie and Tom Christie there to be witnesses). Along the way, they get stoned by people in the town they are passing through since they believe the rumors that Claire is a murderer. Richard then separates Claire and Jamie — taking Claire to New Bern and delivering her to the sheriff where she's put in jail. As for Jamie, Young Ian had been trailing his uncle and was able to rescue him from Brown's men, who had planned to ship him off to England (on Stephen Bonnet's boat no less).

Jamie and Claire have been separated plenty of times before, so Outlander fans are accustomed to it. But it would still be pretty brutal if the season decided to end with the couple being forced apart on the road with their futures unknown.

5. Tom Christie Takes The Fall

The drama doesn't stop once Claire's separated from Jamie — she's stuck in jail, delivers a baby, ends up becoming the secretary to the new governor of North Carolina, impersonates the governor's wife... you know, the usual. Eventually, she's freed when Tom Christie falsely confesses to the murder of Malva to save Claire because he's in love with her. He also reveals to Claire that Malva was actually his wife's child with his brother and his wife had been a witch... you know, the usual.

Rather than leave fans in a state of suspense over what will happen to Claire after she's arrested, the show could have Mark Lewis Jones's character confess. Then, the season could end on the happier note of Claire and Jamie reunited.

6. Allan's Confession

While I don't think this would be the last scene of the season since it's extremely dark, the show could wrap up the entire Christie storyline in Season 6 by featuring Allan's confession. If so, then Allan would need to return to the Ridge after Malva's death and tell the truth to Claire — that he had a sexual relationship with his half-sister and killed her after she became pregnant to conceal the truth. Young Ian overhears the confession and shoots Allan dead right there and then. As I said, it's a bleak conclusion to a season. But considering how the season finales for Seasons 1 and 5 focused on the main characters' sexual assaults, it's not out of character for the show. And following Allan's death, there could be one last hopeful scene to look to the future and tease Season 7.

According to his Twitter, Allan actor Alexander Vlahos had been back and forth from London to Scotland for filming Outlander. That could possibly be a clue that the show brought him back to film Allan's final scene. And Vlahos (and Gabaldon) did tease that he filmed a pretty wild scene, which may be his confession.

7. The Battle Of Moore's Creek Bridge

Battle scenes are difficult to film under normal circumstances, let alone in a global pandemic. So I am inclined to believe this American Revolution battle won't be in Season 6 (or in the show at all). But showrunner Matt Roberts told Elle.com that the show had used "digital people" in the background of the Battle of Alamance in Season 5, so it's possible they were able to film a battle safely during Season 6 production and have the visual effects team piece it together in post-production. If the season ended here, it could feature a Murtagh cameo as Jamie reflects on his godfather's death and set up Season 7 to focus on the Revolutionary War.

8. Lord John Grey And William Return To The Colonies

The show departed from the books by having Lord John go to England in Season 5. Since David Berry is confirmed to be in Season 6, my theory is that this was done so that the show can reintroduce Jamie's son William in a surprising way. While Brianna meets William before she leaves for her own time in ABOSAA, that plot isn't strictly necessary since Brianna learned of her half-brother's existence in the Season 5 episode, "Journeycake." (I also suspect that Brianna and Roger may be back in the 20th century by the time William is brought back into the picture.) So what if Claire encounters William and Lord John back from England during her arrest? Maybe instead of Governor Martin, Lord John is who Claire's brought to. This would be a big shift from the books. But it would keep book readers on their toes, establish William as a major character for Season 7, and give Lord John Grey something to do this season.

9. The Stolen Gold

Perhaps the least likely theory of the bunch is that Season 6 would end with Aunt Jocasta's gold being stolen and Jamie and Claire discovering that Arch Bug was behind it. With the Bugs being such minor characters in Season 5, the show might not include this plot. But the show could tie this in during the chaos of the house fire (like in the book) or during Claire's arrest. For the show's version of events, it's also possible that someone else close to the family could steal the gold rather than the Bugs. But, like Lord John, the gold would give Maria Doyle Kennedy's Jocasta something to do this season. And the main reason I think it's even a contender for a season finale is because of how the gold impacts Young Ian's story in the seventh book.

With Gabaldon's books so packed with plots perfect for a season finale, these theories are just some of the options. And with Outlander Season 6 set to premiere in 2022, fans have plenty of time to come up with alternate scenarios on where Jamie and Claire's story will end this time around... whether they be promising or tragic.


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Images: Starz

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