This episode returns a whole slew of familiar characters, features PILES AND PILES of eye-banging (if such a thing could be stacked up to the sky), and employs lousy wigs and high camp. Like, really high. Rocky Mountain high. EVERYTHING happened all of a sudden.
We begin with Young Ian being dragged aboard the Bruja, fighting with all the masculine energy he can scrape together (so, like two ounces)(whoops, Metric System; 56 grams). They grill him about the treasure and then plan to kill him, but he nearly bites off a dude’s finger — okay maybe that’s 132 grams of Dudeity — which prompts the captain to comment that they should keep him because “the Bakra” is super into young boys. I was all set to call bullshit on the fact that nobody in Kingston knew that there was a mysterious creature calling itself The Bakra and taking deliveries of nubile young white dudes, but what the episode does not tell us is that “bakra” in Jamaica at the time was a bastardization of “back raw,” as in from a whipping, and referred to a slave owner/slave driver/general oppressor. So essentially everyone there was probably technically a bakra and none of this would’ve batted an eyelash. The Bruja men must have been in this particular bakra’s employ for a while, to find the treasure.
Ian, of course, knows none of this. So when he gets chucked in a cell in Jamaica and finds out he’ll soon be brought to the Bakra, he’s freaked out by what the hell a Bakra even is — which isn’t helped by the other boy there, who scoots out of the shadows and says he used to be in there with six other boys, but they’ve all disappeared one by one, never to be seen again.
WHO’LL MUSCLE INTO YOUR PRISON
AND CUT TO THE FRONT OF THE BAKRA’S LINE?
ME! YOUNG IAN! BECAUSE I SEEM FUN!
SO AHA I’LL GO FIRST AND I GUESS YOU GET TO LIVE ANOTHER DAY AND I’LL DIE INSTEAD WAIT OH GOD THIS TOOK A TURN
The scene that follows made me laugh the entire time, and I’m not entirely sure that was the intent. It was, I think, supposed to be creepy and eerie, but… you’ll see. So, Ian gets led to a lush garden at the Bakra’s house, and he plonks down looking very confused indeed, although admittedly that is also his default expression, so he could just be wondering if it would be rude to ask for some hand sanitizer. And then, from off-camera, a red leg is thrust skyward, like Excaliber lobbed from a pond. With her back to Ian — and us — the woman slowly climbs out of the pool, her naked body coated in the thick, dark red corn syrup that the industry uses to fake blood. It clings like a good ganache. “Are you… the Bakra?” Ian pants, somewhere between frightened and very curious, because even when he lost his virginity he didn’t get this good an eyeful of ladyskin. “Yes,” says the Bakra in a breathy voice, and then, as she glances back over her shoulder, “But you can call me Geillis.”
Who stays away from spoilers
So that she can recap purely?
And then with one keystroke spoils it all?
That’s me, yours truly, surely.
Y’all, that would have been a GREAT reveal — it’s SO CAMPY — had I not accidentally spoiled myself on it when I was looking up Father Fogden last week. I’m so annoyed with myself. So rarely are we surprised on TV anymore, but seeing the presumed-dead Geillis purr her way out of a pool of blood might have done it. Lotte Verbeek is decidedly not my favorite Outlander actress, because her accent is super spotty and her affect can be too flat, and it ends up being generally discordant with the rest. However, Geillis IS also weird, and what all that does lend her is a certain amount of credibility when she’s frolicking in a platelet body masque. You see it and hear her and are like, “Oh, right, of course, because she’s nuts.”
(If you need a refresher on Geillis: In season one, she was Jamie’s uncle Dougal’s mistress and got pregnant with his baby, in addition to poisoning at least one person and possibly killing another, and doing a LOT of suspicious forest dancing. So she was jailed for witchcraft alongside Claire (whom Laoghaire framed), and while they awaited their fate, Geillis grilled Claire and interpreted her vague answers correctly enough to whisper “1968” to her. Both were convicted, but when Jamie swooped in to rescue Claire, Geillis started screeching that it was all her doing and Claire was innocent — revealing what she passed off as the mark of the devil, but which Claire recognized as a smallpox vaccination scar. Then in season two, Brianna met “Gillian” preaching about Scottish independence, and Claire figured out this was a pre-time-travel Geillis. She never made contact but did find Geillis’s notes about her time travel plan, and rushed there to warn her not to use too much witchcraft or else perish in flames. She was too late, but it was spying on Gillian/Geillis going through the stones that convinced Roger and Brianna that Claire was not insane. Oh, and Geillis totally killed her sixties husband because she thought she needed a human sacrifice to make time travel possible, when really all she needed was a flux capacitor and some plutonium. We all caught up? Good.)
Anyway, at Batshit Cove, Geillis is prancing around and purring as gravity does almost no work getting off this fake blood — which, by the way, she claims is goat’s blood, because it keeps her skin youthful. I read that the showrunners added that to explain why Geillis hasn’t appeared to age in twenty years, but since they haven’t really explained that same feat for Jamie and Claire, either, I’m not sure anyone would have noticed. Also, I think I would rather age. She must smell like an operating room, besides which, where is she GETTING all this goat blood — it is a deep pool — and how often does she refresh it? Do we think this is strictly sanitary? I have a lot of important logistical questions about her lifestyle that I am never going to get answered.
Geillis makes an erotic show of rubbing herself and slinking with a dancer’s grace toward Ian, then rinsing off some of the blood before putting on her robe. But not nearly all of it, and the very tiny part of me that is squicky about gunk — the same part that, for example, gets grossed out by the idea of newborns not being hosed off before the first cuddle — spent this entire scene freaking out about the fact that she was getting it all over her clothes, the furniture, and worse, Ian’s cake. Both his euphemistic cake, and his actual cake on a plate, with which she is plying him. Ian is not without his senses, and asks her what she does with all the jailed boys. But she’s trying to catch this fly with honey, so she encourages him to eat and drink, with loving reassurance, and then slowly unwinds her hair while asking him about her treasure box and why it only contains two sapphires now. This is not a euphemism. “I didn’t have time to open the box before your RUFFIANS grabbed me,” says Ian.
WHO’LL NE’ER DEIGN TO MUZZLE
HIS MANLY DISAPPROVAL?
TIS I, YOUNG IAN, TOUGH AS NAILS,
AND I’M NOT SCARED OF YOU EXCEPT FOR THE BLOOD THING WHICH WAS GROSS AND I SAY THAT HAVING WATCHED MY AUNTIE DO SURGERY! IAN!!!
Geillis makes a big show of refilling his tea, and I’ll cut to the chase: It’s truth serum, and it’s so obviously truth serum, but Young Ian wouldn’t know about such things so he’s taken quite by surprise when he answers Geillis’s questions against his will. Perhaps she’ll turn out to be an ancestor of Dolores Umbridge. Through this, Geillis gleans that Ian’s uncle is the only other person who knew where to find the treasure, and that he’s none other than James Fraser of Broch Tuarach. Geillis notices that Ian is trembling from being so close to her, so she lets her robe slip a little as she proffers a leg and rubs him with it while extracting the final bit of info: that Jamie saw Ian get kidnapped and is going to come and rescue him. “What do you do with the boys?” Ian asks again. Geillis grins and says she has her way with them. “Virgins have such POWER inside,” she says, and here she starts the worst seduction I have ever seen: She rubs her foot all over his chest and his face. It is anti-erotic. If Kevin ever came home and stretched out on the couch while I worked and started massaging my cheek with his toes, I would be like, “Stop walking on my face and go sleep off the OBVIOUS drugs you have just done.” Toe jam is not on my sandwich menu. (Also, Geillis’s legs and feet are now magically completely clean of blood even though she never washed anything but her chest.)
Geillis tells Ian she doesn’t have much use for the wee lads after she’s claimed their virgin blast, as she pulls him toward her with her toes — the best show of pedal dexterity since Joe Don Baker’s foot grabbed a six-pack off the nightstand in Mitchell and then returned it with a beer missing. “It’s not such a bad way to go,” she pants, though she never outright says she kills them. Clearly she does SOMETHING nefarious, though, which raises the question: Why is she using goat’s blood for her ablutions? Please know that I am not advocating murdering and exsanguinating a bunch of innocents, but if you were Geillis and you needed to bathe in the iron-laden juice from mammalian veins, wouldn’t you use toyboy hemoglobin rather than that of a goat? And save the goats for making food, and thus creating only half as much evidence you have to bury? Again, I just have so many questions, which I promise are NOT in aid of me setting up Batshit Cave North in my backyard.
Ian also probably has questions, but there is one thing he IMMEDIATELY makes clear to Geillis:
IF IT’S VIRGINS YOU WANT IN YOUR SEX YURT
THEN I, YOUNG IAN, SHOULD LEAVE.
BECAUSE I’VE HAD MY THING IN A GIRLPLACE
AND IT VERY NEARLY KIND OF WORKED BEFORE I BURNT DOWN THE SHOP!!!! IAN!
Geillis is mildly surprised to learn Ian has been plucked, but then she throws open her robe and says, “Good. You’ll know what to do, then.”
O WHOOPS WELL YEAH I’M NO VIRGIN
BUT THERE’S A LOT OF THINGS I SHOULD BE LEARNIN’
IF IT’S SKILL YOU WANT
I AM NO FONT
CAN YOU JUST PLEASE TELL ME WHAT THAT BIT DOES AT LEAST SO THAT I DON’T MISS ANYTHING AND GET MURDERED BEFORE I GET TO HAPPYLAND? THANKS! IAN!!!!
Seriously, Geillis, Ian is looking at you like he has only just learned which one is the vagina. You are NOT getting a sexual maestro here. Further distracting me is the fact that Young Ian and Geillis have the same very high hairline and lank, straw-colored hair, so they almost look related.
Jamie and Claire and the Artemis dock in Kingston, and we discover a few things: The Porpoise hasn’t gotten there yet, and the Artemis belonged to Jamie’s cousin Jared in France, which is a) how they both secured passage, and b) why they had a contact on the ground in Jamaica. Kenneth MacIver works for Jared, coordinating the shipments he sends to Kingston, and he’s delighted at an early shipment of French wine and brandy. There’s a new governor in town, see, and he needs to whoop it up with some major libations. Claire and Jamie turn down an invitation to attend because of their pressing business, and then my favorite thing happens: Kenneth offers to be of service, and instead of exchanging a grateful glance with Claire before cutting to the next scene (which begins with Kenneth saying how frightening their tale of woe is), Jamie takes the time to explain that the three of them can go find lodgings while Jamie gives him a thorough rundown of their search. So, in essence, Jamie’s on-camera exposition is just to say that he’s about to deliver serious off-camera exposition.
Kenneth says that the Bruja docked briefly and then left a week ago, so he recommends they comb the slave markets to see if any of her wares are for sale. They gather the crew and head down there. NotRupert has bought Claire a parasol so that everyone will know she’s respectable, and Claire snarks that she doesn’t give a fig what these human traffickers think of her. The set must have been a challenging one: There are wooden cages filled with dark-skinned boys, sad and miserable and and forced to endure both their commodification and the slavers calling them “savages” and other words that I’m not going to type even for historical accuracy. Claire is completely horrified to have slid back into a time when slavery is active. I wish the show here chose to reinforce, or even have Claire share, that Claire’s best friend in the 1960s was a black man, Joe Abernathy, who was discriminated against when they began medical school together and doubtless was still fighting racial battles even when she left and he’d been a doctor for a decade. I know that his freedom makes his situation very different, but the civil rights struggles of her era — which would have been ongoing; if she left in Christmas of 1968, MLK Jr. was assassinated just eight months prior — were rooted in the U.S.’s slave-owning past and in an equivalent racist disregard for people of another ethnicity. Claire is now witnessing first-hand a human rights tragedy whose tentacles still stretched well into her proper time. Her disgust and nausea here are spot-on, but at the same time, here this is not rendered as being personal to her own past life and social experiences as it could or should be, perhaps? Maybe I’m overreacting or expecting too much, but I think my General note is that too often her experiences, beyond the medical or the knowledge of history, get brushed away.
Claire reaches her boiling point after witnessing a branding, and then a slave auction, which are … sickening, both. I rewound this bit a few times to make sense of it: The slave trader lifts up the man’s garment and prods and grabs at his genitals to prove virility (“see how it grows,” which, ew), which I assume was because they were looking to breed MORE slaves, but then one dude complains that “not one foal dropped” from his last slave and IS HE TALKING ABOUT ANIMALS? This is a hideous idea on every level. Claire lets out a gutteral yawp and full-on attacks the auctioneer with her parasol, which is outstanding. She’s like a little old grandmother whacking a pickpocket on the bus.
Also not a GREAT idea: For 20 pounds, Jamie ends up buying the slave, Temeraire, to stop the ruckus and keep the guy from being pimped out and/or beaten by the auctioneer. And he puts freaking CLAIRE’S name on the ownership certificate. If he’d said this was because “Jamie Fraser” needed to be untraceable for some reason, I’d have accepted it, but his dumbass reasoning is, “You’re the one that wanted me do it.” Claire is like, “UH, I NEVER ASKED TO BE A SLAVE OWNER, THANKS.” The two of them do immediately agree that freeing him is of paramount importance — for a man who once spanked Claire for impertinence, Jamie is surprisingly woke on this matter, possibly because he was indentured himself for a time — but Jamie points out they can’t do it until they leave Kingston, or else he’ll just get found and sold again. So they’re stuck. And Claire can’t tear up the certificate, or burn it or eat it or roll it up and shove it in Jamie’s ear, because then Temeraire will have no proof that he is with them. They are stuck, and all I can imagine is Poor Roger doing daily searches to see if Claire’s name pops up in the historical record and then timidly having to break it to Brianna.
um so hi
please definitely keep taking off your bra
if you want
up to you
but my beard and i love you
and you’re so smart and cool
oh your mom bought a slave
i’m sure she didn’t mean it
do you need help with your bra
or to cry into my beard
grief can be sexy
think about it
They tell Temeraire, who seems a bit astonished that they bought him simply to let him go, that they have no desire to own a person and that when they’re someplace safe he will be released. But first they strike a deal with Temeraire: If he’ll accompany them as their “manservant” to the governor’s big bash that night, and quiz anyone from the Bruja about what became of Young Ian, they’ll free him as soon as they can. In other words, “We were going to give you this thing anyway, for free, but if we can get something for it from you then EVEN BETTER.”
Over at at Batshit Cove, Geillis is talking to our old friend Archibald Campbell, the con man who uses his sister Margaret’s troubled psychic gifts to make money. Here, he’s sold their skills to Geillis. Evidently, this really is Harry Potter before there was Harry Potter: Voldegeillis is obsessed with a prophecy that states a seer must hold all three of these sacred sapphires at once, in order to have a vision about when the new Scottish king will rise. You guys, Geillis goes to a LOT OF TROUBLE for Scotland’s sake. In a weird way I have to applaud her love of country. She would’ve had a lot of feelings about the referendum and about Brexit. If only Margaret had told her. Conveniently, Margaret — through Archibald — would like to know exactly how Geillis found out about these gems. She gazes off into the distance, with her really wooden accent, and spins a yarn of poor Dougal Mackenzie, who was handed down the treasure and hid it for safekeeping. “He died a hero in the Battle of Culloden,” she says with a dreamy look on her face, and I cannot WAIT for Claire and/or Jamie to break it to her that they killed Dougal themselves.
Willoughby joins Jamie and Claire at the big ball, and Fergus jokes that no one will even glance at Jamie (or anyone else) once they see Willoughby. “That’s why you’re here. As a distraction,” Jamie says to him.
Thank you for being a friend.
You drag me to and fro and back again.
Your heart is true, but
I’m your pal, not a novelty.
So I’ll attend this party
Though my invitation’s just for show.
And you will see
How annoying looky-loos can be.
Please don’t treat me like a prop
Or else I’ll cut off your knoooooob.
Both Willoughby and the spirit of Bea Arthur side-eye this douchy dose of marginally racist frankness from Jamie, because: Whatever happened to inviting him because HE IS YOUR LOYAL COMPANION?
Inside, as they wait in line to meet the new governor, Claire is struck by the slaves standing by in their ridiculous wigs. “When does it end?” Jamie asks, quietly. She says not for another 100 years in America. They don’t get a chance to break it down any further, because a British lady squeals of Willoughby, “Where did you find him? Is he genuine?!?” Like there is a factory spewing out facsimile Asian men. He lays on the charm as thickly as he can, but his attention is diverted by Margaret Campbell, who has grasped the hand of a nearby slave and earnestly told him, “One day you will be FREE of the shackles that bind ye!” Archibald grabs her and scolds her as her face crumbles, and Willoghby catches her eye. They exchange what feels like… I can’t say an eye-bang, because it’s more tender than that. And I can’t say “lovemaking,” because I am not in a movie or TV show from the 1980s. How about “an intimate ocular caress.”
Eye-banging is in LARGE supply here, though. It begins with Jamie and Claire, warm from reminiscing about Versailles, and now wandering down memory lane at the sight of Fergus and Marsali giggling and canoodling. “Remember when we were like that? So obvious in public?” she smiles. Jamie smiles that they couldn’t keep their hands off each other, then cracks that it’s not like she had much choice because she was behind him on a horse most of the time. Memory lane, though, is an erotic place. And as they catch each other’s eyes, still half-smiling, the force of their lust hits them with a wallop and it damn near takes even MY breath away. Sam Heughan puts the depth of newlywed passion and twenty years of heat into his eyes, and Caitriona Balfe manages to look like her brain forgot to tell her lungs what to do. It’s quite something. I need a cigarette.
OH BUT WAIT. We aren’t done. Because now they’re near the front of the line, and Jamie stops as if his stomach has just relocated to his knees. For the Governor is none other than John Grey, the most adorable wannabe-lover Jamie has ever had. John, if you recall, took over Ardsmuir Prison, bonded with Jamie and then fell for him, helped relocate him to the Dunsany’s service, and then agreed to raise Willie when Jamie earned his freedom and John married Willie’s aunt. I LOVE JOHN. And I think Jamie does, too. Not in the way John wants, but I think John is arguably the kindest person Jamie knows, and is his son’s protector, and has laid himself on the line for Jamie out of love and basic goodness without ever taking anything from him in return. Those are attractive qualities. And John’s face LIGHTS UP LIKE THE ROCKEFELLER CENTER TREE when he sees Jamie standing there. His feelings are, to me, laid bare like a love haiku across his sweet and open face.
You came back to me.
I want to drink in your face
And lick your hot bod.
Your eyes are perfect.
I would bang you in that wig.
Oh god please want me.
Coco would have f’ing LOVED THIS and it’s so tragic that he’s stuck being a coconut in Father Fogden’s den of goats. John is almost moved to tears. Jamie, too, has warm eyes, and cannot hold back a grin as he surprises John and then introduces his beloved. John’s face falls slightly when he sees Claire. The astonishment is there, but also a touch of disappointment, which I think Jamie clocks. Jamie is the love of John Grey’s life, and there is no way part of him didn’t hope that if they ever crossed paths, Jamie would reconsider his sexuality just a hair. Or maybe give him a tempting offer of the flesh once more. As John tries to gather himself, he ditches the line and spirits them across the room into his private office, where he is still twitching to hold back the impulse to clutch Jamie to his adorable bosom. “Is Willie here?” Jamie asks, with notes of hope and also fear, because how could he stand it and yet how could he not. Once he realizes Claire knows, John responds that Willie and Isabel will join him in the summer. He proudly answers Jamie’s questions — Willie is well, growing like a weed, an accomplished equestrian thanks to Jamie’s enduring tutelage — and when Jamie says with tears in his eyes, “He’s a good lad; I’ve missed him,” John replies, “And he, you. He still remembers you, from time to time.” This comforts and guts Jamie at once. “As long as he’s happy,” Jamie says, sincerely, and then he and John share a moment of deep and prolonged eye contact in which you just KNOW John is replaying over and over Jamie’s offer of his own body, and kicking himself for the decency that made him reject it. It is, effectively, eye-banging of the most yearning sort. For his part, I think Jamie is also silently acknowledging that bond and that secret, and in a way, the fact that John is the only person to whom Jamie would ever offer that. Because there is love there of a sort. Not romantic, but enduring and loyal. Although, don’t get me wrong, I would not be mad at Jamie if he said, “Claire, sexuality is fluid,” and then ducked out back with John for a snog. I want John Grey to have passion, and CAN YOU IMAGINE the fireworks for him.
Ere my junk swells like Etna
and bursts off my crotch
I would really like for John to have consensual sexfun with Jamie. Sorry, John. Claire is also sorry, but not enough to stand there and watch a strange British man gaze at her husband with pure adoration and an ever so slight question, because she is also perhaps a wee jealous. This man is, and also represents, one of the largest and most integral chunks of the time with Jamie that she missed, and she feels it. So she brings conversation around to Young Ian, and John Grey promises whatever help he can give. Just then, and I HOPE because Jamie is subtly checking out John’s bod, he notices a trinket dangling from John’s lower waistcoat region. And, yep, it’s Geillis’s missing sapphire — the one he ganked from the treasure chest and gave to John, both to earn his trust, and to discourage the Brits from further poking around for the jewels. And now John wears it over his left hip “to… remember our friendship,” he says, with difficulty, because not many people decorate their groins with casual tokens. He takes his leave, and the emotions of the encounter are still riding high, enough that Claire flicks an almost suspicious glance Jamie’s way. It makes me wonder if perhaps he didn’t tell her quite everything, and now she’s wondering if there are some erotic blanks. (Not really. But she’s no dummy; she knows what it looks like to be infatuated with Jamie.)
Oh, but Geillis is creeping around the edges of the party, and has spied Jamie and Claire. So that confrontation is coming. Meanwhile, Margaret Campbell is sitting outside by a pond, lonely and sad and crying, when Willoughby comes up and kneels down in front of her. “Your brother… he does not treat you as you deserve,” he says, reaching for her hand. She takes his. Flutes play, because this show can never tap a nail with its finger when it could hammer it into the Earth’s crust with a mallet. “You are a rare soul,” Margaret breathes. “And you are rarer still,” he beams, calling her a Chinese phrase that he translates to “flower from Heaven.” We then pull back to see that the fountains are basically just shooting single streams of water straight up into the sky, as if we needed any more symbolism to understand his feelings.
John approaches Claire inside to make small talk about the night they met, back in the barn before Culloden when Grey was but a lad, and they laugh affectionately at Jamie’s trickery. I laugh admiringly at this show for not giving a damn about the fact that these two actors are only five years apart in age, and look it. “So Jamie told you about Willie,” John opens. Claire nods, “And his mother. Your wife’s sister, I believe.” John processes this and then says, “Jamie’s told you a lot,” and the obvious answer he’s fishing for is whether Jamie gave up John’s personal secrets too. I don’t know that he did, though, because Claire also has the aura of, “What is it that Jamie isn’t telling me.” She wants to know about the sapphire, and John explains it was surrendered to him by Jamie, once Jamie turned himself in after realizing Claire had not come back to him. “And now you have,” he says, struggling to make eye contact and to conceal his disappointment. Claire makes him meet her gaze. “Yes,” she says, firmly. “I have.” I tease this show a lot, but the John Grey/Jamie/Claire scenes were really magnificent examples of how to say a lot between the lines of dialogue. All three of those actors got across complicated emotions that are all themselves rooted in uncertainty, and those shades can be very hard to nail, but they did. John concedes the match with, “Well, it certainly is a pleasure to meet the love that was his every heartbeat,” and a brief understanding seems to pass between them.
Okay fine take him.
Just promise to ride him
Like the stallion he is.
Just then, Claire catches sight of Geillis, turns pale, and runs outside to try and catch her. “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world,” Geillis says, emerging from the dark. She is not warm with Claire, and Claire treats her with extreme trepidation. They were not, after all, exactly allies back in olden times. And you guys, she looks INSANE. As you will see from the slideshow, her wig is a serious piece of period wackitude — a Batshit Hair Cove all its own. Almost everyone else has at least a functional wig, but hers looks like it was dropped from a plane onto her head. You can see the seams across her forehead.
I need you to brace yourself for the majesty of Geillis’s verbal stylings. She informs Claire that they refused to execute her until she safely delivered Dougal’s baby, so she lived in a hole until she went into labor, and then was briefly allowed to hold her son. “He was as warm as his father’s balls,” she recalls with a tender smile.
She says that when Dougal came by to check on the baby, and spirit it away to preserve its anonymity, she convinced him to smuggle her out and set her free. “Why are men such fools?” she wonders. “You can lead them anywhere by the cock, for a while. Give them a bairn and you have them by the balls again. But it’s all you are to them, whether they’re coming in, or going out: a c*nt.” Oh girl. I have new suspicions about whose skeleton Claire was looking at in Joe Abernathy’s office in 1968, but I do hope Geillis lives long enough to write a book of scandalous feminist beat poetry.
Anyway, she convinced Dougal to bribe the dude bringing Geillis to her burning. So they found the corpse of an old grandmother to play the role of Hooded Witch Being Rolled Out To The Pyre, and Geillis watched, hidden, while “she” burned and then escaped. When she heard he died, she married a plantation owner named Abernathy, and although she claims he died years ago due to what a difficult life it is, I assume the unspoken is that she offed him because she didn’t actually like him. And WAIT A SECOND: Abernathy? Is there some way she’s going to turn out to be connected to Joe Abernathy? Don’t tell me.
Claire thanks Geillis for saving her life that long-ago day, but doesn’t tell her that she actually stumbled upon her in the future and watched her go through Craigh Na Dun. I suppose Claire knows enough not to give Geillis too much information. She does, though, tell her all about Young Ian, and Geillis feigns concern and pretends to offer help, before admiring Claire’s jewels and purring that perhaps “your wee fox cub” has one for me as well. She is SO WEIRD that I’m finally starting to enjoy her.
John and Jamie are chatting merrily when Claire brings over Geillis, and she introduces herself to John Grey before noticing his crotch sapphire. She grabs at it and nearly loses her cool asking where he got it. “It was given to me by a friend,” he says. “Given to you by a prisoner,” Jamie corrects with a grin. “I tend to omit that detail,” John says, but Geillis isn’t charmed because she’s too busy choking on greed. As she scurries off, Grey astutely notes that she’s a bit unusual. Claire is like, YA THINK.
So they lay the trap: Geillis makes Margaret Abernathy set up a fortune-telling table, and peer-pressures John into sitting for one. (Willoughby watches, worried, as Margaret whispers to Archibald that this trick will bring death, and she only wants to help people. I am ‘shipping Willoughby and Margaret.) Geillis eyeballs John’s sapphire pointedly and tells him that they’ll need something personal of his for Margaret to touch. John Grey is not dumb, so I don’t know why he doesn’t remove something else — a button, his wig (well, I’m sure that would be a scandale), a shoe — because Geillis has not been subtle about the jewel and she’s a crackpot of the highest order. But, no, instead he takes off the token and hands it to Margaret… who, thanks to Archibald, has the two other sapphires in her hand already. Professor Trelawney’s eyes fly wide open and she recites the prophecy to Voldegeillis: “When twice twelve hundred 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.”
Geillis drags Archibald outside to parse it, and he explains that it’s referring to a child who was born 200 years after she was conceived. I wonder where we might find such a child. Let me think. Geillis is stumped, though, because she doesn’t yet know Claire was pregnant, or anything about her timeline, so she thinks a 200-year old baby sounds impossible and that maybe they’ve read it wrong. (Also, “man’s attack,” though translated as seed finding purchase, could here also mean Culloden.) Basically, what we’re looking at is a prophecy that says the child of James and Lily — er, I mean, Claire — has to be killed (“cut down”) in order for a Scot to be king. Brianna even LOOKS like Lily Potter, too. I know that Voyager was written well before JK Rowling started dabbling in witchcraft and wizardry, but it’s very entertaining to compare. Maybe Jo is a huge Gabaldon fan. Also, I hope it turns out all this is in aid of a Scot bowling a strike and becoming the King of Edinburgh’s Bowl-o-Rama.
Seemingly having forgotten that time travel is a thing, Geillis rejects this correct translation and tells Archibald that he’d better think harder about how to decode this. They dash off as we zip on over to Marsali and Fergus, who are making out by a pole outside and happen to notice Captain Leonard of the Porpoise has arrived at the manse. Fergus scurries inside to warn Jamie, and as he shooes everyone away, Jamie PAUSES TO TURN AND STARE as his fetus-young nemesis begins scanning the room. You are so bad at haste, Jamie. Oh, but Temeraire did his job, and quickly tells Jamie and Claire that Mistress Abernathy — so, Geillis — bought Ian. He then asks to be freed to a group of escaped slaves elsewhere in Kingston, which sounds like a really bad idea, given all the reasons Jamie laid out why Jamaica is not safe for him. But Jamie is eager to leave and also, it must be repeated, REALLY BAD AT PLANS, so he decides it’s totally normal to stop and walk around so that Temeraire can find the literal path leading to his freedom. They wish each other a languid farewell, which is exactly long enough for Captain Leonard to gallop up, having followed them when he spied a carriage escaping the manse.
Leonard arrests Jamie, and Claire spits that she’s disgusted with him because she is the only reason Leonard or any of his men survived to get to Jamaica. Jamie urges her to go and find Ian without him, and Clare gapes at the foliage as Jamie is dragged away through it to Certain Doom. Or, at least until they escape again and cause complete mayhem elsewhere on the island. The teaser for next week suggests we’re about to hit up the mystery cave, so Abandawe Hope All Ye Who Wanted Them Happy and Back In Scotland.