Back to IndieWire

‘Outlander’ Review: A Rushed Journey Through the Literal and Figurative Jungles of Freedom

In Season 3, Episode 11, “Uncharted," Claire treks through dangerous terrains in hopes of warning Jamie before it’s too late.

Outlander Season 3 2017

David Bloomer/Starz

[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for “Outlander” Season 3 Episode 11, “Uncharted.”]

Unrequited, Requited Love

Once again the majority of the episode focused on Claire’s separation from Jamie and her own bid for survival, a notable trend that’s come to be a signature of this third season. That’s not a bad thing, per se. One of the most appealing things about this romance is that when the characters come together they compliment each other, but they’re also interesting enough to sustain storylines on their own. Claire proved that again this week as she navigated the jungles of a foreign island in search of water and help, all in a bid to warn Jamie that the British ship had a warrant out for his arrest.

While help presented itself first in the form of a deranged man and his spiteful mother-in-law, toward the end of the episode Claire and Jamie were once again reunited by coincidence. Thanks to a freak storm that capsized the Artemis and killed the captain, the remaining men landed on the same island Claire had washed up upon, leading the lovers back together again.

Sexy Legs

Given tight time constraints the writers were faced with a challenge when it came to showcasing just how much danger Claire was in when she landed on that island. Not only did they have the formidable job of displaying the danger of her surroundings (a problem they solved with those gross bites and blisters on her legs) but they were also faced with scenes in which Claire had no one to interact with. And so voiceovers stepped in again to save the day, but they cut down on the potential dramatics of the overall situation.

Outlander Season 3 2017

Abandawe Cave

Speaking of coincidences, it’s worth noting the cave from an earlier premonition made an appearance again in this episode through Father Fogden, reminding Claire and the audiences that the place will have some sort of significance for the heroine in a future episode.

“Goat”-ing the Father

The entire story of Father Fogden and Mamacita felt out of place and rather odd in the episode because of how quickly it was all presented, although if Claire needed saving it’s worth at least delving a little bit into her savior’s background. It was also a bit of a reminder of how chasing an unrequited love can make a person go mad, especially if they have nothing else to pursue or fulfill them in life. Luckily the Father’s appearance in our story also meant that two other characters could finally find their happy endings, once Mr. Willoughby smoothed over the fact that he had killed Fogden’s prized possession — his goat Arabella — in order to eat.

It’s a Nice Day for a White Wedding

With Claire and Jamie finally reunited and Fergus back in his adoptive father’s good graces, it was finally time for a bit of a happy moment as Fergus wed Marsali under Father Fogden’s not-so-watchful eye. The entire ceremony was played for laughs thanks to the awkward nature of it all, reinstating some of the show’s signature light moments that have been rather absent this season. Without Fergus and Murtagh or Angus and Rupert to riff off each other or supply background banter, it’s been a lot of overall gloom and doom. That’s largely what made this lightning wedding so appealing, even though we barely know a grown-up Fergus and his stubborn bride.

Outlander Season 3 2017

Girl Talk

One newly emerging relationship that is worth delving more into is that between Claire and Marsali. While an integral conversation between the ladies from the book was omitted from the storyline earlier this season, the writers saved it for just before the wedding in Sunday’s episode. While the conversation about sex and the difference between consensual relationships and abusive situations wasn’t as prevalent as in the book, it at least opened the door for future scenes and conversations about such things.

Turtle Soup

That Mr. Willoughby is a master of many trades. His spiked turtle soup allowed for one of the most freeing sex scenes between Claire and Jamie to date, making for a joyful reunion indeed.

By the Book

This week the “Outlander” team made the decision to cut another character from the “Voyager” novel, the naturalist Lawrence Stern. He was the man who saved Claire from the jungles of Hispaniola, and who eventually took her to the Hacienda de la Fuente where she encountered Father Fogden and Mamacita. (The three-eyed fish they bonded over upon their first meeting were also missing from the story.) While the omission isn’t a huge one by any means, it is worth noting that Stern had also previously met Jamie and wound up accompanying him and Claire to Jamaica. Given how quickly the show has raced through the second half of the book, his absence doesn’t seem to have a huge impact on the story, although we’ll see how certain character revelations are handled once all parties actually arrive in Jamaica.

Grade: C

Next week: Claire and Jamie finally land in Jamaica where a lavish ball awaits. “Outlander” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on Starz and on W Network in Canada.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged , ,