This episode of Outlander picks up right where the last one left off. Claire is aboard The Porpoise treating an infectious plague when it begins to move. The ship decides to make haste for Jamaica and that Claire will be safely returned to Jamie and The Artemis then. Of course, this is Outlander so nothing is as simple as that. This episode mainly follows Claire aboard The Porpoise as we see her put her surgeon skills to good use.
Before we check in with Claire, let’s check in with Jamie. As you could imagine, Jamie is less than pleased that this deal to keep Claire was stricken. He’s furious and tries to go against the Captain, which doesn’t turn out well. Our favorite Scott spends most of the episode below deck in a holding cell. This is Jamie and you know he’s not just going to sit by while Claire is sailing away from him.
Jamie tries to convince Fergus to steal the keys for the cell from the Captain and help him take command of the ship. While Fergus is fiercely loyal to Jamie, he has some reservations. So, Jamie makes Fergus an offer. If he helps him take command of the ship, Jamie will give Fergus permission to marry Marsali. Fergus says he will think on it.
Fergus tells Marsali about this plan and she’s not for it. She’s nervous that everything could go wrong, Fergus and Jamie will be thrown overboard and she’ll be alone, on a ship, with men that want to possibly rape or kill her. This changes Fergus’s mind, especially when he overhears the men on the ship saying these exact things about Marsali. Once again, César Domboy and Lauren Lyle do a phenomenal job in this episode. I’m already starting to fall for this adorable couple and they’ve only been together for two episodes.
Fergus tells Jamie that he will not put Marsali in danger, but Marsali is like Claire and doesn’t stand by and watch. She strikes a deal with the Captain that Jamie can be released and help the crew sail the ship through tumultuous waters. Just ask Jamie for his word and he won’t break it. God, I love Marsali already. Like Claire and Brianna, she’s a strong female character that doesn’t let the male characters dictate what she does. God knows we need more strong women on TV. Jamie is released and he tells Fergus and Marsali they can marry once they make land in Jamaica. Pardon the pun, but it sounds like one of my OTP’s is setting sail.
Now, back to The Porpoise. Claire along with shipman Elias (Albie Marber) try to help stop the spread of the infectious plague. Claire runs into the usual obstacles she’s always experienced in this time period: stubborn men not wanting to take orders from a woman. The ships cook is one of those men. He’s pissed when Claire takes his last good helper when it turns out he’s the carrier of the disease. He’s an asshole, but not someone Claire can’t handle.
While tending to patients, Claire and Elias bond. She learns that he’s been on ships since he was 7 years old and he carries around a lucky rabbit foot from his mother, who passed away. Claire feels a special bond with him and the two help tend to all the men aboard. Claire also witnesses Elias immense bravery when a man from his town that’s on the ship dies. He’s strong, but Claire sees how much it hurts him to watch good men die.
Of course, the plague ends up being the least of Claire’s problems. When looking for Captain Raines one night, she learns that someone spotted Jamie aboard the Artemis and knows that Alexander Malcolm is just an alias and he’s really James Fraser. Elias rounds up Harry Tompkins, the man who knows. Turns out it’s the man that went snooping in the print shop, fought Ian, started the fire, and found the pamphlets. Yikes.
Harry recognizes Claire and tells her that his life has been a living hell and she should kill him, however it won’t do Jamie any good. Before Harry went to the print shop that night, he found the body in the Creme de Menthe. So, there’s a warrant for Jamie’s arrest for murder and treason. Once they make landfall in Jamaica, Jamie is a wanted man. Uggh! Can nothing go right for these two?! Claire decides to lock Harry below deck, right next to the man that’s the carrier of the disease.
Now, not only does Claire have a few dozen infectious men to tend to, but she also has to figure out how to get off The Porpoise and find Jamie to warn him. And, if that’s not enough, Claire suffers a devastating blow. Elias comes down with the plague. It’s too late by the time Claire finds him and notices. He thinks Claire is his mother and she softly talks to him and tells him she is and it’s time for him to come home.
It’s an emotional moment and stellar acting between Caitriona Balfe and newcomer, Albie Marber. Throughout the entire episode, Balfe and Marber are a combined force. Marber does an incredible job at bringing Elias to life and making us feel for him in just one episode. When Elias dies, Claire is crushed because she missed the signs. Her farewell to him is the best scene of the night and some of Balfe’s best work in the episode.
After Elias’s death, Claire trudges forward and thinks about how she can get off the ship and warn Jamie. With some help with from the woman on board that tends to the goats, Claire tries to escape once they make a quick landfall but Captain Raines catches her. He knows she’s trying to find Jamie and he won’t allow it. Even after she pleads with him and after everything she’s done for him. Bastard! Of course, this is Claire and this won’t stop her. With some more help from the woman, Claire decides to jump ship and swim to shore. And that’s where this episode ends. And I’m DYING!