Is Fergus beating Marsali in Outlander Season 6?

Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ /

During one of the teases for Outlander Season 6, we see Claire question some bruises on Marsali’s arm. Is Fergus abusive toward her?

Caution: We are going into some spoilers from A Breath of Snow and Ashes in this post. If you haven’t read the books and want to remain book spoiler-free, you’ll want to skip over this post.

We know that Outlander Season 6 is going to be a darker storyline for Fergus and Marsali. After the attack on Marsali and Claire at the end of Season 5, Fergus takes that to heart. As most men of the time would, he feels like he has failed his wife.

This is confirmed in the tease for the season. Marsali explains to Claire that Fergus has taken it upon himself to think that he should have been able to protect Marsali. He doesn’t care that he wasn’t even there at the time. Fergus is filled with shame, and he apologizes to Marsali for being a “disappointment.”

Is Fergus abusive in Outlander Season 6?

Will this lead to Fergus acting out of character? We are concerned about the bruises on Marsali’s wrist. It’s clear that Claire is too.

In fact, in A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Brianna also shares that she’s worried that Fergus is beating Marsali. These bruises are there before the attack on Claire and Marsali, though. We do get to see a conversation between the two of them play out, with Marsali explaining that Fergus is being rough at times and leaves marks but that he isn’t abusive.

Fergus is struggling to find his place in the backcountry. He only has one hand, which means he can’t do all the work that he should be able to do as a man. Jamie, Roger, and others have to help him support his own family, and that grates on him. He also refuses to do any of the “woman’s work.”

Fergus isn’t necessarily abusive, but he is struggling with his mental health. We will see him go down a very dark path, and it leads to him making decisions that aren’t safe.

If Marsali was in an abusive relationship, I think she’d speak out. In the series, she’s already spoken to Brianna about her abusive father. She knows her mother was in abusive relationships, and it’s clear that she doesn’t want that for herself. But Fergus isn’t turning into an abusive monster, but he does need some help and support.

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Outlander Season 6 premieres on Sunday, March 6 on STARZ.