We’ve hit the high seas on Outlander and we’re already off to a rocky start. This week’s episode picks up where last week’s left off. Young Ian has been captured and is being taken to Jamaica. So of course, Jamie and Claire set off on the adventure of a lifetime to find him. Outlander’s latest episode “The Doldrums” puts Claire and Jamie aboard The Artemis with a superstitious crew, a plague and an unlikely stow away.
Alongside, Jamie and Claire, Mr. Willoughby and Fergus also join in the hunt for Young Ian, but there’s a catch. Upon boarding The Artemis Fergus reveals that he has married Marsali and she’s coming aboard. This just adds to the tension on the ship. Jamie doesn’t approve of the marriage while Marsali still hates Claire for breaking up Jamie and Laoghaire. So, let’s just say things aren’t off to the best start.
Jamie takes Fergus aside and tells him that he does not approve the marriage, especially since Fergus hasn’t told Marsali about all the women he’s been with. So, what does Fergus do? He tells Marsali everything and she still wants to be with him. Lauren Lyle and César Domboy are a great pairing already. Both bring these characters off the page perfectly in their first few episodes. Lyle is a great scene partner for Caitriona Balfe as Marsali and Claire both represent strong women. Meanwhile, Domboy is doing an incredible job working alongside Sam Heughan as Fergus continues to be Jamie’s surrogate son. We can’t wait to see more of Marsali and Fergus’ budding romance as the season progresses.
While on The Artemis in this first episode, there are two emotional scenes that stick with us. First up is a small scene with Jamie and Claire. Up on the deck starring at the stars, Jamie and Claire start talking. It’s an adorable moment as we watch our OTP find themselves back in sync, especially after last week’s episode where they couldn’t be farther apart. Then, Claire stares up at the moon. She begins to recite “Goodnight Moon,” Brianna’s favorite book. Claire tells Jamie that Brianna learned all the words to the book before she could even read. And, she had a stuffed bunny growing up because she loved rabbits.
Watching Claire think about Brianna is heartbreaking, especially while she’s in Jamie’s arms. Balfe does an incredible job in this scene as always, but what makes this scene all the more heartbreaking is a small homage to episode one of the season. Remember when Jamie was lying on the battlefield after Culloden, dying? Do you remember what Jamie spotted? A RABBIT. BRIANNA’S FAVORITE ANIMAL. I’m not crying, I’m just SOBBING. Even though they’ve never met, Jamie and Brianna are connected more than they know!
The next emotional moment is hands down the best scene this episode. When the wind stops and the ship comes to a dead halt, everyone is trying to figure out where to place the blame. As Claire quickly learns, the crew is very superstitious and believes that someone on board didn’t touch the lucky horseshoe before they set sail. As tensions rise, it’s Mr. Willoughby that comes to the rescue.
In an emotional moment, Mr. Willoughby recounts his tale to the entire crew. How he loved a woman fiercely in his homeland because he was forced to runaway. Now he lives in a place where women discriminate against him and he’s not treated as an equal. This is emotional and I’m eternally grateful that the series is adding more to Mr. Willoughby’s character in the series. We are already off to such a great start. Gary Young is doing a magnificent job with the character of Mr. Willoughby. Not only is he a great companion for Claire and Jamie, but he add a fresh perspective to this story and its’ incredible.
As the hour comes to an end, a British vessel approaches The Artemis. They have an outbreak of a plague and are in need of a surgeon. Claire boards their ship and explains what they must do to stop the spread. While Claire offers to stay for a little bit and help, the Captain has other plans. He starts sailing for shore with Claire still on board. Now, Jamie and Fergus sail on The Artemis behind Claire as she deals with a ship overcome with a plague. Whoever said the sea was a calming voyage was wrong.