Outlander Recap: “The Bakra”
Viewers of Outlander finally got to see the aftermath of Ian Murray being kidnapped by the Portuguese sailors in last night’s episode as well as seeing The Artemis finally making it to port in Jamaica in order to find Jamie’s missing nephew.
It was also revealed that an old friend (or foe?) of Claire’s made a miraculous reappearance; Jamie ran into an old friend of his own, who now holds an important role in Jamaica, and the fortune telling siblings The Campbells, who Claire encountered in Edinburgh, were also in tow at the Governor’s Ball.
The official description for the episode, entitled “The Bakra” follows:
“The Artemis finally reaches Jamaica, bringing Jamie and Claire much closer to their goal. During a ball on the island, the Frasers encounter old allies, as well as former adversaries who threaten to derail their mission.”
Much to everyone’s shock (safe those of us who have read the book), the condemned witch (and former friend of Claire’s) Geillis Duncan is alive and well and thriving in Jamaica. She is The Bakra (aka The Boss), who employs the Portuguese sailors who took Ian; and the only reason they took him is because he was holding on to “her” treasure box [more on that shortly] on Silkie Island. The sailors were sent to Silkie Island to retrieve the treasure, specifically three sapphires, as Geillis – now known as Mrs. Abernathy [ahem, any connection – somehow? – to Claire’s long-time Boston friend Dr. Joe Abernathy] of Rose Hall – needs them to in order to know where the new Scottish King will rise.
Once she and Claire “reunite” at the Governor’s Ball, Claire learns that Geillis was saved from the pyre because she was with child. She survived three months in Thieves Hole before being permitted to give birth to her child in her own bed at the fiscal’s house. But then Dougal (the baby’s father) returned to claim the baby boy, giving the child over to another family, and arranging for her to escape.
NOTE: Book readers will have noticed an obvious change in the story of Geillis. In the book, Geillis is morbidly obese and nearly unrecognizable to Claire. It would seem that in the small screen adaptation it was more desirable to have Geillis look very little changed from her last appearance.
Saving a Man’s Life
As soon as Jamie and Claire arrived in Jamaica, they began their search at the slave market in an attempt to track down young Ian. Despite asking all of the slave holders and even speaking with Mr. McIver, the man in Jamaica who works directly for Jared Fraser (Jamie’s cousin), they could not find any definitive details on Ian’s whereabouts.
In the meantime, though, Claire was overcome by the treatment of the slaves especially a young black man who was being put on rough display before a large crowd. In an attempt to save the man’s life, Jamie bought him – his name is Temeraire – using Claire’s name as his “owner.” But the couple wholeheartedly agreed that they had to find a way to set him free. And set him free they did, once he was able to help them get information from the slaves who were bought by the new governor. It was then that Claire and Jamie learned that Ian was “owned” by Mistress Abernathy at Rose Hall.
Meeting Another Ghost
Not only did Claire (and Jamie) run into one ghost from their past, but the new Governor of Jamaica was also a ghost from Jamie’s past: Lord John Grey, the mayor of Ardsmuir Prison where Jamie was held for a number of years after his capture many years after the Battle of Culloden.
Both men were quite surprised – needless to say – to see each other once again; and it was clear that Governor Gray was also shocked to learn that Claire was not dead (as Jamie had told her at Ardsmuir).
It was during this reintroduction that Jamie learned that Lord John had only recently come to Jamaica – a promotion of sorts for him – and that his wife Isobel and son Willie (Jamie’s biological son) will be joining him in the summer. It was almost hard to watch Jamie hold back the tears as Lord John told him about Willie, was it not? Not to mention that Claire could clearly see that there was something between Jamie and John as well.
The McKenzie Treasure
There is quite a story behind the Silkie Island treasure, of course. The jewels were handed down from father to son for generations, eventually ending up in the hands of Dougal McKenzie, who hid them – along with the family’s treasure. That would explain why Jamie – all those years later – found the treasure box hidden behind the McKenzie family crest in Silkie Island. But one of the three sapphires in that box was missing – and Geillis was NOT happy! She needed all three of them in order to figure out the prophecy of the Brahan Seer with the assistance of The Campbell siblings. [As viewers will recall, Archibald told Claire he and his sister were leaving Edinburgh, heading to the West Indies as the behest of a wealthy client: Mrs. Abernathy nee Geillis Duncan.]
This is where most of the action of the episode took place with Claire and Jamie encountering the ghosts from their past, Mr. Willoughby being used as a distraction, gaining attention from several well-dressed ladies in attendance [and he noticing Margaret Campbell]; learning the truth about where young Ian was being held and, unfortunately, encountering Captain Leonard of The Porpoise, who was intent on arresting Jamie for crimes against the Crown [not all of which he was actually guilty of committing.]
NOTE: Viewers will recognize Jamie and Claire’s attire at the ball as slightly altered outfits from their time in Paris as well as Fergus wearing one of Jamie’s Paris suits and Marsali in one of Claire’s Paris gowns.
Being Captured Again
Since last night’s airing was the penultimate episode, viewers were left with a cliffhanger, watching Jamie being captured again by the redcoats and Claire being left to fend for herself, holding onto the portraits of the children, which Jamie slipped to her before being led away.
“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world.” – Geillis to Claire [from the 1943 classic movie Casablanca, which Claire would absolutely recognize]
“She’s a touch strange, isn’t she?” – John to Claire and Jamie in regards to Geillis
“You have no idea.” – Claire to John
“You give me the bloody case of Benjamin Button.” – Geillis to Archibald [after trying to decipher the strange prediction made by Margaret after holding all three sapphires and reading John Gray’s “fortune”]
“I believe I’ve seen a ghost.” – Claire to John as she sees Geillis Duncan walk by
“You could’na keep your hands off me.” – Jamie to Claire [talking about how they were when they were first together, much like how Fergus and Marsali are now]
Jamie and Claire staring into each other’s eyes as they waited to be greeted by the new Governor of Jamaica.
What did you think of last night’s episode? Please share them in our comments section below.
The season finale of the third season of Outlander will air next week on Starz on Sunday, December 10 at 8/7c.