One thing that keeps coming up in reviews and comments about Outlander (especially from those who haven’t read the books) is that it is difficult to pigeonhole. One week it seems like a romance, the next an adventure, then a farce, then a drama, then a fantasy. It is often a criticism levelled at the show, inferring that it is inconsistent and the show doesn’t know who it is or where it is going. Readers will tell you that is exactly why the books have become so successful. and that it DOES know who it is and where it’s going, but the reader, or viewer, doesn’t. It is literally a story where you don’t know what could happen next, and that’s what keeps us all in it for the long haul. So far in our Season 3 possible synopses, we have seen various time periods, drama, action, humour, romance, sex and adventure. What more could you ask from a series? What fantastic entertainment! This episode continues the tradition with some rollicking sea travel, including storms and shipwrecks and plagues, Claire at her medical best, interesting new characters and some hilariously unexpected scenes. Sit back and enjoy what possibly might be included in Episode 8.
EPISODE 8 – LAND HO
On board the HMS Porpoise, Claire is working relentlessly to care for the men with typhoid, heartwrenching work as they die in numbers. She overhears a man named Tomkins telling the captain he recognized the tall red-headed man on the Artemis but he was cut off. She recognized his voice but can’t place him. Eventually she meets him and his burned face tells her he is the man who fired the print shop. He needs her medical help and in return she extracts his story.
One day she meets their esteemed passenger, the new Governor of Jamaica, Lord John Grey. They get along quite well, both unaware of their connection through Jamie.
She makes a plan with the goat woman to escape. Their first attempt fails but in a new plan, Claire jumps overboard as they near Santo Domingo. She comes ashore and makes her way through the mangroves. A big storm hits and when she awakes she meets Lawrence Stern, a naturalist, who it turns out knows Jamie. He takes her to the hacienda of Father Fogden, which he shares with his late wife’s mother and his beloved sheep. Over dinner Claire discovers a ship has washed up on the beach during the storm and they go to investigate.
They find the ship and crew, with Fergus in charge (the Captain having died in the storm), but no Jamie. Apparently he had swum from the Artemis to the Porpoise and had hidden on board, but of course Claire had already escaped!
On board the ship, Jamie is discovered and knocked out, waking on a beach surrounded by children. He asks them to take him to their mother’s tavern.
Meanwhile the crew work at repairing the Artemis. Claire and Marsali stay at the Hacienda while they wait. One day, they are at the beach where the ship is ready to be refloated, when a group of soldiers ride up. Fergus and Claire can’t believe it. The Capitan is Jamie!! They don’t give away his true identity and he enlists the help of his soldiers to help relaunch the Artemis then, when they are on board, the crew truss them up and place them in the hold, and he becomes Captain of the ship.
After Jamie cleans himself up (in the book there is an interesting sex-talk scene here), he finally gives in to Marsali’s pleas and Father Fogden marries she and Fergus in an hilarious ceremony on the beach, before they set sail once more in search of Ian.
They take on board ten tons of bat guano from Barbados to Jamaica, half the profit to belong to Fergus, as a partner (now Fergus Claudel Fraser since the wedding, a man needing to support his wife). Fergus brokered the deal for delivery to a planter named Mr Grey.
What will be changed?
I think the nursing scenes will be condensed but we will get the general gist of it. Some people have criticised the lack of medical scenes, but what reads as interesting in the book, doesn’t always translate well to the visiual. In the book we are in Claire’s head as she is thinking about a patient, wondering how to treat him, then the description of what herbs and techniques she uses. In the show, we see her doing these things and occasionally get a voiceover but it doesn’t have the same impact. Funnily enough, some people complain about gory or distasteful medical scenes, so I guess you can’t make everyone happy! .
What can be left out?
Some have suggested Lawrence Stern may be omitted, as he doesn’t serve any purpose in the plot. Claire could simply be discovered by Father Fogden himself, or stumble across his property on her own. The crewman’s wife who looks after the goats is also a character that could be omitted, as Claire could come up with the plan on her own and they could just leave out the first escape attempt.
What CAN’T be left out?
Meeting John Grey on board the Porpoise. Fergus and Marsali’s wedding.
What are we looking forward to most?
Personally, I look forward to Capitan Alessandro, one of the silliest but also one of my favourite scenes in the book.
Most anticipated dialogue:
“And we’ll see what sort of noise it is ye don’t make then, Sassenach.”
“Fraser. Fergus Claudel Fraser.” – Jamie, at Fergus’s wedding.
Tissue Rating: ¼ box (for wiping tears of laughter)
Sexy Times Rating: * if there is some naughty talk!