Season 3

Ten Must See Moments, Episode 309, The Doldrums

November 10, 2017

Last week’s episode, First Wife, was GREAT! I loved every second of it and have rewatched several times – as any good obsessed Outlander fan should do! I loved how so much of the dialogue was used from the book even though the scenes in which that dialogue occurred may have been presented differently and sometimes not in the same order.  The adaption was wonderful, the acting by Sam, Caitriona and the whole cast was amazing. I loved Jamie’s flashback to Hogmanay at Lallybroch. I could actually feel his loneliness and see why he fell into the wicked clutches of that woman I can now call by name, Laoghaire.  Overall, it was simply a phenomenal episode and ranks as one of my favorites of the three seasons.  There was so much of the magic I felt from Season 1 in this episode. I just loved it and as you’ll recall from last week’s post, I had ten must see moments for Episode 308.  I’ve looked and it appears I got 6.5 right! Not too shabby and certainly better than I expected especially given there was only an hour to work with.  Now, I have my sights set on Episode 309, The Doldrums.

As I just mentioned Episode 309 is named The Doldrums. Well, I’ve always associated the doldrums with being in a bored or depressed state.  Kind of like, we say down here in North Carolina, “She’s done an’ got herself all down in the doldrums.”  Translation:  “She is depressed.” Anyway, I decided to look the word up because what could doldrums have to do with Outlander.  I never get the doldrums when I’m watching Outlander.  I do get the doldrums when we’re in that dreaded worse-than-a-four-letter word, Droughtlander.  So, what a strange title for an episode.  I did a Google search because we all know you can trust Google and everything you read on the internet (wink, wink).  And I was right! I found two meanings and one of them is actually nautical:


  1. A spell of listlessness or despondency.
  2. Between the tradewinds of the northern and southern hemisphere lies an area of calm winds, close to the equator, called the doldrums.  Since sailing vessels rely upon the wind, a trip through the doldrums is often long, hot and boring. However, on the flip side, strong thunderstorms or squalls can appear without warning with high wind gusts.

My prediction for what this means for Episode 309? I have no idea but I thought you might like to know what the word means.  No, seriously, my prediction is that the episode may take on both meanings, i.e., the passengers and crew of the Artemis may emotionally experience the doldrums as they literally try to sail through the doldrums. Now that I have educated you on the meaning of the word and without any further ado, here are my Top Ten Must See Moments for Episode 309, The Doldrums.

Number One – The Return To France:

The grave was set in the small cemetery reserved for the convent, under the buttresses of the nearby cathedral. Even though the air from the Seine was damp and cold, and the day cloudy, the walled cemetery held a soft light, reflected from the blocks of pale limestone that sheltered the small plot from wind.  In the winter, there were no shrubs or flowers growing, but leafless aspens and larches spread a delicate tracery against the sky, and a deep green moss cradled the stones, thriving despite the cold.

It was a small stone, made of a soft white marble. A pair of cherub’s wings spread out across the top, sheltering the single word that was the stone’s only other decoration. “Faith,” it read.

To include this scene would mean that the show would have to go where the book goes – back to France.  I’m not sure that will happen but I love this scene and to see Mother Hildegarde again would be awesome.

I took a deep breath and wiped my cheeks with a corner of my cloak. “It was a long time ago, though.” I rose slowly to my feet and turned to find Mother Hildegarde watching me with an expression of deep sympathy and interest.

“I have noticed,” she said slowly, “that time does not really exist for mothers, with regard to their children. It does not matter greatly how old the child is—in the blink of an eye, the mother can see the child again as it was when it was born, when it learned to walk, as it was at any age—at any time, even when the child is fully grown and a parent itself.”

I know, I know.  There’s probably not enough time for this scene as written in the book but is it a tear jerker or what?

Number Two – The Unexpected Passenger:

I whirled to look, and saw what had caused him to break off.  Fergus was on deck, reaching up to help down a girl perched awkwardly above him on the railing, her long blond hair whipping in the wind.

“What in the name of hold God d’ye mean by this, ye wee coofs?” he was demanding, by the time I made my way into earshot through the obstacle course of lines and seamen. He loomed menacingly over the pair, a foot taller than either of them.

“We are married” Fergus said…”

Oh, I think Jamie is going to explode over this! I also don’t think Claire’s going to be too happy about it considering who Fergus married.  Plus, if you are book reader, you know the final result of this scene means a long, long, looooong boat ride for Jamie & Claire – if you know what I mean.  I am beginning to see why they are calling this episode, The Doldrums.

Number Three – The Cook:

“Out,” he said.

“Good morning,” I said, as cordially as possible. “My name is Claire Fraser.

“Out,” he repeated in the same graveled tones.

“I am Mrs. Fraser, the wife of the supercargo, and ship’s surgeon for this voyage,” I said, giving him eyeball for eyeball. “I require six gallons of boiling water, when convenient, for cleaning of the head.”

His small bright blue eyes grew somewhat smaller and brighter, the black pupils of them training on me like gunbarrels.

“I am Aloysius O’Shaughnessy Murphy,” he said. “Ship’s cook. And I require ye to take yer feet off my fresh-washed deck. I do not allow women in my galley.”

I have no idea if they even cast the role of Murphy.  If you know, please chime in in the comments.  I love his character in the books and I can see this standoff with our strong-willed, 20th century Claire and Mr. Murphy, can’t you? I think he might be the Mrs. Fitz of Season 1.

Number Four – The Seasickness:

“Let’s think of something pleasant,” I said, pitching my voice to be as low and soothing as possible. “Think of Lallybroch, of the hillside above the house. Think of the pine trees there – can you smell the needles? Think of the smoke coming up from the kitchen chimney on a clear day, and an apple in your hand. Think about how it feels in your hand, all hard and smooth, and then- “

“Sassenach?” Both Jamie’s eyes were open, and fixed on me in intense concentration. Sweat gleamed in the hollow of his temples.


“Go away.”


Go away,” he repeated, very gently, “or I shall break your neck. Go away now.”

I rose with dignity and went out.

Really, Claire? Jamie is throwing his guts up and you want to try to alleviate it by talking to him about the smell of pine trees, smoke and apples? Yes, go away, Claire. Don’t go away mad – just go away.

Number Five – The Needles:

Hearing approaching footsteps, Fergus glanced back over his shoulder. Then he gasped, whirled round, and crossed himself, eyes bulging.

“Not … one … word, if ye please,” Jamie said between clenched teeth.

Fergus opened his mouth, but nothing came out.

And this….

The obvious fright and concern in her face stopped Jamie from whatever acerbic remark he had been about to make. His face relaxed slightly, making the slender gold needles that protruded from behind his ears twitch like ant’s feelers.

“It’s all right,” he said gruffly. “It’s only some rubbish of the Chinee’s, to cure the puking.”

Jamie’s mouth twitched, his normal sense of humor beginning to reassert itself. “I feel like a bloody ill-wish doll that someone’s been poking full o’ pins,” he said. “But then I havena vomited in the last quarter-hour, so I suppose it must work.”

Hee, hee, hee! I so want to see Sam with these needles sticking out everywhere. All I can say is this will be a hilarious scene – if included!

Number Six – The Pictures (Again):

He laughed, then evidently reminded by the word “pictures,” reached into his coat and drew out the little packet of photographs. He was cautious about them, never taking them out where they might be seen by anyone, even Fergus, but we were alone back here, with little chance of interruption.

The moon was bright enough to see Brianna’s face, glowing and mutable, as he thumbed slowly through the pictures. The edges were becoming frayed, I saw.

Sigh! Might we get a second chance at the pictures?

He thumbed through the pictures slowly, absorbed as he always was by the sight of his daughter’s face, so like his own. I watched him quietly, sharing his silent joy at this promise of our immortality.

And maybe this?

Jamie’s shoulders shook as he leaned against the rail, whether with laughter or some other emotion, I couldn’t tell. His linen glowed white with moonlight, and his head was dark against the moon. At last he turned and pulled me to him.

“I think she will do verra well,” he whispered. “For no matter what poor gowk has fathered her, no lass has ever had a better mother. Kiss me, Sassenach, for believe me—I wouldna change ye for the world.”

Number Seven – The Really, Really, Really Dumb Decision:

“I,” said Jamie, “am a fool.” He spoke broodingly, watching Fergus and (Fergus’ unexpected passenger), who were absorbed in close conversation by the rail on the opposite side of the ship.

“What makes you think so?” I asked, though I had a reasonably good idea. The fact that all four of the married persons aboard were living in unwilling celibacy had given rise to a certain air of suppressed amusement among the members of the crew, whose celibacy was involuntary.

“I have spent twenty years longing to have ye in my bed,” he said, verifying my assumption, “and within a month of having ye back again, I’ve arranged matters so that I canna even kiss ye without sneakin’ behind a hatch cover, and even then, half the time I look round to find Fergus looking cross-eyed down his nose at me, the little bastard! And no one to blame for it but my own foolishness. What did I think I was doing?” he demanded rhetorically, glaring at the pair across the way, who were nuzzling each other with open affection.

Oh yeah, I’d say the doldrums are definitely setting in here! And I think this may be the beginning of the lusty build up towards that wonderful, much anticipated Turtle Soup episode!

Number Eight – The Rescue:

I hadn’t seen him jump from the rail; no one had, with all eyes fixed on the hunt. But there he was, some distance away from the melee surrounding the boat, his shaven head glistening like a fishing float as he wrestled in the water with an enormous bird, its wings churning the water like an eggbeater.

Alerted by my cry, Jamie tore his eyes from the hunt, goggled for an instant, and before I could move or speak, was perched on the rail himself.

My shout of horror coincided with a surprised roar from Murphy, but Jamie was gone, too, lancing into the water near the Chinaman with barely a splash.

Well, there goes Willoughby with Jamie right in behind him! Jamie, if you want to make it to Turtle Soup, you better get on back in the boat. Sometimes, I wonder why you do what you do!

Number Nine – The Quickie:

“Aye, well, perhaps it’s only he wants the feathers to make quills of. Come along below, Sassenach. Ye can help me dry my back.” He had spoken jokingly, but as soon as the words were out of his mouth, his face went blank. He glanced quickly to port, where the crew was arguing and jostling over the remains of the shark, while Fergus and (his unexpected passenger) cautiously examined the severed head, lying gape-jawed on the deck. Then his eyes met mine, with a perfect understanding.

Thirty seconds later, we were below in his cabin. Cold drops from his wet hair rained over my shoulders and slid down my bosom, but his mouth was hot and urgent. The hard curves of his back glowed warm through the soaked fabric of the shirt that stuck to them.

Though not exactly the Turtle Soup scene, it still has its own humorous and passionate merits.  Although I’d love to see it, I have my doubts that we will.  My prediction is that they are going to make us wait until Turtle Soup to see Jamie & Claire “together”. Still, I predict the sexual tension in this episode will be pretty intense.

Number Ten – The Oath :

“Aye, well,” he said slowly. “I’ve taken an oath now and then, myself—and none of them lightly.” He reached out and took my right hand, his fingers resting on my silver ring. “Some weigh heavier than others, though,” he said, watching my face in turn.

He was very close to me, the sun from the hatchway overhead striping the linen of his sleeve, the skin of his hand a deep ruddy bronze where it cradled my own white fingers, and the glinting silver of my wedding ring.

“It does,” I said softly, speaking to his thought. “You know it does.” I laid my other hand against his chest, its gold ring glowing in a bar of sunlight. “But where one vow can be kept, without damage to another …?”

He sighed, deeply enough to move the hand on my chest, then bent and kissed me, very gently.

There’s no need to argue, Jamie. Claire’s a stubborn one and you know it.  In fact, you said it in Episode 307, Crème De Menthe. Still as stubborn as ever! And maybe we needed that episode to remind us of Claire’s devotion to her oath and her patients in preparation for this episode?

So, there you have my ten moments of Outlander Must See TV for Episode 309. What’s your thoughts about the upcoming episode? If you are book reader, what are the moments you most want to see?  If you’re not a book reader, I hope I haven’t spoiled too much for you and would love to hear what you think might happen in the episode.  And regardless of how you have come to love Outlander, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

As always, thanks for reading Outlander North Carolina where suffering from obsession to Outlander is a daily thing. By the way, if you haven’t joined the Outlander North Carolina Facebook group, you’re missing out! Being a resident of North Carolina is not a requirement and we’d love to have you! Click here to join:  Outlander North Carolina Facebook Group.

Until next week, Je Suis Prest! Are you?

All quotes used in this article are from Voyager by Diana Gabaldon. Photo credits: STARZ













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  • Reply Andy November 11, 2017 at 7:15 am

    I’m thinking 5/10. Mostly I’m hoping that we have seen the last of the drama between Jamie and Claire. They are just not a couple that wallows in insecurity and unless they reconnect everything else will seem frantic and unresolvable, desperate instead of difficult. What are they fighting for if not each other? All this only works if they are a team with that other-worldly ability to do exactly what they have to to strengthen each other. As always, we shall see.

    • Reply Andy November 12, 2017 at 10:31 pm

      Nailed it! Unfortunately, we also got more is she – isn’t she nonsense. Enough! There is nothing being added anymore. Loved a whole lot of this episode, couple of small irritants and a great easter egg. The King of Men – ha!!!! Confused the heck out of my husband when that made me laugh out loud. Any reaction, Beth?

      • Reply Beth Pittman November 13, 2017 at 7:15 pm

        Hey Andy. Thanks for your comments! I think I got 6 out of 10 – #2, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 10? Did I count one I shouldn’t have? LOL! Could be I’m subconciously trying to skew my results!!! This was my second least favorite episode this season. I like what they are doing with Willoughby though – kind of like Murtagh. I didn’t see the need to make up material for this episode but I have to remember that it’s been done before in previous seasons with sometimes very good results in the character and plot developments. Loved the King of Men quote by Claire and giggled when she said it. Yes, Jamie is definitely that and we’ve been knowing it for a while! Appreciate you keeping score with me, Andy!!!

        • Reply Andy November 13, 2017 at 7:33 pm

          Interestingly, nos. 3 and 6 were in the script. Would have gladly given up both dinners with the captain to see those.

          • Beth Pittman November 16, 2017 at 2:06 pm

            Well, that’s interesting to know. I haven’t looked at the script online so didn’t know that. Thanks for sharing, Andy. I wasn’t as far off as I thought even though they chose not to use those two!

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