Turns out that the newly completed railway in India enabling the circumnavigation of the globe in 80 days is... not so complete. Fogg, Fix, and Passepartout set off on foot from the rail line’s unexpected terminus through a buggy landscape to a nearby village. They’re greeted by an excited young girl, who drags them to Aouda, the village matriarch. Aouda’s daughter Samanaz is to be married that day; the foreigners will be the guests of honor. Aouda will supply Fogg a guide to Allahabad tomorrow, after the wedding. She is unmoved by Fogg’s rude insistence that they leave immediately.
Passepartout appreciates the delay, given that he has accepted a bribe to slow Fogg. Along with the bribe came a drug that he was told would make Fogg sleep for a day. Passepartout is tempted to use it as Fogg demeans him as a servant and obsesses over his journey to the detriment of others, all for the sake of a bet—but Passepartout resists.
Aouda, too, is perplexed by Fogg’s determination to complete his expedition, and presses him on his purpose. He doesn’t have a good one, at least not one he can articulate. She also schools the colonialist in him in the achievements of India, just as British soldiers storm through the village, raiding homes. They’re searching for Arjan, Samanaz’s groom.
Arjan is a soldier himself. Although he told Samanaz he had received leave from the army for the wedding, his commanding lieutenant says he has not: he is being arrested for desertion. He will be court-martialed; if found guilty he’ll be sent overseas to work in Malacca’s tin mines for the rest of his life.
While the village reels, Fogg is happy: he can continue his journey immediately now that the wedding is off! Desperate to stop him, Passepartout drugs his tea. Aouda then erects another obstacle: Fogg must speak to the lieutenant and secure Arjan’s release before he can have her guide.
The other soldiers are on Arjan’s side, but the young, inexperienced lieutenant is insistent on the rules. Even though Fogg serves him Gentleman’s Relish, which he has been saving for a special occasion, Fogg botches the interaction. The drug makes him not sleepy but giddy, leading him to giggle inappropriately. The lieutenant leaves, offended.
Fogg slugs Passepartout in the face and scampers after the lieutenant. Passepartout and Fix find him chatting, dancing, and singing to a cow. Samanaz rushes off to find her mother.
Samanaz has become fast friends with Fix, dressing her in a lehenga for the wedding and learning that Fix has struggled to write a word since discovering the truth about her father. (Fortescue himself has turned to drink, devastated that his beloved daughter will no longer want such a liar as a father.) Fix has snuck Samanaz to speak to Arjan in the British camp. He explained that he lied about his leave to Samanaz because he couldn’t stand to not see and marry her.
When Fogg starts having convulsions, Passepartout secretly shows Aouda the drug he gave him. He has dosed Fogg with far too much of this dangerous herb, and now Aouda must prepare medicine to save his life. In the meantime, Fogg cannot fall asleep.
As Passepartout fetches water, Fix sits with Fogg. In his delirium, he mistakes her for another woman, calling her Estella. My heart will always be yours, he says. I want you to be proud of me: I’m finally traveling the world, just like we planned! But you were right to leave me; I’m not good enough for you.
Stunned, Fix almost lets him fall asleep. But the medicine is ready; Fogg is saved.
While Fogg sleeps, Fix tells Passepartout about Fogg’s rant. We’re not on this journey for a rich man’s wager, she explains. Fogg wants to complete it out of love for a woman who left him, to prove himself.
Everyone eagerly—and gratefully—greets Fogg when he wakes the next morning. He remembers nothing since he drank Passepartout’s drugged tea, but insists on speaking to the lieutenant—again—before leaving for Allahabad. He and his companions rush to the British camp, where Arjan’s court-martial is about to take place.
Arjan pleads guilty but explains that he disobeyed orders because it would mean a lifetime of unhappiness if he was unable to see and marry the woman he loves. He has a good record and citations for bravery, asking that those be taken into account.
Fogg runs in, objecting—even though he has no right to speak in a military court. Samanaz urges Arjan to make Fogg his advocate, and the lieutenant allows Fogg to have his say. He apologizes to the lieutenant for his behavior the previous day then gets lost—until Fix tells him to speak about the importance of love, a topic that she now realizes Fogg knows well.
Fogg appeals to the lieutenant’s love of his own fiancée back in England, explaining that living without the one you love may as well be death. The lieutenant relents, dishonorably discharging Arjan instead of exiling him. The soldiers and all the other observers cheer.
As everyone prepares to leave, Fix finally writes a new article about “lost love” and the truth of Fogg’s motivation for his ambitious expedition. Samanaz gifts her the lehenga she was to wear to the wedding as Passepartout hurries her onto the road: he has found new purpose and faith in Fogg’s journey. Aouda sends Fogg off, telling him she hopes he finds whatever he is looking for.
Back in London, Bellamy receives a telegram from his man abroad that Fogg has left India—but he won’t leave Hong Kong.