Outlander Season 5 Episode 10 Review: Mercy Shall Follow Me

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It's impossible to believe that events that changed the forecast of Outlander going forward could leave you with so little to say, but here we are.

And let's get it out there: Outlander Season 5 Episode 10 accomplished a huge task. There isn't any doubt about that.

But it was done so well that there is nary room for a discussion.

Roger Hunts for Human Prey - Outlander Season 5 Episode 10

And that's what we do here. We discuss. Clicking the link above takes you to a full rundown of what happened, of course, but here, we like to chat about the whys, more or less.

But there isn't an iota of what went down during "Mercy Shall Follow Me" that is open for debate.

In one hour of our viewing time, two thorns were effectively removed from our collective sides.

After the events of Outlander Season 5 Episode 9, I wondered if, when it came time for Bonnet to make his move, it would be Claire and Bree left dealing with the madman. In a way, I was on target.

Chatting with the Glass Man - Outlander Season 5 Episode 10

But the two women couldn't have matched the force of Bonnet, a despicable sea-captain, and that man's lackeys. No. Every ounce of testosterone that was poured onto the occasion was welcome.

Probably the most surprising thing to have happened was how radically Roger turned tide. It wasn't very long ago that the man was against death of any sort.

But then, while he had very specific experience with Bonnet himself, until had time with Jamie and got the finer details of what a man like Bonnet could have done to wreck their family -- a family already irreparably harmed by Bonnet -- that Roger gave his full support to ending Bonnet as appropriate.

I'll be honest. What I didn't appreciate about the episode was the heavyhandedness of Bonnet's clever way of getting to Bree. It was a bit too romance novel for me.

Mother Daughter Day - Outlander Season 5 Episode 10

Yes, Outlander does have those genes, and the books are excellent. But was anyone even remotely buying the lovely day mother and daughter were sharing while the menfolk went off to end their biggest problem?

The only thing missing was a cautionary voiceover or that "dun dun dun dunnnn" music they used to play in old black and whites (or even the frenetic piano pounding of silent movies).

Although it was a lovely day at the beach, it was, quite literally, no day at the beach, if you know what I mean.

It didn't make sense. If Claire and Jamie, especially, knew anything about Stephen Bonnet, it's that you're never prepared for the way he works. At the very least, a man should have been left behind in the case of an emergency.

A Breezy Day - Outlander Season 5 Episode 10

Hell, it could have been a woman, as long she was armed and on the lookout for the two vulnerable women trying to enjoy a day that would ultimately, whether Bree got kidnapped or not, be shrouded in darkness.

After all, even if the plan in motion had played out as they intended, every time they recalled that beautiful day, it would have been scarred with the knowledge that Jamie, Roger, and Ian had also set off to kill a man at the beginning of it.

With all that they've been through collectively at the hands of Stephen Bonnet, I can only hope that the entire family swings back to Wilmington to spend a real day at the beach -- if anyone has earned a vacation, it's this family.

Have they ever taken one?

A Serene Scene - Outlander Season 5 Episode 10

Bonnet wasn't even the only person to take their leave. Poor Jocasta was under the gun, as well, because she failed to secure a match for Forbes with her niece.

Honestly, that guy was in so far over his head. Even if he'd made it off of River Run alive, and Bonnet was successful in his procurement of Jemmy, did Forbes really think Bonnet would have let him live happily with 20% of River Run's worth?

What an idiot.

Ulysses is never far behind Jocasta. But petty little men like Forbes don't think about how they might get taken down because they're too assured that they're in the right all of the time.

Attorney at Law - Outlander Season 5 Episode 10

Geez, look at that sob story that Bonnet gave to Brianna in his attempt to woo her into promising to try to love him. Or something.

Bonnet: So the monster prevails.
Bree: Well, it depends on who you think is the monster -- the man hellbound on revenge of the whale, who is hunted.
Bonnet: The sea is a treacherous place where creatures prey upon one another. And the sea, herself is hungry for souls.
Bree: What does that mean?
Bonnet: A nightmare. The sea, it calls for me. Darkness closes in. I cannot move. No one comes. No one ever comes.
Bree: It's only a dream.
Bonnet: So you don't think any less of me for tellin' ya?
Bree: No. I could never think any less of you.

Was Bonnet really that stupid that he thought, even for a second, that anything he said or did could have lured Bree to his side WITH her child, no less?

It's hard to understand what was intentional from Bonnet and what was meant by the writers to suppose that a sociopath and narcissist like Bonnet would behave idiotically. 

Bonnet, a very mean spirited and troubled man, managed to get quite far in his life. His narcissism made him incredibly charming, and even at his worst, he could somehow pull people into his orbit.

Roger Steps Up - Outlander Season 5 Episode 10

Those sucked inside thought they could outsmart Bonnet, but the whole time, he appeared to be playing them like a fiddle. Or was he? Was it luck or purpose of action that allowed him to get away with so much?

In the end, it really doesn't matter. He met his end a lot better than he deserved. 

Brianna? Was that mercy, or was it to make sure he's dead?


Does it matter whether Bree meant to kill him mercifully or to ensure he was dead? Nope. She could have killed him with a little of both intentions floating through her mind. 

This wasn't the season finale, but it sure could have been. What new trouble will befall the family to end Outlander Season 5 and propel us into Outlander Season 6?

Three Men on a Mission - Outlander Season 5 Episode 10

Something tells me you book readers know exactly what's coming.

And while I'm speaking to you directly, readers, did Bonnet's demise happen the same in the book, or did Ronald Moore take some liberties with Diana Gabledon's material for the purpose of the show?

I'd love to know!

I'm also a little let down that Murtagh didn't get a better sendoff. He was grieved for all of five minutes, but his presence in the lives of the Outlander characters was much larger than that. Since I know that Murtagh never made it this far in the books, there wasn't much to draw on.

The family doesn't often cry over spilt milk, so to speak. They pick up after disasters, brush off their britches, and walk away without turning back.

Is that what happened here?

Share all of your thoughts in the comments, and watch Outlander online if you need to catch up.

Mercy Shall Follow Me Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (54 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Outlander Season 5 Episode 10 Quotes

Bonnet: When we're at River Run, we'll have better servants to do this for us.
Bree: You mean slaves.
Bonnet: Is it the master of the house that's supposed to do it?

I want to do right by you and him -- to be a real father.