Want a minute-by-minute recap of Outlander Season 3 episode 12, “The Bakra?” We give all the details…
Do you find yourself gabbing obsessively about Outlander to your friends and family? Wishing your Sunday nights included a living room full of people with whom to watch, discuss, comment, cheers, jeers and well, experience alllllll the feels? Dinna fash, Obsessenach—you are not alone.
Good news—we can
get new family and friends pour ourselves a dram and, through the magic of technology, enjoy it together! As we brought to you during Season 2, we’ll be LIVE blogging all the episodes in Season 3. Like the Outlander Cast podcast, it will be SPOILER FREE for non-book readers.
Not into distractions during your visit to the World of Outlander? That’s okay! Our LIVE blogs double as episodic recaps to serve as a trusty viewing companion on your second, third and umpteenth re-watches (hey, we get it).
So get all your post-18th Century gadgets ready and settle in, because the best things in life should be shared with a buddy. Hi, buddy.
Now let the show begin…[8:03 p.m.] Well this week’s “previously on Outlander” certainly provided a trip down Season 3 memory lane… and spoiled the heck out of what’s likely to come in this episode for anyone who hasn’t read Voyager. [8:04 p.m.] Who’s this precious-but-gangly, pony-tailed ginger? Oh right, Ian. That nephew we lost four episodes ago. I’d nearly forgotten about him. [8:05 p.m.] The Bakra likes young boys. The goats need grass. Coco won’t like that at all. This is starting to turn into the most complex Hollywood green room hospitality rider I’ve ever heard. [8:06 p.m.] We’re heeeeere (because it’s Christmas and I can’t resist a Love Actually nod). Ian’s crew must have signed up for a fast pass to Jamaica. And yet, I’m grateful we didn’t expend screen time with yet another account of a perilous journey at sea. [8:07 p.m.] “What’s the Bakra?” Yes, please enlighten us. Because right now I’m convinced it’s either Coco’s evil twin or a nagging condition Claire might be willing to dip into the penicillin stash to cure. [8:08 p.m.] THAT VOICE. Brace for impact, folks—we’re headed to Crazy Town! [8:09 p.m.] I can’t unsee that Carrie-like return of Geillis Duncan. And yet, I can’t look away. But who cares about me, because between the fire interrupting him mid-coitus and this, wee Ian might never have sex again. Also, only the captivating Lotte Verbeek could pull this off. [8:10 p.m.] I’ve heard of a lot of beauty hacks, but bathing in goat’s blood for that youthful appearance is a first. Future #MinuteWithMary perhaps? Side note: would this be listed on the spa treatment menu as The Arabella Soak? If so, I’d much rather prefer The Mamacita Soak enjoyed by Claire. [8:11 p.m.] Only someone who’s been imprisoned for a lengthy bout could still muster up an appetite for a little Scottish tea time moments after that. Either Geillis doesn’t care for the spray of cake crumbs produced by a teenage boy’s eating habits or she’s trying to poison him. Because I don’t think it’s genuine Scottish hospitality fueling the tea re-fills. [8:12 p.m.] Ian, your mum’s never needed a witch’s brew tea to dole out the truth, but your vulnerable anxiety mixed with unavoidable fascination here is priceless. John Bell’s facial expressions are superb! [8:13 p.m.] Who slithered better—Lotte Verbeek, or Scar the snake from last week’s episode? I’m beginning to think Geillis and her feet and Mr. Willoughby and his elbow love might be a match made in creepy fetish heaven. [8:14 p.m.] God’s tooth—THAT WAS ALL BEFORE THE OPENING SEQUENCE! Let’s hereby change the term “cold open” to CREEPY ASS OPEN. Hopefully just for this one episode. [8:16 p.m.] Fergus and Marsali must have heard Claire’s inner monologue on what she knew Jamaica to be, because they’re nibbling on that food all cute and mildly seductive like, “Give us a minute? Trying to sneak in a little island honeymoon.” To which Jamie and Claire’s looks are all, “Seriously? GET IN LINE.” [8:17 p.m.] I love that the Frasers’ social calendar still remains more robust than mine, and I’m not currently on a frantic hunt for a missing family member. I’m not sure where you should place more concern. [8:18 p.m.] While I’m still celebrating the death of the bumroll, I can’t help but think it would have made a nice little shelf for Claire to rest her gimp arm on. [8:19 p.m.] And they call the slaves “savages.” Claire’s visible horror at ingesting the slave market matches all of ours. For all the atrocities she’s witnessed—and there have been plenty—in both centuries she’s lived, this is the definition of a truly fresh hell. [8:20 p.m.] Abernathy! That name tossed among the bidding plus the image of this handsome, dark-skinned man and it’s no wonder Claire hulk-smashed this public sale. [8:21 p.m.] Claire’s moral conflict over buying a slave in order to free him reminds me of anyone who buys a puppy from one of those mall pet stores. The conditions are deplorable and it pains you to see it, so you bite. Yes, you’re saving that one puppy, but perpetuating the bigger puppy mill problem in doing so. Her looks says she feels this, but Jamie has done the right thing. [8:23 p.m.] “You bought me… to set me free?” His careful, timid delivery just did me in. You can only imagine the blend of disbelief, skepticism and, ultimately, relief racing through this man’s mind if that turn of fate proves true. [8:24 p.m.] Sister Margaret! She gives Coco a run for its money in the prophetic consultation game. And while Jamie Fraser can’t seem to keep track of his sister’s son, Archie Campbell truly wins for worst brother ever. [8:25 p.m.] I’d nearly forgotten about the trunk full of couture Fergus hauled aboard the Artemis (how convenient). And here I was wondering how Claire was going to glam up the batsuit for a black-tie affair. [8:26 p.m.] I love the smiles these fancy five have at donning their finest for this ball, even amidst continued chaos. It’s the same face I make when I actually ditch my daily running-errands-at-Target, stretchy yoga pants look and get dolled up for a night out with friends at an establishment that doesn’t have chicken fingers on the menu. The same, I tell you. [8:27 p.m.] I’m with Jamie—Claire does look as gorgeous, if not more, as she did in that dress more than 20 years ago. And while we’re at it, I’m digging Jamie’s turn as Silver Fox Fraser. [8:28 p.m.] Oh please let Yi Tien Cho get a little action tonight. I think he’s owed a little pleasure, don’t you? It’d be as fulfilling for me as seeing Murtagh get lucky with Suzette. But wait, with… Margaret? [8:29 p.m.] Oh my god, SMOLDERING! My breath hitched too, Claire. Of all the intimate things we’ve watched these two do, this knowing glance between them might top my list. You know they’re hoping for a coat closet or something else the equivalent of the dirty storage room of a ship’s hull. Or perhaps not. But either way, may we all look at our life partners with as much love, lust and admiration after nearly 25 years together. [8:31 p.m.] Well hellooooo, Governor! Jamie and Lord John Grey’s clear excitement at seeing each other is also mine at getting to see more of David Berry this season. I’d feared LJG’s later appearances in Voyager might have been cut given some, um, earlier creative liberties taken this season. But here he is and he’s dashing! Island life suits him, as he appears to have gotten a little sun (or a pint of blood) and lost that Twilight smarklemation look. [8:32 p.m.] Geillis needs bangs. That is all. [8:34 p.m.] I love that Willie has his own Bear McCreary theme. It’s hard not to smile thinking of Willie—as evidenced by Jamie and LJG here—and for me, of the adorable Clark Butler and his work as Jamie’s son in “Of Lost Things.” [8:35 p.m.] Claire’s all, “Hi. I’m still here, by the way.” [8:36 p.m.] Hunt for the missing nephew aside, what Claire really wants right about now is to shoot three of those champagnes in rapid succession and get Sassenach wasted before playing a little game with Jamie called 20 Questions: The Lord John Grey Edition. [8:37 p.m.] And just when I thought I’d seen all the puppy dog love pairings for this season… [8:38 p.m.] You got heirloom pearls, Claire, and whatever gorgeous necklace you’re sporting tonight—keep that in mind as you ogle the sapphire with confused jealousy. In all seriousness (sure Ashley, because now’s the time to start?), you could cut the underlying tension here with Jamie’s dirk. I’ve been waiting for Caitriona Balfe and David Berry to finally share the screen together and it was definitely worth the wait. [8:39 p.m.] What’s the ghost count in this episode now? I’m losing track. But at least this ghost comes with the stones theme. No, not the Rolling Stones—Bear’s Standing Stones theme! [8:40 p.m.] “Twas the wee ratling that saved my life.” Such sweet mother’s endearment. I’m going to try it out on my son. [8:41 p.m.] I spoke too soon in my crowning of the Geillis-ism of the episode—“he was as warm as his father’s balls.” I can’t. Just no. [8:42 p.m.] Claire has rightly opted for a game of 20 Questions: The Geillis Duncan Edition instead, and I can’t blame her. So many lingering questions answered! I think? And yet, I have more. I’m relieved, however, that Claire is taking it all in with the hesitation and skepticism it deserves. Because this lady cray-cray. [8:43 p.m.] Wait, just so I’m clear—bauble = jewel, right? Because Geillis tossed men’s balls into this garden chat one too many times for me not to be panicked for Jamie right now. [8:44 p.m.] I think Claire’s three-champagne plan is a good one—I’m going to need more booze to get through this party. It’s a doozy. [8:46 p.m.] She’s right, Governor, you really don’t know the half of it. But Geillis pawing at the sapphire is a tad too Gollum for me. Or like the maniacal little leprechaun from that campy horror flick muttering, “gimme back mi gold.” [8:48 p.m.] Wait, seriously? I refuse to believe LJG just handed over his beloved Jamie token to the crazy lady at the party. Nope. I’m sorry, but this sleight of hand trick is too contrived and too hokey for a character—and a show—this smart. Also, what are the over-under odds that Willoughby delivers justice for Margaret in some way by episode’s end? Because Campbell really is the worst, so I’m not objecting. [8:50 p.m.] For those of you picturing a CGI’d baby Brad Pitt and thinking “hold up, that story is newer than the 1960s”, you’re not alone. But I’ve looked it up and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was first a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald written in 1922. Now that we have that cleared up, back to our Margaret riddle—a baby 200 years old on the day of its birth. Hmm, Bree? [8:51 p.m.] These two are blissfully unaware of all the mayhem inside, and I sort of wish we’d just spent more time this episode with them and their canoodling instead of locked in the bowels of Crazy Town. [8:52 p.m.] All this scene’s missing is a glass slipper, because Captain Leonard’s appearance has the fancy four (where’s Willoughby?!) racing from the ball in pursuit of their carriage like Cinderella fearing the stroke of midnight. [8:53 p.m.] Farewell, Temairie. May you go live as freely as Jamie’s locks are now that the wig has flown off. [8:54 p.m.] They just happened to come upon them in the dark trails of Jamaica? C’mon. No. Just NO. But I love that the children’s portraits were handed over safely. People often ask what you’d take out of your house in a hurry if it were on fire. James Fraser doesn’t need to be asked; he just knows. [8:55 p.m.] Annnnd, they’re separated again. Well that reunion was short-lived. Annnnd, James Fraser is headed back to jail. Again. Jamie has to be at Yelp Elite status by now with his plethora of prison reviews. [8:57 p.m.] So now we’ve got one episode left and TWO prisoners to free? This feels like when you hit the speed-down button on a treadmill only to have it incline-up in response. Oy. I’m going to need to hydrate more to keep up. Notice I didn’t say with what.
So that happened. I’m not sure this episode was my favorite or even in the middle of the list if I were ranking in them, but I reserve the right to re-evaluate upon multiple re-watches. While there were some definite bright spots—notably, John Bell’s acting, the return of Lotte Verbeek, Claire and Jamie’s affection, Fergus and Marsali’s newlywed pawing and David Berry’s chemistry with, well, everyone—overall, it felt clunky (perfect word for it, Janet). Not completely unlike an ill-designed edition of those choose your own adventure books that occupied my youth. Or like Days of Our Lives. Oh Stefano Dimera, why must you torture our Jamie and Claire so. Please just leave them be to figure out the intrigue and mystery behind Maison Blanche without peril.
Admittedly, I didn’t re-read Voyager before this season began, so the back-third of a very long book and what transpires are fuzzy in my brain. But I am fairly certain we’ve taken a lot of detours and deviations from the original source material. And while the show is the show and the book is the book, the book itself already had a lot of material to try and cover, so why create new holes to plug by season’s end? It’s time to wrap it up, people, and set us up nicely for Season 4 and Drums of Autumn.
I’m unwavering in my love for Outlander, don’t confuse that. But we have—gulp—57 minutes (yes, I checked IMDB to confirm) left to close out this voyage and a lot of ground to cover in some way. And that has me feeling a bit like Ian with a wee keek at Geillis’ boob—equal parts unnaturally excited and completely terrified at how it will all go down.
Until next week’s finale, friends! It’ll be a special one—not only will I be cozied up with my Outlander Cast pals watching it as part of our Season 3 Finale Party, but Nikki Gastineau and I will join snarky forces for one final recap!
If you’ve missed any of our episode recaps, you can catch up with them here:
Episode 3.01: “The Battle Joined”
Episode 3.02: “Surrender”
Episode 3.03: “All Debts Paid”
Episode 3.04: “Of Lost Things”
Episode 3.05: “Freedom & Whisky”
Episode 3.06: “A. Malcolm”
Episode 3.07: “Crème De Menthe”
Episode 3.08: “First Wife”
Episode 3.09: “The Doldrums”
Episode 3.10: “Heaven and Earth”
Episode 3.11: “Uncharted”