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Outlander - The Bakra - Review: Proteins and Iron

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This weeks episode gets us back to more action drama than character drama. Claire and Jamie arrive in Jamaica and, finally, zero in on Young Ian’s location.

The episode started off with a flashback to Young Ian's capture. I have a feeling that his kidnapping wasn’t quite as shocking for Ian as his first sight of Gellis Duncan Abernathy. After she climbed out of that, very literal, blood bath, she actually said “Don’t worry. It’s only goat's blood.”, like that somehow made bathing in blood a sane thing to do! It does not. It really, really does not.

(The sight of Gellis’ blood covered foot immediately brought to mind Elizabeth Báthory, a sixteenth century serial killer who reportedly bathed in the blood of virgin girls. Although, I don't think she knew anything about the protein and iron's affect on her skin.)

Young Ian was no match for Gellis, her body, drugs, and deviousness. The only reason he survived the encounter is because he revealed that Jamie may have the sapphire she’s looking for and would be coming for his nephew.

After twenty years, Gellis is still looking for a way to get a Scottish King back on the throne. She believes the key to her success is the Prophecy of the Brahan Seer, which states that a seer holding all three sapphires will reveal when the new Scottish King will rise.

It was certainly entertaining to see Gellis again. Once she discovered the location of that third sapphire, she was rather clever, if not exactly subtle, in how she managed to get her prophecy revealed.

I loved the sequence of her setting up Margaret Campbell at the Governor’s party to tell fortunes for the attendees.

Jamie and Claire had to start their search for Young Ian at the Slave Market in Jamaica. This was a difficult place for Claire to be. She managed to observe without outward comment until one trader began to demonstrate the virility of a slave to his potential buyers.

She went after the trader armed only with a parasol. Jamie was immediately there to fix things----by buying the slave she was trying to protect.

Of course their immediate decision was to free the man, Temeraire. As usual the extremely practical Jamie understood the potential pitfalls of simply ripping up Claire's bill of sale.

If they immediately released him, he would be back in the market almost immediately. Jamie also saw a potential benefit. Temeraire could talk to the slaves sold from the Bruja who might know where Ian was taken when the ship reached Jamaica.

My only problem with this scene was Jamie’s use of the word “bargain”. It implied that there were strings attached to Temeraire's freedom. That was clearly not Claire and Jamie’s plan, and I wanted that clear to Temeraire as they were discussing Ian’s fate.

Once Temeraire agreed to help, the family was off to the ball. This whole sequence also had me grinning stupidly.

Fergus and Marsali were an adorable honeymooning couple; tasting exotic fruits at the dock and attending a fancy ball. They were so adorable that Claire commented on it, and the look Claire and Jamie gave each other telegraphed that they wanted a little honeymoon time themselves.

Before Jamie could consider that prospect in any realistic way, he spotted John Grey.

John looked thrilled to see Jamie and mildly annoyed (jealous?) with Claire’s presence. Not that he was unhappy that Jamie’s true love had returned. It was more that he wanted to give Jamie a hug and couldn’t because Claire was there. Claire didn’t miss this at all. Awkward.

One of the fun akwardnesses of this scene was the revelation that Lord John had not turned in the sapphire Jamie turned over to him at Ardsmuir.

John had the stone mounted and wears it as a ‘reminder’. You know, like you’d keep the special gift you received from your first love. I chuckled when Jamie tried the correct the impression John was making.

I mentioned earlier that Gellis had been less than smooth in getting her prophecy revealed. She saw the sapphire and was unable to hide her rabid desire to get her hands on the stone. She almost yanked it off John’s vest.

A little fast thinking and she had the Campbells set up as entertainment for the party and cajoled John into the hot seat. Gellis figured out a way to get what she wanted and avoid the dicey prospect of trying to steal the stone.

Margaret revealed 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.", and Gellis was off to figure out what it all meant. But she’s missing a crucial piece of information.

Temeraire came through and was released to join other freed slaves on the island.

Claire and Jamie realized that Gellis had lied to Claire and has Ian.

Unfortunately, Leonard arrests Jamie before they can get their rescue operation underway. That said, Jamie trusts Claire to take care of it on her own. I like that a lot.

Mr. Willoughby’s evening ended differently than I expected. After his comments about western women on board the Artemis, the last thing I expected was for him to be smitten by Margaret Campbell. The moment they had in the garden was really sweet. I see visions of a happy ending for him.

I really enjoyed the episode. What did you guys think?

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