Outlander teaser: "I Am Not Alone" – Season Finale

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Richard Brown (played by Chris Larkin) is out for revenge against the Frasers after the death of his brother, Lionel (Ned Dennehy) in the sixth season of the hit small-screen adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander novels. While Jamie (Sam Heughan) deals with Richard’s Committee of Safety, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) still can’t get the image of his brother out of her head as the Starz series heads towards a gripping finale.

Diana has revealed why she believes Lionel has continued to make menacing appearances in the latest season of Outlander.

After being kidnapped and raped by Lionel and his men, Claire was left traumatised and is still struggling to find her footing.

In retaliation, Jamie tracked down Lionel and killed him, dumping his dead body at his brother’s feet at the end of season five.

Their home on Fraser’s Ridge is now facing its biggest threat yet now Richard has found the perfect excuse to take his revenge after Claire was blamed for the murder of Malva Christie (Jessica Reynolds).

Meanwhile, Claire is already facing a battle of her own with the Browns, as she keeps seeing visions of Lionel in her head.

Explaining Lionel’s sinister return to the series, Diana revealed her own interpretation of Claire’s trauma-induced visions.

She said: “Lionel’s what her mind is using for a metaphor to articulate itself, to say the things Claire can’t bring herself to look at.”

Although Claire confided in her daughter Brianna (Sophie Skelton) about their shared experiences with sexual assault, she has avoided talking about the event up to this point.

In the penultimate episode of season six, she finally confided in Jamie about her fears, including the recent visions of Richard’s brother.

This may have marked the end of Lionel’s ghostly return to the series, but Diana was thrilled to see Ned reprise his villainous role for another season.

She told Parade: “And to be honest, I think one reason for using this device is that Ned Dennehy is just so good at playing repellent evil, the showrunners were loath to lose him.”

Irish actor Ned is known for his roles in Good Omens and Peaky Blinders and was clearly the perfect choice to embody Claire’s vile attacker.

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His brief yet impactful reprisals in Outlander’s sixth season have proved even more effective as a deeply traumatised Claire struggles to keep her experiences bottled up.

On Caitriona’s powerful performance opposite her long-standing co-star, Diana partly credited the actress’ pregnancy for helping channel the emotions needed for the difficult scene.

“She pulled so much energy from her state of being and channelled it to devastating effect,” she explained.

“You’re totally with her, feeling her anguish in every word. Beyond that, her confession implicates Jamie, doesn’t it? While it was certainly her choice(s), he’s directly responsible for the fact that she did abandon Frank (and then Brianna).”

“So, this climax of the episode shifts the inner conflict she’s been dealing with all through the season to an explicit outer conversation/joining with Jamie; it’s like Lionel bursting through the looking glass, as it were, and being (more or less) vanquished by the two of them, together.”

Hopefully, the Browns will be out of their lives once and for all once the Frasers protect their homes from Richard’s angry mob, who are out for blood after Malva’s murder.

However, they still have to prove Claire’s innocence, and the greater threat of the American Revolution is already looming over the horizon.

Outlander season 6 concludes Sunday, May 1 on Starz in the USA and StarzPlay in the UK.

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