Outlander season 3 episode 9 review: Claire’s at-sea heroics and a catch

Outlander season 3 episode 9 photosOutlander season 3 episode 9 spent a good percentage of its run time watching Jamie and Claire Fraser at sea, working to achieve a new goal: Trying to rescue Young Ian. They were following his captors on a journey to Jamaica, and along the way they realized that it was not going to be smooth sailing … at all.

Their troubles started almost immediately, when the two realized that there were some unwelcome stowaways aboard the show: Marsali and Fergus. They were apparently in love and even married, but Jamie was none too pleased about having to take care of the two of them in the midst of everything else going on. Yet, there was very little that could be done and little time to waste. The relationship between Marsali and Claire isn’t off to a good start, but that’s far from a surprise. To Marsali, Claire represents someone who is breaking her family apart. She’s also probably heard terrible stories about her from her mother for most of her life.

Following that, the weeks to come demonstrated struggles aplenty for Jamie and Claire just courtesy of the typical hardships that come with being aboard a ship. There was the stress of being in close quarters, and then the stress of not having any wind or rain in order to keep some of the food from spoiling. It was driving the crew up the wall and causing them to assume the worst — these were superstitious men and wanted to blame those who did not follow proper traditions.

Yet, right in the midst of all of the chaos that we saw on the ship a surprising hero emerged: Mr. Willoughby. Gary Young delivered a stellar monologue as this character tonight, telling a tale about his apparent past as Yi Tien Cho. While we are not a book reader we’ve heard that he was far from the most appealing character at times. What the show is doing with him is nothing short of remarkable as we get a better understanding of who this man is and what he’s striving for — maintaining his status as a man. He was an inspirational force tonight who unified the crew just in time to get some (literal) wind underneath their sails again. (It also gave Jamie and Claire a break long enough for them to have their longest love scene of the episode.)

Unfortunately, nothing was rosy for long given that we ended up meeting Captain Thomas Leonard. When Jamie saw a British ship he immediately feared the worst: He was going to be captured and brought back into a very familiar position: Imprisonment. That didn’t happen, but what did was bad in its own way. Claire offered up her services, but once the British got a hold of her they weren’t so keen on letting her go. While they are heading to the same destination and her reunion with Jamie is a likely one, what this part of the story showed us is that as brilliant a doctor as Claire may be, there are obvious downsides to her skill set. The largest one is that she’s so good as a surgeon that everyone is going to try and bring her aboard their ship. This is the end of the story for now, but there are four more episodes to go.

Overall CarterMatt Verdict

Another very strong episode of Outlander, and one that was well-crafted in between the changes to the theme song, the added power within the Mr. Willoughby character, and also the way the show went about passing the time at sea. With limited sets this season the writers had a larger challenge in pushing the narrative forward; yet, they still found a way to succeed.

What did you think about Outlander season 3 episode 9 as a whole?

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