And… back to the ocean!
Bienvenidos, my Outlander-lovin’ friends. Very excited to be back this week, talking about Voyager (AKA: Outlander Season Three). To be clear, for people who have just jumped on this crazy train, these are mock episodes that I’m creating based on the novel Voyager. I have no idea what’s ACTUALLY going to happen next season, but based on these Entertainment Weekly pics, I’m guessing we’re going to open with Culloden. (So at least I got that much right in MOCK ONE!)
This week, we get back on the boat, so grab your Dramamine (and your acupuncture needles). Time to lift anchor on episode nine!
THEME: Breaking the law. Jamie and Claire realize that the only way they’ll succeed is by “being bad”; breaking the rules and making their own. They are attacked by pirates (those who make their own rules) and in the process, become them.
BOOK CHAPTERS COVERED:
PART NINE (WORLDS UNKNOWN) starting with Chapter 54 “The Impetuous Pirate”: The pirates invading the Artemis, leading to Claire’s slashed-open arm and Willoughby having to stitch her up (sans anesthesia), and later the great Turtle Soup “drunken fellatio” scene in which Claire admits she helped an elderly patient kill himself and probably would have had to leave her post at the hospital even if she hadn’t gone back to Jamie; meeting Ishmael, the slave who dived off the Bruja and trades information about Ian for his freedom (taking Temeraire with him).
We open back aboard…
Where Claire and Jamie are trying to figure out what to do with Temeraire, the one-armed slave she inadvertently purchased from the slave market in the previous episode. But they are interrupted by the following shout: SHIP AHOY!
Yes, without further ado, the Artemis is invaded by pirates! (Because heaven forbid they should get to rest for a minute.) Jamie grabs his dirk and instructs Claire to hide with Marsali behind the bat guano, which they do for a total of about five seconds before Marsali panics, runs out into the light and is caught by a fat drooling pirate. Because of course she is.
So basically I wouldn’t change this sequence much from the way it is in the book: Claire tries to throw her amputation scalpels at the fiend, which bounce off his head. She does manage to free Marsali, who runs for the ladder to the ship’s deck. The pirate grabs at Marsali’s ankle and, in order to free the young girl, Claire jams a scalpel into the man’s foot, amputating one of his toes. (Anyone else notice that amputation is a BIG theme in this book? Seriously, how many people are missing body parts so far? I lost count.)
Claire makes it up to the rigging of the ship, but realizes immediately it is a mistake. The man is a sailor and easily follows her, insulting her in a language she can only assume is Portuguese. He draws a cutlass from his sash to kill her, when suddenly, who should come to her rescue:
The bird, of course! “What bird?” you ask. Ping An, of course, the pelican that Willoughby trained in episode six. PS: I love how this bird really “ties the room together,” by connecting the dots of all these storylines.
Okay, long story short, the pirate is killed; the other pirates run to their ship and flee; Claire comes down from the rigging and realizes that the gushing blood surrounding her is not from the pirate, but from herself—the pirate slashed her arm open with his sword before Ping An stopped him. She feels lightheaded and passes out.
Okay, so you’ll remember that we’ve done some setting up of Willoughby’s character in EPISODE THREE with Margaret Campbell in which he alludes to some mystical “ancient Chinese secret” medicine. That’s going to really pay off in this scene.
In the book, he had already used the acupuncture needles to cure Jamie’s seasickness, but I think if I was writing this, I might hold off on bringing out the needles until this scene, because it’s pretty dramatic.
You’ll recall that Fergus brings two bottles of brandy—one for getting Claire drunk enough for surgery and one for disinfection. This scene is going to be pretty brutal, by the way. Seeing Claire cut open from shoulder to elbow with blood gushing everywhere—my arm hurts just thinking about it.
Okay, so she screams her head off from the brandy on the arm, and then Willoughby gently takes the sewing needle for the stitches from Jamie’s trembling hand. He’ll do the stitches, but first he must go for his needles.
“This is the inner gate,” Willoughby says as he places the needles in her wrist and shoulder. “Here is quiet. Here is peace.”
Willoughby has saved the day here, folks—his trained pelican saved Claire’s life, and now his medical knowledge and calm is saving her arm. I wonder if maybe this will all pay off later, hmm?
Oh, one more thing that’s revealed in this scene—the pirates were likely from the Bruja (the dead man had a necklace which includes those tetradrachm coins Lawrence mentioned—and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry about. It’s kind of a vague reference and I wouldn’t be surprised if the TV show cuts it).
Suffice it to say, we’re hot on the trail of the Bruja!
Claire is lying in excruciating pain and she and Jamie have a heart-to-heart in which he says this terribly romantic thing about Culloden (cue the flashback to Culloden here):
And now I’m going to consolidate a little bit, and move the scene I lovingly refer to as “the drunken fellatio scene” into this sequence. So Claire realizes she’s feeling feverish and probably is developing an infection. She was holding off on using her penicillin until she was sure she needed it, since it’s not like she can run down to the Walgreens later for some more. But now it’s clear she needs it.
So as Jamie jams the needle in her ass, she makes her own confession to him about an old Scottish patient she treated in Boston, Graham Menzies.
Graham was in the final stages of cancer, with maybe three months left to live. He didn’t want to waste the money it would cost to stay in the hospital, not when he could leave it to his family. So Claire helped him end his life early. A nurse caught her, and even though the nurse couldn’t prove it, Claire was given extended leave.
Why do we hear this story now, you ask? I mean, it’s a good story and all, but what the hell does it have to do with anything?
It’s here because—THEME ALERT—Claire can’t go home again. Just like Jamie. They both “broke the law” (see, I told you that pirate theme would come up again) and now they’re renegades. So where will they go? America (where Jamie fears the vicious Iroquois will get them)? Or somewhere else? Tomorrow is a mystery.
Oh, and then they have turtle soup and drunken fellatio while Lawrence Stern talks his head off outside the door. Just because it’s funny and hot.
Now there’s one more thing we have to do in this episode, and that’s introduce…
Ishmael is a black man who dove off the Bruja and swam back to the Artemis when the pirate ship was fleeing. Why would he do that? Because he wasn’t a pirate, he was a prisoner/slave on the ship. And Ishmael, we will soon learn, isn’t going to stand for that shit.
As the Artemis approaches Jamaica, Ishmael trades some much-needed information in exchange for his freedom: there were white boys held captive on the Bruja. 12 of them. And two of the boys described could have been Ian.
This is just the confirmation Jamie needed to hear. He was right about Ian all along.
Ishmael takes a dinghy to shore where he will live as a free man… taking Temeraire with him (so that conveniently takes care of the “what the hell to do with Temeraire” problem).
And as the ship pulls into harbor, and Jamie and Claire make their way to cousin Jared’s plantation, Blue Mountain House, Claire casually shares one more piece of news: she met a man aboard the Porpoise who was on his way to Jamaica too, as he was to become the new governor there.
“What was his name?” Jamie asks.
“Grey,” Claire answers, not thinking much of it. “John Grey.”
END OF EPISODE
It’s all getting real now, folks! Next week, we go to the governor’s ball where all the backstory we skipped at the beginning (I’m looking at you, Geneva Dunsany) will finally come out! Oh, and Claire gets to wear a pretty dress again. Because it’s Outlander, people, and this is why we love it.
And if you’re looking for Outlander-themed jewelry, here’s the link: Sassenach Jewelry