Outlander Recap: “The Doldrums”

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The 9th episode of the third season of Outlander aired on Starz last night, starting a new chapter in the adventures of Jamie and Claire Fraser, as they attempt to track down Jamie’s nephew, young Ian Murray, who was taken from Silkie Island at the end of last week’s episode.

The five remaining episodes of this season will find the Frasers [among others] on the high seas, heading for Jamaica to make a daring rescue, but – of course – there are a lot of trials and tribulations along the way [not to mention another new beginning to the show that features a different sound to the show’s theme song].

The official description for the episode, entitled “The Doldrums,” follows:

“Claire and Jamie sail to the West Indies on an urgent quest; when the ship’s superstitious crew looks for someone to blame following a string of bad luck, rescue comes from an unlikely source.”

Tracking Down Ian

The task ahead for Jamie and Claire in attempting to find Ian is not going to be easy, but with the help of Jamie’s cousin Jared – the same cousin who helped them in France during Season 2 – they were able to board one of Jared’s ships The Artemis that was heading to Jamaica, which is where the ship for which Ian was forced upon was believed to be heading.

Jamie and Claire were not alone in boarding The Artemis, as Willoughby was with them as well as Jamie’s Scottish brethren Lesley and Hayes – oh and then there was Fergus, who also accompanied them along with an unexpected guest: Laoghaire’s daughter Marsali. [I mentioned in last week’s recap that viewers should remember Marsali as she would be featured in future episodes, didn’t I?]

Hand Fast and Ill Omens

It would seem that Fergus and Marsali were hand fast the morning The Artemis set sail – meaning they pronounced themselves married before witnesses [although not “legally” married in the eyes of the church for that time period]. Jamie, needless to say, was not pleased with the match let alone that Fergus withheld the fact that he and Marsali had been courting since last August. Jamie would not accept their hand fast, and demanded the love birds remain apart, forcing Claire to share a room with Marsali – who hates Claire for breaking up her family – and forcing Fergus to stay away from Marsali, not allowing them to consummate the hand fast.

Then there were all the ill omens that befell The Artemis once it set sail – one of the crew had not touched the horseshoe before it set sail, a woman as well as a redhead should not be on board (as it was considered bad luck) and the fact – as shared by Captain Raines to Claire – that both she and Marsali should be bare breasted as that was actually considered a good omen [that explains why the statue on the bow of most ships featured a bare breasted woman].

No Wind, No Rain

Given the ill omens to befall the ship, The Artemis ended up being stuck for weeks on end when they “lost the wind.” To make matters worse, much of their on-board water became contaminated, making it necessary for them to find rain – which also seemed to be MIA. And given the long time at a virtual stand-still the crew became convinced that Jamie’s “mate” Hayes was the Jonah – the person that brought back luck to the ship; and even Hayes began to believe he was the Jonah – so much so that he attempted to take his life.

But thankfully Jamie was able to rescue Hayes from his high-mast climb, but it was Willoughby who ultimately saved the day by calming the crew with a tale about his past. As he let his compositions fly away from the ship, the wind picked up and the rain unleashed, allowing The Artemis to set sail once again and saving the entire crew.

Trouble Finds Them Again

Not that long after The Artemis was finally able to get moving again, a British Man of War stopped them with the young ship’s captain – the former 3rd Lieutenant – begging for their medical assistance, as many of the men were hit with ship’s fever that turned out to be typhoid fever (per Claire). Given her oath as a surgeon, she volunteered to help – despite Jamie’s reservations. Once she made a diagnosis, directing some of the crew as to how to start treating all the affected men [who sadly were probably not going to make it], the young Captain demanded the ship get underway moving toward land as quickly as they could, except they were taking Claire with them.

Memorable Quotes

“A story told is a life lived.” – Willoughby to Claire [when he refused to let her read his compositions]

“You look like a pin cushion.” – Claire to Jamie [when she discovers Willoughby using acupuncture on Jamie to help alleviate his seasickness]

“No matter what troubles happen around us, Sassenach, this – what it is between us – never changes.” – Jamie to Claire
“It doesn’t.” – Claire to Jamie

What are your thoughts about this episode? Please share them in our comments section below.

The next new episode of Outlander will air next week on Starz on Sunday, November 19 at 8/7c.

Using her favorite online handle, Rueben is an East Coast-bred gal who is now a permanent Californian and a lifelong tv-oholic. She watches at least 25 TV shows a week, goes to the movies as often as possible, listens to music every waking moment, reads every day and “plays” on the internet every chance she can. Some of her current favorite TV shows are Outlander, Blindspot, The Blacklist, Killjoys, The Brave, The Shannara Chronicles, Good Witch, When Calls the Heart, The 100, Jane the Virgin, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Fosters. Follow her at @ruebenrambling or contact her at