But … we aren’t done yet, right? What about all the top moments from this season three finale? Let’s get to it.
Top Ten Moments from Outlander, episode 313, Eye of the Storm
1. New Moon Lander
We open the episode just as Claire has jumped from a high cliff, following a heartbreaking scene in which Jamie abandoned her for her own good to wile away his self-imposed grief in Rio. With her heart broken and unmendable, she seeks the rush of adrenaline that will allow her to see his form and hear his voice, if just for a moment. We don’t know if she goes to meet a watery death, or if the burly hand of a congenial werewolf will save her from herself and the waters, but we do know she looks good whilst she drowns.
Stolen imagery from the Twilight Saga aside, I did love the cold open. Ethereal and mystical, it provided a nice bookend to the episode, and served well as a reminder that this is a story all about Claire, her life got twist, turned upside down. I don’t mind a good voiceover that serves a literary purpose (I loved the one in Episode 305 that dropped us into Edinburgh), and this fits the bill perfectly.
Of course, instead of dropping us into some of that “terror and rage” that she told us she had been freed from, we cut to Claire inexplicably riding along in a shaking coach and being kind of a dick to the black coachmen driving it. She’s less filled with terror and rage, and more just inconvenienced and pushy. And not particularly worried about commanding two grown men to do her bidding, despite her disgust last week at the thought of owning a slave.
We Noticed That Too: The black slaves that cross their path are chanting and look stoned or hypnotized. It’s almost as if Claire’s coach had to stop to let a flock of geese waddle past. Coupled with Claire’s behavior, this does not bode well for the showrunners treating the people of color in this episode to any of their own agency or voice.
2. The Frasers
That’d be Fergus and Marsali Fraser. They cute. They in love. I’m in love with their cute love.
After Claire makes it to the grounds of Rose Hall, where she and Jamie figured out last week is where Ian is being held, we see Fergus and Marsali back at the inn (I think) rushing there to tell Jamie that they can’t find Willoughby, but instead finding that Jamie has been taken himself. Fergus makes a split second plan to free him, and Marsali refuses to be the wilting flower, awaiting his return. They go off to do … something we never see in the episode. I’ll miss them.
We Noticed That Too: Lauren Lyle and Cesar Domboy have a very pleasing and adorable chemistry. Their short scenes together are always tightly played, and they bounce off one another with natural ease. Bring on more Fersali in season four!
3. The Hand that Robs the Cradle
After finding a young, white boy dead amongst some hay in the slave quarters of Rose Hall, Claire is captured by Geillis’ men and taken into the house. She is forced into Geillis’ bedroom just moments after Young Ian was in there shouting that he would gut her, but somehow she heard none of that ruckus, and Geillis presents a calm but creepy countenance to her “old friend.”
Maybe Claire had time in that rocky carriage to think this night all the way through because she presents a feasible lie to Geillis that she lost her way getting to the house, and was on her way there in the first place because Jamie had been arrested for murder, and she was afraid they were after her as well. Coming to the home of only other friend she knows on the island is perfectly sane, although Claire is no actress, so her suspicious and wide-eyed explanation is just as suspect as Geillis herself is.
These two mean girls lying to one another while they both know that they are lying to one another, trying to be friends when they know they ain’t friends, is reminiscent of so many female-villain led thrillers that I couldn’t decide if Geillis was Regina George or Hedra Carlson. There’s absolutely no artifice, but also little truth. Women read subtext so much better than men do, and it’s almost comical watching the two of them pretend to believe one another. It highlights Claire’s desperation and how unhinged Geillis has become.
We Noticed That Too: Has Claire’s skirt always had belt loops? Wait. Don’t answer that. Ron will know.
4. Write Me Some Slashfic
Jamie’s in irons, and Captain Leonard is more than eager to get him on his Porpoise … and that is unfortunately the dirtiest this scene gets. They are waylaid by some other British troops, and taken to a guy with a little more authority and a lot more swagger.
Holy Lord, do I love this scene. Lord John (played so distinctly and adroitly by David Berry) is in perfect bitchy form as he cleverly tears down Leonard from his high perch with ease. Cuts to the poor guy’s ego aside, Lord John gets Jamie out of trouble by sheer use of his incredulous eyebrow and his working knowledge of British regulations. It’s super hot.
And Jamie thinks so too. Unsure of how the conversation is going to go, Jamie is uncomfortable in his bonds when it begins, but as Lord John dresses down Captain Leonard, Jamie eases into his seat, eyes fascinated by the back and forth and how easily Lord John comes out on top. (Ok, maybe that’s the dirtiest sentence from this scene). When you can insult someone just by proper use of alliteration (“Lieutenant Leonard”), you’re going to impress a polyglot like James Fraser.
Unfortunately the two men share just a simple exchange of gratitude and farewell, instead of that kiss we missed out on in Helwater. UGH write me the slash version of this scene, plz kthx, starting with those cuffs.
We Noticed That Too: That last closeup on Lord John was the perfect moment for a welling up in his right eye. He has no idea if he will ever see Jamie again. MISSED OPPORTUNITY.
5. Claire Gets Mouthy in a different way
Back at Rose Hall, Claire and Geillis have a little traveler’s party for two, where they attempt to come to consensus about what kind of frenemies they want to be. Claire has apparently given Geillis the full run down of the how’s and why’s of their voyage to the West Indies.
But Geillis has receipts. She’s bringing up stuff from season one – like Claire poisoning Collum against the Rising. And just like in season one, she is sure that Claire has a much stronger ulterior motive for being in the past. When Claire tries to assure her that she, in truth, has none, Geillis decides she’s had enough of female friendships and tells her man-slave to do what he wants with Claire.
This is where Claire gets mouthy in a bad way. Instead of just proving to Geillis that she’d been traveling back and forth, and that she’d left Jamie at Culloden because she knew she needed 20th century medical help, she tells her all: baby, seeing Geillis in the 60s, and oh yeah, that she knows she’s a murderer. Smart move to make on a woman who’s so paranoid she’d be running the 18th century version of Infowars if there was internet.
Thanks to Claire’s forthrightness, Geillis realizes that the 200-year-old baby is Bree, that she can use thoughts of her to draw her right to her, and oh, this handy photo. Lord, Claire.
We Noticed That Too: There’s a lot going on in this exchange. We learn slightly more about the mysticism of the stones, but there is a lot missing from Geillis’ time-traveling lexicon than there is in the book. Will any of what is missing come to bear in future seasons?
6. Willoughby Gets a Hero’s End
After Geillis allows Claire to think she’s benignly intentioned and that Claire is safely unencumbered in the guest quarters, we rack up an inordinate amount of coincidences to move this episode along.
They are the following:
- Claire’s window opens out onto a lawn across which men are carrying a boy who sounds and looks like Young Ian.
- This young boy isn’t gagged and speaks, so Claire knows for sure.
- The entire time that Claire and Geillis have been shooting the shit, these men have been waiting with Young Ian some place where his voice wouldn’t carry, but now they forgot that part.
- She’s locked in! But Jamie has found the exact room (among dozens) where his wife is being held, and breaks in without hindrance.
- Those two leave without being stopped, except to stop and say their lines.
- In a clearing, they stumble upon a voodoo ceremony that Willoughby happens to be escorting Margaret Campbell to. (Fun date!)
- They are captured by ill-intentioned folks. But Willoughby knows those guys!
- Those guys like Willoughby.
- The alligator head guy also understands Willoughby’s English.
- It’s kismet!
Coincidence Salad aside, I like this scene for a couple of reasons. The first is Willoughby’s agency. This guy has to be one of the best uses of adaptation in the whole series. Despite being somewhat dismissed by Jamie in previous episodes, Willoughby gets a fitting ending here in which he finds someone to love and be loved by, someone he is capable of protecting, and someone he is proud to stand by. He also decidedly announces his future plans, with no deference to Jamie and no apologies. GO YI TIEN!
His declaration that “she sees me” was so heartfelt and hard won, it was one character arc that came full circle for me. I’d watch the Many Adventures of Yi Tien and Margaret Cho in Martinique with no reservations.
7. Pretty Parallels
The scene at the fires is not something I feel qualified to critique or judge. I don’t know how many experts, if any, were consulted in voodoo or 18th century Jamaican slave culture to say how accurate and sensitive it is or isn’t. I hope it is, but I don’t feel comfortable assuming, especially considering the lack of voice (again) that the people of color in this episode have.
So I will say that the parallel to Claire’s experience watching the Samhain dance on Craigh na Dun was striking and emotional.
I half expected Jamie and Claire to trip over the remnants of a stone circle while they waited in the reeds, and I still don’t understand how the practitioners got unflickering, lantern type lights to dance around with, but. BUT. This was a powerful scene, a reminder that after all that talk about traveling and whatnot, that Claire’s situation is other-worldly, that she herself is Other, and she needs to remember it.
Plus, it was well-scored and pretty.
We Noticed That Too: I thought Jamie was like, good at shit. Shouldn’t he have been scoping out their surroundings and noticing a bunch of men behind them in the brush? Or, if that’s too much to ask, been able to fight them off with this dirk? COME ON, King of Men.
8. Not the Grotto We Wanted
After Margaret reminds Claire of Abandawe and other things she’s not likely to forget like: how lonely she felt without Jamie and what her daughter sounds like, Claire realizes that Geillis is after Bree and kept a photo of her, so Jamie and Claire run off to find the ominous cave not just to save Ian, but now also Bree.
As they enter, Claire hears the humming of “the portal” as she suddenly decided to call the passageway through the stones, and they share a sweet moment where she reminds him that she may fall through time, and he reminds her that he may die. Inside they find Geillis working on her Supernatural fandom party favors, a hogtied Young Ian and a gun toting nemesis – who has no lines.
I’ve read enough YA novels to know how this scenario is going to go down. Jamie and Hercules tussle while Claire and Geillis chitchat about an eye for an eye, but Claire lunges for her before Geillis can take the final plunge into the future.
Way back in season one, we expected a hot spring grotto scene, and while this has the look of it, it has nearly none of the same sentiment. Except one. Jamie and Claire protecting their own.
We Noticed That Too: Young Ian ain’t about to let a gemstone go.
We Noticed That Too: Jamie pulling Claire back from the brink of the humming pool is another scene from the first book that we missed, but got a glimpse of here.
9. THIS RIGHT HERE
“First … I must hold you both.” -Jamie Fraser, everyone.
If ever I needed a reminder why I love this story and these characters, and Jamie Fraser in particular (I saw him yank that torch out of that slave’s hand without so much as a “by your leave”), here he comes with this perfect moment. His wife and his surrogate son, safe in the circle of his arms, as he basks in the relief of the moment and thanks heaven.
Thank heaven for JAMMF.
We Noticed That Too: Claire turned some undergarment into a pouch. I hope Ron tells us more.
10. Back on Captain Flint’s Walrus
After the point where we decided that for Christmas Jamie deserves some Dr Carver’s Shave Butter, came a scene straight from the books, which embarrasses me a lot less when I’m reading it.
In case we forgot that this season is about voyages (at least the second half of it is), the crew aboard the Artemis experiences a sudden and strong hurricane. Jamie has the forethought to order his loved ones to stay below decks, but Claire, as the ship’s surgeon and chief hardhead, must of course bind a wound or two on the jerking and rolling ship. Naturally, the storm overcomes them, and a wall of water throws Claire into the Atlantic.
Now we are back where we began, with Claire’s imminent watery grave, a mast and sail dragging her down. No werewolf there though, just a husband who can swim in boots. I do love how this scene bookends not just the beginning of the episode, but the beginning of the season … if you can remember back that far … when Jamie was near death, adrift in a sea of blood and snow, instead of salt and waves.
We Noticed That Too: The pull out shot from Jamie and Claire, alone in the sea, to the huge funnel cloud roaring above them was completely and totally epic.
Jamie and Claire wash up together on the shores of … SURPRISE … Georgia. That was some far flinging weather storm. Logistics of how they managed to survive the open Atlantic, amidst a hurricane, with no food, water and no boat, aside, these two are alive and super happy to be together. They are kind of adorable in their relief to be together and whole. And they look awfully pleased to be in America … for some reason. ON TO SEASON FOUR!
Is that really it? An entire season of Outlander done and gone. NO … not really. Because we still have one episode of Hangoutlander coming at you MONDAY night, December 11 at 10pmEST/7PT. Make sure you join us and chat with us on YouTube LIVE or on Twitter during the broadcast using #Hangoutlander.