The second episode of the sixth season opens with Ian and Jamie coming to Camp Cherokee.
Recall that as agent of the king, Jamie now acts as a mediator between the Indians and the British. Delicate posture if there is one because if he agrees to arm the Indians so that they fight on the side of the loyalists, it amounts to arming his future enemies since in the short term, he himself will join the rank of the rebels.
However, and we have understood this for a long time, Jamie's heart tends towards the natives and not towards the colonizers. Again, he finds himself caught between his consciousness and his knowledge of the future, although, for once, Claire was unable to inform him about the Camp supported by the Cherokees during this revolution.
Unable to choose, Jamie decides not to relay the request of "Bird that sings" to possess weapons and explains the reason to his nephew.
-Knowing the future can be a blessing and a curse, he adds, be careful.
Having learned from Brianna that in the future, the Indians will eventually be deprived of their land and rights, Ian believes that they deserved to receive weapons in order to defend themselves. He takes sides with them and dissociates himself from his uncle.
At first, Jamie doesn't understand why, but later he overhears a conversation in which Ian confides to Marsali that he had a child with his Indian wife. This convinces Jamie to write to the governor to encourage him to arm the Indians.
- What made you change your mind? Claire asks.
"Ian," he replied. If he fights for the Cherokees, it is because they are from his family. His allegiance goes to his people and my allegiance goes to him.
For the first time Jamie acts not according to the future story, but the present one. His actions are not guided by a sense of responsibility for what he knows about the future, but by what he feels. As he says: come what may.
While Jamie is at Camp Cherokee, Claire checks the condition of Tom Christie's hand and offers to operate on him. He refuses by taking refuge behind the so-called will of God to have wanted it to be crippled.
Claire laughs at him by making the comparison with his wounded goat that he has nevertheless had treated. Is he worth less than his goat, in the eyes of the Lord?
Unable to argue against this, and as usual, Christie cites the New Testament, including St. Paul's letter to Timothy.
Malva who stands behind him is ahead of him:
- Let the woman learn in silence. I do not allow her to teach, nor to take authority over man, but let her remain silent.
But it takes more to silence Claire who is ironic.
- I believe that St. Paul met a woman who had more arguments than him. And it's easier to gag an entire sex than to loyally win your point of view.
While Malva can't help but smile – one imagines she would have a lot to say on the subject – her father quotes her a famous maxim.
- Idleness is the mother of all vices, Malva. Leave.
If I take the trouble to report this scene in detail, it is because it is in my opinion revealing many things.
First of all, she confirms that Christie only has a relationship with others through the Bible or proverbs that go in his direction and that he uses them not only to camouflage his fears, but also to silence the women he fears above all else, Claire even more than others.
Second, that Malva, though apparently obedient, is not completely subject to her father's tyranny. One can guess in her an assertive character and a desire for knowledge and freedom. His admiration for Claire is already legible.
As for Claire, as always, her only concern is not being able to treat a sick person. Christie's macho rhetoric leaves her in the lurch. This is obviously not the first time she has faced it.
Moreover, she does not admit defeat.
"Really, I think you're scared," she told him once Malva was out. Scared to suffer when I operate on your hand.
She may talk to him about ether and its anesthetic virtues, but nothing helps and Christie leaves her without even bothering to answer.
Everything in this exchange reveals the reasons that make Claire a danger to fight for Tom Christie, as fragile as he is rigid, but also for his daughter who only wants to emancipate herself from her authority.
And the same goes for Allan who doesn't seem more determined than his father to allow his sister to move away from the family fold.
Whatever Malva's future attitude, I think it is fundamental to never forget this patriarchal straitjacket in which she is raised, not to say, locked up.
What is ironic is that a little later, Christie finally agrees to have surgery because he failed to hold his belt with his crippled hand in order to whip his daughter who had let the milk turn.
"It's because you spend too much time with Mrs. Fraser," he screams. You have a soul as dark as your mother's, and you know what happened to her!
Was it the feeling of helplessness that made him change his mind? Or Malva's stubborn and relevant look that hints at a resistance he is not used to and terrifies him of?
The meal is shortened by Marsali's contractions. The child will be born.
Alas, not everything goes as it should and Claire fears for the life of the young woman who desperately claims her husband.
Roger goes in search of Fergus and convinces him to go to his wife.
"Go and join her," he said, "and be the man she wants you to be. Pretend if you have to, and maybe when you're with her, you won't have to pretend anymore.
It is increasingly clear that Roger has found his place in the community. He can now have a certain authority that he would have had a lot of trouble assuming before.
While Marsali is desperate, Fergus finally arrives and makes love to her in order to stimulate contractions. The couple is beautiful, in love and complicit. We feel all that is strong in them and we hope that the arrival of this child will restore confidence to his father.
The child is eventually born, but, frightened, Fergus realizes that he has dwarfism. He flees while Marsali cradles his son tenderly.
"He is magnificent," she said, her gaze filled with love.
The newcomer will be named Henri-Christian. A big name for a small child.
Claire goes to Marsali's house, which is soon coming to the end of her pregnancy. She notices a new bruise on her arm and worries about possible violence from Fergus.
"It hasn't escaped anyone's notice that he drinks more than he should," she says, suggesting that the whole ridge knows about it, including Jamie.
Some fans have rebelled about this on social networks, being surprised that Jamie does not intervene to reframe his son, leaving Marsali to fend for himself.
But it's not Jamie's habit to meddle in other people's lives. He is very respectful of the privacy of his loved ones, and even his children whom he trusts. He is a leader and not a patriarch, in opposition to Lionel Brown for example, who wanted to direct the existence of his daughter, forbidding her a husband he would not have chosen.
In addition, Marsali – who is certainly one of the bravest and most endearing characters there is – admits that, when it comes to this particular blue, it was she who manhandled Fergus who only grabbed her by the arm to defend herself.
However, she feels lonely. No matter how hard she does, no matter how hard she says, nothing manages to get Fergus out of the despair in which he locks himself.
-He blames himself for not having been able to protect me from Lionel Brown, admits Marsali.
- But he wasn't even there! Claire replied.
- I keep telling him! But nothing helps.
We know that Fergus also suffers from his infirmity. At the Ridge, all the men are active, they cut wood, build houses, go hunting... But he, the little Frenchman, is only good at making Whisky, so to forget, he drinks.
Always in search of an identity that would fit into the era in which they are now determined to live, Roger and Brianna finally seem to find their ways.
Roger agrees to speak at the funeral of Hiram Crombie's mother. It turns out that the old woman was not really dead yet and that on the occasion of this misunderstanding that upsets the whole community, Roger was able to show his authority and effectiveness in the eyes of all, so much so that Christie asks him to preach the following Sundays. This also suits Jamie, who fears that Christie will use his church as a weapon of war.
Brianna, listening to her mother's advice on putting her inventions into practice, starts making matches with the white phosphorus That Lord John sent her. Happy with the result, she surprises the family at a dinner, but is sorry to see that they would have preferred her to be expecting a child rather than propose an object whose immediate interest they do not understand.
"I light my fire very well with flints," Lizzie retorts.
It is all the more difficult to hear because she would like to get pregnant, but does not succeed.
As the great story unfolds in order to shape America as we know it today, the people of Fraser's ridge try to follow their path without getting lost. The obstacles are many, but the souls are courageous.