The Doldrums opens as Jamie and Claire wait as the Artemis is loaded with Jared’s merchandise. Jared makes Jamie the supercargo in charge of the freight. Jared gives Jamie and Claire the information he discover on The Bruja the only ship to match Jamie’s description. The Bruja’s port is in Jamaica and as they appeared to be riding low they were laden with cargo and on their way to their home port.
Jamie thinks the money he will earn as supercargo will pay Laoghaire. Jamie thinks he’s being punished for wanting Claire which Claire thinks isn’t true. Jamie offers to take her back to the stones if she wants to go back but Claire wants to find Young Ian.
Leslie and Hayes arrive and Hayes tells Claire he went to the Colonies as an indentured servant but returned to Scotland. He’s not keen on boats but will go for Mac Dubh. Leslie and Hayes also say the baggage from Lallybroch in on board with Fergus but they are clearly hiding something.
Claire wonders about what Jenny and Ian know and Jamie tells her he sent a letter explaining everything.
Aboard all the crewmembers touch the horseshow that is nailed to the boat. Jamie and Claire are going below and Jamie tells her to touch the horseshoe because it is good luck. Claire does it to make him happy but a man touching the horseshow speaks to Jamie but ignores Claire and Jamie tells her they are both bad luck, she’s a woman and he’s got red hair.
Fergus approaches with Marsali much to Jamie’s shock. Marsali tells him they are married and Fergus reveals they have been courting for a while and are not handfasted. Jamie pulls Fergus aside to ask if he’s bedded Marsali and she admits he has not. Jamie turns to the Captain and says he wishes to put ashore and the Captain tells him they will at St. Ives where Jamie plans to send Marsali home as it is too dangerous for a lass.
Marsali is affronted as Jamie is taking Claire and Jamie tells her Claire is not her business. Marsali accuses Jamie of making her mother a laughingstock with the whore and tells him he’ll not tell her what to do. Fergus gently reprimands her telling her not to speak of Milady that way but Marsali rolls her eyes at him. She tells Jamie she sent her mother a letter and if he tries to send her home she’ll tell everyone Fergus bedded her. She’ll be married or ruined.
Jamie then tells them they won’t be sleeping together and says Fergus and he will share a cabin and Claire and Marsali the other. Claire pulls him aside and reminds him they’ve been apart for 20 years and they’ll continue to be. Jamie wants to protect Marsali’s virtue and Claire comments, “Mine as well it would seem.”
Later, Jamie is struggling not to throw up and Claire brings him ginger tea to help him. Jamie is upset Fergus lied about Marsali and him and Claire doesn’t think they’ve thought everything through but adds they didn’t either. Jamie reminds her their marriage was arranged. Claire asks about a trunk in his room and Jamie tells her it is the supplies from Lallybroch. Claire finds her old clothing from Paris and then realizes the cloak Marsali is wearing was hers though she doesn’t mind her having it.
Jamie asks Claire to see that he’s buried at Lallybroch as he’s sure he’ll die of seasickness.
Leslie comes to fetch Claire as a man is injured.
Claire is cleaning a man’s wound and asks his name and where he’s going. She doesn’t think he has a concussion and tends to his wound. The Captain arrives a wondering what happened and when told Warren tells the room it is an ill omen though Claire believe it an accident. Raines defends the superstition knowing the men believe it quoting Hamlet, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are….” and Claire finishes, “….dreamt of in your philosophy.” Captain Raines is impressed and asks Jamie and her to dine with him that evening though Claire doesn’t think Jamie will find food off-putting which Raines finds funny.
In Jamie’s cabin, Fergus and Jamie are talking about marriage. Fergus knows they were forced to marry but that Jamie wanted her from the moment he saw Claire which is how he feels about Marsali. Jamie wants to know why he lied and Fergus confesses that he was a coward. Jamie wants to know if Marsali knows about his past and Fergus says she knows how he grew up. Jamie wonders if Marsali knows about all the lassies he’s bedded and if he can be honest with Marsali.
In the Captain’s quarters, Claire and Raines are eating and Claire knows that he wanted her there because she challenged his authority in regards to the horseshoe. Raines tells her he wants to help her and that as the crew believes in the horseshoe and it can make the difference in how they see thing at sea. The Captain quotes Hamlet again.
In Jamie’s cabin, Willoughby (Yi Tien Cho) finds Jamie throwing up. Jamie tells him he’s giving Claire’s tea time to work but Yi Tien tells him that all the retching will eat his stomach and tear muscles. They then tell him his testicles can become twisted and the only fix is to cut them off. Jamie throws up again.
In the ladies cabin, Marsali gives Claire the bigger bunk so she won’t bump her head when she gets up. Claire tells her she doesn’t have to try to get on her good side as her situation is none of her business. Marsali tells Claire that she dropped out of the clear blue sky and ruined her family and then asks if now she’s minding her own business? Marsali tells Claire she still thinks she’s a whore to which Claire replies that a whore should have the bigger bed.
The next day, Claire finds Jamie eating a good breakfast with the men and realizes he’s feeling better. Marsali tells Jamie that Fergus told him about the other lassies and she kens he’s been with others but now they just want to be with each other. Claire tells Jamie he should give them a chance which stuns Marsali.
Claire takes Jamie aside and explains that if they continue with their infatuation it may fizzle out but Jamie’s afraid of that. Jamie refuses to give them his blessing.
On deck Willoughby (Yi Tien Cho) is writing a poem on the deck with water and a brush. He pulls out some parchment and Claire asks if it is more poetry. It is his story but he’s not ready to share it and let it go. The poetry on the deck disappears.
Time passes as Claire tends to injuries and medicines.
Claire comes into the mess where the men are singing and then goes above to find Jamie. In his cabin she finds Willoughby (Yi Tien Cho) doing acupuncture on Jamie to help with his seasickness. Claire asks Jamie why he didn’t tell her and Jamie didn’t want to upset her. Claire asks if he really thinks she’d want him to suffer to spare her pride and Jamie reminds her they haven’t been on the most stable ground. Claire tells him it isn’t about not loving him. Claire smiles at him and tells him he looks like a pincushion but Jamie says he hasn’t vomited in weeks.
Jamie notices the ship isn’t moving.
On deck Warren is checking the horizon when Jamie comes up with the needles in his face. Willoughby (Yi Tien Cho) tells them they are Chinese remedy for seasickness before removing them. Jamie asks if it is common to lose the wind at this latitude. Captain Raines plays it down but Warren says it is bad luck that someone didn’t touch the iron. Claire suggests they all touch the iron again which Hayes agrees with but Baxley says it must happen at the beginning of the voyage.
That night Jamie and Claire are on deck alone looking at the moon. Claire tells him before she left a man walked on the moon and what it looked like. Claire quotes the children’s book Good Night Moon which she used to read to Brianna. Claire misses her terribly.
Weeks later, still becalmed the crew discovers their water stores have gone bad and Jamie notices the rats floating in the water suspecting the water is filled with disease. Raines has them salvage the top row and boil the rest. Hayes looks guilty.
In Raines’s cabin, Raines tells Jamie there are 5 unspoiled barrels of water and it won’t be enough. Losing the wind happens but they can’t wait it out without water. Raines tells Jamie the men want a Jonah they can through overboard which Claire finds crazy. Raines says it isn’t a Navy vessel, he can’t control the men and if they decide to mutiny there is nothing to be done. Jamie tells him none of his men will be thrown overboard.
The next day, Baxley and Hogan are talking about who touched the horseshoe and the only one they didn’t see do it was Hayes. They threaten Hayes but Warren runs them off.
Later, Hayes is on the mast drinking while the men below encourage him to jump. Leslie tells Jamie that the men have labeled him the Jonah and Hayes now can’t remember if he touched the horseshoe. Jamie climbs the rigging to get to Hayes while Claire asks Raines to stop this. Raines tells her he’ll do nothing if it prevents mutiny.
Jamie reminds Hayes of being in Ardsmuir and it being them against them. Hayes is determined to jump and Jamie tells him if he goes in so will he, Leslie, Willoughby (Yi Tien Cho) and Fergus.
Willoughby (Yi Tien Cho) sees a pelican flying low to the water.
Jamie tells Hayes if he goes in then he’ll have to go in after him which will anger Claire. Jamie promises not to let Hayes be harmed as he reaches out to him. Hayes grabs Jamie’s hand but Hayes falls and dangles him Jamie’s hand as he tries to reach the rigging.
Jamie and Hayes climb down and the men are outraged and want to throw him over.
Willoughby (Yi Tien Cho) writes on the deck with his brush and water and when it doesn’t disappear Willoughby (Yi Tien Cho) has an idea.
Claire tells the men there is no Jonah but a fight starts.
Willoughby (Yi Tien Cho) rings the bells and tells his story about being chosen by the Emperor to be part of the Emperor’s second wife’s household.
Raines tries to stop him but Jamie tells him to let the man speak.
Willoughby (Yi Tien Cho) says it was a great honor but to be part of the house he must be a eunuch.
Marsali wonders that that means and Fergus says he’ll tell her later.
Willoughby (Yi Tien Cho) goes on to say refusing was dishonorable, a death sentence but he’d fallen in love with woman.
Claire asks if the Emperor’s wife.
Willoughby (Yi Tien Cho) says all women. Everything about woman, their scent… etc. He fled and came to a place where his writings are taken as scratching’s and where women are course and they distain him and won’t lie with him. He lost everything and doesn’t know if it was worth it. He goes to the edge and throws his “story” into the ocean as the wind pick up much to everyone’s relief.
Hayes tells Willoughby (Yi Tien Cho) he’s heard worse stories.
Claire wonders how Willoughby (Yi Tien Cho) knew and he says when the bird flies low it means rain. Claire thanks him using his real name.
Everyone aboard is excited as it rains heavily and they start collecting it.
Jamie and Claire go below and find a quiet spot where they urgently make love and then bask in the afterglow. Jamie tells Claire he likes her grey, the way the light hits it. Like moonlight. Claire tells him in the 20th century his comment would make him the king of men.
Later, the ship is being followed by a British Man O War which fires a signal shot so they will heave too to be boarded. Raines thinks they men to press men. Jamie tells her if they press him she needs to continue on and find Young Ian.
Acting Captain Leonard, who is very young, comes aboard and tells them they have an outbreak of plague which Claire figures out is typhoid fever. She is willing to go over and help. Jamie and she go into the corridor and she explains she can’t get it and she must help as she swore and oath. Jamie reminders her he made an oath to her.
Claire goes aboard the Porpoise and inspects the ill. She tells Captain Leonard it is typhoid and tells him how to contain it. She tells them most will die and containing the spread is what needs to be done. She offers to stay for a short while to help them organize. Leonard gives her a Mr. Pound to help her. She tells him to clear the deck so the sick can be brought up and then tells Leonard that she will work fast as Raines will want to continue on. Leonard promises to tell them she will be a while longer.
Claire goes to the galley and asks for boiled water on the Captain’s orders. The ship sets sail and Claire goes to find out what Leonard is doing. He tells her she’s their only hope and he told Raines he’d deliver her to Jamaica and provide accommodations.
Claire looks out as the Artemis gets farther away and Pound tells her they are ready to move the men.
Shooting on Board
“The boats we had in South Africa, including the Artemis which has been specifically built for our show, were really remarkable, especially on day one when I first got to go onboard. It was just sitting out there, all the rigging was down, and the sails were open and the wind was blowing. It really transports you to being on an 18th century ship. We have a whole crew that actually knows how to rig the ships and we have men that can climb up and down to the crow’s nest, and I was very fortunate to get to do some of that as well.”
-Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser)
“We had three ships that were here from Black Sails, and then the Artemis was made for us. Terry, our rigger, brought in his men and we used them as extras, and they can really sail the ship. The nice thing about the Artemis is that it actually moves, it’s not in a fixed position. It drives. It has wheels. We can put it in the lagoon. Just knowing we can do that makes it much more real. It’s on a gimbal so it can move 10 degrees this way, 10 degrees that way. During a take, we found that doing this really helps the actors walk from one side to the other, without acting like they’re doing it. It just brings so much reality to the show. Then, with the special effects, and all the water thrown on it, you won’t even know that you’re not on the high seas.”
–Matthew B. Roberts, Executive Producer/Writer
“Notoriously, Jamie Fraser is pretty good at most things, but he’s not good at closing one eye, and he’s not good at being on boats. He gets very seasick. Jamie keeps the fact that he’s actually been treated for seasickness by Mr. Willoughby through a series of acupuncture from Claire, who’s been making Jamie all kinds of remedies that she thinks are actually working and curing him. He didn’t want to rock the boat, so to speak. We have a fantastic prosthetics department and makeup department, and they applied these acupuncture needles, which are very different from modern day acupuncture—they’re thicker and longer. Each needle could be taken in and out, and I think Gary who plays Mr. Willoughby enjoyed that part of the process.”
–Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser)
“We were thinking we’d pay someone to carve a new one but then weeks before we came here, we were walking by all those things that were stacked up [from season 2], because you don’t want to destroy them. Nicki McCallum, the supervising art director who’s brilliant, and I were walking by and both started looking at the statue and I said, ‘Well, this looks like a masthead. Why don’t we just use this?’ It’s kind of fun because it was all done. I mean, all we had to do is a little bit of work on it and repaint it, whatever. But it’s also fun to be able to say to the fans, ‘If you look, you’ll find something that was off that set.’”
-Jon Gary Steele, Production Designer