We’re more than halfway through the third season of Outlander and, in some ways, it feels like we’re only just getting to the main event — the long-teased sea voyage to Jamaica.
With Young Ian kidnapped during last week’s “First Wife” and Cousin Jared’s intel indicating that the offending vessel could be bound for the West Indies, Claire and Jamie finagle positions (Claire the surgeon; Jamie the supercargo) on a different ship sailing in the same direction. As they board, Jamie tells Claire to touch the ship’s good-luck talisman, a horseshoe.
“Women are bad luck on ships, Sassenach,” he says. “Redheads too.”
Claire is dubious but obliges. (You’d think after all this time in the 18th century — plus the fact that she can, you know, travel through stones — she’d be less incredulous about the local lore.)
Jamie and Claire won’t be traveling alone: They’ve brought along a few of Jamie’s men from Ardsmuir, and — surprise! — Fergus has turned up for the journey with Marsali in tow. Apparently the two have been secretly courting and partook in a marriage ceremony earlier that morning. Jamie is none too pleased and asks Fergus if he’s already “bedded” Jamie’s erstwhile stepdaughter. Fergus replies in the negative, much to Jamie’s relief. The marriage is not yet binding. Jamie insists that Fergus bunk with him and Marsali bunk with Claire.
“We’ve been apart 20 years and you want me to room with her?” Claire asks.
“I’m obliged to protect her virtue,” replies Jamie.
“Mine as well, it seems,” Claire harrumphs.
If I were Claire, though, I wouldn’t be too quick to jump into Jamie’s ship bed, considering he gets horribly seasick. They’re not on the ship for long before Jamie begins to heave. Claire, then, is left to dine alone with the ship’s captain, who invited the both of them to sup. No matter, since it’s Claire the captain wants to speak to anyway. He asks her to respect the ship’s superstitions and in turn he won’t force her to make the journey to Jamaica bare-breasted. (Apparently bare breasts calm the seas? I’ll agree that’s one superstition that isn’t a thing.)
While Claire sits awkwardly through dinner above deck, Jamie is below deck being alternately ill and fatherly, giving Fergus advice about his relationship with Marsali. Jamie won’t even think about giving them his blessing until Fergus is honest with Marsali about all the women he’s slept with. (And even after he makes that admission, Jamie still refuses to recognize the union.) (Recap continues on next page)