Outlander Season 3 Episode 12 Review: The Barka

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Geillis is back and witchier than ever!

We find out on Outlander Season 3 Episode 12 that 20 years hasn't dimmed her fervor for Scottish Nationalism. In fact, she's more dedicated than when we last saw her. 

Governor's Ball - Outlander

I hope you watched with the captions off so that the surprise wasn't ruined for you. Because watching Lotte Verbeek rise out of that bath of red corn syrup goats blood was a hell of an experience. 

John Bell didn't let her do all the heavy lifting in their scene together though. He nailed that mix of disgust and lust. His reaction to his revelation about Jamie was just close enough to humor without crossing a line that would have broken the mood. 

My only criticism of the scene is that I wasn't concerned about Young Ian's fate after Geillis had her way with him. I didn't get the sense at all that she was going to maybe off him or even that the only reason she wasn't going to kill him was so she could use him as bait. 

Gulp - Outlander Season 3 Episode 12

One thing I love about Geillis is how she's relatively careless throwing around information from the future. I mean, she's already been convicted as a witch once. I'd probably watch my pop culture references a little more closely if I'd been kept in a priest's hole for months on end. 

But it adds to her charm for the audience for sure. She's a villain, no doubt, but a villain that none of us can hate. Even though Claire knew Geillis murdered her husband in 1967 (and 1745 and another since then), she has a true affection for her fellow traveler. 

And it's not like Geillis' motivations are unknown or sympathetic. She's a political radical who care more about her goal than how it will impact the rest of the world. If you told her that a violent Fascist was the prophesied king, I doubt she'd care as long as it was a Scot. 

It's strange that she's after a king and not a queen though.

Why are men such fools? Ye 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 ye are to them, whether they're coming in or going out -- a cunt.


I loved seeing Geillis and the rest dressed up for the ball. Geillis was rocking a particularly great wig -- is it weird that I was excited we could see the edging of it? 

Her red gown and gold lace ruffle was the only gown ensemble for the main cast. For Terry Dorbach's sake, I hope the extra's costumes were recycled like Claire, Marsali, Fergus, and Jamie's were. 

Not that she didn't have more free time this season, what with Claire in the Batsuit for so long. 

Geillis at the Ball - Outlander Season 3 Episode 12

The ball didn't just bring gorgeous new fashions; Lord John Grey is back! I'm still advocating that David Berry gets his own spinoff, but for now, he's busy as the Governor of Jamaica.

Poor John. I can't help feel for the guy. It's never easy to see a past amour happy with somebody else, no matter how long it's been, especially when you thought that the somebody else was dead. 

Claire and Jamie need to work on their explanation for her reappearance. 

Well, it certainly is a pleasure to finally meet the love that was his...every heartbeat.

Lord John [to Claire]

Of course, they also missed an opportunity to fill their newly powerful friend on Jamie's latest legal troubles. When the Governor of the colony is in love with you, and there's a warrant out for your arrest for treason, maybe it's time to take advantage of the connection.

Sometimes it's damn annoying that Jamie's so honorable. 

Still, I'd have thought Claire would find a way to work that into her conversation with the man. Though it's possible, he might not be as helpful when the woman he's jealous of is doing the asking. 

Awkward Meeting - Outlander Season 3 Episode 12

I'm regretting the slow pace of the front half of the season now more than ever. I loved having Yi Tien Cho received so warmly at the ball, with the women using his real name.

But I wanted more time for his unexpected moments with Margaret Campbell. And for Margaret Campbell herself.

Willoughby: I do not want to disturb you. Your brother...he does not treat you as you deserve.
Margaret: You are a rare soul.
Willoughby: And you are rarer still.

I feel like we're drifting into more supernatural territory with Margaret's prophecies. Unlike Master Raymond and the Comte's magic during Outlander Season 2 or Geillis' magic during Outlander Season 1, we're supposed to believe that Margaret really can see into the future.

There's always been a dismissal of magic from Claire, despite her time travel, and as a modern audience, we were able to dismiss a lot of the "magic" as misunderstood science. So what do we do with Margaret's pronouncements?

Archibald: So, then... A new king will rise in Scotland upon the death of a child that is two hundred years old on the day of its birth.
Geillis: A 200-year-old baby? Do ye think I'm an idiot? I brought ye here to tell me when it will happen, and instead, ye give me the bloody Case of Benjamin Button.

We'll find out on Outlander Season 3 Episode 13. Jamie's going to prison, and will presumably escape, and Claire is on the hunt for Young Ian, which will mean a confrontation with Geillis.

And possibly with traveling stones. Apparently Craigh Na Dun isn't the only portal through time, but who knows where the stones at Abandawe lead. Or when. 

Can't Take My Eyes Off of You - Outlander Season 3 Episode 12

With the finale coming up, so it's time for a marathon! You can watch Outlander online and read all of our Outlander reviews in preparation.

And don't forget to leave your thoughts on "The Barka" in our comments section below!

Who wore it better, Claire or Marsali? Or for that matter, Parisian Claire or Jamaican Clare? Did you think the slave market was shocking, or a waste of time in a story already bursting at the seems?  What's your theory on how Jamie will get away from Captain Leonard? 

The Barka Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (32 Votes)

Elizabeth Harlow was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in October 2018.

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Outlander Season 3 Episode 12 Quotes

Jamie: Do I look like a Scottish provocateur?
Marsali: No! You look like a dandy.
Fergus: No, ma cherie, he looks like a Frenchman.
Willoughby: The same thing.

Claire: Perhaps we should look separately. I'll take some of the crew and search the town, and you can ask about the Bruja.
Jamie: I will not part, Sassenach. I'm not losing you again. We'll search the town together.