‘Outlander’ Stars Caitlin O’Ryan & Paul Gorman on Their Surprising Season 6 Storyline

Outlander Season 6 - Caitlin O'Ryan and Paul Gorman
Spoiler Alert

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 6, Episode 7 of Outlander, “Sticks and Stones.”]

Outlander is no stranger to unusual plotlines and Season 6 is no exception as the penultimate episode, “Sticks and Stones,” revealed Lizzie (Caitlin O’Ryan) was in a three-way relationship with the Beardsley twins, Josiah and Kezzie (both played by Paul Gorman).

While a storyline like this set in the present might not seem so jarring, it’s a little shocking to find such a plot set in the 18th century and between one woman and twin brothers, no less. The only reason the revelation came to light is Lizzie told Ian (John Bell) that she’s pregnant and unsure which twin is the father.

“It is a wild storyline,” O’Ryan admits, “but that’s what made me want to take the job was because there’s more to Lizzie than meets the eye and she does something that no one expects. And the thought of having the opportunity to play something so surprised was quite tantalizing.”

Outlander Season 6 Caitlin O'Ryan

(Credit: Starz)

It’s a far cry from the Lizzie viewers first met in Season 4 when she becomes a companion for Brianna (Sophie Skelton) as she travels across the ocean from Scotland to North Carolina to find Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe).

Gorman, who has the task of playing both twins who are in love with Lizzie was also eager to tackle the storyline saying, “it was just so exciting to play a dual role… and to play a story that is rooted in love and has its foundations [and is] innocent and beautiful.” And it is innocent, as innocent as an unconventional love story like Lizzie, Josiah, and Kezzie’s could be.

As the season carried on, it was clear that Lizzie had some affection for the twins, but considering we never get to see them alone together, it makes sense that viewers might have missed the initial sparks. “I definitely think there’s been sexual tension brewing for a good while,” O’Ryan says, “but I think they’ve never been given the green light to actually do anything about it.”

Outlander Season 6 Caitlin O'Ryan Paul Gorman

(Credit: Starz)

The green light that eventually got them there was Lizzie’s suffering from malaria. “Being ill and needing ointments and needing it rubbed all over seems like the perfect catalyst for her to take a step in the next direction,” O’Ryan adds of Lizzie’s motivation. “It got to a point where they couldn’t help themselves any longer.”

“It’s all-new territory for them,” Gorman echoes. “So they probably unaware of how to engage with that,” he adds of Josiah and Kezzie. “It is just about exploration, those flirtations, those moments, and it took one situation to kind of set things off.”

O’Ryan goes so far as to say, “I don’t even know whether they understand that this is what sex is or whether it’s just an extension of the deep care and love that they have for each other… it’s just so natural.” It’s a nice juxtaposition to the horrors the Frasers are facing after Malva’s (Jessica Reynolds) death.

Outlander Season 6 Caitlin O'Ryan Paul Gorman

(Credit: Starz)

As rumors began swirling on the Ridge, it became clear that many believe Claire is responsible for the girl’s demise. So guilty, in fact, that Richard Brown (Chris Larkin) called for her arrest in the penultimate episode’s final moments.

“I think that might overshadow what has happened with us,” Gorman says of Claire’s arrest. “Claire and Jamie know that Josiah and Kezzie and Lizzie would never do anything to put them in harm’s way.” Still, the Frasers’ tensions weren’t exactly eased as they scrambled to avoid further scandals from breaking by forcing Lizzie to handfast Kezzie. The brief fix wasn’t satisfactory for Lizzie as she loves both twins and so she had Roger handfast her and Josiah in a separate ceremony, something unbeknownst to her cancels out her handfast to either twin.

Even with the other troubles swirling around the Ridge, Gorman says, “Claire sees from Lizzie’s conversation that it is out of love [and] it’s not malicious.” If anything, Malva’s death forced the trio to take stock of their lives and motivated them to find happiness together in their own way, according to O’Ryan, who says, “I think Malva’s death is a catalyst in their decision to go behind Jamie’s back and get handfast by Roger because they’ve seen how short and dangerous life can be and therefore need to do what makes them happy.”

Lizzie and the twins aren’t unaware of the Frasers’ care for them either as O’Ryan adds, “they all feel forever indebted to Claire and Jamie and Brianna. They wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them. Quite literally, Lizzie would be a concubine somewhere back in Scotland. And the twins, God knows what would happen to the twins?”

And the trio is taking inspiration from the Frasers when it comes to their hoped-for future. O’Ryan says of Lizzie and the Beardsley twins, that they’re “looking forward to making their own [family] and almost wanting to follow in the footsteps [of the Frasers].”

Only time will tell how it will all play out as Outlander approaches its Season 6 finale. Stay tuned to see what’s next for Lizzie, Kezzie, and Josiah along with the Frasers when the show airs Sunday, May 1.

Outlander, Season 6, Sundays, 9/8c, Starz