‘Outlander’: Sophie Skelton Talks About Brianna’s Unexpected Friendship With Marsali

In episode 4 of season 5 of Outlander, Brianna (Sophie Skelton) is going through a lot. Luckily, Marsali (Lauren Lyle) is there for a shoulder to lean on. Their friendship is actually not in the novels by Diana Gabaldon. Read on to learn how it all came to be and what Skelton has to say about it.

Brianna is worried for her son Jemmy

Sophie Skelton
Sophie Skelton | Dominik Bindl/Getty Images

Fans will remember that Bri now knows that Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers), the man who raped her, is still alive and out there somewhere. She’s seeing him in her mind and she can’t help but draw what she sees.

When she learns that an Irishman was asking about Jemmy and whether he resembled his mother or father, Bri gets really paranoid. She even finds a coin in Jemmy’s carrier that could very well be Bonnet’s.

Later when Bri goes outside to get wood, she returns and forgets to close the door. Then she can’t find Jemmy and starts immediately assuming that Bonnet must have taken him. Luckily, Marsali is there to calm and comfort her and they share a few words. Even though Bri doesn’t come out and tell Marsali about Bonnet, it’s obvious she’s haunted by ghosts of some kind.

Bri and Marsali’s friendship wasn’t always set in stone

According to Variety, Bri and Marsali’s friendship wasn’t always so clear cut. The producers and writers of the series were unsure about which way to go with the two and whether or not they should be friends or enemies.

“[Bri’s] relationship with Marsali, we talked about it — would it be fraught? Would they like each other or would they be at odds?” says executive producer Maril Davis to Variety. “And we kind of went the path of then bonding together. They’re in similar positions and those two actresses have such great chemistry on-screen. I’m thrilled with what Lauren did this season, she’s been amazing and it just gets better.”

Sophie Skelton says she and Lauren Lyle ‘fought’ for their on-screen friendship

Skelton also spoke with Variety about the situation. She and Lyle “fought” for their on-screen friendship in this “female-led show.” It’s important to portray that women can have strong friendships and get along while supporting each other.

“I think originally the writers wanted there to be more animosity between them and we really fought against it,” Skelton explains. “It’s like, c’mon, it’s a female-led show, let’s show that women can support each other and get along. So we really fought for them to be bonding as sisters.”

Skelton says she enjoyed the scene where Marsali supports Bri when she’s going through it. It’s nice to have a supportive friend to rely on, especially from two women who are so different in their own ways.

“I love the scene where Marsali calms Bree’s fears about [her rapist Stephen Bonnet],” Skelton continues. “It’s a lovely moment, a nice quiet moment, getting two women from completely different time periods coming together in this really simple conversation. I like that relationship.”

It will be interesting to see what comes of the new friendship between Brianna and Marsali.