As the search for Ian picks up speed in Jamaica, ghosts from Claire’s and Jamie’s pasts make themselves known. Full recap of “The Bakra,” including new clips (first aired Sunday, December 3 at 8pm ET|PT on STARZ).
“The Bakra” flashes us back to the end of “First Wife,” this time from Young Ian’s POV. He’s just been seized by the crew of the Bruja, who apparently have come to Silkie Island for the box of treasure too. Their patron, someone called “the Bakra” wants the treasure. What does this mean for Ian? He puts up a good fight and even bites the hand of one of the crewmen who are restraining him. The leader of the group decides that, instead of feeding Ian to the pigs, they’ll deliver Ian to the Bakra too. This person apparently likes young boys… yikes!
Months later, we watch the Bruja arrive in Jamaica and Ian is still alive. But we’re likely witnessing an “out of the frying pan, into the fire moment.” Ian is brought to a plantation and thrown into a cell. He isn’t alone though… there are two other boys, Henry and Abeeku, who have also been kidnapped. Henry tells Ian that he was taken from Barbuda and when he first arrived there were six boys in total. One by one, they were taken to the Bakra and never returned. Now it’s just Henry and Abeeku. Ian shares that he was taken from Scotland, somewhere very far away. Despite asking about the Bakra, he doesn’t get much more information.
Shortly thereafter, a large African man (a servant at the plantation) escorts Ian to a bedroom. Ian sits on the bed and observes in front of him a woman bathing in blood. She emerges from the pool of blood and we see that it is Geillis Duncan (WHOA!). 20 years have passed, but Geillis still looks good… her body is banging! She introduces herself to Ian and shares that she’s also from Scotland. Geillis walks around the pool, coated in blood and pours three pitchers of water over her body. Ian is equal parts terrified and turned on. Geillis tells Ian not to worry, that it’s only goat’s blood. Apparently the protein and iron helps to keep her skin young. WELPS.
As Geillis puts on a robe, her manservant brings in a tray with cakes, pudding, and pot of tea. Ian asks what she’s done with the other boys, but Geillis encourages Ian to eat. He dives in. Geillis makes sure to serve Ian the tea with sugar and begins to question him about the box of treasure. Apparently there are supposed to be three sapphires in the box, but now there are only two. He denies taking a sapphire because he was seized by her henchmen before even opening to box. At Geillis’ insistence, Ian continues to eat and drink. Then suddenly Ian suggests that maybe his uncle has taken the sapphire. Ian slaps his hand over his mouth. Why would he admit that?! Geillis confesses that Ian has been drinking some sort of truth serum, made for her by a local witch doctor. When she asks who Ian’s uncle is, he tells her it’s James Fraser of Broch Tuarach. Geillis knows that name. She speculates about why Jamie would need her treasure, and Ian tells her about the debt Jamie needed to pay. Ian is indignant and threatens Geillis, that Jamie will come for him, but this is exactly what she wants.
Ian asks Geillis what she does with the other boys and she admits to sleeping with them before killing them. “Virgins have such power inside…” She taunts Ian, rubbing herself all over him on the bed. Geillis indicates her plan to sleep with Ian, but he says that he isn’t a virgin. Geillis isn’t phased: “Good. You’ll know what to do then.”
And then, we go to the credits! (LAWD! #SaveIan)
Elsewhere the Artemis has arrived in Kingston, Jamaica. Claire reflects on how this is the jewel of the British Empire in the Caribbean. After all this time at sea, it’s nice to be on land, even if it is a busy port. Jamie and Claire are ready to get down to business to find Ian as soon as possible. Captain Leonard is likely still after Jamie, so if they can get to Ian and set sail, it will be even better. Fergus asks Ian to make sure the casks are unloaded and then the Artemis hidden in a cove nearby. When Marsali suggests that the Porpoise has already come and gone, Jamie is doubtful. Leonard wouldn’t have had enough time to get a new crew and supplies.
At first Claire suggests that she and Jamie split up to cover more of the city, but he rejects that out of hand. Jamie has no desire to separate from Claire after they’ve just been reunited again *SWOON*
The two make their way through the port and are quickly stopped by a man asking whether they’ve just disembarked from the Artemis. Jamie is a little suspicious, but the man introduces himself as Kenneth MacIver, employed by Jared Fraser. Jamie then reciprocates by introducing himself and Claire and sharing the details of the cargo. MacIver is quite excited because he wasn’t expecting a shipment. Now he has casks of wine to provide to the new Governor of Jamaica who has just arrived and is hosting a ball that night. MacIver invites Jamie and Claire to attend, but Jamie indicates they have other priorities. As MacIver escorts Jamie and Claire to a place where they can find lodgings, they discuss Ian’s kidnapping. According to MacIver, the Bruja has already been at port and headed back out to sea, to Portugal or Africa. He suggests that they inquire for information at the local slave market, which Jamie and Claire do.
Watching the scene at the slave market is just as difficult as one would imagine. Comparatively speaking, Claire is a modern woman. Though the situation for African-Americans is nowhere near perfect in the 1940s – 1960s, it’s certainly not chattel slavery of the 1760s. Moreover, Claire’s best friend and colleague, Joe Abernathy, is an African-American man. No, this would not be a good place for Claire to be. Despite Lesley’s good intentions of having Claire perceived as a respectable lady (ergo getting her a parasol), Claire could care less because these people participating in this abhorrent institution are not respectable. Claire witnesses African men and women locked in cages, being branded, and we are all repulsed.
In the meantime, Jamie and his men ask about whether any of the slave dealers have seen a young, White boy matching Ian’s description. They also ask about the Bruja. One slave dealer denies seeing Ian and knows for a fact that the Bruja only sells Africans, not White indentured servants. He also tells Jamie that the Bruja sold slaves to the new Governor before departing the island. Lesley and Hayes suggest breaking into the Governor’s mansion to ask for information from the slaves purchased from the Bruja. Jamie tells them they won’t have to break in. He’s been invited there that very night.
Claire continues walking through the port and comes upon a slave auction. A young African man is wearing only a loincloth while a slave dealer and crowd haggle over him. Some in the crowd speculate on whether the African man is worth the asking price, since he’s been injured and cannot walk very well. Is there any way to confirm that he would be a good “stud”? (UGH.) The slave dealer raises up the loincloth so the audience can see the young man’s genitals. The slave dealer ever goes as far as to fondle the young man. This is too much for Claire. She takes her parasol and smacks the slave dealer. This causes a commotion and Jamie is quick to intercede to protect Claire. She’s distraught and begs him to do something to help the young, African man.
So, Jamie decides to purchase the young man. He presents Claire with a bill of sale, 20 pounds sterling for Temeraire, the young man. Claire is viscerally opposed to being a slave owner and wants to tear up the bill of sale and free Temeraire. Jamie agrees that Temeraire must be freed, but asks Claire to wait until they can get him to a place where he won’t be just captured and enslaved again. For the time being, they need the bill of sale as proof that Temeraire is with them. Plus, Jamie has an idea for how they might be able to get information about Ian…
Claire approaches Temeraire who is sitting outside and promises to release him. Temeraire is a little shocked that this White woman has bought him just to free him. Then Jamie sits with Temeraire and asks for help. Would he be willing to go to the Governor’s mansion with them and ask those enslaved there about information about Ian. Temeraire agrees to help.
Meanwhile, Geillis is now fully dressed and consulting with Margaret and Archibald Campbell. Apparently she is the wealthy patron that brought the Campbells from Edinburgh to the West Indies. Geillis is agitated because they only have two sapphires and they need three. According to their research, the Brahan Seer (Margaret) must be holding all three sapphires in order to conjure the prophecy for when the next great Scottish king will rise up. Clearly, time won’t be a constraint for Geillis. Archibald asks about where Geillis learned of the treasure and she says it was from Dougal MacKenzie. The treasure had been passed down from father to son and it was Dougal who hid the sapphires and his family’s treasure on Silkie Island. According to Geillis, Dougal died as a hero on the battlefield of Culloden (WRONG!) so now it was up to her to acquire the prophecy. Even all these years later, Geillis is still trying to achieve her goal of an independent Scotland! Archibald seems more interested in the rest of the treasure, while Margaret is scared. She feels the blood and death that’s associated with the treasure and doesn’t want to unleash that.
That night, Jamie, Claire, Fergus, Marsali, Yi Tien Cho, and Temeraire join Kingston’s elite at the Governor’s ball. Temeraire immediately departs to the slave quarters to start gathering information. Meanwhile, Jamie, Claire, Fergus, Marsali, and Yi Tien Cho reflect on their clothing (all dresses and suits from Jamie’s and Claire’s time in Versailles). Jamie might look like a dandy, but according to Fergus, Yi Tien Cho will attract the most attention. Jamie is alright with that because he needs these people to be distracted so they can search for Ian.
Claire and Jamie have a private moment where he compliments her on her gown: “Now, you are a vision, mo nighean donn. To look at you, could be back at Versailles… Ye look as ‘twas yesterday.”
But then, Claire immediately sees Archibald Campbell, who’s standing by the door. They’re both shocked, but exchange pleasantries. Claire asks after Margaret and Archibald says she’s enjoying their new life. They wish each other well and then part ways.
Jamie, Claire, and their group get in line to make their introductions to the Governor. Perhaps he’d be able to provide assistance with finding Ian. While they wait, Claire is observing the African men around the room. They’re dressed nicely, wearing wigs, but you can tell Claire is still repulsed. Slavery is an abomination, no matter how you try to dress it up. Jamie notices where Claire’s attention is and asks how much longer the slave trade lasts. She says 70 more years in the British Empire and 100 more years in America.
A young woman asks about Yi Tien Cho: “Where did you find him? I must know. Is he genuine?” (UGH.) Jamie introduces Yi Tien Cho as an acquaintance from China and Yi Tien Cho is very charming. However, he’s immediately distracted. Yi Tien Cho looks across the room and sees Margaret sharing a prophecy with one of the African servants, telling him that one day he will find freedom. Archibald scolds Margaret and leads her away, but she and Yi Tien Cho make eye contact and smile at one another.
Jamie and Claire are still waiting in line and their attention shifts to Marsali and Fergus who are flirting behind them:
Claire: “Do you remember when we were like that? So obvious in public?
Jamie: “Aye. Couldna keep yer hands off me. ‘Course you were holding on from the back of the horse for most of the time, so it couldn’t be helped.”
Then they share a stare that’s enough to set us all on fire. Claire and Jamie might not be so public, but the passion is still hot between them, and will always me *SWOONY SIGH*
When Jamie looks to see how much longer the line is, he receives a shock:
“Perhaps it’s because of yer coming through the stones. The ghosts that keep coming into our lives, drawn to us, like we are drawn to each other…”
Because Jamaica’s new Governor is Lord John Grey! Jamie and Claire reach the front of the line. He makes himself known to Lord John and greets His Excellency. Lord John is equally shocked and thrilled to see his good friend here in Jamaica. That shock escalates when Jamie introduces Claire. How in the world did Jamie end up in Jamaica AND reunited with his dead wife? LJG really wants to hear the story and escorts Jamie and Claire to his office for some privacy. As the walk across the mansion, we observe Geillis watching Claire.
Once they enter the room, Claire stands back a little bit while Jamie and LJG catch up. Jamie asks about Willie and LJG is once again shocked. Should they be talking about Willie in front of Claire? But Jamie confirms that Claire already knows about his son. LJG is taken aback, but says that Willie and Isobel will be joining him in Jamaica later. LJG confirms that Willy is well, still an excellent equestrian, and remembers Mac from time to time. Then Jamie and Lord John share an intense stare of their own…
Claire is observing the vibes here and interjects. She asks Lord John how he has become Governor of Jamaica and he says that is a promotion of sorts, after being stationed in different posts. When LJG asks why Jamie and Claire are in Jamaica, they give him the details of Ian’s kidnapping. Lord John promises to provide help and introduce them to influential families on the island that keep indentured servants. Jamie mentions that Temeraire is already speaking to some of the slaves at the Governor’s mansion.
Jamie looks down and notices that Lord John is wearing the sapphire he brought from Silkie Island as a token;
LJG: “Indeed it is. The sapphire you gave me at Ardsmuir. I wear it to… remember our friendship.” *SIDEEYE*
Lord John excuses himself to get back to the guests
Back in the reception, Jamie and Claire have some champagne. MacIver makes his way over to suggest he introduce them to a Freemason who has connections across Jamaica. Claire stays back while Jamie goes.
Outside, Margaret takes a moment to herself for some peace and quiet. Yi Tien Cho approaches her and insists that Margaret deserves better treatment from her brother. She takes Yi Tien Cho and recognizes him as a rare soul. Yi Tien Cho responds that Margaret is even more rare, and calls her “flower from heaven” in Chinese.
LJG meets Claire here, and she offers him champagne. The reminisce over their first meeting at Corrieyairack before Culloden. They both recognize her and Jamie’s deception at that time. Lord John asks about Jamie telling Claire about WIllie and she says she knows about him and his mother, LJG’s sister-in-law, Geneva. (Nope, no secrets here!) It’s a little awkward, but Claire asks again about the sapphire:
LJG: “He found it after he was searching for you. He believed you might have come back to him. And… now you have.”
Claire: “Yes. I have.” *SNAPS*
LJG: “Well, it certainly is a pleasure to finally meet the love that was his every heartbeat.”
But then Claire looks up and sees Gellis Duncan. She excuses herself to chase down this ghost…
It’s another shock because Claire thought Geillis was dead. Geillis says that at Cranesmuir, they decided to let her live until the baby was born to carry out her sentence. She was in the thieves’ hold for three months. They brought her out when she went into labor and her baby was born: “They let me hold him and he was as warm as his father’s balls.” (OK, Geillis…)
Geillis was able to convince Dougal to let her live. He took their child and gave him to another family, helped Geillis escape, and instead Grannie Joan MacClellan who died three days before was burned at the stake. Geillis tells Claire that she came to Jamaica after finding out about Dougal’s death. She married a wealthy sugar plantation owner who just happened to die soon after. Geillis is Mistress Abernathy of Rose Hall now.
Claire thanks Geillis for saving her life and tells her about looking for Jamie’s nephew who has been kidnapped. Geillis is shocked (SHOCKED!) to hear this and promises to help anyway she can. Geillis compliments Claire’s necklace, a gift from Jamie. Geillis is extra excited to see Jamie again to… “Perhaps he’ll have a bauble for me as well.”
When Claire and Gellis come back inside, Jamie and Lord John are talking. Claire introduces Geillis to Lord John and notices the sapphire token. Geillis almost rips it right off his shirt! LJG is a little embarrassed that it’s getting so much attention. When he confirms that it was found off the coast of Scotland, Geillis excuses herself. She finds Archibald and tells him that Margaret has to do readings for the crowd, Lord John’s in particular.
As Margaret is doing readings, a crowd surrounds her, including Jamie, Claire, LJG. Margaret tells her brother that she doesn’t want to make the prophecy because it will bring death. She only wants to help people. Yi Tien Cho sees Archibald squeezing Margaret’s hand and threatening to beat her.
Geillis pounces and insists that the Governor have his fortune told. He tries to decline, but after the other guests encourage him, Lord John takes a seat. Margaret is already holding the two other sapphires in her hand. Geillis tells LJG that Margaret will need something personal, so he gives her the sapphire from his pin. With the three sapphires in hand, Margaret makes the prophecy:
“When twice 1,200 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.”
Lord John retrieves his sapphire and breaks the tension in the room by making a joke about the peculiarities. Archibald and Geillis go outside to translate the prophecy: “a new king will rise in Scotland upon the death of a child that is 200 years old on the day of its birth.” WHO?
Geillis is frustrated by this idiocy, but says she will be patient with Archibald as he tries to figure out what the prophecy mean.
Back by the front, Fergus and Marsali are having a little tryst, when Fergus notices that Captain Leonard has arrived. They return to the ballroom to warn Jamie and Claire, and they all make a hasty exit.
On their way to the carriage, Temeraire catches up with Jamie and tells him that he has information that Ian is with Mistress Abernathy at Rose Hall. Claire immediately recognizes that Geillis lied. Jamie and Claire promise to keep their side of the bargain and Temeraire suggests joining other escaped slaves living in mountains near Rose Hall.
Jamie, Claire, and Temeraire are able to get away (though Captain Leonard sees the carriage leaving the Governor’s mansion). On their way to Rose Hall, Temeraire sees a mark in the trees denoting the path to the mountains. Jamie and Claire wish him well and he’s off. But before they can continue to Rose Hall, Captain Leonard and his soldiers descend on the carriage. Jamie immediately hands Claire the portraits of Bree and Willie, “for safekeeping.” (OHMYHEART!)
Claire tries to appeal to Captain Leonard to let Jamie go. If it wasn’t for her he would be dead of typhoid! Captain Leonard isn’t persuaded, he reads Jamie his charges of murder (John Barton) and high treason for sedition. The other soldiers lead Jamie away and Jamie begs Claire to continue and find Ian.
Sassenachs, we have lots of thoughts to share about all the OMG-moments inand lots more in our weekly episode review, now live on YouTube (below):
If you missed tonight’s episode, you can watch (or rewatch) “The Bakra” on STARZ Play online HERE or via the STARZ Play app.
Sassenachs, next week’s Outlander is the last one of the season, and there’s a lot to get through to save Ian, save Jamie, and depending on Geillis’ shenanigans, we might need to gather in a prayer circle to save Claire too! I’m not at all ready to talk about Droughtlander, so we’ll save those feels for later. Share your thoughts about “The Bakra” with us in comments!