Crusoe and Friday chase down a boar that has stolen Crusoe's shirt. Crusoe tackles it, grabs his shirt, and releases it. Friday thinks it's strange he went to so much trouble to retrieve it. Crusoe says, "It's not like I can buy a new one." Point taken. They see the mutineers on the way back and backtrack. Crusoe thinks it will be a while before they repair the ship that he plans to take and return to the captain. Friday isn't keen on the idea. Crusoe says ships don't grow on trees, then looks up. High in a tree sit the remains of a ship. "Or do they?"
Crusoe looks at it and thinks they can make it seaworthy... unlike the other boats he's built, Friday reminds him. Crusoe says it's harder than it looks and there are weird currents around the island. They think maybe a flood or hurricane got it up there. They get it down, not as gently as Crusoe planned, but it's unharmed. Inside, they find a skeleton, a pistol and a coveted compass. They take the boat shell back to the treehouse. Friday says it will take a lot to fix it. Crusoe's convinced it can be done. They get to work.
As they work, Friday asks what it's like in England. Crusoe says it's the same, with different faces and culture. Friday asks if they are good, decent and honest like Crusoe, who saved his life. Crusoe says some are better, some worse. Some aren't trustworthy, like his brother-in-law, Samuel Tuffy. Crusoe remembers when Samuel tried to talk him into borrowing more from Blackthorn to invest in his trading expedition. Nathan asks Crusoe if it's true he lives in a warehouse. Samuel tells Crusoe he should care about money, as Susannah grew up in a fine house.
At the loft, Crusoe tells his daughter Sophie an adventure story before bedtime. Susannah, holding baby Daniel, asks him if he spoke to her brother-in-law. Crusoe says he did, but doesn't think it's a good time for them to be investing in a scheme. Susannah tells Crusoe that a young man (Crusoe) once said to her that the money he could make from his stock, he'd get a horse and build from there. Crusoe, remembering, says he knows, and that included working up to buying directly from a weaver. He jokes with her, "Don't trust anything young men say."
They drag the boat to shore to prepare for high tide, then go to the treehouse to get a mast. Friday worries about the seaworthiness of the boat and cautions Crusoe on rushing things. Crusoe says it just has to get them to the nearest friendly port. As they are taking the mast down, Friday unknowingly knocks the compass into the fire. Crusoe notices it missing and Friday realizes where it went. They retrieve it, but the needle is melted. Friday feels awful, but Crusoe knows he didn't mean it. Plus, there is another compass on the island.
They sneak to the beach where the mutineers are camped and watch them from a high point. Friday wants to rethink the plan, as Atkins is watching for Crusoe and wants him dead. Crusoe is adamant; they have a compass, we need one. Friday wants to know how the mutineers will get home, but Crusoe isn't concerned about their welfare. Friday reminds him that if they are caught, they'll be killed slowly. With the prospect of home so close, Crusoe doesn't care about the risk.
At the mutineer's camp, Crusoe pushes a barrel, blending in. He sets it upright and Friday emerges from inside. They watch Atkins leave his tent, then sneak inside to look for his compass. Crusoe finds a map and learns that Atkins is charting the tide currents. As they search, Friday gets increasingly worried and wants to leave. On a desk, Crusoe sees a compass and snaps it up. They hear Atkins outside, escape through the back and run right into Olivia.
Olivia, who is masquerading as a boy, ferrets them into another tent. Crusoe tells her his plan to leave and gives his word to send help for her. She learns he's taking Friday and angrily says, "Of course, you need the money when you get back. He should fetch a good price." Crusoe says Friday isn't his slave, but his equal and better in many ways. She apologizes to Friday for assuming. Impressed, she tells Crusoe he's strange. Crusoe coyly says appearances can be deceiving. Friday interrupts, reminding him about the danger. He tells Crusoe that Olivia is trouble. Crusoe has no doubt.
Friday's barrel has been co-opted so they sneak out behind the tents. However, Nash spots them and screams for help. Atkins knows it's Crusoe and sends his men after him, but Olivia thwarts them with a barrel avalanche, giving Crusoe and Friday precious seconds to run into the jungle. Under gunfire from Atkins men, they realize they can't lead them to the treehouse and head for the coast. Atkins' crew surrounds them. They elude them by hiding high in a tree. Friday overhears Nash ask if they should kill "the slave." Atkins answers, "No, he'll fetch a good price."
Friday says they've really angered Atkins and taking the compass was too risky. Crusoe starts to mention Friday breaking the first compass, then stops himself. But, Friday is hurt. As they sneak along the coastal cliffs, Friday fears he'll be seen as a slave in England. Crusoe says that's their problem. Friday says if enough people have a problem; they make it your problem. Crusoe says some people treat you badly regardless of skin color, prompting Friday to ask Crusoe how he was treated. Crusoe says he's had some bad luck, adding people with money are lucky since they can buy off their problems.
Crusoe remembers telling Susannah he won't borrow from Blackthorn to invest in Samuel's scheme. She encourages him to invest the 4000 pounds in dowry money from her father, since they can trust her own brother. In his office, their lawyer Ibister declares Crusoe, Samuel and Nathan equal partners. He hands them Letters of Marque to protect their crews from being tried as pirates if captured. Crusoe doesn't understand. They're traders, not pirates. Samuel explains that privateering, stealing from the King's enemies on the high seas, isn't piracy, it's a trade. Nathan calls it legal piracy, which doesn't make Crusoe happy. But, it's too late now.
On the hill, Friday and Crusoe argue about which way to go. Crusoe wants to follow the compass, but Friday thinks downhill is better. Crusoe insists on his route. Friday, angered, tells Crusoe he'll meet him there. Crusoe says he's acting like he doesn't want to leave the island. Friday says he's right, then takes one step to go his way. The earth gives, and he tumbles down the hill into a fallen tree. A sinkhole opens up underneath him and he falls into it. The tree trunk lands on Friday, pinning him underneath.
Crusoe climbs down and sees the tree landed on rocks above Friday, not on him, saving his legs, but he's pinned with a dislocated shoulder. Crusoe tries to move the tree but it won't budge. Friday jokes, asking him if he's going to make a saw. No, but he knows where to get one; the mutineer's camp. Tempting fate a second time, he goes back and only finds a small hatchet but it will have to do. When he returns, tidal water has risen up to Friday's chest. Crusoe frantically chops the log, barely making a gash. Seeing the futility, Friday tells him to save the boat.
Friday insists that Crusoe go save the boat. Crusoe asks why he doesn't want to come to England. Friday fears he'll be sold into slavery, and because Crusoe has a life and family he won't need him there. Crusoe tells Friday he's probably the best friend he ever had, and wouldn't let him fend for himself in England. Friday helped him survive here, he'll help him there. "You and I are getting out of this cave if it's the last thing I do." Emotional, Crusoe whacks the tree and the hatchet breaks.
Friday says he owes Crusoe his life, but today his debt is repaid by letting him get the boat instead of saving him. Crusoe says his life is worth more than a boat. As the water rises, Friday tells him to go. Soon, the water is at Friday's chin. Crusoe asks Friday if he'll come to England if he gets him out. Friday laughing, agrees to come. Crusoe gets an idea. As he reflects on his friendship with Friday, he races to rig a counter weight to lift the tree off him. Just in time, he thrusts the weight off a cliff and frees Friday.
They race to shore and see the boat at sea. A wave hits it and it disintegrates. The compass is broken too. Friday assures Crusoe they'll get him to England. Crusoe says he'll come too, no matter what prejudices they must overcome. He recalls an underground meeting at a tavern. His friend Percy speaks about their risk for persecution for being descendents of those who executed King James's father. To his surprise, Blackthorn's there, who says it's a new rebellion headed by the Duke of Monmouth to raise an army against the king. Percy shouts, "We must be ready to rise once the Duke returns to England." Everyone cheers. Crusoe, unhappy, doesn't join them.
In a courtroom, Blackthorn meets with the fanatical Judge Jeffreys and tells him about the Duke of Monmouth's planned rebellion. Jeffreys says the sooner he tries it, the sooner we can cut them down. Jeffreys asks about a mark by one of the names, Robinson Crusoe. Blackthorn says that he's an informant and shouldn't be arrested. Jeffries is curious why Blackthorn would give him his name if he didn't want him arrested. Blackthorn doesn't answer.
Back on the island, Crusoe asks Friday about his dislocated shoulder. Friday opens his mouth to reply, but Crusoe uses the distraction to grab him and pop it back into place. Friday screams in pain. Crusoe says that's for saying he wouldn't come to England. Friday says he did say he would come. Crusoe says that's before you said you would come. The watch the boat sink out of sight, and Friday tells him not to worry. They'll think of another plan. Yes, Crusoe says, taking over the mutineer's ship. Friday wants a plan that won't get them killed. Crusoe asks, "What's the fun in that?"