Outlander finale recap: 'Eye of the Storm'
Twenty years and thousands of miles have brought us here: to the sprawling Jamaican plantation owned by Geillis Abernathy (née Duncan), where Young Ian has been held captive. It’s here that Claire must face her onetime friend and rescuer in order to save her nephew. She is, after all, the only one left for the task after Jamie was carted away by Captain Leonard in last week’s penultimate episode.
So it is our heroine prowls the estate under the cover of darkness, whisper-yelling Ian’s name. She spies a dog sniffing around a pile of hay. Upon investigation, she does indeed find a young man’s body buried beneath, but it isn’t Ian’s. She has little time to plan her next move before she’s grabbed from behind by one of Geillis’ henchmen.
Young Ian, meanwhile, is in the middle of being interrogated by Geillis, who is certain that it is Claire, not Jamie, who is after the third sapphire. Ian denies those claims but is quickly carted away when Geillis gets word that Claire has turned up. Claire, for her part, feigns ignorance about snooping around the property, apologizing for the late hour and explaining that she got lost trying to find the house after her husband was taken into custody.
“You’re welcome anytime,” Geillis says. “We’re friends.” They sit and visit, with neither initially revealing her true purpose. But Geillis can’t contain herself (and her suspicions) for long. She asks Claire why, after everything she’s done for her, she won’t be honest with her. Claire doesn’t understand; Geillis begins ranting about the sapphires and the prophecy. Claire, again, is baffled and attempts to plead her innocence. How could she have been orchestrating anything of the sort these past 20 years, seeing as she’s been back in the future in Boston? Geillis doesn’t think it possible for Claire to ever leave Jamie’s side, let alone pass through the stones three separate occasions without dying. Claire explains that it was all in service of saving their unborn child, showing Geillis a photograph of now 20-year-old Bree. “A 200-year-old baby,” Geillis muses. “Imagine that.” Geillis hastily stuffs the photo down her robe and has her manservant usher Claire to a guestroom to stay as long as she needs.
Which won’t be long, if Jamie has anything to do with it. The Scotsman and his captors are soon intercepted by John Grey’s men and brought in for questioning. Where is their warrant? Their affidavit? Captain Leonard admits to Grey that he has neither.
“Surely you don’t mean to arrest a British subject based on the scurrilous gossip of the lower deck,” Grey asks incredulously. The Captain tries to further assert his authority, but Grey will have none of it. “Your authority ends at the water’s edge,” he reproaches him. “Which is precisely where my authority begins.”
So Jamie is once again indebted to Grey for his life.
“It seems we’ve been indebted to each other so many times, I’ve lost count,” Grey says.
“Until the next time then,” says Jamie, bidding him farewell. (Recap continues on next page)
Thanks to intel delivered by Fergus, Jamie is able to find Claire at Geillis’, and the two begin tracking Young Ian based on the direction Claire had just seen him being dragged. Following the sound of drums, they stumble upon a ceremonial dance reminiscent of the one at Craigh na Dun that Claire witnessed during season 1. When they’re spotted and dragged out from behind the trees, it’s Mr. Willoughby of all people who intercedes on their behalf. As it turns out, Margaret had been invited to the ceremony because of her seer abilities, and Mr. Willoughby had accompanied her.
“She is the first woman to truly see me, and I see her,” Willoughby tells Claire and Jamie. “We wish to be together.” (Collective awwwwww.)
Margaret begins to read Claire and Jamie, and for a brief moment, it seems she is channeling Bree. She calls them “father” and “mama” and speaks of the monster after her. Then she says the magic word: Abandawe. It’s then that Margaret’s brother shows up, admonishing her and telling her they need to get back to their benefactor Mistress Abernathy — she needs help with that 200-year-old baby business, after all. Realization dawns on Claire — Geillis is going to attempt to kill Bree to fulfill the prophecy.
Claire and Jamie run in the direction of Abandawe, while Mr. Willoughby is left to contend with Archibald. Willoughby snaps his neck.
The couple find Geillis in the cave, preparing some sort of ritual that involves Bree’s photo and a soon-to-be sacrificed Ian. (Remember, Geillis thinks a human sacrifice is required to travel through time.) Claire tries to reason with her, but Geillis won’t listen. Claire realizes that instead of stones, this time-travel portal is a pool of water, and she must prevent Geillis from diving in at all costs.
“This is God’s will,” Geillis screams, as she launches herself towards the shimmering surface. Claire, knife in hand, thrusts wildly, connecting with Geillis’ throat. (Yes, if you hadn’t puzzled it out, Geillis’ bones are the ones Claire examined on Joe Abernathy’s table earlier this season.) Claire too feels the pull of the portal, but at Jamie’s touch, the spell seems to dissipate. The two flee with Young Ian in tow.
The next we see the two, they’re on the Artemis, safely sailing for Scotland. [Ed. Note: I’m going to skip rehashing the sex scene here — suffice to say there was dirty talk and grinding.]
Wait, did I say something about them safely sailing for Scotland? Ha! Sorry — not true. They’ve hardly awakened from their night of passion before finding themselves in the middle of a torrential storm. Jamie banishes his family members and men below deck, but of course Claire can’t stay put. She’s still the ship’s doctor, after all, so she goes above deck to help where she can, despite Jamie’s protests. So it’s hardly surprising (especially considering the episode’s cold open) that Claire gets swept overboard. Her unconscious body is rescued by Jamie, and the two wash ashore…somewhere. Eventually they’re found by a family and inquire as to which island they’ve landed on. The man scoffs: They’re on the mainland! But this isn’t mainland Europe — it’s mainland America!
And so concludes this third season of Outlander, which began so strongly but weathered a few unfriendly waves in its later episodes. God be with ye during the impending Droughtlander, and we’ll see you in America in 2018. (Or, rather, 1767.)
Diana Gabaldon's genre-bending time-travel novels come to life in the Starz series.