Episode 311: "Uncharted" (SPOILERS!)

Here are my reactions to Episode 311 of the OUTLANDER TV series, titled "Uncharted". I really enjoyed this episode. An excellent adaptation of this part of the book!


There are SPOILERS below! If you don't want to know yet, stop reading now.









The opening shot of the turtle underwater is beautiful. Gorgeous creature!  I can only assume that's a hawksbill turtle, foreshadowing of later events. <g>

I love the way they filmed Claire floating in the sea, half-underwater, half above. She's very lucky that her pack of supplies came ashore with her!

I liked the way Claire sucked the moisture from the leaves and fashioned a crude shelter for herself. She has good survival skills!

Notice the way she touches Jamie's ring, making it clear she's thinking about him.

The scenery throughout this episode is gorgeous!

I liked the way Claire went about lighting a fire. It's not easy -- this is a skill she'll struggle with even years later, when she's had plenty of practice -- but she managed it!

The insects -- ants? -- crawling all over her legs made me shudder with revulsion. Ewwwww!!

Making her way through the trees, Claire literally stumbles across a coconut. And there are more, up in the trees high overhead. But what good is a coconut if she has no means to open it?  Frustrating!

On the second night, she lies awake listening to the jungle sounds, not bothering with a fire. But maybe that was a mistake, considering what she found when she woke the next morning! The huge snake took me totally by surprise. Yikes!! I couldn't help thinking that it's a good thing our Claire is not prone to panic attacks. <g> I was impressed by the way she managed to stay still until the thing slithered away. Maybe she was too frightened to scream, given her dehydrated state?

Finally, she reaches civilization, hearing what must be Father Fogden's voice, preaching in English. And she collapses, only to be found by the dog, Ludo, a short time later.

She wakes in a bed. There's a glass of water on the bedside table, but she can't reach it, because her hands are tied.

Mamacita, played by Vivi Lepori, looks and acts very much as I imagined from the book. It's difficult to know what to make of her at first.  She seems to be holding Claire captive. Why? Does she mean her harm?

"This was the only way to keep you from scratching. You need to rest," Mamacita says, in Spanish. (It's not clear if Claire understands her or not.)  That may well be true, but the initial impression of menace and barely contained hostility lingers.

I liked Mamacita's reaction to the zipper. <g>  If she was hostile and suspicious before, now she has even more reason to be!

And here's Father Fogden! Nick Fletcher is very good in this role, though he doesn't resemble my mental image of Father Fogden at all.

Despite her dehydration and physical exhaustion, Claire has her wits about her. "I'm a doctor," she says, and when Father Fogden reacts with astonishment at the idea of a female doctor, she explains, "From the American colonies. It's more common there."  That was pretty quick thinking!

"The island of Saint-Domingue" - Hispaniola, in other words.  From Wikipedia:
Saint-Domingue may be used to refer to all of Hispaniola, or the western part in the French colonial period, while the Spanish version Hispaniola or Santo Domingo is often used to refer to the Spanish colonial period or the Dominican nation.
And just when you think Father Fogden is reasonably lucid and talking sensibly, he starts taking advice from a coconut. <g> "Coco says it is far too dangerous."  The bit where he scolds Coco for staring made me laugh out loud. The man may be a nut, but he's a harmless and lovable nut. And very funny!

Mamacita may have a bad attitude, but she does provide a hot bath -- possibly the first one Claire has had since she came back through the stones -- so she can't be all bad.

So Father Fogden keeps goats rather than sheep. I don't mind the change, especially since the producers evidently could not find sheep in South Africa.

"The English invaded Cuba the very day we fled. It was impossible for Don Armando to locate us in the chaos which ensued." Those of you who have read Diana Gabaldon's story, "Besieged", in SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL, will recall that Lord John was nearby at the time, though that story makes no mention of Don Armando, Father Fogden, or Ermenegilda.

Ermenegilda's story is tragic, but Father Fogden doesn't let his mood be dampened for long. I'm not sure what "yupa" is -- evidently hemp or marijuana or something similar?

"I am a doctor, for Christ's sake! I think I know when I am fit to travel."
"Madam Physician, blasphemous language is not permissible in my home."

Oops! Claire's mouth gets her in trouble once again. <g>

I liked the argument between Father Fogden and Mamacita. It gives Mamacita's character a little more depth.

Meanwhile, Claire wanders into Ermenegilda's room and pockets a small looking-glass.

"The agony of losing a daughter haunts her still." And of course that hits Claire very hard, thinking of Brianna.

"When you love someone as much as I loved Ermenegilda, it never leaves you."
"No. It doesn't."
"You have loved someone so much that you would risk everything for them."

And this, finally, is what convinces Father Fogden to help her -- on the condition that Coco agrees. <g> So the next morning, Claire makes a point of being overheard talking in a loud voice to the coconut, and apparently listening to its advice.

A Chinese sailor killed Arabella? That can only be one man, of course.

I liked the way Father Fogden handled Arabella's remains: very gently, as though she were a close friend or family member.  The scene with the beetles crawling all over Arabella's skull is based on a bit from the book, but in the book it was maggots. Either way: Ewwww!

"Voracious little fellows. From a sacred cave called Abandawe."

So does this mean that Father Fogden knows where Abandawe is?  That's good, because evidently Lawrence Stern isn't going to be there to show Claire how to get there.

The mention of the Chinaman runs through Claire like an electric shock, and all of a sudden she has a million questions. But it's Mamacita who tells her where to find the ship, and I suppose we should be grateful to the old woman for that.

Finally, here's Jamie! I thought the way Jamie and Fergus described what happened to the Artemis was a little awkward. I suppose it's tricky to recap events that the audience didn't witness without falling prey to the "As you know, Bob," syndrome, where the characters discuss things they already know.

"Now [Raines and Warren] lie at the bottom of the sea with Mr. Murphy."

Awwww, I'm sorry to hear that Mr. Murphy, ship's cook aboard the Artemis, didn't make it! That's a change from the book, of course.

"I fear the Lord's wrath for my unholy thoughts." That surprises me a little, coming from Fergus, who doesn't strike me as a very religious person.  Jamie's reaction was pretty mild, IMHO, considering that Fergus is having "unholy thoughts" about his stepdaughter, Marsali.

I love the way Hayes rolls his R's when he says, "Plenty of rrrrrum and rrrrrations!"

Claire runs pretty fast through the jungle, considering that she's going over rough terrain!  Careless of her.  Still, from the point of view of the TV production team, it's far simpler, and cheaper, to have her injure her arm this way than going to the considerable trouble and expense of filming a pirate attack, so I can see why they did it this way, and it doesn't bother me.

I thought Claire's signaling to Jamie with the little mirror was a clever idea.

That scene with Claire and Jamie running toward one another and holding each other tight is wonderful!  It's almost like a dream, a fantasy that they both must have imagined, longed for, many times in those twenty endless years apart.

Lesley: "Mac Dubh's wife turns up in the most unlikely of places, does she no?"
Hayes: "Aye. She just drops in out of nowhere."

I liked that. They're trying too hard to make these two into Rupert-and-Angus redux, though.

And just like the book, Mr. Willoughby is the one who stitches the wound in Claire's arm. Fortunately for her, the gash is not nearly as long or as deep as the one she suffered in the book!

"Dinna fash, Sassenach. I was a wanted man when first we met."
"Yes, well, I didn't like it much then either."

Good line!

So Mr. Willoughby takes the blame for Arabella's death, and his sincere apology (and gift of a chicken) is enough for Father Fogden to forgive him. This isn't in the book, but I think it works pretty well here, as a way to get Father Fogden to officiate at the wedding.

I liked the scene with Claire and Marsali very much. It's very close to the book.

"I think [you and Jamie] enjoy being together." Understatement of the century!

Fergus and Marsali's wedding is wonderful!!  And hilarious, almost as funny as the book version.

"Not as though he's lost his c*ck. Um, he hasn't, has he?"
"If ye'd hurry up and get on wi' it, I could find out."

LOL! Good line from Marsali!

"Fraser.  His name is Fergus Claudel Fraser."  Awwwwwww!!  This is perfect, just perfect!  Both the way Jamie looks when he says it, and the way Fergus reacts, are just as I always imagined from the book. Wonderful!!
Fergus was the only name he had ever had--bar his original French name of Claudel. Jamie had given him the name Fergus in Paris, when they had met, twenty years before. But naturally a brothel-born bastard would have no last name to give a wife.

"Fraser,” said a deep, sure voice beside me. Fergus and Marsali both glanced back in surprise, and Jamie nodded. His eyes met Fergus’s, and he smiled faintly.

“Fergus Claudel Fraser,” he said, slowly and clearly. One eyebrow lifted as he looked at Fergus.

Fergus himself looked transfixed. His mouth hung open, eyes wide black pools in the dim light. Then he nodded slightly, and a glow rose in his face, as though he contained a candle that had just been lit.

(From VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 52, "A Wedding Takes Place". Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
And as Fergus bends to kiss Marsali, he says, "Je t'aime, ma femme." I love you, my wife. Awwwww!

Later, on board the Artemis, Claire is eating turtle soup. <g>  This scene is so iconic that many fans practically have it memorized, and Sam and Cait did a wonderful job with it!

"You know, turtle is supposed to be an aphrodisiac."  Ha. As if they needed any help! <g>

I love the way Claire practically crawls across the desk to get to Jamie. Both of them are just terrific here, throughout this whole scene, and I really appreciate the fact that the writers kept so much of the dialogue from the book.

Willoughby's interruption is not nearly as funny as Stern's was in the book, but still, it's impossible not to giggle through this whole scene. What a way to end the episode!
I hope you enjoyed this recap. Please come back next week to see my reactions to Episode 312.

Look here for my recaps of all of the OUTLANDER episodes so far.


Unknown said...

Karen, once again, your recap is superb. I like your references to the book. It's time for me to go back to the source and do a little reading. "Little"...heh heh, this reading is no little feat but who wants to just read a little of DG?

Debbie said...

Wonderfully apt name for the Father~he truly was "fogged in" !

Karen Henry said...

Debbie - actually, Father Fogden is named after a longtime friend of Diana's named Barry Fogden (who really did have a dog named Ludo). But I like your interpretation of his name. :-)


Mary Tormey said...

Hi Karen the episode begins with Claire washing ashore on the island and trying to figure out where she is she still has her wits about her as she make her way inland and was impressed by her survival skills like the way she tries to light a fire and the way she goes about it , I also hated the bugs crawling over her legs made me shutter , but liked the way Claire tried to protect her self by using rags tied around her legs . you see more of the landscape and more dangers and you could tell that she was dehydrated by having no water available on the island . was a nasty shock to see the huge rattler lying on top of Claire when she woke up the following day . finally wee see the priest just as Claire faints and the dog reaches her . next Claire finds herself tied to the bed when she wake up in the hut and the nurse doesn't seen to happy of friendly to her , like seeing Father Fogden pleased that Clare is awake , and she tells him she is a doctor and asks where she is and is told she is on the island of Saint Dominque and later at dinner Father Fodgen tells Claire about himself , she keeps telling him she must leave as soon as possible but tells her otherwise , finally in order to convince him to let her go she talks to his coconut . the scenes of Claire talking to Coco was a bit funny during the scenes with Arabella Father Fodgon tells Claire talks about a Chinaman who had liked his woman and Claire remembers her visit with Margret Campbell and when he and mamadila tells her about sailors who are shipwrecked trying to fix a broken sail from a nearby ship Claire putting two and togheter and asks where the sailors are , and is shown the way Finally wee see Jamie and Fergus fixing the mast from the parts that have fallen off the ship they feel the lost of the captain and some of the others like the cook but Jamie is eager to get the ship once more sailing for Jamaica and to find Claire she runs towards where they are located like the way Claire used the glass case to signal to the ship that she was still alive , loved the way Jamie and Claire ran towards each other was so beautiful , like in the book Mr, willowuby tends to Claire ;s injury she tells Jamie about what she discovered and that he will be hunted down ,his response is that he is still determined to look for Young Ian , then he tells her that he gave his blessing to Fergus and Marseli to be married , so as a peace offering to Father Fodgon Mr. willowby , offers up a chicken and so he is forgiven , like the scenes with Claire with helping her with getting ready for her wedding , and things seem more respectable between them here and love how Marsli asks Claire about Married advice and the wedding night , the wedding ceremony is like the books but better . love seeing Jamie and Fergus look at each other as Jamie tells the Priest he's a Fraser , love seeing Jamie and Claire kiss as well as the Newly Weds , finally we get a fun scene abord ship with Jamie and Claire with her showing him how to work a plunger needle , and love the playful bantor between them , Mr. Willowuby interrupting them is right from the book and is a great ending , this was a great episode and it had light moments which the season really needed . the next few episodes wil be tight ones the Season Final which I wil be watching will try to watch next weekend. please post more soon. Happy week. sincerely

KMC said...

I really liked this episode as well. Karen, you do a wonderful recap of the episodes. Thank you for all your hard work.

Bev Sykes said...

First of all, I LOVED this episode, though it might not seem it from my comments. I thought so much of it was hokey. I could have done without the endless travel through the jungle, though know that was a necessity and out of the book. There seems no reason for Claire to steal the mirror except that she'll need it later in the episode. Does a mirror that small create a reflection that strong at that distance? The reunion was wonderful, but so cliché. Almost a cartoon reunion.

"Frasier." I've seen the wedding several times already and it still makes me tear up.

The turtle soup was funny but I wish there had been less time for slurping and more time for the "meat" of the scene!

But despite the times my eyes rolled, I did love this episode and your summary is right on.

Unknown said...

This was definitely a full episode! I, too, noticed a lot of difference from the book that really didn't matter. The one thing that struck a wrong note was that it took Claire 2-3 days to get from the beach to the house, and not long to get back. They portrayed it as if it was about a day, but could anyone run that far for that long? Looking forward now to the slave market (wonder if they'll show that?) and the plantation. I need to do a little reading to refresh this part of it -- there's sooooo much going on!

Mary Tormey said...

Hi Karen will be missing next weekend's episode , my town is having a Charles Dickens Festival and my cousin is having a anniversary Party so will rely on your review next Monday , I'm glad that Starz repeats episodes so that in case this happens fans can watch it on a Monday or on a Tuesday , however I will be watching the Season Final for sure . please post more soon. Happy Week. Sincerely.

Debbi said...

Hi Karen - it appears as all above, I too enjoyed this episode. My favorite scenes were the wedding of Fergus and Marsali with Jamie giving Fergus the Fraser name - the unspoken affection as Fergus and Jamie looked at each other was memorable; the reunion on the beach was heart warming; when Jamie tells Claire he loves her and watching the sweet banter between Jamie and Claire as intoxicated Claire has only one thing on her mind and Jamie plays with that...very sweet
I can't imagine anyone other than Sam Heughan and Catriona Balfe bringing these characters to life...these actors are the embodiment of these characters...IMHO...which is why I believe some fans have a problem separating the two. Looking forward to your recap next week!

Susanlynn said...

Karen, thank you for another excellent review.

Debbi, I completely agree with you that Sam and Cait have brought Jamie and Claire to life.

My favorite scenes were the reunion on the beach and turtle soup. That's the couple I love !

Dachshund lover said...

First....I love Sam as Jamie. He is wonderful! But (and this may have been covered before), does anyone else have trouble hearing and understanding the conversations? I have watched the series from the beginning (and I’ve read all the books) and now my husband watches it with me. We can get the jist of the story by the actions but the conversations between the characters are just terribly hard to decifer. Sam has a very low voice and I think that may add to the problem. We are not deaf, by the way!! ;0)

Karen Henry said...

Dachshund lover:

Try turning on the closed captioning on your TV! It helps a great deal, especially if you have trouble with the Scottish accents.


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