Now THIS was an episode worthy of being a season finale. The action never stopped from rescuing Jamie & Ian from certain death, to saving Brianna from Geillis’ mad clutches.
Thank the Lord for Lord John Grey! Unlike the 20th century wannabe aristocrat, Lord John Grey, now the governor of Jamaica, is the real deal. And it sure helps to have a friend in a high place, Jamie and Claire learn. As the episode opens, Claire is racing to Geillis’s plantation in a desperate mission to save Ian before the 20th century Scottish woman/time-traveller, can turn him into a blood sacrifice. Jamie is also being hurried off, but he’s in the hands of the young and ambitious Captain Leonard determined to make a name for himself by apprehending an accused murderer and traitor.
Too bad for Leonard, that he has no idea of what he’s up again. Lord John, who literally loves Jamie for life, has gotten wind of his friend’s arrest and has sent his own troops to rescue him from Leonard’s clutches. In the best scene of the whole episode — and there are a lot of good scenes — Lord John does a brilliant takedown of “Lieutenant” Leonard. “You must excuse my unfamiliarity of the liberal ways of the navy. The navy takes a stricter stance on promotions and bases them on merit,” he informs Leonard dismissively. Lord J smartly surmises that the young captain has neither an arrest warrant nor an affidavit sworn before a magistrate, which would entitle him to legally arrest Jamie. Neither is he on the sea with rights of arrest under “The Articles Of War.”
“Your authority ends where the water ends and that’s where my authority begins,” intones Lord John. And it’s a joy to watch him literally Lord it over the up start Leonard and refuse to arrest Jamie. Jamie is impressed. “Seems, I’m indebted to you, yet again,” he sighs. “Seems we’ve been indebted to each other so many times in this world, that we’ve lost count,” Lord John agrees wistfully. But there’s no time for bromance. Jamie has to rescue Claire and Ian. The demented Geillis has not lost her dream of putting a Scotsman back on the throne in her homeland, even after Culloden, and she’s been using Reverand Archibald Campbell and his psychic sister Margaret to try and fulfill a mysterious prophecy that will bring back a Scottish king.
When Claire is caught on her property, Geillis at first accuses her of lying ever since “we met,” and of “poisoning” Colum Mckenzie in order to turn against his brother, her lover, Dougal, and the uprising against the British. It’s only when Claire pulls out her photos of herself and Brianna that she is not only convinced that Claire did in fact return to the 20th century, but that, Brianna is actually the fulfillment of the prophecy. Margaret had uttered the prophecy in the middle of Lord John’s party last episode, and it had made no sense at the time. The new king of Scotland will only arrive upon the death of a child, that is 200 years old on the day it’s born.
Da, da, da! Of course, Geillis now knows that the baby can only be Brianna, who was conceived in 18th century Scotland and born in 20th century America. Geillis steals a photo of Brianna and confesses that she does in fact, recognize her. She remembers her from the University of Inverness in 1968 and Claire tells her that she and her daughter were both there at the Craigh Na Dun Stones the night that Geillis travelled through them. “We tried to warn you,” Claire explains. Warn Geillis that if she went through the stones, she’d be burned as a witch.
Cool as a cucumber Geillis makes it quite clear, that she’s A-OK about Claire, Brianna and Roger having found the burnt remains of her first husband at the stones. She thought she needed a blood sacrifice to travel through them. That’s why she’s been readying poor Ian. Thankfully, in the nick of time, Jamie arrives to free Claire from Geillis’s house and they go on the hunt for Ian. In a surreal scene, they come across a group of slaves — have they escaped? Unclear. But they are dancing, inspired by Margaret Campbell who has run away with her new love, Mr. Willoughby. Margaret urges Claire and Jamie to find the mysterious Abandawe cave, not far from Geillis’s home. Claire and Jamie quickly realize that Abandawe must contain a passage to the 20th century and they have to stop Geillis before she goes there and murders Brianna in an attempt to fulfill the prophecy. Only if they find her can they save their daughter and Ian.
Well, this being Outlander, they find the cave’s entrance just as Geillis is preparing Ian to meet his maker. How ironic that it’s Claire who ends up cutting Geillis’s throat. Flashback — she realizes that she’s actually seen Geillis’s skull in her Boston hospital. Remember, Joe Abernathy showing her the mysterious skull that had been discovered in a Caribbean cave and sent to Joe by a friend for examination? So much for Geillis’s demonic dream of Scottish domination. She really should have listened to Claire’s warning about not going back in time in the first place.
Now, you’d think that after this wild adventure that Claire, Jamie, Ian, Fergus and Marsali could safely sail back to Scotland and deliver young Ian to his mom. But, no. A massive storm descends upon the sea. Claire is thrown over and is convinced she’s dead. “I felt peaceful, bodyless, free of terror, free of rage, filled with a quiet happiness.” But Jamie isn’t having it. Somehow, he dives down, finds her and is able to cling to a piece of the boat’s wreckage until they float to land. And talk about drifting off course! So much for sailing to Scotland. They have washed up in Georgia and so has the remains of the boat with all their loved ones safe on board. Giant PHEW!