Season 3 is here! My intention is to write an “Insta-Reaction” post for each episode soon after viewing, to share some initial thoughts, questions, reactions — you name it.
I may be talking about events from this episode, other episodes, and/or the book series… so if you’d rather not know, now’s your chance to walk away!
Outlander, episode 313: “Eye of the Storm”
The official synopsis (via Starz):
Claire is forced to play a game of cat and mouse with an old adversary as she searches for Young Ian. The Frasers race through the jungles of Jamaica to prevent the unthinkable.
It’s the season finale! Where has the time gone?
Major plot points:
- Captain Leonard’s arrest of Jamie is quickly foiled by Lord John, who declares the arrest invalid without a warrant or witness affidavit and sets Jamie free.
- Claire pursues Ian to Rose Hall, where she’s found wandering the slave quarters and is brought to Geillis.
- Geillis confronts Claire and accuses her of plotting against her. Claire is finally able to convince Geillis that she’s been in the future for the past 20 years by showing her photographs of Brianna.
- Claire is locked up, but is freed by Jamie, and together they chase Ian’s trail, first encountering a voodoo circle, Mr. Willoughby, and Margaret Campbell.
- They follow Geillis to the cave Abandawe, where she’s preparing a ritual aimed at going back through the time portal so she can kill Brianna and fulfill the prophecy to bring about Scottish independence. She’s preparing to sacrifice Ian as a blood ritual to travel through time.
- Claire and Jamie arrive in time. Claire kills Geillis, and they escape with Ian.
- Claire and Jamie enjoy a romantic interlude on board the Artemis before a hurricane strikes.
- After Claire almost drowns, the two wash up on shore and discover that they’ve landed in America.
What an action-packed final episode to the season! Once again, kudos to the production team and the cast for their amazing work in such a physically demanding set of scenes.
The episode really never lets up, with chase scenes and high drama and life-or-death confrontations. Claire’s meeting with Geillis is powerful, as Geillis invokes their friendship and the fact that she sacrificed herself at the witch trial in order to save Claire’s life. When Claire finally convinces Geillis that she’s been back in the 20th century by showing her the photos of Brianna, it’s like all the pieces come together in Geillis’s mind. She remembers meeting Brianna at the White Roses rally back at the university in 1968, and realizes that the strange prophecy (about a 200-year-old baby dying in order to bring about the next Scottish king) must be about the daughter of Claire and Jamie. The fanatical look on Geillis’s face is crazy scary. Heck, this is a woman who killed her husband to move her plans forward (one of many, it turns out) — Claire is fully aware that Geillis won’t hesitate to kill Brianna if she can find her.
The voodoo scene is well-done, and I loved the call-back to the first season, as Claire flashes back to her first glimpse of the dancers on Craigh na Dun so many years earlier.
It appears that Margaret Campbell and Mr. Willoughby will have a happy ending of sorts, as she breaks free from her scummy brother (who’s ultimately killed by Mr. W.). The two seem to have connected, Margaret seems comparatively sane relative to the previous times we’ve seen her (apart from getting all spooky-eerie-creepy when she takes on Brianna’s voice to talk to Jamie and Claire), and the pair plan to run off to Martinique to start a new life.
In the cave, Claire can full the hum of the portal, and tells Jamie that if she gets pulled through, she may not be able to come back. They kiss. They both know that if Geillis manages to travel, Claire will have to follow to try to keep her from harming Brianna. Geillis is preparing a ritual involving gemstones, Brianna’s photo, and murdering Ian — but she’s stopped as Claire swings a machete at her, slicing her throat open. Claire remembers the skull Joe Abernathy had shown her back in Boston, and realizes that it was Geillis’s.
Jamie embraces Claire and Ian, as this dangerous chapter draws to an end. But they’re not out of the woods yet!
Jamie and Claire enjoy a very steamy romantic encounter on board the Artemis. Their plan is to return to Scotland and deliver Ian safely back to Jenny at Lallybroch. The gods of weather don’t seem to like this plan, as a hurricane hits. The entire ship seems about to sink, and Claire is swept overboard. Jamie saves her, and the two wash up on shore. A local family finds them and informs them that the other survivors from the ship are just down the coast… and tells them that they’re in Georgia.
And we pan out to see a lovely view of the land, as the series closes one chapter and sets the stage for what’s to come. From here on out, Claire and Jamie will be starting a new life in the American Colonies.
Visually, this was quite the impressive episode. You can just tell watching it that the cast and crew gave it their all. From the scenes of running through the jungle, to the dancing by the fire, to the fight in the cave, and then to the storm at sea, it was one magnificent set-piece after another.
The episode hit all the major beats that it needed to, from the relief at finding and rescuing Ian to Jamie and Claire’s lovemaking on board the ship to the devastation of the hurricane. It’s a lot, but it works. This episode marks the end of the story from Voyager, book #3, and is the turning point toward a new adventure as the Fraser family begins building a new home for themselves in America.
I loved the cinematography of the final scenes, as Jamie and Claire are bathed in sunshine. It’s bright and beautiful, and full of promise of a new day. They’ve survived the storm, and they’re together. It’s a moment full of hope and love, and the swooping shot of the Georgia landscape is a perfect ending, balancing out the gorgeous shots of green Scottish landscapes from the season 1 title sequence.
Wrapping it all up…
I’m so sad to see season 3 come to an end! Overall, it’s been a phenomenal season. It’s hard to think back and realize just how much has happened over these 13 episodes — Culloden, Claire’s life in Boston, the years apart, the search for Jamie, the reunion, the ocean voyage… it’s a huge amount of plot to get through, but the show has done an admirable job of condensing the story without losing the emotional connections at the heart of it all.
It’s been a beautiful, moving, exciting ride. And now, we’re back to Droughtlander! Let’s raise our glasses and drink a wee dram in honor of the wonders of season 3 — and now we can start counting the months, weeks, and days until season 4!