Finally a combination of action, romance and comedy we can get behind!
A really nice performance by Caitriona Balfe
A heated reunion for Claire and Jamie full of lots of the most anticipated book passages for fans
A really hilarious Fergus and Marsali wedding
An overly long survival sequence made the opening sequence a little boring
Some dangling plot hints that were really odd
Flashing back to some really obvious things makes us feel that the show things we're dumb
Claire washed up on shore but thank heavens this week’s Outlander wasn’t washed up as well
Last week on Outlander Claire (Caitriona Balfe) leapt from the Porpoise. She wanders a few days in peril until she collapses and is found by Father Fogden (Nick Fletcher). Turns out she’s on Saint-Domingue (modern day Haiti). The defrocked priest is pretty crazy (and also high) after losing the girl he loved to sickness after the fled Cuba. Her Mom, affectionately called Mamacita (Vivi Lepori), isn’t exactly a Claire fan. She wants her gone but Father Fogden keeps finding excuses not to take her to the village to leave for Jamaica.
Good thing Jamie has run into trouble on the high seas and has turned up on the same island. When Yi Tien Cho (Gary Young) kills one of Father Fogden’s goats Claire races to the beach to find him and makes it just in time to flash him down with a mirror. They reunite and Claire tells him of Captain Leonard’s plot. Jamie suggests a wedding will brighten everyone’s spirits after all their hardship and they convince Father Fogden to do it after Willoughby apologizes for eating his goat.
Crazy Father Fogden performs the weirdest wedding for Fergus (Cesar Domboy) and Marsali (Lauren Lyle) ever with some dialogue pulled straight from the book. Jamie meaningfully gives Fergus his last name finally officially acknowledging him as his adopted son. Back on the ship Yi Tien Cho makes drunken turtle soup for Claire and the fans get the sexy scene between Claire and Jamie they’ve been waiting for all season long!
Time to really talk about “Uncharted”!
Get ready to meet survival Claire
The first long portion of this episode is spent showing Claire basically dropped into an episode of Survivor. She’s leapt from a ship and washed up on a random island she knows nothing about with nothing but the clothes on her back. Smart? Probably not but something needed to get Claire off that ship. That’s the trouble with ships and the trouble with the last two episodes. You’re basically stuck there. We’ll take improbable over boring any day.
“I remembered the rule of threes: Humans can survive three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food.” -Claire
Speaking of boring. After not giving Claire a heck of a lot to do in the 20th century the show seems to be trying to make up for it with “Claire is a badass” scenes. So survivor Claire it is! These scenes were fine but suffered from the same issues that the past two episodes have: Over long syndrome. We didn’t set a timer but there was a point we wished we could fast forward. Caitriona Balfe did a hell of a job selling those scenes and we do love watching her. But this could’ve used a two to three minute trim.
On the positive side the survival story gave production space to showcase their new locations and their CGI ability. The jungle scenes and South African beaches looked really gorgeous. We also liked the varied landscapes instead of just jungle stereotype. We did wonder how much ground she was covering though since she ran straight to the beach later in the episode to find Jamie and it didn’t seem to take too long.
In which Outlander finds its funny
One of the reasons we think the Outlander books are successful is that they combine so many elements. There’s adventure and science fiction. There’s drama and comedy. It’s romantic and full of history. Television works this way too. It’s just not as interesting if it’s just one note. The show has been less successful at combining its source material’s varying elements seamlessly. Happily that’s not the case here. This episode managed to combine a few different elements which made it far more entertaining.
“Eh, eh, Coco! Mustn’t stare! It’s rude! Yes, she is a pretty lady!” -Father Fogden
Father Fogden talks to his Wilson-esque coconut (quite literally down to the spikey “hair”) and even Claire gets in on the act. Mamacita is quite funny even as incredibly rude she is to Claire. But there’s something about their ridiculousness that makes them incredibly sinister. And that’s why we loved this. They’re not just ridiculous buffoons. They’re “off” in some way. Father Fogden keeps carrion insects in a jar for some reason for God’s sake. It built the tension as we watched Claire interact with them.
We also loved the romantic, heartwarming and comedic aspects of this episode. Fergus and Marsali’s wedding was very amusing but wasn’t treated as if it were a joke. When Jamie stepped forward and finally claimed Fergus as his son it was a really poignant moment that was even more deeply felt because of the levity earlier in the scene. And the scene with Claire and Marsali was amusing but also really touching. This is the kind of thing we really want to see more of on Outlander.
Why does Outlander always leave us dangling?
Sometimes Outlander gives us moments that it would be pretty great to follow through on, but then just never follows through. Remember how we said Mamacita was amusing but had that underlayer of sinister? Nowhere was that more apparent than in the scene where she looks at Claire’s 20th century corset and we zoomed in on the zipper.
“No. Too small for that cow! Give her your old robe if you must.” -Mamacita
This moment was really great. As viewers we held our breaths. Would Mamacita challenge Claire? Would she question her about it? Would she accuse her of witchcraft? It was clear that Mamacita hated Claire but really there were a number of reasons to dislike her as Father Fogden so clearly liked her. Why make a big deal of the zipper if it was just one more reason for Mamacita to want Claire to leave. There was possibility there and the show let it drop.
Final Verdict: Fun and funny made this week’s Outlander an entertaining watch once Claire found the Father.
Overall this was an entertaining episode where characters behaved like themselves and the show struck a nice balance between adventure, romance, comedy and drama. Could some areas have been trimmed? Sure. Especially the overly long “Survivor Claire” sequence. But at least things happened in this episode, even if they were overly coincidental.
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How will Claire end up in Abandawe since it’s now a 100% certainty she’s going there? If Jamie and Claire are still going to Jamaica how does Jamie plan on avoiding the ambitious Captain Leonard? Will Claire use up the rest of her stores of penicillin? Where the heck is Young Ian? Will we get to see more of Fergus and Marsali’s early married life? And will Marsali and Claire continue to build on their tentative detente? Only two episodes left to answer our burning questions!
“Mac Dubh’s wife turns up in the most unlikely places.” You said it, new Rupert or Angus. There were some nutty coincidences in this episode as Jamie’s ship just happened to hit a squall (which we didn’t see hit Claire’s island) and wind up on the same island. We’d certainly trade the weird coincidences and inconsistencies to not be bored to tears but is it too much to ask for both? Claire finding Jamie on the same island and just happening to have a mirror to signal Jamie was a lot.
We really loved the humor here. Fergus and Marsali’s wedding was something we were really looking forward to and it didn’t disappoint. Writer Shannon Goss was even able to build on it by bringing the Marsali outspoken sass we’ve enjoyed from previous episodes. The turtle soup scene was anticipated not because we needed more Jamie and Claire romance development (although we always need that). It was anticipated because it embodies their complicated relationship. They’re funny and romantic. They fight with great abandon but that’s because their love is all-consuming and not a little destructive.
Unlike the last episode we were much more pleased by the writing. The changes from the book and added touches were all character appropriate. Goss managed to streamline the story by deleting a not-strictly-necessary side character. It worked just fine. Even with the changes Goss managed to include a lot of scenes and dialogue that were important to fans. Next up on the improvement list would be to juggle simultaneous storylines. What’s going on with Roger and Bree? Surely there was something going on with Young Ian we could have seen?
Though there were some tense moments that weren’t followed up on and an overly long survivalist story we enjoyed this week’s Outlander. Now how about we get back to finding Young Ian? Is anyone else wondering what the heck he’s been up to? Hopefully next week we’ll find out!
Comments and Questions: So many coincidences!
- Claire’s bag of things ought to have been tied on to her. Are we to believe they conveniently washed up right near her?
- Claire’s salty shoes still fitting her after they had dried out made us laugh and laugh. But then again she hadn’t changed her 20th century outfit- might they have been modern shoes and not leather?
- Speaking of weird things with Claire’s clothing. How is it her modern not in shreds? We get tears in modern clothing washing it once and she’s been wearing that outfit for months!
- Why the insistence on flashbacks to tell us things? We remembered crazy lady, Outlander!
- Well it’s a good thing Claire stole that mirror so she had it in her pocked!
- Jamie is an expert sailor now? Thank goodness he had that other dude there to help him.
- Poor Fergus and Marsali. Jamie couldn’t even give them the captain’s cabin for their wedding night? Selfish!
- Can Claire and Jamie kiss on the beach some more? That was hot.
Outlander returns Sunday, December 3rd, 2017 at 8/7C on Starz.
We need to find Young Ian!Jamie and Claire are together again and on a mission once more! Join us next week for more Outlander roundtable fun, and check out our reviews where we dive further and further into Jamie and Claire’s world! You can also live tweet with us every Sunday at 8.
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