Even if you only watch the TV show, you may know that Outlander Season 3 is based on the third book in Diana Gabaldon's series, entitled Voyager. But so far in Season 3, there hasn't been much voyaging beyond Claire's journey through time. Yet, Jamie and Claire will be traveling on Outlander soon. Spoilers for "First Wife" follow. At the end of Nov. 5 episode, two sailors capture Young Ian and sail away with him. Jamie had just promised his sister and brother-in-law that he'd protect their son, so he and Claire have no choice but to track down the ship. It most likely won't be until the end of Season 3 that viewers find out who captured Ian on Outlander, but he's about to unintentionally lead Jamie and Claire on a new adventure.
In just the span of two episodes, Jamie and Claire go from reuniting in an Edinburgh brothel to chasing after pirates. As the action picks up, you might be feeling whiplash, but it's all because of Jamie's marriage to Laoghaire. He must pay her alimony, but in order to afford it, he returns to the island that he swam to in Episode 3 of Season 3, "All Debts Paid." Jamie says he found gold on the island back when he was a prisoner at Ardsmuir, so Young Ian swims out to retrieve it. However, the two mystery men capture Ian (and the gold) on the island. And while these sailors seemingly came out of nowhere, there was a hint about whom they could be working for in "All Debts Paid."
While at Ardsmuir, Lord John Grey asked Jamie to speak to an incoherent man found on the moors, Duncan Kerr, about the gold that is said to exist on the islands near the prison. Kerr told Jamie there is a witch who hid the gold and is seeking a MacKenzie. Jamie assumed Kerr was speaking about Claire. But as Laoghaire's return may have reminded viewers, there is another woman who was also considered to be a witch — Geillis Duncan. And it would make sense if Geillis were the witch Kerr saw, since she really does practice magic. She would have been looking for Dougal MacKenzie (not Jamie), since she was Dougal's lover back in the 1740s. But how does Kerr's story in the 1750s relate to the capture of Young Ian nearly a decade later? Book spoilers follow.
In Voyager, the men transport Ian to Jamaica to a Mrs. Abernathy, who turns out to be Claire's fellow time traveler Geillis. So yes, the ramblings of Duncan Kerr in "All Debts Paid" are an actual clue. As previously shown on Outlander, Geillis believes in dark magic and human sacrifices and she continues that practice in 1760s Jamaica. She captures young virgin men to sacrifice for her magic and Ian is one of them. But since Ian is not a virgin, as we know from "Crème De Menthe," she doesn't kill him, but instead, uses him for sex. Claire discovers who has her nephew and the rest of the story is worth waiting for, to see how the TV series will portray it. (But if you really want another spoilery clue, I suggest rewatching the episode "Freedom & Whiskey.")
Before Claire and Jamie find Ian in Jamaica, they will make a few pit stops along the way. Yet, preview photos from Entertainment Weekly show that Claire and Jamie will sail to Jamaica's turquoise waters, warm temperatures, and sandy beaches before Season 3 is through. (Although EW reported that Outlander actually filmed the Jamaica scenes in Cape Town, South Africa.)
So while the identities of the sailors who snatched Young Ian don't really matter, the person they are working for certainly does. Ian's capture has set Claire on another collision course with Geillis and with that comes an incredible change of pace — and scenery — for the rest of Outlander Season 3.