‘Outlander’: The Frasers Seek Vengeance for Brianna in ‘Mercy Shall Follow Me’ (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 5, Episode 10 of Outlander, “Mercy Shall Follow Me.”]
Outlander‘s fifth season is nearing its end and tying up some loose strings in its latest episode, “Mercy Shall Follow Me.”
Picking up where the last episode left off, Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) quest to hunt down and kill Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers) continues now that he’s back up on his feet after a near-fatal encounter with a snake. As with any Outlander installment, the Frasers seem in the clear until they’re faced with another dangerous predicament. Below, we break down that predicament and more of the action from this pivotal chapter, so beware of major spoilers.
The action kicks off in Wilmington where Bonnet meets with his lawyer Gerald Forbes (Billy Boyd) in a brothel. It’s hinted that Bonnet’s been smuggling more than just material goods, suggesting the pirate’s gotten into human trafficking, and the lawyer suggests he lay low with his business until he can claim Jeremiah — Roger (Richard Rankin) and Bree’s (Sophie Skelton) son — as his own.
Forbes then inquires about his compensation for his aiding of Bonnet’s plan to take legally claim Jemmy, who may or may not be a product of his raping of Bree in Season 4. Bonnet mentions that a dark fate awaits Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy) and her new husband as they plan to take River Run for themselves.
Meanwhile, the Frasers have arrived in town and Jamie, Claire (Caitriona Balfe), Briana and Roger sit around discussing the impending hunt for the pirate. While Bree has a bad feeling, Roger and Jamie are insistent that they want to finish their cat-and-mouse game with Bonnet and protect Jemmy. Claire asks if they can trust Philip Wylie (Chris Donald), who set up the meeting with Bonnet that Roger and Jamie plan on attending with Ian (John Bell) posing as Alexander Malcolm.
And whether they can trust Wylie or not, the men are bent on following through with the task, and so Claire promises to come after Jamie if he doesn’t return to her and Bree. “Bonnet’s only a man,” Jamie tells Claire to which she answers, “And nothing more.”
Separating for varying tasks, Claire and Bree set out on their own to meet with a glass blower in hopes of having a custom tube made. The item is meant to be a component in Claire’s new syringe, and after they’re done leaving instructions with the craftsman, they walk off, but it would seem someone is watching them.
Meanwhile, the men arrive at their meeting point — a boathouse shack in the woods — and they chat and strategize. This is when Roger declares he wants to take on the task of killing Bonnet. Jamie allows it but says he can’t hesitate, that he should fight until the job is done. They then agree to avenge one another if they don’t survive the impending encounter.
As for the ladies, they have taken to the North Carolina sands as Claire searches for shells to use in her surgery and Bree accompanies her. Together they stroll, witnessing some whales breach the water’s surface and Bree brings up her love for Moby Dick and memories from her childhood when she and Claire would race on the beaches of Cape Cod. This sparks a quick nostalgic footrace before they separate as Claire continues her search and Bree dips her toes in the water.
Back in the shed, Bonnet’s men arrive sans the pirate and Ian leads them inside where Roger and Jamie are waiting — together they disarm the men and question where their captain is. So, where is Bonnet? At the beach, as he walks up on Claire and Bree after following them through town.
When Claire threatens him, Bree finds her mother at knife-point and attempts to shoot the man once her mother wriggles free from his grasp. Unfortunately there’s no ammo left and Bree charges Bonnet but neither her nor Claire are any match for him as he knocks them both out cold. When Claire wakes up she finds Bree’s shoes in the sand and her daughter absent.
As for Bree, she wakes in a room where Bonnet’s setting up a tea tray. He reveals he’s brought her to his island and she takes a defensive stance as he tells her he has a gift for her. The chest he presents is filled with toys for “our son,” he tells her, and the panic on Bree’s face is plain as day as she spies a bed in an attached back room. He then tells her he has a gift for her as well before the scene shifts to Claire crossing paths with Roger, Jamie and Ian whom she informs about Bree’s kidnapping by Bonnet.
Bree in the meantime is forced to join Bonnet for dinner, wearing a gown he gifted her. There, he asks her to teach him how to be a gentleman. When she questions this and he informs her the reason is because he wants to be a father to Jeremiah, she’s disturbed to learn he knows her son’s name. Later, he leads her back to the room where Bree had seen the bed upon her arrival, and she suggests it’s inappropriate to be together alone, attempting to avoid any repeats of their first encounter in Season 4.
He asks her what people of high status do to pass the time and she mentions reading. He asks if Jemmy likes that and Bree says she reads all the time, that she enjoys seeing things from different perspectives. When she brings up what drives characters — love, money and revenge — he says there’s “two sides to every story.”
He asks her to teach him how to love and in a mutual understanding, she begins reading to him, reciting Moby Dick by heart, pretending to repeat the words from a book in her hands. Hooked by the story, he listens and as time trails on, he asks her to reveal if captain Ahab prevails over the monster — the titular white whale. Bree suggests it depends on who he sees as the monster, because Ahab ultimately loses his battle against the sea creature. And Bonnet then launches into his own fears of the sea and recurring nightmares.
This sparks a new question as he asks Bree what she does to comfort Jeremiah, and she says she holds him till he feels safe and mentions that the boy needs his mother. Bonnet reveals he’d been an orphan himself, before turning in for the night. She startles when the man grabs her, but she says it’s proper for women like herself to sleep alone and so Bonnet bids her goodnight.
The next morning she wakes up and find Bonnet in the next room with a tray of breakfast as one of the brothel women helps him set up. She asks if he plans to live on the island and mentions that she should pick up her son to join them, and while he entertains the idea, he wants to go with her. Attempting to secure her escape from Bonnet’s clutches, she suggests going alone so he doesn’t startle Jemmy, and when he wonders if she’ll return, she claims they are drawn together and he can trust her.
She almost manages to fulfill her escape, but when he requests a kiss, her inability to fake enthusiasm tips him off and he calls her out for it. “I let my feelings cloud my judgement,” he says, before showing her “what she’s missing,” by forcing himself on the brothel woman who had been doing chores about the room. Turning away from the scene, Bree is shaken up, and after he leaves to fetch the brothel woman money, she asks the lady for help, wondering where they are.
The woman who calls herself Eppie tells her they’re just off the coast of Wilmington and advises that Bree keep her mouth shut and she’ll be fine, but Bree pleads and asks the woman to find her family and tell them where she is, even offering her wedding ring. Eppie refuses though and Bree’s left in a bad position.
The search for Bree is on in Wilmington as Roger and Jamie hold Wylie at knifepoint. He points them in the direction of Mistress Sylvie’s, the brothel where Bonnet conducts business. Claire and Jamie go there themselves and when they mention Bonnet’s name, things get awkward as they ask to speak with the women employed there.
Meanwhile, at River Run, Forbes arrives to speak with Jocasta who informs the lawyer that she wishes to bestow her family with gifts, asking him to draft a will of sorts, indicating who will receive what. When he questions her choice, she says “better to give than receive.” With each passing beneficiary she names, Forbes gets more agitated and when she asks to give Roger and Bree a thousand pounds he’s completely triggered.
Letting it slip that he’s upset she’s giving away “his” money, Forbes takes his chance and tries smothering Jocasta with a pillow. In the struggle that ensues, she knocks over a table that holds the bell she rings for her servant Ulysses (Colin McFarlane) who is alerted by the noise. The man rips Forbes from Jocasta and proceeds to kill him before she finally comes to.
Back at the brothel, Claire meets Eppie who remains mum on her contact with Bree, but when Claire notices the woman walking with a tilt, she diagnoses her and offers some advice, recommending a new platform on one shoe to even her gait. Claire even gives the girl money to help. This opens her up to sharing that Bree’s on Bonnet’s island, saying Claire will need a boat.
Meanwhile, Bonnet is showing Bree off to a captain who hopes to purchase her and when she pleads for help she’s reprimanded. The man offers six pounds for her and Bonnet agrees, saying Bree’s “nothing but property.” When they go out to the beaches for the transaction, the captain’s men are shot and suddenly Bree’s rescue team has arrived. Running to her parents, Bree leaves Bonnet’s side while the captain who planned to buy her retreats. Bonnet also makes a run for it but Roger bolts after him, beating the pirate with everything he’s got.
While they tie Bonnet up and plan to leave him to die, Bree requests that he is tried by the law, but there’s concern about a fair trial since many men are in the pirate’s back pocket. This is when Tryon’s (Tim Downie) promise to make up for Roger’s hanging comes into play and ultimately we see Bonnet sentenced to death by drowning as he’s tied to a post in the water. Once onlookers depart, leaving Bonnet squirming alone on his post, Bree makes her shot, putting a bullet in Bonnet’s head. Roger asks her, “Was that mercy or to make sure he’s dead?” She doesn’t answer, but the poetic nature of Bree taking out Bonnet can’t be lost.
With that threat now gone, what else will the Frasers face? Only time will tell — find out when Outlander returns next week on Starz.
Outlander, Sundays, 8/7c, Starz