‘Outlander’ Season 5: Lauren Lyle Talks About Marsali’s ‘Biggest Season’

Season 5 of Outlander is finally here and it’s going to be a big one for Lauren Lyle, who plays Marsali. In episode 2, she has a unique moment with Claire (Caitriona Balfe) that fans can’t stop talking about. Read on to learn why this is Marsali’s “biggest season” yet according to Lyle.

Who is Marsali?

Lauren Lyle
Lauren Lyle | Michael Tran/Getty Images

Marsali MacKimmie Fraser is the daughter of Laoghaire MacKenzie. She was Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) stepdaughter that was told terrible things about Claire over the years from her mother. She’s also the wife of Fergus and a woman who can hold her own.

Claire first realizes that Marsali could be a capable doctor and surgeon when she watches Marsali butcher an animal without any difficulty or even breaking a sweat. Claire chooses to confront Marsali about becoming her apprentice, which doesn’t go exactly as planned at first.

Lauren Lyle talks about her character

Lauren Lyle spoke with OprahMag.com about this season and her character’s larger role as Claire’s apprentice. “Women at the time would just have to do things like that,” Lyle says about butchering. “She’s also a seamstress, so she’s very skilled with her hands. She’s smart, and she’s got gumption.”

Lyle talked about the interesting dynamic between Marsali and Claire. “Claire can trust that Marsali will be able to come in and cut up bodies, and deal with autopsies,” Lyle continued. “And, despite being a woman of God and of the time, Marsali has always known that Claire’s some sort of white witch. There’s something a bit…more to her.”

This is the ‘biggest season’ yet for Marsali

Marsali has changed as the series has progressed and it will be interesting to see her in a new element. “This is probably Marsali’s biggest season in terms of development as a person,” Lyle said about her character. “She’s gone from when we first met her as a young girl that runs away for love and goes on a huge adventure, and then is face-planted into a world she didn’t expect.”

Marsali is now Claire’s apprentice

Marsali has a new role that will be extremely challenging for her. It becomes clear to Claire that she needs an apprentice when she loses a patient whose appendix bursts and he goes into septic shock. Unfortunately, the measures taken to save his life only accelerated his loss before he arrived on Claire’s operating table.

Claire realizes that she needs help and Marsali is skilled with a blade. Claire reveals the dead body to Marsali that they supposedly just buried. “Lord have mercy,” Marsali screams. Claire grabs her mouth to stop her. “Deliver us from evil. Do not make me say it Claire. Was she right? My mom? Was she?” Marsali asks.

“I’m not a witch,” Claire responds to her. “Marsali you have more sense than her that is why I brought you here.”

Claire goes on to explain why Marsali will make an excellent apprentice. “I think you would be a good apprentice. Now I’ve seen you butchering. You know how to use a knife and you understand the parts of an animal and what they’re for. People are similar in many ways.”

It will be nice to see more between Marsali and Claire as season 5 develops. Marsali is certainly taking on a larger role this season as Claire’s apprentice.