ONE MORE episode my Outlandish friends. ONE more. Then we have stuck in that dreaded Droughtlander once again for about a year. Where does the time go?
After a couple of slow-moving episodes, we are finally back into plot twists, adventure, and intrigue. Quite a bit in this one hour!
The episode starts with a few months before when Ian is abducted from Silkie Island and is thrown onto the Bruja. He has that Fraser spirit and fire as he bites the hand of one of his captors and he impresses who I am guessing is the captain with his spirits, and they decide not to kill him, but that "the Bakra" would like him and the Bakra likes young boys. Okay, Ian, you are in trouble. When they say someone likes young boys.... it is never good.
When the ship arrives in Jamaica, Ian is taken to a holding cell for these young boys. He soon finds two other boys are in there with him. He asks about this Bakra. The one, Henry, says that all he knows is that there used to be more boys and one by one they were taken to the see the Bakra, and they never returned. Great news, isn't it?
However, it isn't long before Young Ian is taken to a bedroom on this estate he has been taken to. He is made to sit on a bed. By this time the poor lad is totally freaking out. He is probably sure he is about to die. Especially being the first thing he sees is a woman bathing in a tub of blood..... YES.... I SAID BLOOD. A literal bloodbath. Of course, Young Ian must be thinking that the blood is of those missing boys, which probably doesn't help his anxiety levels. He asks the woman in the tub of blood "Are you the Bakra?" To which a very familiar Scottish woman's voice answers "I am." Holy hell, it is Gellis Duncan that crazy ass witch from season one and also not so sane in the 1960's either (aka Gillian). Well, that bitch is NOT dead.
She slinks her way out of the tub and closer to Ian and smiles as she says she heard he was Scottish and proceeds to pick up a jug of water while telling Young Ian not to fret it is only goats blood. Woman....how many poor defenseless goats had to die for you to take a sick ass bath? Gellis rinses off her body with water and tells Young Ian (and all of us) that it is what keeps her skin young. Not a remedy I am willing to try anytime soon. She puts on a robe an barely closes it as food is brought in. My alarm bells are going off. She poisoned her husband back in Cranesmuir, so there HAS to be something in that cake or tea.
Well, Ian scarfs down the cake, Gellis offers him some tea. He takes a sip, and apparently, it is bitter, and Gellis tells him it is better with sugar and adds some. She waits a bit and then asks him how he came to be holding her treasure box when the pirates captured him and that there were three sapphires in the box and now there are only two. She demands to know if he took it and where it is. Young Ian with a mouthful of plum cake replies he doesn't know. Gellis asks him again and watches as his facial expression starts to change. Young Ian blurts out that maybe his uncle took it as he knew where the treasure was. He quickly claps his hands over his mouth entirely shocked that he said that. Gellis chuckles and says that the tea has a truth serum in it that a local witch doctor makes for her and is very effective. She asks who his uncle is and it is her turn to be shocked as he says "James Fraser of Broch Turoch."
Gellis makes sexual advances on the poor boy and Ian informs her that his uncle is coming to rescue him. “Oh, I’m counting on it, lad,” she says, slithering over him that makes that snake climbing over Claire look tame in comparison. Gellis mentions that she beds the boys that they bring to her because their main value to her is their virginity. “I’m not a virgin,” he says. “Good,” she replies, flipping her robe open. “You’ll know what to do then.”
Just a note here. Gellis is a large woman when we meet her in the books again. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed because I chuckle at that. However, I knew they weren't about to put poor Lotte Verbeek in a fat suit, and the scene doesn't disappoint me at all.
We finally catch up with Jamie and Claire with Fergus and Marsali as they dock and come ashore in Jamaica. Jamie tells his men to take the Artemis and hide it back in one of the coves they saw on their way in, just in case Captain Leonard comes about. A man introduces himself and is very happy for a shipment of fine liquor this late in the year. Jamie says that Jared is his cousin to which the man is delighted and offers them an invite to the ball that evening to welcome the new governor. He asks if he can be of any assistance, to which Jamie explains about the situation with Young Ian and learns that the Bruja had indeed been in port and they should ask in the slave market.
By this time, Claire has wandered off and is already in the slave market totally and utterly appalled by what she is seeing. Men, women, and children in cages with barely any clothing. She comes across a woman who is branded and almost gets sick. Finally, she comes to an auction happening which is featuring a man with a gimpy leg. The auctioneer is asked about his virility (meaning how well endowed he is) and the auctioneer goes right ahead, shows off the man's private parts and even handles them for the audience. Well, Claire has had enough and proceeded to yell at the auctioneer to stop it and beats him with her parasol. Of course, this causes quite a skirmish amongst the crowd and Jamie steps in and grabs Claire. She is in tears and tells him to "Do something" and to help the man.
Inside their room later, Claire is looking at a bill of sale for the slave. Jamie had no other choice but to buy him. Claire is disgusted that she owns a human being and insists they must set him free. Jamie concurs, but not right there in Kingston, as he would be caught and resold. Claire threatens to tear up the paper, but Jamie reminds her that without that she has no proof that Tremaire (as he is called) is hers and he could be taken and resold that way too. Jamie and Claire talk to Tremaire about the fact that they want to free him when it is safe to do so eventually, but that they could use his help that evening. He could ask around with the slaves about a white boy that was sold off to someone and where. He agrees.
And so they all attend (including Fergus with Marsali and Yo Tien Cho) the governor's ball. Claire is looking lovely in her dress from France and Jamie looking dashing, but.... oh that powdered wig! When they arrive at the front door, Claire looks up and sees someone that shocks her. Archie Campbell who greets her as Mrs. Malcolm. He agrees that it is funny that of all the islands in the West Indies, they both end up on the same one. It appears they are in the employ of one of the wealthy landowners in the area.
Inside, they wait in a line to greet the new governor of Jamaica. Fergus and Marsali are giggling and acting as newlyweds do and Claire remarks to Jamie if he remembers them being so obvious in public. He replies that he does and that she couldn't take her hands off of him, but since she was on the back of a horse most of the time he guessed it couldn't be helped. Claire playfully slaps him. They then have some serious eye sex, that only on Outlander can we have 20 seconds of no one speaking and get more than enough meaning!
"Is he genuine?" Jamie and Claire hear a woman say and see her staring at Mr. Willoughby. Jamie introduces him as Yo Tien Cho from the Celestial Kingdom of China, and the woman gushes, and Claire rolls her eyes. With that out of the way, the line has moved up. Claire takes a step but notices Jamie goes white as his wig and hasn't moved. He almost claims it is Claire's fault for coming through the stones that all these ghosts from their past keep showing up. Hmmmmm. They step forward and the new governor is none other than Lord John Grey who is stunned speechless at the sight of the man he secretly yearns for again. They do the formal hellos, and Jamie introduces Claire, his wife. Lord John is stunned again and begins to say "I thought she...." and Jamie stops him and tells him that he too thought she was dead, but she turned out not to be and came back to him. Lord John asks Claire how, to which she simply replies, "It's a rather long story." Lord John invites them to speak privately in his office.
In the office, Lord John and Jamie share looks that are making Claire suspicious. Jamie's first question of course "Is Willie with you. Here." and Lord John tells him no, that Isabel and Willie will be coming over when it is safer to travel. Jamie asks how Willie is and Lord John tells him that he is doing very well and is a wonderful and talented equestrian and yes, he still remember Jamie from time to time. Jamie is pleased to hear it. The two stare at each other again to which, Claire has had enough and steps in and asks politely how he became Governor here in Jamaica. Lord John says it is a step within a series of "promotions." Jamie sees something hanging from Lord John's pocket on his vest. "Is that.....?" Jamie starts to ask, and Lord John says yes it is the sapphire that Jamie gave to him. He wears it to....pauses briefly.... remember their friendship. He then tells Jamie again, almost in awe, how good it is to see him again and then excuses himself to attend to his guests.
Once again out into the party, Jamie and Claire come upon the gentleman from the docks who says he has a couple of Freemasons he would like Jamie to talk to as they know just about everyone on the island. Being a woman, Claire knows that she is not allowed in on this conversation, so she says she will make some inquiries of her own. She pauses, and Lord John comes up to her, and they share awkward conversation. Thankfully, she turns very white when she looks to her right and sees Gellis Duncan walking towards a door outside. She follows and catches up with her.
“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world…” Gellis starts off the conversation. Claire asks how it is she is not dead. Gellis says that as Claire already knew, she was with child, so they couldn't pass judgment on her until the baby was born. "It was the wee ratling that saved my life," she tells Claire. They kept her in the thieves hole in Cranesmuir for three months, and when her pains came on, they took her, and she gave birth in her bedroom in her house. She got to hold the wee lad for a bit, and he was "as warm as his father's balls" (almost lost my drink on that one), but then Dougal came to fetch him because he didn't want anyone finding out that it was his. The bit of conversation that follows is true Gellis. "Why are men such fools? You can lead them around for a while by the cock, then you give them a bairn, and you have them by the balls again. Whether coming in or going out that is all you are to them... a c**t."
Gellis says that she was right about Claire (meaning a time traveler) and was wondering if their paths would cross again. Claire asks how Gellis ended up in Jamaica. Gellis says that Dougal helped her escaped, and they put an already dead woman in her place and yes... Gellis watched her burn. She goes on to say she hid out for a spell but then met and married a wealthy plantation owner, a Mr. ABERNATHY (sound familiar?) and of course the tropics can be a deadly place for the English constitution, and he died. Yeah... okay, because your last husband wasn't poisoned or anything.
Gellis asks what brings her and Jamie to Jamaica. Claire (stupidly) tells her they are there to search for Young Ian, Jamie's nephew who was kidnapped and that they believe he may have been sold into slavery. Gellis feigns shock and asks how she can help. Yeah.... because she is such a helpful person. Gellis agrees to help as much as she can.
Back inside, Claire brings Gellis to Jamie (who is sitting and smiling and talking to Lord John). He is just as shocked to see her. It isn't long before Gellis sees the little bauble hanging at Lord Johns hip. She "shockingly" grabs it and demands to know where did he get such a lovely gemstone. Lord John tells her that it was found on an island off the coast of Scotland and given to him by a friend..... er prisoner. She hastily excuses herself and Lord John comments on how odd she is. Dude.... you have NO IDEA.
Gellis finds Archie Campbell and tells him to get his sister, and they are going to do readings tonight. He is shocked, and Gellis takes him forcefully to a doorway and while looking at Lord John, says she is only interested in one reading.
So, Archie and Margaret are doing their thing and have gained quite a crowd around them. Gellis spies Lord John and insists he has a reading done. He tries to politely decline as he has guests he needs to attend to and Gellis asks the crowd if he should indeed have a reading done. Of course, the curious crowd agrees. Jamie and Claire watch with a suspicious eye, and Gellis tells Lord John that Margaret needs something personal of his to hold and points with her eyes at the sapphire. He reluctantly agrees and sits down. Margaret, already holding the other two sapphires gives the reading (actually earlier in the episode, we know that the three sapphires held together with a seer will give a prophecy of when there will be a new king on the throne of Scotland). Her eyes open wide and she speaks with a thick accent. Lord John grabs his sapphire back as soon as she is done and makes his getaway. That wasn't odd at all.
Mr. Willoughby watches with care and concern as Margaret holds her head in her hands. NOTE: I couldn't remember where in the timeline of the episode it happened, but there was a very touching scene with Mr. Willoughby and Margaret outside in the garden. He tells her that her brother doesn't treat her well at all and she deserves so much more. When she touches his hand, she says he is a very rare soul, and Mr. Willoughby smiles and says something in Chinese which when asked what it means.... says Flower from Heaven. It is a scene we do not see in the book. Mr. Willoughby is a much better person here, and I hope it doesn't end for him as it does in the book. Maybe he and Margaret can run off together.
Outside, Gellis and Archie try to decipher the cryptic reading. They figure out that there is a baby that is 200 years old when it is born standing in the way of a new king of Scotland. Gellis is confused. I was, but now I remember. Gellis doesn't know about BRIANNA yet. Next episode!
Fergus and Marsali are fooling around like love-struck teens outside against a tree when they hear horses go past. They see it is Captain Leonard! They rush inside to find Jamie and Claire and warn them. Jamie tells Fergus to have the carriages ready, and he and Marsali with Mr. Willoughby go ahead. Just then Tremaire reappears and tells Jamie and Claire that one of the slaves saw a yellow-haired boy with an accent like Jamie's and he was taken to Rose Hall owned by Mistress Abernathy. Claire is pissed at this point (really? when at any point could you trust this woman?!) that Gellis lied to her. Tremaire tells them that free/escaped slaves live in the mountains near there.
They hurry and get into their carriage. Somehow, Captain Leonard, standing on the porch seeing the carriage roll away, seems to know that Jamie is in that one. They are headed for Rose Hall and have to stop when Tremaire sees the mark for the path to where the slaves live. Once again.... you think you might be followed, but let's stop, get out and wish Tremaire good luck and stand there and watch him walk into the jungle. So, needless to say, they are finally about to get back in the carriage with horses appear, and a voice says "Mistress Fraser, I see you have found your husband." Jamie quickly gives Claire the pictures of "the bairns" for safekeeping just before he is arrested. Claire is more than pissed and pretty much accuses Captain Leonard of being an asshole after all she did to help him and his crew. If it weren't for her, they would all be dead. Doesn't seem to bother him and Jamie yells for her to get to Rose Hall and save Young Ian.
Well.... the common sense thing here would be to get in the carriage and go BACK to the Governor's house and ask for Lord John's help. However, this is where the episode ends, so you will have to wait until next episode!
I liked this episode. Yes, the book has a lot more, but as Diana Gabaldon said, they usually creatively interpret things in the book or change things in the books for the better. I agree with what was in this episode. I am giving it an 8/10.
Your thoughts? Comments? Please feel free to let me know below!