SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Eye of the Storm,” the third season finale of “Outlander.”
As this season finale opens, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is floating in the water and we hear her voice saying, “I was dead. Everything was blinding white. There was this soft rushing sound, like the wings of angels.” What’s happened!? The show flashes back to explain:
On the island, a distressed Claire is riding in a carriage. She goes to the slave quarters at the Governor’s estate and looks for Young Ian. She finds a body lying in some hay and as she goes closer to see who it is, a man grabs her and puts his hand over her mouth.
Fergus (Cesar Domboy) and Marsali (Lauren Lyle) go to the Black Cat and find a note from Claire about Jamie’s arrest. Fergus says he has to go help Claire and Marsali demands to go with him.
Young Ian (John Bell) is with Geillis (Lotte Verbeek) and she’s still questioning him about the sapphire – he tells her again that Jamie used it to pay a debt. She has Ian taken away. The large man who grabbed Claire is Geillis’ manservant named Hercules. He brings Claire to Geillis.
Meanwhile, Captain Leonard (Charlie Hiett) takes a shackled Jamie (Sam Heughan) to the Artemis, but they’re intercepted there by a redcoat officer who says he’ll take Jamie into custody from here. Leonard is surprised and asks by whose order. Leonard goes to John Grey and asks Jamie be returned to his custody so Leonard can take him back to Scotland. Grey asks to see the arrest warrant, and Leonard doesn’t have it. Because he can’t produce any paperwork about Jamie’s alleged wrongdoings, Grey tells Leonard he can’t let him take Jamie “on scurrilous gossip of the lower deck.” Grey tells Leonard he has no jurisdiction if they’re not at sea. Jamie tells Grey he’s indebted to him for saving his life again, and Grey wishes Jamie luck.
Geillis is insulted by Claire’s behavior, saying they share a bond as travelers and that she let her guard down for Claire, but Claire still comes into her home and lies to her. She accuses Claire of turning Colum against Dougal and the rising. Geillis thinks Claire has come to stop her from putting a Scot on the throne. Claire says she’s doing no such thing and that Charles Stuart had his chance. Geillis says she’s talking about the new king. Geillis says Claire knew the seer — and about the sapphires — and was trying to stop Geillis from returning Scotland to its former glory. Claire gets up to leave, but Hercules stops her.
Geillis wants to know where Claire has been after her all these years. Claire tells Geillis that after Culloden, she went back to her own time in 1948. Geillis doesn’t believe Claire left Jamie. Claire tells her she was pregnant and Jamie made her leave for the safety of their child. Geillis doesn’t believe Claire travelled through the stones three times and survived it. Claire shows Geillis the photos of Brianna to prove what she’s saying. Claire reminds Geillis that she met Brianna at the University at Inverness. Geillis remembers meeting Brianna at the White Roses rally. Claire says they were there the night Geillis went through the stones, and that Claire wanted to warn Geillis what would happen at the witch trial.
Claire says she never needed a sacrifice when she went through the stones. Geillis asks how she did it. Claire says she doesn’t know, but she thinks it has something to do with who is on the other side drawing her to them. Geillis turns her back while talking to Claire and slips one of the photos of Brianna into her dress. She says she’s acted monstrously and tells Claire she now sees that forces more powerful than the two of them have been working against them. Geillis says she’ll have someone show Claire to a guest room and that she can stay as long as she needs. She hugs Claire. Claire looks skeptical.
Claire sees Ian being taken away by some men. She tries to get to him but the doors of the house are locked. Just then, she sees someone is trying to get in the door and she grabs a candlestick to use as a weapon. It’s Jamie! He says Fergus got word to Grey. They hug, and Claire says Geillis has Young Ian. Jamie and Claire follow the sound of drumming, making their way through the foliage on the estate. They make their way to a clearing where natives are dancing. They try to stay out of sight but are spotted. Then Jamie sees a familiar face: Mr. Willoughby (Gary Young). He tells the natives Jamie and Claire are with him. Willoughby is there with Margaret Campbell, the seer, and he says she’s the first woman who truly sees him for who he is. Willoughby says they want to be together and are going to Martinique to make a home there.
Claire and Jamie ask Margaret and Willoughby if they know where Geillis is. Margaret walks up to Jamie, touches his hand and says, “I see you in an orchard of death with blood. I see the rabbit” – and Jamie flashes back to the bloody Culloden battlefield. He pulls his hand away from Margaret, who then takes Claire’s hand and says, “I see a bird. It sings to you when you’re sorrowful, but you hear him.” Then Margaret takes both Jamie and Claire’s hands and smiles, saying, “I knew it was you, my father! I love you. And I love you mama.” Margaret is channeling Brianna. Then Margaret says, “Oh no! Monster! Don’t let it take me! Help me!” Claire asks what she’s talking about and Margaret says “Abandawe” referring to a deserted spot on the island where people have been known to disappear and “the monster is coming.” Then Mr. Campbell shows up and tries to take Margaret away from Willoughby, reminding her about their duty to their patron.
Campbell tells Jamie about the 200 year old baby that will rise to become the king of Scotland and Claire has a realization after her conversation with Geillis. Claire looks through her packet of photos and asks Jamie if he has one of the photos of Brianna – he says he doesn’t. Claire tells Jamie she told Geillis about Brianna and that Geillis thinks Brianna is the 200 year old baby! They realize Geillis is going to try to kill Brianna and they need to find her right away and stop her. Claire tells Jamie about Abandawe.
Meanwhile, Mr. Campbell and Willoughby get into a fight when Willoughby won’t let Campbell take Margaret away. Willoughby twists Campbell’s neck as the natives sacrifice a chicken and drink the blood.
Jamie asks one of the natives where Abandawe is and the man tells him “bad place.” He asks the man to show him the way and the man refuses, warning Jamie and Claire that they’ll die if they go there. Jamie grabs a torch and they run into the jungle. As they approach Abandawe, Claire says if she’s taken, she may not be able to come back. Jamie says, “We lost Faith, we can’t lose Brianna.” They kiss. They run into the cave where Geillis is performing a ritual using the photo of Brianna. She also has Young Ian there, bound and gagged, and she tells him he’s going to be sacrificed for a greater cause. Jamie and Claire find Geillis, and Hercules pulls a gun on Jamie. Geillis douses Young Ian with a liquid. Claire yells out to her and Jamie knocks the gun out of Hercules’s hand and the two men start to fight. Hercules nearly chokes Jamie to death, but Jamie finally gets his sword back and gets the upper hand on Hercules.
Geillis tries to fend Claire off with a torch. She tells Claire, “A life for a life.” She says Young Ian is just fodder for her passage, and she feels Claire owes her Brianna’s life for the greater good. Claire realizes the pool in the cave is the passage portal. Geillis tells Claire, “We are the chosen. We have to change history. I gave up my child for the cause and you must do the same. This is God’s will.” Geillis jumps toward the pool, and Claire slashes her throat as she jumps.
After Geillis is dead, Jamie tells Hercules he can go and that he’s free. Jamie unties Young Ian. Claire gazes at Geillis’s slashed throat then seems almost hypnotized as she looks at the pool. She starts to move toward it but then Jamie takes her hand and says, “Let’s get out of this place.” Jamie takes the charred photo of Brianna. Jamie, Claire and Young Ian run out of the cave. In the middle of the jungle, Ian thanks Jamie for saving him and they hug. Jamie looks over to see Claire holding a bloody sword, shaking. Claire flashes back to Boston when she and Joe Abernathy (Wil Johnson) were examining a skull of a woman and we hear Joe say, “Someone tried to cut her head clean off.” Jamie takes Claire in his arms and comforts her, telling her they need to get back to the ship and that he’s instructed Fergus to get their things together. Jamie holds both Ian and Claire close to him.
Back on the Artemis, Jamie says it will be good to return to Scotland and that he plans to return Young Ian to Jenny right away. Shirtless, Jamie soaps his face to shave, and Claire asks him not to. They talk and tease each other as Jamie tells Claire what he’d like to do to her once they’re on dry land and when she’s naked and willing. They talk and kiss, and he lays her down on the bed and they make love.
When they awaken, the ship is in the middle of a storm. Jamie and the crew are trying to keep the ship moving and upright, but the seas are violent and the ship is getting tossed around. Young Ian wants to help, but Claire orders him to stay below deck with Fergus and Marsali. Claire goes up on deck to help a wounded crewman. Jamie tells her it’s too dangerous and that she needs to go back below deck. Jamie and another man try to maintain steering control against the raging storm. The ship’s masts start to break and fall, injuring some of the crew. Claire and Jamie are yelling for each other and are next to each other as a humongous wave overtakes the ship. After the wave hits, Jamie is on deck, but he sees that Claire is not. We see Claire floating in the water, back at the moment from the opening image, and her voiceover intones again, “I was dead. Everything was blinding white. There was this soft rushing sound, like the wings of angels. I felt peaceful and bodiless, free of terror, free of rage, filled with a quiet happiness.” Then Jamie swims toward her! He cuts the ropes that are around her, kisses her, puts his arm around her and swims toward daylight. He grabs onto some of the ship’s floating wreckage and tries to revive Claire, telling her, “Sassenach, if you die here now, I’ll kill ya.” But Claire is unresponsive.
On a shore somewhere, we see a young blonde girl who pokes at a man with a stick. The man is Jamie. He crawls over to Claire, who washed up on the shore nearby. He says, “Sassenach.” After a few moments, she finally starts to cough. He says, “Thank Christ, I thought you were dead.” Claire says, “I told you I’d never leave you again.” They don’t know where they are. The little girl comes back with her parents, who ask if Jamie and Claire are OK. The couple tells them there were other survivors from the Artemis. The couple introduces themselves as Joseph and Patsy Oliver. Jamie and Claire ask where they are, and Joseph says they’re on the mainland, in the colony of Georgia. Claire looks at Jamie and says, “America.” Jamie and Claire hug and hold tight to each other. The camera moves up and over the beach and green land.