With only one episode left, Outlander picks up the pace in The Bakra. Unlike the slower-paced Uncharted, the action picks up at the very start with a flashback to Young Ian being taken away from Silky Island. There is a debate onboard as to whether to feed him to the pigs or not, but it’s decided he’ll make the trip, since The Bakra likes young boys. Once in Jamaica, Ian is thrown into a pit with two other boys. He’s told that there used to be six, but when The Bakra sends for a boy, they don’t come back. So it’s with some trepidation that Young Ian ends up on a huge estate, having been sent for almost immediately.
In one of the best reveals of the show’s history, Young Ian sits on the luxurious bed and watches none other than Geillis “I’m A Witch” Duncan seductively climb out of a pool of fucking blood. Turns out Geillis is not only alive, she is The Bakra that everyone is whispering about. After assuring Ian that it’s only goat’s blood and sending for food, Geillis starts to ask Ian about the treasure and more specifically, a sapphire that was missing. Ian denies taking anything, saying he didn’t have time, but then blurts out that his uncle, James Fraser of Lallybroch must have taken it! Ian is horrified, but Geillis assures him it’s because the tea she gave him is a special truth tea. Ian asks her what she does with the boys and, slithering over him like a serpent, Geillis tells him she has her way with them. Ya see the blood of virgins is powerful stuff, and being killed mid-orgasm ain’t so bad, is it? Ian tells her he’s not a virgin, but that doesn’t stop Geillis, who is glad he’ll know what he’s doing.
In the less exciting part of Jamaica, Claire and Jamie finally make landfall and waste no time looking for Ian. Jared’s employee MacIver meets them and offers to show them to a reputable inn, after inviting them to the new governor’s ball. They decline the invitation, and ask where they could learn the fate of Young Ian. MacIver tells them the Bruja came and went a week ago, but directs them to the slave market to ask around there. Asking the slave traders proves to be of no avail, except to learn that the Bruja doesn’t actually trade in white slaves, but that all the Bruja slaves were sold to the governor. It’s an appropriately awful scene mainly because everyone there, except for Claire and Jamie, is so cavalier about it. You would think they were talking about livestock, but that’s exactly the point. The episode doesn’t depict anything overtly violent other than a branding, but the oppression and horror are as thick as the air. While there, Claire witnesses an auction in which a man is fondled and molested in front of bidders in order to “prove his virility,” and Claire can’t fucking take it. She starts to beat the auctioneer with her parasol and has to be pulled off by Jamie. She asks him to do something, and so he does. He buys the slave in Claire’s name. Horrified at the idea of owning another person, Claire and Jamie agree to free Temeraire at the first opportunity they have in which he can be freed without fear of recapture.
Having learned that the governor owns the Bruja slaves, Jamie and Claire change their minds about going and ask Temeraire to help by asking the other slaves if they’ve seen Ian. Temeraire, still surprised that they bought him only to free him, agrees.
That evening, Jamie, Claire, Fergus, Marsali, and Yi Tien Cho head to the governor’s mansion in all their finery. As they walk in, we see yet another familiar face in Archibald Campbell, whose sister was Claire’s patient in Edinburgh. Turns out Geillis is employing Archibald and Margaret Campbell to tell the prophecy of the next Scottish king, but they need the third sapphire to do so. Claire doesn’t know any of this, though (but we do!), and the two exchange pleasantries before entering the party.
While they wait in line to see the governor (Jamie thinks he’s the best one to ask about Ian), Yi Tien Cho becomes the distraction he was meant to be as he charms some young women who are aroused and impressed by his “exotic” looks and ability to speak English. He notices Archibald yelling at Margaret for giving the slaves free reading, and I’m thinking Yi Tien Cho is someone to be paying attention to, especially later when he and Margaret have a moment in the garden in which he tells her that she is a flower from Heaven. Jamie asks Claire when the slave trade ends,and the answer is depressingly far off. Jamie gets a peek at the new governor and HOLY SHIT IT’S LORD JOHN!!!!
When they get up to him, the greeting between the old friends is as warm as ever, if not a little bit awkward what with the whole “back from the dead wife” thing and “John is clearly still in love with Jamie and not great at hiding it” thing. John keeps his composure and I love him so much. David Berry was so perfectly cast. After the elation and tricky non-explanation of Claire’s return, the three retire to speak privately. Jamie asks about Willie and, after being assured that Claire knows all about him, John gushes about his adoptive son to Jamie. He tells of Willie’s riding skill and lets Jamie know the boy still misses him from time to time. He’s not on the island yet, but will be coming in the summer. Jamie notices the sapphire that John wears and John admits he keeps it close as a remembrance of their… friendship. Cue some more awkwardness before Jamie cuts through the tension to ask about Ian. John says he’ll keep an eye out, as well s introduce them to the landowners around the party.
Later, while Jamie is making the rounds, John and Claire come together again for another tense chat. John’s longing and unrequited love is palpable and borderline painful. As much as I love Jamie and Claire, my heart aches for him when he learns of Claire’s resurrection and reunion. I don’t think John held any real hope of being with Jamie, but Claire’s reemergence must feel like a dagger. I’ve read articles calling this a love triangle, but I disagree. Jamie will always choose Claire, and while he absolutely trusts and loves John, that love is not romantic, although I can practically hear the keyboards clacking as people write tragic fanfiction about the two.
The slightly uneasy conversation is cut short, however, when Claire sees Geillis across the room. She runs after her and when they meet again, Geillis explains how she’s not dead. Turns out the villagers decided her baby was innocent and so stayed her execution until the baby was born. Dougal, being enamoured by Geillis more than ever after she bore him a child, snuck her away and had a dead body burned in her stead, as well as placed their child with another couple. She then came to Jamaica and married another rich man who conveniently died. Claire asks about Ian and Geillis bullshits her way past this in a very Geillis way. We know she has Ian, or at least had him, but she lies to Claire about it and if you ever were unsure about whether Geillis was friend or foe, this should be a huge fucking hint.
The two women join Jamie and John, and when Geillis sees John’s “remembrance” sapphire, she gets all cagey and shit, excusing herself to tell Archie that Margaret needs to start reading people right the fuck now, including the new governor. She then browbeats John into being read and snatches the sapphire, telling him Margaret (who is reluctant as fuck) needs something personal to read him, Margaret palms John’s sapphire with the other two and then gives a creepy as fuck prophecy about the next Scot King, and John, ever the host, laughs it off and skedaddles. Later when alone, Geillis and Archie confer about the prophecy, eventually determining that once a baby who is 200 year old when born is killed, Scotland will have a king. It may be confusing as fuck for them, but they don’t know that Claire and Jamie had a child… one who was born 200 years after her mother was impregnated. So there’s a little thing that Jamie and Claire don’t have to worry about…yet.
Meanwhile, Fergus and Marsali, who I guess have been making out all night, notice that Good Ol’ Captain Leonard has arrived. Fergus warns Jamie, and the group hightails it outta there just in time to miss the ambitious captain of the Porpoise.
While they’re leaving, Temeraire tells them that the slaves knew who Ian was, and that Geillis is the one who has him. Claire puts on her best shocked face while Jamie says “I told you so” and soon enough they’ve stopped to free Temeraire. He tells them that there is a community of escaped slaves living in the mountains and he wants to join them. They say their goodbyes and he leaves, safe, it would seem. The same cannot be said for Jamie, however, as Captain Leonard shows up and arrests him, despite Claire reminding him that, if not for her, he and all his men would be dead. No good deed, eh? Jamie quickly hands her the portraits of their children and insists she look for Young Ian as he’s carted away.
So what do you think of The Bakra? Are you excited to see Geillis back? How about John? What, if anything, do you think is happening between Yi Tien Cho and Margaret? Do you think Brianna is key to Margaret’s prophecy? Let me know!