Outlander: The Bakra   Books Included 
December 3, 2017 9:18 AM - Season 3, Episode 12 - Subscribe

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.
posted by olinerd (12 comments total)
I really appreciate how they’re simplifying the plot of this book but still managing to cover all the bases and (presumably) end in the same place.
posted by something something at 9:53 AM on December 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I thought this episode was among the best this season in condensing a lot of the story threads effectively.

Oh Geillis.

The “I want to jump you right now” body language between Claire and Jamie in line was awesome. As was the Lord John/Jamie interaction when they saw each other again. As was the obvious Claire jealousy. So good!
posted by olinerd at 12:07 PM on December 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

This episode was really great at pulling together all the needed plot points without going down quite all the rabbit holes that Gabaldon did (bless her).

I was glad to read last week that some of you really enjoyed that ep, because I did not. Did not like the endless wandering of Claire through the jungle (although I get the idea, and appreciate how this show is not afraid to give certain scenes a lot of space). I did not like the clumsy exposition on the beach between Jaime and Fergus, catching us up on what had been going on with them. I didn't really feel the emotion I wanted to at Fergus's and Marsali's marriage.

BUT, bygones! ... this week really stepped on the gas! Loved seeing Ian's kidnapping from his perspective. Loved Geillis's bloodbath (incredibly creepy). And Claire all dressed up again, and Jamie in a wig, wheeeeee!

Also agree totally with olinerd about the sexual tension between Claire and Jamie. AND between Jamie and John Grey, which I have to say I can't see as entirely one-sided (although Jamie's obviously made his choice and will love Claire world without end, amen). But in any case those three actors did some sizzling work with their eyes and faces, along with the limited and awkward dialog amongst the three of them.

I think the show is doing a decent job (I guess) of downplaying or sort of re-orienting some of the problematic ethnic issues in Gabaldon's book. Still not a fan of the whole "white savior" flavor of Claire's and Jamie's rescue of Temeraire.

How did the rest of you feel about that? I mean... it's not like I have any idea how I as a white woman would react at being dropped in the middle of a slave market in 1700s Jamaica. It's not a scenario that bears thinking of.

I do think they could have given Claire a breaking point that had to do with something like a branding, rather than the imminent proof of Temeraire's virility, a subject which with black men is such a fraught matter to this day.

But then I wonder when I have reactions like this if it's ME trying to whitewash history, and unwilling to enter into some of those most horrific aspects of it. I dunno....
posted by torticat at 8:49 PM on December 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

Book Lord John has previously met Geillis.

Steve Berry's Cotton Malone is also a time traveler(the piece fills a hole in Voyager).

The segment with Margaret Campbell and Yi Tien Cho makes me wonder if he's going to be present at the oracle...and SPOILER

if she's going to wind up with him instead of Ishmael.
posted by brujita at 5:42 AM on December 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've been processing this episode all day. Torticat, I feel the same about the white savior aspect, and also agree that I think they're giving a good college try at making the source material less problematic. I felt really uncomfortable watching the slave market scene, and well I should have. I don't think it would be appropriate to have an episode set in Jamaica in the 1700s and avoid the topic of slavery, we should have to confront it and feel uncomfortable.

The AV Club has very good points. I do wonder, though, how far astray show writers could have really gone for any of these issues, when they are such plot dependencies from the book. I'm thinking out loud, here, though, and I'm not sure what the right answer is.

That AV Club review really rips in Geillis, because the author really liked her character, but in my mind Geillis has always been evil. She's killed a bunch of people with like no remorse. And let's not forget that Claire saw Geillis kill her husband at the stone circle in the 60s in Inverness, that had to have been at the forefront of Claire's mind during their reunion.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 4:08 PM on December 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

in my mind Geillis has always been evil.

Absolutely! This is such a weird thing to say:
“The Bakra” is one of the worst episodes in Outlander’s history and not merely because it presents a revisionist history of Geillis and her relationship with Claire.

There's nothing "revisionist" about Geillis except for in perception. She's been bad from the beginning; it just takes a while for the reader/viewer (through Claire's perspective) to find out.
posted by torticat at 4:44 PM on December 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

favourite captions this ep include:

[edgy music continues]
[sinister sweeping music]
[agitated honking]

jaime's outfit was not ridiculous enough and i feel ROBBED AND BETRAYED
posted by poffin boffin at 8:52 PM on December 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Something about that scene between Geillis and young Ian reminded me of Lady Sylvia bathing Kevin in Lair of the White Worm.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 5:02 PM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

I actually kind of hated how they are condensing the story - like, I get it makes sense, but it’s actually confusing me why they’re doing it the way they are. In the books wasn’t Brianna the Scottish ruler? Now they’re making it she has to die for the king to rise?
posted by corb at 8:58 PM on December 17, 2017

At the time g thinks she's the last of the lovat frasers(and what about the descendents of Jenny's brood?......and later on will it turn out that a sex worker Willie has slept with who didn't know about sponges and vinegar/tansy has chosen to keep her baby?)
posted by brujita at 4:38 PM on December 18, 2017

So I think they’re being literalists here. Why not Jenny’s brood? Because they’re not Frasers except by clan, maybe. Since she’s married to Ian, then her name would be Jenny IansName, of Clan Fraser. But she’s not part of Lovat’s line, exactly. Same with Willie, who is legally Lord Wossname.

But really this prophecy is stupid and I haven’t read far enough in the books to realize if it ever gets less stupid.
posted by corb at 7:32 PM on December 18, 2017

....and Jemmy and Mandy are MacKenzies. I'm inferring from the upcoming title that one of the main group goes forward in time to stop Rob Cameron and his ilk and I hope that in this volume we will learn What Frank Knew.
posted by brujita at 12:11 AM on December 19, 2017

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