Spoiler Warning: Do not read “Outlander” Season 6, Episode 6, entitled “The World Has Turned Upside Down”.
The “Outlander” characters are dead by all means, some completely heartbreaking and some eagerly anticipated. Stars’ historical drama, Jessica Renault’s Malva Christie, is found dead outside her home in Fraser’s Ridge by Claire (Kaitriona Polf), hurting a new but talented actor.
The circumstances surrounding Malva’s death are mysterious and are sure to cast a dark cloud over the ridge. In Sunday’s episode, Malva reveals that she’s pregnant, claiming to be Jamie (Sam Hugan)’s father. Despite Jamie and Clare’s attempts to dispel the slanderous accusation, a rebellion based on rumors begins to build around them on the ridge.
In an attempt to clarify his mind about Malva’s accusations and Ridge’s turn against his family, Claire puts herself to a deep sleep with Ether. Shortly before doing so, she looked outside and saw Malva walking towards the house. Claire locks the door of her operating room before taking the ether, and Malva’s pictures are quickly hunted down that she and Jamie should be together. When Claire wakes up, she finds Malva lying dead, with her neck amputated in the garden outside her home.
Reynolds spoke Variety To talk about the tragic death of his character and what he enjoyed playing the exciting and intriguing Malwa.
What was your reaction when you found out how Malva will die this season? Do you know the basis of the script or did you know of his death from the books?
When I first auditioned for Malwa, I had these pages. When I first auditioned, it didn’t even say Sam and Claire, it had different names. I think they tried to disguise it as “outlander” and it was so much fun. The excuse they wrote about what Malwa was trying to do in that scene was really beautiful. So I already knew this was a juicy character. One of the scenes is the accusation scene we saw in episode 6. So I knew some dark things were going to go down. It wasn’t until I got that part and started reading the book that I realized, God, these are the worst situations of any one character I’ve ever met. I was thinking I could never imagine anything worse happening to me than this. This is a Greek tragedy.
Malva’s time was short on “Outlander”, however he made an impact. How do you feel about his overall story for this season?
As you say, it was very short, but very impactful. It gave me the perfect time to keep that curve. In each episode, we re-skin one layer. When it starts, she’s curious, she’s a great crowd pleaser. I think she tries to be as honest as possible. You know, there’s a lot of debate over whether everything she does is calculated and manipulative. Personally, I never thought so. I think she’s very young and she does what she thinks is best at the time. There really is a certain point with Malva, she really starts acting and starts playing these horrible acts. The reason for that is her situation. The way they wrote is awesome. It gave me a clear framework, well, she’s going to be like this, so she’s going to be like this.
Malva has been very close with Clare this season – as Bree even teases in this episode, Malva has been “stuck” with Clare since he started as his coach. What is your experience working with Caitríona?
The brilliant thing about Kithriona is that she is now. That’s what I think I learned the most in the set. She can become Catriona and then Pam and switch to Clare. Coming into that set of such a big machine, with so many brilliant actors and someone like Kithriona, I also had that admiration as an actor named Jess, and Malva was clinging to Clare. It was a parallel and made it easier to act in scenes like that. I don’t think we had any conversation before this. When you think about what we were doing in those scenes, what the chemistry was, what that dynamic was, it was natural.
In this episode, there are two heavy shots between Clar and Malva. First, when Malva tells Jamie that she is the father of her child, the two have an affair when Clary is unwell. Second, when Claire gives Malwa a chance to tell her side story, Malwa adds that Claire is a witch. Which of them was the most challenging for you?
The indictment scene, obviously, is a huge one. That was my audition scene. It was like this is what we create. It is also very important in the book. We spent that long day watching that show, which was six pages long, which was too long for the TV. Was brilliant. I also have a lot to say in this. I have a lot of texts. Since it was a long thing and many dynamics, on the day it almost felt like theater. Sam and Gate and Mark there [Lewis Jones] And Alex [Vlahos] Pushing each other. It was good to do. When I saw it, you saw Malva making a plan for herself, doing this calculation thing openly, and she was crying, she was upset. There is something parallel to this in that you can see that she is fine – I saw it anyway – she’s so sorry to have to do it. Like tears, she regrets doing this to Clary, but she should. Initially it was very difficult to film, because she goes into disaster, and there is a mixture of that manipulation, but also fear. A lot is going on. It was so hard. But the truth is, at the end of the day, we were all laughing and I couldn’t do this scene anymore.
How do you think Malva’s death will affect everyone on Fraser’s Ridge, especially Claire?
It is very interesting that the Protestant community came to Ridge and imposed this blame and these superstitions and this witch ideology on Claire again, even though he broke it in Season 1. It is going to affect her greatly. But you got the unique feature of Clare. She loved Malwa. Maybe she thinks she can not do more? I think it will be hard. “Why couldn’t Claire see that she was bad and manipulative?” That’s interesting what a lot of fans say. Malva has a lot of pages for her, and in the end I think she is a victim. I think Claire sees Malva as a victim when things are revealed. Also, it was a shock after Clare’s shock, wasn’t it? She executes the rape that took place last season and then Malva distracts her. She has a lot of things to look forward to. Now it’s another step. How much shock can one achieve?
For Malva, it was a sad ending to a character with a lot of promises. Her story tells of women of that time whose curiosity and intelligence were looked down upon.
Exactly. She may have gone somehow. I think this is an interesting thing about someone who is curious and curious, and puts everything aside. When you first see Malva, a lot of people look at her very seriously. She is serious and a little damaged from the beginning before she got pregnant. But for me, I see it as eager, eager to learn. You can decide if you think this is always true or not. I truly believe and see a young woman who wants a better life, who wants to get rid of it, who wants to escape and who wants to reach the heights that Claire has made anywhere. Unfortunately, that is not the way she is going.
What did you enjoy most about coming into the series and accepting this role?
It was fans – and frankly, the production was incredible. And having a character like this, I feel so blessed and lucky to have played such a very interesting person. I don’t think it comes often. “Outlander” is ideal for these complex, paradoxical, serious women. It’s very respectful to do that, especially in a period piece. But second to that, the fans are very cool and enthusiastic. I understand that it feels like being a part of something and can escape from the TV you really want. I want to see them attack Malva and then feel sorry for her. They are so happy to digest and explain my work.
This interview has been edited and summarized.