OUTLANDER S3 EP 9: "The Doldrums" Recap & Review

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So here we are folks, only FOUR.... yes... FOUR more episodes before the dreaded Droughtlander strikes again.  I pause for a quiet moment of reflection on this.  Know this... if you think Jamie and Claire will see Scotland again in the near future, you, my friend will be disappointed.  It's going to be a LONG time coming if at all.

First thing.... the theme song has changed some!  It has the same initial opening music, but then the imagery changes and you get a more tropical touch to the music!  Love it!

We left off the last episode with the abduction of Young Ian (and the treasure!) from the island.  This episode Jamie and Claire are in France and get the help of Jamie's cousin Jared.  Jamie will be employed aboard the Artemis as supercargo.  Funny name, but all ship terms are weird.  It just means he will be the one in charge of all the cargo aboard the ship.  Jamie is going to Claire, Fergus, Mr. Willoughby (Yi Tien Cho) and two other men, Hayes and Lesley who know Jamie from Ardsmuir prison.  Jared tells Jamie that they have checked the log books and the only ship from that day flying a Portuguese flag was the Bruja.  They are headed to Jamaica, and if Young Ian, being a healthy young lad behaves himself, he will survive the journey and most likely be sold for at least 30 pounds in the West Indies. Awesome.  Jared makes sure to point out that winter is almost upon them and the sea will most likely be a little rough.  Oh...even more awesome for poor seasick prone Jamie.

As Jared leaves, Claire inquires about Jenny and Ian.  Jamie tells her that they still think they are all on their way in France, so they have no idea yet.  However, Jamie is sending them a letter to explain what happened to Young Ian and what they are trying to do about it. Hmmmm...would love to be a fly on the wall when THAT letter arrives and Jenny reads it!  Jamie turns to Claire and reiterates about her belonging to him, however, if she indeed wishes to return he will take her to the stones himself.  Claire says there is something more important right now and that is finding Young Ian.

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Jamie and Claire are on board, and Claire watches all these men say hello to Jamie and also touch the post nearby with a horseshoe.  Claire tries to soothe Jamie by telling him to look at the horizon.  He says it isn't his stomach right now, but the sight of Scotland is fading away in the distance.  "We shall not set foot on her shores again without Young Ian," Jamie tells Claire.   

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Of course, Fergus appears as they are now far enough away and surprises them with Marsali.  Apparently, they were "handfasted" which means they are married.  Jamie is fuming and drags off Fergus and asks if he has "bedded the lass" yet and Fergus says no.  To which Jamie yells out as he turns away that it is not yet binding.  Marsali is a huge bitch like her mom.  She calls Claire a "whore, " but Fergus tells her not to speak to Milady that way.  She also says, Jamie, that if he makes her disembark and go home, she will tell everyone that she and Fergus have already slept together.  Jamie decides that Fergus is not to touch Marsali, so he and Fergus will be in one room, and Marsali and Claire are in another.  The women are less than pleased. 

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As Jamie and Claire head to go below, Claire looks at him and says “We’ve been apart for 20 years and you want me to room with her?” “I’m obliged to protect her virtue,” replies Jamie. “Mine as well, it seems,” Claire snaps. When Claire stalks off in a huff, an almost-seasick Jamie notes sarcastically, "Now I am gonna be sick." 

Jamie's seasickness finally sets in, and Claire brings him some ginger tea.  Before knowing what it was at first, he asks what God awful stuff was she going to put in him.  She hands him a cup, and he sips it.  Claire looks around and sees a trunk and asks what it was.  Jamie replies that it is something Fergus brought from Lallybroch.  She opens it to find their clothes from Paris and his tartan in there also.  She was surprised that he held onto those and said he could have sold them.  Jamie just answers "Sell them? Memories of you? Never."

With Jamie feeling seasick, Claire is dining alone with the captain.  That is fine, as it is she he wanted to speak to anyway.  He tries to convince Claire that men that are alone in the sea for a long time tend to get very superstitious and for her to respect that. 

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Claire, of course, has to argue some and mentions the horseshoe.  The captain replies that it doesn't matter if he believes that touching a piece of iron will bring good luck, but these men do and that they also believe that someone on board had not.  Claire replies that "Believing something doesn’t make it real," and the captain retorts, "On this ship, it does."

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Down below Jamie is doing a fair job at trying not to be sick as he discusses Marsali with Fergus.  Fergus uses some words about his love for Marsali is akin to him breathing and other romantic stuff.  Jamie says he won't bless the union because Fergus has not been honest completely with Marsali in regards to the other women he has been with.  


A little while later, Jamie is vomiting his brains out.  His door to his room is part way open, and Mr. Willoughby comes in and warns Jamie he cannot continue on this path as it can cause serious injury to certain parts of the body, including the twisting of the testicles in which case the only cure is removal.  He reassures Jamie he has a cure for the seasickness.  

The next morning, Jamie is feeling much better, and Claire is amazed and says it must be that ginger tea she has been giving him. Jamie goes off to do something, and Claire is walking and sees Mr. Willoughby using water from a bucket with a Chinese brush to write Chinese characters on the deck floor.  She kindly asks what it is he is doing.  He tells her it is part of his life story and when she asks about it, he says he cannot share his story yet. 

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Claire walks into Jamie's room to find Mr. Willoughby putting needles into Jamie's face.  She chastises Jamie for not telling her the real reason he was feeling better.  Jamie admits that their relationship has been on rocky ground and he didn't want to upset her and adds  I didn’t want you to see it as more proof you didn’t belong here."  Claire gingerly takes Jamie's face in her hands and says that yes, her return has been hard with struggle and turmoil, but it has never been the question of her not loving him.

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Jamie realizes that the ship is not moving and they rush up to the deck.  Apparently, the wind has stopped, and they are temporarily stuck where they are.  Of course, Jamie forgot about the needles in his face, and the Captain and other crew give him the strangest looks.  Mr. Willoughby tries to explain, and Claire says she knows of acupuncture.

Days turn into weeks, and the crew is now looking for their "Jonah" the one who didn't touch the horseshoe at the beginning of the voyage. This person, when found will simply be tossed over into the water.  Most of the barrels of water have spoiled due to water in the bilge and rations are cut in half.  There has been no rain either.  

The Jonah is believed to be one of Jamie's men from Ardsmuir.  He wasn't seen touching the horseshoe, and he doesn't remember if he did or not.  Suddenly there is an uproar and Jamie and Claire rush out to the deck to see what is going on.  The man is up on the mast, sitting and drinking while the crew below is telling him to jump.  Jamie climbs up and tries to reason with the man.  He reminds him of Ardsmuir, and it was "them against us, " and that is the situation now.  The man moves to act as to jump, but eventually gives in to Jamie and grabs Jamie's hand. 

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He slips, and Jamie has to hold the man and try to swing him to the rigging which eventually succeeds.  When they come down, the ship's crew tries to grab for the man and Jamie, and his followers stand in the way.

Meanwhile, Mr. Willoughby looks out at the ocean and sees a pelican flying low.  Apparently, this means something, and before a full-out brawl happens over yonder, he rings the bell to get everyone's attention.  He announces his real name and tells everyone a story of how he was chosen even at a young age to be great and was eventually chosen to be employed by the Emperor's second wife.  However, to have that job meant one had to become a eunuch to do so.  He says he fell in love with "woman, " and Claire thought he meant the wife of the Emperor, but he tells her no, ALL WOMAN.  He goes on to describe a way a woman smells, and certain body parts feel most descriptively with metaphors using fruit.  He continues saying that he loved women too much and had to flee his homeland.  He ended up in a place where most women are disgusting (Chinese bathed a hell of a lot more), and not even a prostitute wanted to lie with him. 

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Sad,   Yi Ten Cho, steps onto the edge of the ship and throws his life's story away into.....WIND. 

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Yes, the wind has returned and along with that rain.  The men are happy and now there is no Jonah.

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We finally get a Jamie and Claire sex scene, but it is a quickie.  However the part right after and the words Jamie uses to describe Claire's gray hair like a piece of moonlight....beautiful. 

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Claire replies with a smile that if he were to say such things in the 20th century, he would be The King of Men.  Big grin on my face as that is a little easter egg for us book fans as Jamie is indeed the King of Men!

At night, Jamie and Claire are alone on deck and are looking at a full moon.  Jamie says something about the man in the moon and Claire goes on to say that just before she left her time, they had put men on the moon and sent back pictures.  It is very barren and rocky, and the dark marks we see are the craters she tells Jamie.  She says a small quote from Goodnight Moon and says she used to read that every night to Bree and that their daughter had it memorized even before she knew how to read.


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She mentions Bree always slept with her stuffed bunny toys...."She loved rabbits", Claire says, her eyes filling with emotion.  Jamie asks "Do you miss her."  "Terribly," Claire says as Jamie holds her tighter.

Bad luck is to come again.  This time as a British Man of War is signaling them (by shooting at them) to stop and prepare to be boarded.  The captain thinks that they will want men, but when a VERY young man comes aboard and introduces himself as the Captain, and then explains that he is probably the 4th captain by now, everyone is wondering what is going on.  The man asks if they have a physician on board and eyes turn to Claire.  In the captain's quarters, the man explains there has been an outbreak, and they have lost many men.... most of the crew actually.  Claire chastises him for even coming aboard because he could endanger everyone on the Artemis.  She asks him what the symptoms are.  The young captain tells her that it starts with pain in the gut, high fever, and the blazing s**ts.  Claire asks if there is a rash on the stomach and he confirms that yes there is.  She agrees to go aboard to look, and Jamie is not too happy. 

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Out in the hall, he says it is too dangerous, but Claire says it is Typhoid Fever, but not as Jamie, and they know it.  It hasn't been "discovered" yet.  She has been inoculated against it, so she cannot get it.  She reminds Jamie that she swore an oath to help save and preserve life when she became a doctor.  Jamie looks at her and says that he knows there is no talking her out of it.  However, he is not taking his eyes off that ship until she returns.

Claire goes over to the British ship, and I can't even imagine the smell of the vomit and feces, etc. in that space below!  Claire even has to cover her nose and mouth.  She verifies what it is and back above tells the captain what needs to be done and that she is willing to help stay a bit longer to help get them organized.  She gets a man to get others to bring the sick to the upper deck, and she is escorted to Mr. Murphy, the cook to discuss boiling water.  He is giving her a hard time when there is a sudden jerk, and the ship is moving.  Claire rushes up to the deck and confronts the captain about why they are moving.  He tells her that she is needed and that they too are headed for Jamaica and have sent word that they assure her safe return upon arrival there.  

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Claire is speechless and looks toward the Artemis as it is getting smaller and she has to be wondering if and when she will see her husband again. Until next episode......

So, I have seen mixed reviews.  I believe the show only people out there were pleased, however, they are rolling their eyes over Jamie and Claire being separated again.  Don't worry, it won't be nearly as long, but a little more dangerous.  For us book people, some of us are getting very upset to the disregard of Diana's work,  So, we don't get a trained pelican to fish for us now?  There was no horseshoe thing.  There was no Jonah.  Mr. Willoughby's speech, though still intact, isn't supposed to happen until Jamaica.  To me, they have been changing Claire and Jamie too much also.  Claire is never so overbearing and rude at times.  Jamie has dreams of Brianna as well as looking at a picture or two SO much it becomes worn around the edges.  He yearns to meet his daughter.  He seems so distant from that. 

Anyway....what are your thoughts???  Thanks for reading!