Spoilers ahead for the ninth episode of Outlander Season 3, “The Doldrums.”
Outlander just kicked off the next leg of Jamie and Claire’s journey in the 18th century, and the latest episode delivered a whole bunch of brand new problems for the duo. They were already in trouble after last week’s episode, which ended on Young Ian being kidnapped by pirates while he was attempting to retrieve treasure to pay for Jamie’s alimony to Laoghaire. In “The Doldrums,” Jamie and Claire set sail for the West Indies on the Artemis, where Young Ian was presumably being taken to be sold as a slave. Shockingly, Young Ian’s predicament soon proved not to be their most pressing problem on the voyage.
For starters, the episode ended with Claire being kidnapped by a British sea captain, who was recently promoted from his position as third lieutenant after all of his superior officers died from a mysterious illness on board their ship. Claire agreed to board their vessel to diagnose the men and give advice on how to treat and save as many of them as possible. She was pretty confident that they were afflicted with typhoid, so it wasn’t much of a risk to her health to board their ship due to her own 20th century inoculation. Unfortunately, the new captain had no idea what to do without a doctor of his own on board, so he directed his crew to set sail with Claire still on board.
Naturally, Claire wasn’t too pleased with this arrangement, and we can bet that Jamie is furious over on the Artemis, but both ships are scheduled to hit the same port. In theory, Claire should be able to simply rejoin Jamie and Co. at the next port. Given Claire and Jamie’s history of adventures and misfortunes, the odds are probably pretty good that things won’t go according to plan for Claire. Even if everything does somehow go well for them with the kidnapping and retrieval, being back on the radar of the British could be bad for them.
Of course, Jamie has issues of his own on the Artemis. The crew was moments away from either murder or mutiny in the episode after they hit the titular doldrums that saw the ship sitting in the middle of the ocean with no wind and dwindling supplies, and they were determined to pitch a “Jonah” overboard due to their superstitions.
Jamie was able to talk one of his men out of jumping into the sea and Mr. Willoughby was able to stall the rest of the crew long enough for it to begin raining, but the men almost certainly aren’t any less superstitious just because the winds started up again. If something else goes wrong on board, Jamie may find himself (or Marsali and Fergus) the target of some mutinous men. Given that he’ll need their cooperation to get Claire back, he’s undoubtedly in for a headache at best. He may also want to keep a close eye on Willoughby moving forward.
Speaking of Marsali and Fergus, they had a big surprise for Jamie and Claire when the voyage kicked off. The two had evidently been courting in secret for months, and they decided the time had come to tie the knot. As it turns out, “tying the not” in this case involved a pretty informal ceremony in which they basically held hands in front of other people and declared themselves married. The marriage wasn’t consummated, which led Jamie to plan on leaving Marsali at the next port as an unmarried woman, but she declared that she’d claim Fergus has already bedded her, thus ruining her own reputation.
So, Marsali was allowed on the voyage, although relegated to sharing a cabin with Claire rather than her beloved Fergus. With Claire on another ship, Jamie may have to keep a closer eye on where Marsali and Fergus are spending their nights. Knowing Jamie, he’s planning on either the lovebirds coming to their senses or marrying in a more official ceremony.
Then there’s the fact that the British captain may have inadvertently brought typhoid over to the Artemis with him when he came to request the assistance of the ship surgeon. Claire was quick to reprimand him for coming on board when he had so much sickness on his own ship, and the rest of the Artemis could be in a lot of trouble if the captain did bring sickness with him. After all, the rest of the crew didn’t hop forward in time to receive any inoculations, and with Claire gone, they don’t have a doctor on hand.
On top of all this, they still need to locate and retrieve Young Ian, even if it means buying him on the slave market in Jamaica. All things considered, Jamie and Claire have a whole bunch of problems on their plates, even by their standards. It should be fun–for us, if not for them–to see how they handle these problems. New episodes of Outlander air on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Starz. For all the shows that won’t be back on the airwaves, swing by our breakdown of all the shows that have been cancelled in 2017.