Quite a dichotomy, yes? Fortunately, the squicks are among the first two scenes, leaving us with a remainder of nothing but great. (Incidentally, both squicks are taken from Voyager, while much of the great was new.) It’s also obvious that the dozen or so storylines introduced this season are trying to get wrapped up. Let’s discuss.
The Bakra, Episode 312
1. Squick #1: The Bakra and the boys
Remember when Young Ian was kidnapped by pirates? Well, he was taken to Jamaica to service “the bakra” of the episode’s title. And by “service,” I mean “have sex with.” The bakra believes virgins possess a certain power that she absorbs during intercourse. But there’s a catch-22. Once the bakra has her way with the boys, they’re no longer virgins and thus of no use to her. So they’re killed. (Where does Diana Gabaldon come up with this shit?)
Once arrived, Young Ian is taken to the bakra’s chambers, where he meets one Geillis Duncan all the way from of season 1, now Mrs. Abernathy. (It’s not stated specifically, but Geillis has already killed two husbands, so it’s likely Mr. Abernathy met a similar fate.) Geillis greets Young Ian, stepping out of her goat’s blood bath (because the protein and iron keep her skin young, doncha’ know), and thoroughly enjoys showing off her remarkably preserved body as she rinses and repeats.
Adding to the squick: how old is John Bell? Is he old enough to do a nude scene with a woman covered in blood? The interwebs says he’s 20, so…???
2 Squick #2: The Slave Market
The Jamaican slave market is horrendous in and of itself—as it should be because selling human beings is horrendous. But let’s add to the horror with some nudity and deep humiliation. The auctioneer tries to sell a crippled slave who’s unable to work in the field as breeding stock. When a potential buyer says “Prove it,” the auctioneer begins to masturbate the slave to erection. In the book, the slave is naked, and I was so dreading this scene, my stomach was lurching. At least for the show, the man had a kind of loin-cloth that buyers could peek under to view the result. Humiliating nonetheless.
Thankfully, Claire interrupts the proceedings by beating the auctioneer with her parasol. But still. Jesus, Diana.
3. The Governor’s Ball
It’s quite the lavish affair. Even though the fabulous Terri Dresbach has no new costumes for our heros—instead, repurposing the Frasers’ Paris finery—Jamie looks like a dandy (per Marsali) or a Frenchman (per Fergus), which Yi Tien Cho says are the same thing; and Claire is once again mo nighean donn. (Well, not my brown-haired lass, but Jamie’s.)
Everyone who’s anyone (or has been in this season of Outlander) is there. Archibald and Margaret Campbell, Margaret looking much better than when we last saw her; Geillis Duncan Abernathy; Yi Tien Cho, quite dashing in his blue embroidered coat; and a couple others.
4. Capt Leonard becomes a dick
Remember my kudos for the young Captain Leonard of the HMS Porpoise? Apparently the good job he did went to his head, because he’s now hell-bent on arresting Jamie for the murder of the guy in the créme de menthe cask and printing treasonous material. Of course, if Jamie hadn’t been involved in illegal sneaky-things to begin with, he wouldn’t be having to be on the run all the time. (C’mon, he wasn’t even all that gung-ho about the Jacobite cause and fought mostly because Charles Stuart forged his name to some treasonous document.)
5. Is it love?
No, not Fergus and Marsali, although they too attend the govenor’s ball, but spend most of their time canoodling under a tree in the yard. It’s Yi Tien Cho and Margaret Campbell, who appears much more pulled together and less crazy here. The two make eye contact and later, in the garden, Margaret tells Yi Tien Cho that he is a rare soul. He tells her she is rarer still, and calls her a flower of heaven. Is it too much to hope these two lovely, abused people run off together and live happily ever after?
6. Definitely not love
Claire discovers the other love of Jamie’s life, and he just happens to be the new Governor of Jamaica. They do a little verbal sparring over who knows more about the other.
And the winner is? Claire.
7. The new Governor!
That’s right, he is! It’s His Excellency, Lord John Grey. David Berry is so handsome, even that silly-ass powdered wig cannot diminish Lord John’s beauty. There are many reasons I love Lord John, not the least of which is his intelligence and wit. And he always says the right thing. Well, 98% of the time. Here he bats 1000.
Upon meeting Geillis Duncan Abernathy, who grabs his sapphire bookmark fob thingy, which he wears to remember Jamie.
She’s a touch strange, isn’t she?
Then, when Geillis begs him to have Margaret Campbell read his fortune.
I’m fortunate enough.
And after Margaret’s prediction (which is about the rising of a Scottish king, not Lord John at all), delivered in a gutteral voice with whacky eyes.
Well, what a peculiar passtime.
And there you have it. Only one more episode to go.
* Yep, it’s another quote from Lilo & Stitch. Get used to my childish sensibilities.