Season 3 has had episodes in which nothing happens and episodes in which everything happens. This week is one of the former. There’s a lot of information being dropped in what feels like preparation for the last two episodes of the season, and it’s done at the expense of dramatic action. Some characters disappear with barely a line of explanation while brand-new ones are introduced. There are call-backs to earlier episodes (especially A. Malcolm and Crème De Menthe). But even if the episode seems to be dragging its anchor at times, the second-to-last scene more than makes up for it. Let’s break it all down in more detail.
*Spoiler Alert! The following recap contains spoilers for Episode 311, “Uncharted.” Do not read further if you have not seen the episode and want to avoid spoilers. You’ve been warned.*
Sword Score: 5/10. There’s just not a lot of plot movement this time around. The first 16 minutes of the episode explain what Claire went through after she leapt overboard of The Porpoise. None of it is good. Luckily, she collapses on the front path of Father Fogden’s farm. The Catholic priest and his Cuban mother-in-law, Mamacita, could provide Archie and Margaret Campbell with some serious competition for the title of “weirdest family duo,” but they do save Claire’s life.
Speaking of Margaret, her cryptic warning to Claire back in episode 306 becomes relevant this week. In between talking to a coconut named Coco (yes, you read that right), Father Fogden dumps a ton of exposition on Claire. He explains how far their island is from Jamaica, how the English invaded Cuba, what happened to his wife, why Mamacita hates Claire so much, and exactly what Abandawe is. The first and last parts are the important parts here. They’re less than three days from Jamaica, and Abandawe is a sacred cave on that island. It’s the first real clue Claire has gotten about where to start looking for Young Ian, but it’s also the one place that she’s been warned against visiting. This likely means that it’s the first place she’ll visit if she ever makes it to Jamaica.
Skin Score: 9/10. The plot may not be moving forward, but relationships sure are. Mamacita discovers one of her prized goats killed and roasted by a Chinese sailor. While she and Father Fogden hold a funeral of sorts for poor Arabella, Claire realizes that she may know the sailor. She races for the beach. Sure enough, Jamie and crew have been shipwrecked on the island. They lost Captain Raines and two other crew members in the same storm that took out their mast, but they manage to repair their ship enough to set sail again. They nearly miss Claire, but all ends well and she and Jamie are reunited.
While the crew waits for the tar to harden on the mast repairs, Jamie decides to throw a wedding for Fergus and Marsali. Mr. Willoughby patches things up with Father Fogden so that he will perform the ceremony. Meanwhile, Claire has a heart-to-heart talk with Marsali before the wedding. The girl is worried that she won’t like being with Fergus as his wife, or that she’ll get pregnant right away. She asks Claire for advice, which is a huge change from just two episodes ago when she was referring to Claire as the Devil. Claire snaps into mom mode and reassures Marsali that her married experiences won’t be like that of her mother. Claire also promises to explain some 18th century contraceptive methods. We have to wonder if any of those will be ones she picked up back at the brothel?
The wedding scene is the best part of the episode by far. Marsali and Fergus play beautifully off one another and Father Fogden. The scene manages to be truly funny at times without ever losing its gravitas. The ceremony comes to a grinding halt when Fergus is asked for his full name. He stumbles for a moment before Jamie steps up and delivers the line that viewers have been waiting for since we first met the Frenchman. Jamie dubs him Fergus Claudel Fraser, finally making him an official part of Clan Fraser. The resulting look between father and son has more love in it than any of the bride and groom’s glances. Fergus didn’t look at Jamie for help when he couldn’t give a surname. He didn’t consider himself to be a Fraser, even after all this time. Now that there remains no doubt over who he is, Claire and Jamie stand to the side in each other’s arms and beam as they watch their son marry his love. It’s a bright spot of happiness in the face of so much uncertainty. Here’s hoping that that joy can carry them all through the remaining two episodes of this season.
Outlander airs Sunday nights at 8 pm on Starz. Viewers can catch up anytime on Starz.com or the Starz mobile app. Check back here to Fanfest.com for weekly episode previews and full episode recaps.
Kade is often described as, “here just a minute ago” and can often be found just around the corner from where you’d expect. Approaching is not encouraged, unless you come with a strong wifi connection and a nice charcuterie board with gluten-free breads.