Outlander season 3 episode 11 recap and review: Uncharted


Outlander reclaims its sense of fun and adventure in the thoroughly enjoyable, Castaway-esque “Uncharted.”

The first third of this week’s Outlander is basically an abridged version of Castaway. After jumping ship last week, Claire washes up on unfamiliar shores and wanders around the jungle for two days in search of someone, anyone who can get her to Jamaica and back to Jamie. Along the way she builds a fire using the stuffing from her bustle, fashions a tent from her nifty raincoat frock, and has terrifying run-ins with a mountain of ants and a python. Even for a survivor like Claire, the situation is pretty taxing.

Surprisingly, I think that’s part of what makes “Uncharted” a good watch. Throughout the season we’ve had to hear Outlander characters, mostly the men, comment upon just how amazing Claire is. They usually bring it up apropos of nothing. (She’s basically another iteration of the Cool Girl.) So it’s gratifying that this episode features her doing something that is, indeed, impressive. In fact, I’d argue that we haven’t seen Claire be truly, physically challenged like this since she and Jamie went to war in season 2.

After all the hero-worship the dudes and the series have heaped upon Claire, it’s a relief to see her character do something that’s actually worthy of it in “Uncharted.”

Let’s talk some more about this week’s episode:

Prophecy Girl

Eventually Claire does find other inhabitants on the uncharted island. After passing out from exhaustion and dehydration, she wakes up in the home of Father Fogden, a, shall we say, rather eccentric priest. He smokes marijuana, converses with a coconut named Coco, and is a diehard romantic. In fact, Claire is just about to convince Father Fogden to escort her to the island’s village, where she can get a fishing boat to Jamaica and find Jamie, when he discovers that one of his goats has been stolen for food.

In order to preserve the goat’s skull, Fogden releases beetles from the cave of Abandawe to eat the bone’s leftover flesh. “[Abandawe] is hallowed to the natives of Jamaica, a place of great power” he explains to Claire. “It is said that folk disappear there.” Abandawe will also “devour” Claire, according to Margaret Campbell’s prophecy from “Creme De Menthe.”

I’m not sure where the season’s final two episodes will go, but I’m guessing Abandawe will factor in somehow, as will the bones Claire and Joe studied in “Freedom & Whisky.”

Fraser family values

As fate would have it, Yi Tien Cho is the one who took Fogden’s goat. He and the rest of the crew of the Artemis have come ashore to fix up the ship before the last leg of their journey. Thankfully “Uncharted” pulls no punches: as soon as Claire hears about the sailors on the beach, she sets off and finds Jamie fairly easily. I’m so relieved we won’t be subjected to another week of our heroes searching for each other in vain — it was getting real tedious.

Jamie, of course, is overjoyed to be reunited with Claire. He’s so happy, in fact, that he throws a wedding for Fergus and Marsali. I’m generally not a huge fan of weddings in either real life or fiction, but “Uncharted’s” ceremony inspires the episode’s two best scenes. The first is when Claire — for probably the tenth time in the series so far — gives 20th century sex advice to 18th century individuals. In this case, Marsali turns to Claire because she wants to enjoy married life with Fergus for a while before she has a baby. “I want to be happy with Fergus, the way you are with Daddy,” Marsali says, “without having to worry about a bairn.” Since Claire is a forward-thinking lady (and loves to impart her wisdom onto others), she agrees to help Marsali out. “Maybe you’re not the devil after all,” Marsali says as way of thanks.

In the other scene, at the wedding ceremony, Father Fogden asks for Fergus’ surname. “Fraser,” Jamie interjects. “His name is Fergus Claudel Fraser.” The look Jamie and Fergus exchange — a mix of love, pride, and admiration — just about broke my heart. The bond these two share might be Outlander‘s most compelling non-Claire-and-Jamie relationship.

Turtle soup for the soul

As I’ve mentioned before, I have not read Diana Gabaldon’s work but apparently the final scene of “Uncharted” is quite a biggie for Outlander book fans. To be honest, my first reaction to it was, “Huh?” It just seems like an odd capper to any episode, especially one in which a goat named Arabella is instrumental.

However, on second thought, I can understand why the turtle soup scene resonates so much with fans. It is a perfect example of Outlander‘s trademark sexiness and mastery of the female gaze, but it’s also just sweet. After spending three days dehydrated and injured on an island, Claire is finally being taken care of back on the Artemis. Yi Tien Cho fixes her his healing turtle soup (spiked with sherry) and Jamie prepares a syringe of penicillin. She’s the one who has to administer it, though, because Jamie can’t bear to do it. That strapping softie.

Anyway, Claire is loopy, uninhibited, and randy due to her fever, the soup’s high ratio of alcohol, and because turtle is apparently an aphrodisiac. Oh, and the fact that she and Jamie have been apart for more than an hour. So our heroes have playful but passionate sex at episode’s end. It’s fun for them and fun for us. After a season of separation, heartbreak, tension, and fighting, “Uncharted” is exactly the episode of Outlander we’ve been waiting for.

Next: Outlander S3E10 recap and review: Heaven And Earth


  • Mamacita is unimpressed with Claire: “You stink.”
  • Speaking of which, I wonder if Mamacita’s glimpse of the zipper will come back to bite Claire?
  • If the scene of Claire talking to Coco doesn’t get Caitriona Balfe an Emmy nomination, there is officially no justice in the universe.
  • Outlander has made some truly odd narrative choices this season. Why did they kill off Captain Raines and the other crew members of the Artemis offscreen? I feel like that should have warranted at least a scene or two.
  • This week’s Most Swoon-Worthy Line is a toss-up:
    • “When you love someone as much as I loved Ermenegilda, it never leaves you,” Father Fogden declares.
    • Jamie’s simple, heartfelt “Sassenach” when he spots Claire via the spy glass.
  • Fergus’ line is pretty great, too: “I’m sorry, Father. [Marsali] speaks her mind. One of the many things I love about her.”
  • Claire and Jamie’s uber-dramatic, corny reunion scene is like a cross between From Here to Eternity and The Sound of Music. Yet, somehow, it still works.
  • I’m a big fan of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern conversations and this one between Jamie’s Ardsmuir comrades is pure gold: “Mac Dubh’s wife turns up in the most unlikely places, does she not?” “Aye. She just drops in out of nowhere.”
  • In the heat of passion Jamie compares Claire to “a burning she-devil.” Oh, love.