Claire shows trauma changes people in the Outlander Season 6 premiere

Outlander Season 6 -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ
Outlander Season 6 -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ /

When I saw the ending to the Outlander Season 6 premiere, I immediately knew many fans would hate it. However, it shows that trauma changes people.

Caution: There are spoilers from the Outlander Season 6 premiere in this post.

At the start of Outlander Season 6, we see Claire have a breakthrough with medicine. She’s got ether to work as an anesthetic, meaning she can do more surgeries in the 18th century. However, the ending showed that she’s using it for other reasons.

She’s started to self-medicate. I knew this would make book fans angry because it’s not written into the novel. However, I will admit that I’m disappointed in the “she’s not that weak” or “she’s stronger than that” comments. I wish people would really think about what their words mean to others, including those close to them in the real world.

There are a few comments about “that’s out of character,” and I get that. It does seem out of character for the Claire we’ve come to know in the show. That being said, it’s an important note about trauma.

Outlander Season 6 proves trauma changes people

There is one thing to take away from this. It is out of character for Claire, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad writing. Trauma and PTSD can make people act out of character. They do things that they wouldn’t even consider before the trauma.

When Richard Brown turned up at Fraser’s Ridge, we saw Claire act out of character in another way. She scurried into the house instead of standing by Jamie’s side against the “Committee of Safety.” Usually, we see her argue with men from the time. She’s outspoken at times. She wants to bring some modern-day sensibilities to the past.

She didn’t when it came to the Browns in the Outlander Season 6 premiere. Claire immediately scurried inside, making it clear that the things that happened to her are changing the way she lives right now. Her brain made her choose flight instead of fight.

With that in mind, it’s not completely unreasonable to think that she’d do something else out of character. When someone faces PTSD, they just want the memories to stop. After a while, it doesn’t matter how they stop, as long as they stop. People self-medicate in many ways, and Claire has access to something that is going to knock her out so she doesn’t dream.

So, the next time you think “that’s out of character,” maybe consider what trauma and PTSD do to a person. Being out of character doesn’t mean something is badly written, and that’s something I’ve adored from the series when it comes to handling the aftermath of traumatic events.

Next. 5 big takeaways from the Outlander Season 6, Episode 2 promo. dark

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