This Week, Outlander Goes All Black Sails On Us

This week, our intrepid couple take to the high seas. Absolutely nothing goes wrong and the trip is super boring.

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HAHAHA NOPE.

Spoilers ho!

For a show about a time traveling magic lady, they sure spent a lot of time this episode questioning superstitions. It felt like they were trying to convey some kind of message about faith and belief and people making up ways to feel like they have control over their situation, but I’m not sure it landed.

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After Young Ian got taken last week, Jamie and Claire got cousin Jared to land them a cabin on one of his ships sailing for Jamaica, which is roughly where they think the ship with Ian is going. The two set sail with Willoughby, Jamie’s smuggling crew, and Fergus, who - surprise! - brought along Marsali, Leoghaire’s older daughter and Fergus’ handfast wife. Jamie objects completely and tries to turn this ship around right now! But alas they must continue on their journey or risk missing their chance to find Ian. So instead Jamie decides the two couples get split up - men in one cabin, women in the other - until he can send Marsali back to Scotland. This decision pleases no one.

The ship continues on its journey, experiencing minor mishaps like spoiled water, leading some crew members to think their voyage is cursed. And then they hit the doldrums, where they sit for weeks, the crew getting angrier and angrier. Just when they are ready to hold one of Jamie’s men accountable for the curse, the wind picks back up right as Willoughby finishes a cleverly timed reveal of his backstory. (Willoughby using his story as a way to resolve the crew’s curse concerns and protect Jamie’s men seems to detract from the impact of his revelations to me.)

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The winds are back, it’s raining, and while everyone is celebrating Jamie and Claire seize the opportunity to do the deed, I guess for the first time since Lallybroch? I don’t even understand them anymore. The show has done nothing to convince me that Claire has become convinced that she should stay with Jamie and not go back to the stones. Yet they’re still boning, and talking longingly about their daughter and the moon and everything. I guess they’re going to make this a season long arc of “will they or won’t they”; not a bad idea in theory, but the execution has stumbled in my view.

But I digress. So the Artemis is continuing on its voyage and all seems well, but then a British military vessel stops them and boards them. They need a surgeon to treat the 100 or so sick men on their ship. Guess who’s available and immune to the disease? Claire volunteers to go treat the men, tells Jamie she’ll be right back, and goes over to assess the crew. She determines they have Typhoid and offers to help them contain the disease. Then all of a sudden the ship starts moving! The young captain is continuing their journey with Claire aboard the ship, saying he’ll drop her off in Jamaica for Jamie to meet back up with her. So she sails away from Jamie who is none too pleased at the kidnapping of his wife, however well-intentioned. And that’s where the episode ends, with another cliffhanger.

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What did you think? Do you like the naval turn the show is taking? When are Jamie and Claire going to remember they are MFEO? Sound off in the comments!

Random Thoughts:

  • Awesome new title theme song! I love the drums.
  • He went to Jared! (Sorry...so sorry.)
  • If the supercargo is in charge of the cargo, then I get to be the superengineer of my project.
  • I miss Brianna and Roger.
  • Jamie, the King of All Men! This is entertaining despite its hamfistedness.
  • In case you missed it - they moved the filming to South Africa and used some of the Black Sails ships and sets to film this part of the season. Interesting how the show keeps changing the environment for our heroes.

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