Outlander Season 3 Episode 12 “The Bakra” Recap


Warning: Contains spoilers for season three, episode 12 of Outlander, “The Bakra.”

Frankly, I’m not sure what’s more shocking in this penultimate episode of Outlander season three: That Geillis is back, and that she bathes in GOATS’ BLOOD? Or that LORD JOHN is back, too, and still in love with Jamie? Or that Captain Leonard has made landfall and isn’t stuffing around? It’s all a BIT TOO MUCH, honestly. I’m not happy this season’s almost over, but I’m not not happy that my blood pressure can finally go back to normal after next week.

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Here are all our thoughts and feelings about “The Bakra.”

1. Finally, we find out what happened to Young Ian. He’s been captured by pirates who want to kill him, which seems standard for Outlander. But Young Ian’s not having it (he’s Jenny’s son and Jamie’s nephew, after all) so he bites one of the people manhandling him. This seems to perversely impress the ruffian-in-charge, so instead he’s put into the shiphold for someone—a woman—called the Bakra, who apparently “likes young boys.” Oh very dear.

2. Soon, Ian’s in a fancy bedroom, on a fancy bed covered in velvet drapes. This whole thing about the Bakra liking young boys is rather horrible, and it becomes even more obvious how much Outlander wants to ruin our whole evening when a delicate leg covered in blood lifts out of a bath.



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3. OH. MY. GOD. I would recognize that lilting Scottish voice anywhere. IT’S GEILLIS. Or should I say Gillian? THAT WILY OLD TIME-TRAVELLING, DEATH-DEFYING, APPARENTLY BLOOD-BATHING WITCH! How exciting. How did she get there? How did she survive? Does she EAT the boys? Is that PLUM CAKE? I bet there’s something in it.

4. Oh, so it’s the tea that’s dosed up. Geillis, you horrible woman. Honestly, how did a Scottish nationalist turn into a, um, I don’t know what she is. Slave trader? Also, I wonder how that treasure came to belong to her. The fact that it’s hers, though, also solves a mystery from earlier on in the season: She’s the “white lady” the man babbled about to Jamie. Now she’s forcing Young Ian to have sex with her, too—she’s truly gone beyond the point of no return.

Lotte Verbeek as Geillis in Outlander

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5. Every time Jamie says “I’m not losing you again” to Claire, I’m sorry, but I just have to laugh. Yeah, right. Outlander‘s secret subtitle should be “Oops, Where’s My Claire Gone, Then?”

6. This slave market scene might be historically accurate, but it’s also extremely disturbing. I’m not at all convinced I needed to see a young woman being branded to understand how brutal the trade was.

7. Claire’s powerlessness and horror in the face of the slave trading lead her to attack one of the traders, who’s callously handling a slave’s genitals. Her instinctive reaction and distress lead to a messy fight in the square, but she’s desperate to do something about the situation. Jamie’s solution is to buy the slave, Temeraire, but as Claire says, it’s still a nightmare. She doesn’t want to own a slave, and there’s nothing they can do about the bigger problem of the slave trade as a whole. They’re also in a bind with regards to Temeraire himself; if they set him free there in Kingston, he may be recaptured. Claire wants to rid herself of the documentation that names her his owner, but Jamie reminds her that without proof of the sale, Temeraire might also be recaptured.

This is an extremely ugly historical moment—and it does echo a situation Claire and Jamie have been in before, back in Culloden. Like Claire says in the book Dragonfly in Amber: “You cannot save the world, but you might save the man in front of you, if you work fast enough.”

Outlander Season 3 Claire and Jamie

‘You think she looks like Meg Ryan?’

STARZ

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8 The fortune-teller Claire met back in Edinburgh, Margaret, is in Geillis’ service. Now we know why Geillis wants that final sapphire. There’s a prophecy about when the new Scottish king will rise, and Margaret needs all three to divine it. She’s a political fanatic, which we already knew—she killed her own husband, after all—but it’s still hard to reconcile the young woman handing out flyers at a university with this murderous, calculating, single-minded operator.

9. The way that young woman talked to Yi Tien Cho was unbearable. Obviously, it would have been rare for a young English woman to see a Chinese man, but her tittering and fetishizing was rather too much. He had to be so polite to her in return, too. Ugh.

10. Fergus and Marsali’s obvious love for each other is making Claire nostalgic. But not to be outdone, Jamie gives her a looking-over that just made me pregnant. Thanks for the eye-sex, ClaMie!

11. Yet another blast from the past: The governor here is none but Lord John Grey himself. (He is also looking pretty amazing.) Neither John nor Jamie can believe it. Him meeting Claire is a pretty wonderful moment too, and a little bittersweet given John loved Jamie so much. Perhaps he still does.

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12. And Geillis is there too. This is some party. Anyway, she’s seen Claire and Jamie. Will she get her hands on that jewel? John is the one who has it, after all. What a WHIRLWIND. I need a lie-down.

13. Of course, Jamie’s dying to know whether Willie is there in Jamaica with John, but that’s a reunion we’re going to have to wait longer for. Still, Jamie’s crying.

14. LORD JOHN IS WEARING THE SAPPHIRE JAMIE GAVE HIM. Why are the fire sprinklers on? Oh, sorry. That’s actually just SAD WATER FROM MY EYES.

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15. Next time you think about how much you hate going to parties where you don’t know anyone, just think about poor Claire. She’s at a party in a different century, wearing clothes from decades ago, in a city she’s never visited, looking for her kidnapped nephew. Oh, plus there’s a guy who’s still in love with her husband and a murder witch about. Seems fine!

16. This moment between Margaret and Yi Tien Cho is a very special one. They’re both outsiders; even their family and friends don’t necessarily see them for who they are. But they can understand each other pretty well, I think.

17. What a funny, awkward, and yet sweet moment between John and Claire. “A pleasure to meet the love that was his every heartbeat,” says John, though it can’t be easy for John to see Jamie again, especially with wife in tow. And Claire didn’t know about John’s devotion to Jamie, so her question about where the sapphire came from was particularly pointed. But she understands what it’s like to be in love with Jamie—even if she can’t know what it’s like for that love not to be reciprocated. Game recognize game.

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18. “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world.” Geillis sure knows how to make an entrance. Finally we discover how she survived: Because she was pregnant, they didn’t burn her straight away. Dougal, bless his foolish soul, came to get the baby and helped her escape. The baby—Roger’s ancestor, don’t forget—was secreted away somewhere. Which reminds me, I guess Roger and Brianna are kind of related? LOL, yuck.

19. “Why are men such fools? You can lead them anywhere by the cock for a while. Give them a bairn, and you have them by the balls again. But that’s all you are to them. Whether you’re coming in, or going out. A c**t.” Is Geillis my favorite character? COULD BE.

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20. “I married a plantation owner. Drowning in sugar money. Poor sop died years ago…very unhealthy atmosphere for Englishmen in the tropics. Any little thing will carry them off.” So Geillis killed off another husband! I’m screaming.

21. But Geillis isn’t going to tell Claire about Young Ian. She needs to find that jewel first.

22. Margaret doesn’t want to tell John’s fortune—she says it’ll bring death. That doesn’t sound very good at all…

23. “When twice 1200 moons have coursed, ‘tween man’s attack and woman’s curse and when the issue is cut down. Then will a Scotsman wear a crown.” Geillis and Margaret’s brother Archibald Campbell pore over Margaret’s prediction, and decide that it refers to the death of a child who is 200 years old on the day of its birth. This is very, very, very bad news for the only child of that description we know about: Brianna.

24. And now Captain Leonard’s here? MOTHER OF GOD. I can’t handle this. And Temeraire’s managed to find out that Young Ian is at Geillis’ place. And now Temeraire is free. And now Jamie’s captured. And now I think I’m having a heart attack.



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