A New Episode of 'Outlander' Casts Light on Young Ian's Experiences With Love and Loss

Leila Kozma - Author
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Mar. 28 2022, Published 9:37 a.m. ET

Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Season 6, Episode 4 of Outlander.

Season 6, Episode 4 of Outlander cast light on Young Ian's (John Bell) tragic background story, fleshing out details about the horrific experiences leading him to pack up his belongings and leave behind his chosen family, a Mohawk tribe. What happened? Why did Ian decide to retrace his steps, do some uprooting, and start a new life elsewhere? Here's what you should know.

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Season 6, Episode 4 of 'Outlander' delves into why Young Ian left behind the Mohawk tribe.

As the episode reveals, Young Ian left the Mohawk community after his wife of around two years, Wakyo'teyehsnonhsa, was paired up with Young Ian's brother, Kaheroton (Braeden Clarke).

Young Ian shares sensitive pieces of information about the heart-breaking series of miscarriages that drove him and his wife apart. "I never saw her, the bairn," he describes the experiences of losing his first child. "They’d already wrapped her up. We buried her in furs. Everything changed."

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Ultimately, the elders concluded that Wakyo'teyehsnonhsa should be with someone whose spirit is as strong as hers — not Ian. The harrowing loss of the babies led to an experience just as bad but in a different way: Young Ian was ordered to leave the tribe.

"Your spirit is not Mohawk," an elder informed him. "Return to your own people. Among them, your spirit will be strong." Just as he is about to leave, he spots his now ex-wife with his brother, Kaheroton.

Things take a new turn in Season 6, Episode 4, when Young Ian accidentally bumps into Kaheroton — who now has a son with Wakyo'teyehsnonhsa. A confrontational situation soon emerges, with Scotchee jumping in on the action and challenging Kaheroton to a duel. He accepts, which is when it dawns on Young Ian that life has just given him a grand opportunity to upgrade his status as a good man to that of a great man.

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Young Ian gives Kaheroton a gun to improve his chances of winning the fight. At this point, Kaheroton has the sheer callousness to hand over a bracelet from Wakyo'teyehsnonhsa for safekeeping, and it just so happens to be the same one that she had given Ian when they were together. Ouch.

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Later on, Young Ian ends up saving Kaheroton's life after noticing that Scotchee is trying to engage in foul play by turning around early during the duel. This ordeal leaves Scotchee in a position to beg for his life, to which Kaheroton responds by firing his gun in the air and leaving Scotchee to deal with his shame and return to the tribe. Kaheroton follows, taking back the bracelet.

Young Ian gets closure through the exchange, deciding to finally remove the necklace that his wife made him so long ago, sinking it in the river.

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John Bell made his debut in Young Ian's role in Season 3 of 'Outlander.'

John Bell skyrocketed to fame with appearances in TV shows like Life of Riley and Hatfields & McCoys before joining the cast of Outlander a few years ago. Born in Paisley, Scotland in 1997, John built a mightily successful career as an actor in a remarkably short time.

His latest projects include Into the Badlands, a TV show by Miles Millar and Alfred Gough where he plays Gabriel, and The Man in the Box, a drama written by Thomas Moran, Dan Wicksman, and Nuria Wicksman.

Catch new episodes of Outlander every Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on Starz.

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