***Spoiler Warning: Spoilers for Outlander through Season 3, Episode 13, and Book Spoilers through Diana Gabaldon’s Voyager follow. Spoilers***
With quick resolution to last week‘s turn of events, Outlander wraps up its third outing in a surprising way. But before their arrival in the New World, Claire and Jamie Fraser are duly put through the wringer — there’s sinking, suspense and sex … oh, my! From her voiced-over opening moments until the closing cough that eases her husband’s frantic mind, our good doctor’s journey is fraught with fear and floating.
“Peaceful and bodiless,” Claire surrenders to the ocean during a violent storm, but, before her full fate is revealed, we’re flashed back to earlier events. In a horse-drawn carriage, following Jamie’s arrest by Captain Leonard, she rushes to the Abernathy estate to look for Young Ian and is thwarted by one of Geillis’ slaves, who takes Claire to be grilled by her old frenemy. Forced to reveal Brianna’s existence — Geillis thinks Claire has some grand plan to stop the Brahan Seer prophecy — Claire shows Geillis her daughter’s photos; Ms. Abernathy/Duncan suddenly realizes who that two-hundred-year-old baby is.
On the way back to the Porpoise with his captured charge (Jamie), Captain Leonard is stopped by another officer (thanks, Fergus!), and the group is brought before none other than Lord John Grey (so pretty). After questioning the Lieutenant … er, Captain as to his warrant and/or proper paperwork for Jamie’s arrest, the governor of Jamaica overrules Leonard and sets Jamie free, but not before the pair shares one last longing glance.
Arriving just in the nick of time to scare his wife and help rescue Ian, whom Claire spies being carried into the jungle, the Frasers watch as a group of slaves perform a ritualistic dance; Claire’s reminded of the rite she witnessed at Criagh Na Dun. As they’re discovered by one of the group, the ever-fortuitously-present Mr. Willoughby emerges to tell the pair he’s there with Margaret and, overtaken by love, he plans on running off to Martinique to start a life with her … but not before Margaret experiences more visions, including one that spurs Claire to realize what Geillis must be up to. Exposition, sexposition! Claire quickly explains the prophecy to Jamie, and that they’ve got to get to Abandawe Cave, where there’s another time portal. Archibald shows up to threaten Margaret, and Willoughby kills him — no worries; the slaves will properly dispose of his body — and the Frasers make a plan as they dash to save Ian … and very dramatically do. Geillis prepares to jump into the portal pool “for the greater good,” but Claire’s well-placed slash nearly takes Duncan’s head clean off, reminding viewers of the skull Joe Abernathy studied earlier in the season.
Caring for his shell-shocked wife, Jamie informs Claire that Fergus has their ship back to Scotland readied; their requisite hot lovemaking plays out aboard the Artemis, and nobody really minds. But raging seas will be raging seas and if the Frasers didn’t have one more melodramatic moment, this wouldn’t be an Outlander finale. Though Claire warns everyone else to stay below during the terrible titular storm, she promptly goes topside to be washed overboard. Returned to her opening monologue, the gorgeous spectacle of an impossible rescue plays out, underwater kiss of life and all. Floating on a broken piece of the Artemis — which also miraculously makes it to the same shores (albeit 4 miles off) — Jamie and Claire wake to find themselves greeted by the Oliver family, informed they’ve made it to the Colony of Georgia in America.
Season 4 promo:
The boatsex scene between Claire and Jamie was really lovely — all hail Golden Globe-nominated Caitriona Balfe and her partner, Sam Heughan, who make their love scenes ring true; their kisses always come across heartfelt.
We’re going to have to talk about that rescue, though. Raging storm … a giant wave sweeps Claire overboard, and, yet, Jamie — after the wave has passed and he realizes she’s gone — somehow manages to dive right down (the boat didn’t move a smidge, I’m sure!) to where his wife is underwater, swim immediately to where he (instinctively?) knows she is, and cut her free. Let’s not even deal with how long she was down there — he brings her up; she’s lifeless and doesn’t seem to be breathing. STILL, THEY FLOAT ALL THE WAY TO FUCKING GEORGIA. What’s the timeframe here? Never mind! Whatever the timeframe, she’s seemingly not breathing or is just sleeping — but never suffered from not having had air for “x” period of time, and doesn’t move a muscle or show any signs of life until after she and Jamie have both been onshore for another undetermined amount of time, when, finally, after he crawls over to her, she coughs. On her own, she coughs, without Jamie ever trying to get the water out of her lungs or help her breathe or perform any sort of lifesaving measures whatsoever. I guess his threat to kill her if she was dead (or that underwater kiss) was enough to snap her out of her drowning. *many eye-roll, much scoffing*
I’ve very mixed feelings over this season, which was full of highs and lows, and careened between a crawl in some spots and rushing through to tick off book moments like a hastily written checklist. This hour was chock-full of events, some of which felt so off from the rest of the show we’ve come to love. Specifically, the cave scene and Geillis’ death really bothered me. There has been many a brilliant battlefield moment; plenty of wounds that made me gasp from their realism, but dead Geillis looked so utterly fake that I don’t even know what to say.
Willoughby coming out of nowhere, and all the things that something happened at exactly the right second got to be too much for me, too. I know it’s a fantastical TV show, but all the people arriving precisely to save or catch or discover others is stretching credibility to its breaking point.
I’m happy Willoughby was changed from his bizarre and stereotypical bookself. Though I don’t really buy him with Margaret, it makes sense to have him around for a while, at least, and then send him away. The series writers did pay better tribute to a character many readers took issue with, so I guess it’s not terrible to send him off to an ostensibly happy place. But in the end, I still find him an off character, though Gary Young played him beautifully.
Ron Moore says it is very possible that Tobias Menzies will return in Season 4 (flashbacks, obviously). YES, PLEASE.
I think there’s a strong possibility we’re going to do that. We’ve been talking about doing some way of getting Tobias back in the show in Season 4, at least for some flashbacks, or some other kinds of sequences. So nothing’s been committed yet, but, yeah, that’s on the table.”
David Berry as Lord John Grey is a wonderful bit of casting, and we’ll be thrilled to see him back (book fans would love a spinoff).
César Domboy and Lauren Lyle are both great as Fergus and Marsali, and John Bell as Young Ian Murray has been an utter delight. His line delivery and facial expressions are perfection. He has to be alive, right?
Speaking of the dead, since Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) survived Culloden (unlike in the book), we expect he’ll be back in Season 4.
Presumably, Claire’s doctor friend, Joe Abernathy, was descended from Geillis’ slaves, since they often took the name of their master/mistress.
It is nice to have Jamie and Claire together at the end of the season, and ready to begin their new life that way.
Season 4 will bring on Jamie’s Aunt Jocasta, played by Maria Doyle Kennedy (Orphan Black, The Tudors) …
and Stephen Bonnet, played by Ed Speleers (Wolf Hall, Downton Abbey) …
and Rollo, played by these puppies!
Ian to Geillis: “I’m tired of your blathering, so leave me be or get on with it, you bitch, or I swear I’ll gut you.”
Margaret to Jamie: “I see you in an orchard of death, sown with blood. I see the rabbit.”
Jamie to Claire at the cave after Geillis’ death: “Let’s get out of this place.”
Jamie to Claire: “I have given much thought about what I want to do to you when we reach dry land.”
“I shall do that until you start making squeaking noises.”
“You have the roundest ass I’ve ever seen.”
“Damn you, Sassenach. If you die here now, I swear, I’ll kill you.”
Claire to Jamie: “I told you I’d never leave you again.”