Outlander S5 Epi10 – Mercy Shall Follow Me
Written by Megan Ferrell Burke | Directed by Annie Griffin
This conversation is between Blacklanderz Amanda, Marva and Cathy. Arranged and edited by Vida.
TRAUMA | FORTITUDE | JUSTICE
Amanda: This episode revealed the true extent of Bonnet, Forbes, and Wylie’s evil misdeeds. Bonnet’s insanity and depravity touched Bree’s life once again. This time her family was there not only to help her, but also to ensure that once and for all the law of the land prevailed.
CHARACTER | REDEMPTION | MERCY
Cathy: This episode highlighted the true character of the players involved – Roger (strength), Forbes (conniving), Bonnet (complicated), Bree (intelligent), Jocasta (generous), Ulysses (protective). Roger seems to have redeemed himself in Jamie’s eyes who now clearly respects him. Stephen Bonnet gave small hints of his humanity (as delusional as it was), but his true colors prevailed. If not for mercy, Bree’s whereabouts would have remained a mystery, Wylie would have lost more than his bladder and bowels, and Bonnet would have died by drowning.
REVENGE | PSY-OPS | COURAGE
Marva: Throughout this season, the writers had been sprinkling like salt the evil and crazy-eyed energy of Bonnet. In THIS episode, the saltshaker exploded, and we were treated to a wild, jarring, and unexpected harangue that took place across two of Diana’s books. I see Bree’s journey with Bonnet as a reflection of Jamie’s saga with his abuser, Black Jack Randall. What the BJR storyline had is more time (years) for the intensity to build and culminate.
In Epi10, viewers are left with what feels like a mound of crazy abruptly dumped on our plate! Definitely an episode to watch more than once, just so viewers can get past all the crazy and pay attention to what the writers are trying to say. The choice to include in the reviews Jamie’s advice about having the “courage NOT to fight” shows us how those words guided Bree’s actions through the episode.
C: I was confused by the deck of cards and how they would play into the story. It seemed an odd way to measure an addition to a heel. I wondered if the shoes were for a man or a woman.
A: Shoe styles of the time are often unisex except for color or trim. They could be for a woman, but it could also be something Philip Wylie or some other elite person in the colony would wear.
A: Is a public tavern REALLY the best place to discuss your evil plans? I mean come on now.
M: Bonnet gets away with SO much out in public. I guess he’s past caring who hears.
The scene between Stephen Bonnet and Gerald Forbes serves a multitude of purposes, but predominantly, it lays out for the audience exactly what Bonnet’s plan has been all along this season and why Forbes has agreed to support it. Setting it in Mrs. Sylvie’s Brothel gave us an opportunity to introduce Eppie, who will become an important character later on in the script. ~ Megan Ferrell Burke, Annotation
M: Ugh. Bonnet and Forbes to start the episode. My blood pressure just rose. Bonnet creeps me out. Crazy eyes.
C: THIS is the Bonnet I’ve been looking for; Jack Sparrow is gone, replaced by menacing sexy.
M: “A gentleman has no occupation.” What does that even mean? What does Bonnet know about being a gentleman?
A: He knows nothing about being a gentleman, but he realizes that’s how people will take him seriously as a “businessman”.
C: Ed Speleers played that scene perfectly with his slow smiles and his pointed looks that conveyed so much.
But that “don’t make me cut you” look Bonnet gave Forbes after Forbes asked him if he has a priest, was priceless. That Bonnet squint with that cheeky smile had me like, “Ooooo, a pirate’s life for me.”
A: I recall Bonnet being more menacing in the books, but I don’t recall him engaging in sex trafficking.
M: I don’t remember that either, but if I remember correctly, he did have other ill-gotten women on his island in Book 6?
Brianna’s case is arguably the strongest.
Still, her 18th century father and 18th-century-in-training husband want to do it for her, feeling that killing someone in mostly-cold blood isn’t something a young woman of good family should have to do.
Unless she really wants to, of course…in which case it’s totally her right to cut his throat, knife him in the guts, or otherwise dispose of him according to her fancy. ~ Diana Gabaldon
A: Claire and Bree have the right instinct not to trust Roger.
C: I like badass Roger. It’s about time he’s grown a pair.
The addition of Young Ian to the plan of capturing and killing Bonnet came quite late in the writing of this script. At first, we had Roger and Jamie setting out on their own, but it occurred to us that Bonnet would recognize either man from a safe distance and would smell a rat too early. We love the character of Young Ian and felt that he had played such a pivotal part in 509 that it would be a shame to leave him at home for this entire episode. We were also intrigued by the visual of Young Ian having to “shed” his Mohawk skin for this ruse. So, we included him in the plan. ~ Megan Ferrell Burke Annotation
A: Ian’s green wool suit is so sharp, but I can tell he’s not used to wearing such fancy clothes.
C: And poor Ian looking so uncomfortable – like a little boy in a suit and whose shoes are too tight on Easter Sunday.
M: Yeah, he looks better in his Native dress. Here he looks like he’s had a recent head injury.
C: But how is Jamie so nonchalant about the danger they are about to face? You know something will go wrong – this is Outlander after all.
[V: I wondered that myself. It was as if it was just a regular day in Wilmington.]
A: I knew Claire would take this chance in Wilmington to restock supplies.
M: I like this blacksmith. He wants to mansplain so much, but just can’t get ahead of Claire.
C: I love that Bree is growing into her own as an Engineer, but I’m trying to understand how glass is easier to clean than brass.
Glass is more fragile and given what’s coming, I’d think something more sturdy would be better.
A: Brass in this era could rust without the proper coating. Glass is definitely the more sterile choice.
M: Ah! Good point, Amanda!
A: I hope the men brought enough weapons.
M: Roger compares working for Bonnet to eating scorpionfish.
Scorpionfish are bottom-dwelling fish covered with spines coated with venomous mucous. Yeah, that’s Bonnet, to a tee.
C: Is there ever a time when Jamie, Ian, and Roger are together when trouble doesn’t follow?
M: Jamie’s gonna allow Roger the “manly honor” of getting first crack at Bonnet. But kind of lets him know Jamie’s already planning for what happens after Roger fails.
Roger requesting to kill Bonnet cements the closer relationship that Roger and Jamie developed in 509. Jamie’s response is such a strong moment in the novel, so much so that Roger understands why men would follow Jamie anywhere and do anything for him. We wanted to treat it with the utmost gravity and respect and make it clear that from this point onward Jamie treats Roger as his equal. ~ Megan Ferrell Burke Annotation
C: When Jamie let Roger take the lead I thought “oh he finally trusts him”, but I guess there is a fine line between trust and confidence. Roger – Plan A. Jamie – Plan B.
M: Yeah, I basically got the idea that Jamie was saying, “I’ll let you kill yourself first.” But then Roger returns with the, “I will avenge you, too” and Jamie has to admit he’s a stand-up guy.
A: I like Roger taking some initiative, but at the same time he’s not an experienced soldier. These pirate guys are experienced fighters, and they may fight dirty.
She and Bree have come so far. They had such a strange relationship and now they’re almost friends more than mother and daughter. Even those tiny, simple scenes. It doesn’t have to be anything heavy. I love working with Caitriona. It’s nice when you actually have the women supporting each other. There was a lot of animosity with [people like] Laoghaire, so it’s really nice when you see the women as a team. ~ Sophie Skelton
A: I love Clare and Bree bonding scenes, but they’re also in the middle of nowhere….
C: Outlander never lets us relax. I couldn’t enjoy this scene knowing they never leave things pleasant for long. I was impatient to know what was going to happen and happen it did!
M: The camera placement at a distance told me that someone terrible was watching them.
A: I’ve never been whale watching, and now I want to put that on the Bucket List.
M: Love the conversation about whales, but hate the camera angles and music that signals someone is watching.
C: The whale scene looked a little too Natural Geographic for me to seem real, but it tied in Moby Dick nicely.
M: It seemed weird to me for them to say, “I love Moby Dick.” Is Moby Dick really a book anyone loves? Don’t you read it because your 11th grade English teacher made you?
M: “There’s so much here that’s unspoiled.” Bree always wants to see the “bright side” of the 18th century, doesn’t she?”
A: I actually like that she’s able to see the bright side in the natural beauty that we don’t see in the modern day.
C: I was like, “Dude, aren’t your father and husband in a situation that can get them killed?” They seemed awfully unbothered. It felt like filer fluff. But I loved Claire’s dress. I’m not a cosplayer, but if I were…
M: That was my thought too, Cathy. Why is Bree remarking on the “unspoiled” presence of whales when the men she loves are tracking down her rapist?
A: That boat doesn’t look big enough for several whiskey barrels.
C: Has Bear always used tabla drums? I noticed in Epi8 with Ian scenes and again in this episode with the men coming down the river. I’ll have to pay attention to see if this is Ian’s music.
A: They might be part of Ian’s theme.
A: Why are they splitting up??? This isn’t going to end well!
[V: I was wondering the same thing. They are a bit carefree.
But then again, they think everything is happening at Wylie’s Landing.]
A: Of course, the men want to inspect the goods first, they’re suspicious.
M: Is it good luck or bad luck that Roger’s gun is shot of his hand first thing!
Roger has good aim with a barrel and good dodging skills! Roger the Dodger rides again!
A lot of adjustments were made in the adaptation of this particular story line. In the novel, there are several parties who arrive at the dock at Wylie’s Landing for a longer and a much more complicated ambush. Unfortunately, due to both story and time, this had to be simplified for production. ~ Megan Ferrell Burke Annotation
C: Awww, look at Roger being all Scots warrior avenging his wife. And when did he learn how to fight?
Jamie must have been working with him. Jamie has another son.
M: It looks like he mostly learned how to get the heck out of the way of a swinging fist!
I think Jamie and Roger are going to have to be a lot more terrifying to get people to talk against Stephen Bonnet!
A: I suspect Bonnet has more lackeys to throw at Ian, Jamie and Roger before they find the main man.
C: I thought Jamie was scary. He went all Black Jack Randall to me.
[V: Oh lord, left alone . . . the angle of the shot. You just know something is about to happen.]
A: Bonnet found them!
And of course, Claire and Bree were not prepared.
C: Oh the swagger, but why does Bonnet’s face look so dirty?
And what does Claire think she’s going to do with that toothpick…I mean knife?
[V: Cathy, I wondered that too. I couldn’t figure out if it was dirt on his face or a shadow beard of some sort. And, where was Claire’s gun?]
When we structured Season 5, we knew that the sixth book, “A Breath of Snow and Ashes,” had a Stephen Bonnet plot that almost picked up where the fifth book stopped. In order to avoid creating a long gap between these two story lines, we decided to combine them instead.
To do that, we had to simplify the characters who may have been present in the scenes in the novel and focus on Bonnet’s plan to take Brianna as laid out in the first scene. ~ Megan Ferrell Burke Annotation
M: Bree’s father TOLD her she couldn’t take Bonnet head on!
She runs at him like she’s a 200lb linebacker!
C: And what made Bree think she could overpower him?
I know the scene was necessary, but it didn’t seem all that intelligent.
M: They are not thinking strategically yet. Claire and Bree are just reacting now.
C: Poor Claire is living a mother’s worst nightmare.
Bonnet’s private lair on the island of Ocracoke also had to be simplified and adjusted. The story line involving Phaedre, Josh and the threat of a slave ship had to be stripped away, and we focused solely on the relationship between Bonnet and Brianna and what it would feel like to be stuck with your rapist who was also a known sociopath. ~ Megan Ferrell Burke Annotation
A: Bonnet’s house looks pretty on the inside, but this is definitely a House of Horrors.
M: I’m a bad person. I’ve watched the episode three times and I laughed every time Bonnet asked if she’s still mad because he forgot her name.
C: I laughed too. He looked so innocent and sweet. Looks can be SO deceiving. But Bonnet is trying. He’s been collecting items for his son and keeping them in a chest. At this point it’s hard to tell if he’s sincere or simply after River Run.
A: I’m not laughing. I’m angry this show exposed Bree to trauma AGAIN.
C: Maybe if Sophie were a better actress, I would have been reminded of her trauma. Instead I was focused on her kidnapping and Bonnet’s obvious narcissistic neediness.
It didn’t stray too far from the source material which IMO doesn’t have to be PC. If I don’t like it, I don’t have to read it nor watch it.
I think for me, in a weird way because it’s a hard episode to watch, but episode 10. Storyline-wise, it’s a really strong ep. We filmed in a nice location, and it just takes a turn that you just don’t expect, so yeah, I think that will be an interesting one for fans. ~ Sophie Skelton
M: What kind of creepy dolls has Bonnet stolen as gifts for “his son?” Too much crazy!
I really want Bree to run him through with that poker, but she and I both know that’s not going to fly.
I WANT VIOLENCE. But I keep remembering what Jamie told her, “have the courage NOT to fight.”
A: Bree is going to have to go along with all his delusions. That will be the fight.
A: I feel badly for Claire.
She didn’t anticipate Bonnet being this brazen and devious.
Where is she?
Bonnet has her.
She has been thinking of this moment for a very long time. I think being kidnapped by him was the one thing she never imagined. She thought it would come with him hurting someone she loves or trying to take Jemmy. But now that she’s in these circumstances, it’s nice to be able to show her tiny clipped remarks and grimaces. She really is walking a fine line and not annoying him so he flips the switch and hurts her again. It’s an interesting dynamic—it’s not the reunion she thought. ~ Sophie Skelton
A: I love Bree’s dress but Italian/Polonaise (cinched up) overskirts are a bit early in style for 1771…
This scene was inspired by Beauty and the Beast, and we wanted to create the feel of a dance between Bonnet and Brianna. Now that Brianna has realized the extent of Bonnet’s plan, she is tiptoeing around him to figure out how to best tame someone with an unpredictable mindset, who could lash out at her at any point. ~ Megan Ferrell Burke Annotation
C: The house is beautiful and so is Bree in that dress. Bonnet is like a little boy trying to be good. The horror on Bree’s face when Bonnet says Jemmy’s name…I think I would have stabbed him at that point.
You can see Bree thinking about how to stay alive. Let’s just hope Bree is a better actress…
C: Bonnet: What I need is something I can’t buy; Bree: A moral compass? LOL
[V: As serious as she was when she said that, it went over his head because he just kept talking.]
M: How creepy to hear your child’s name coming out of that evil man’s mouth!
All I want her to do is jump across the table and scratch his eyes out.
But Bree decides to run some psy-ops on him.
A: Sadly, psychological games may be the only thing Bonnet will respond to.
[V: These are some great shots. I am glad they included them so the audience would know where they were.]
A: Bonnet’s obsession with the class system is a bit scary.
C: His obsession with class isn’t surprising given the times and social mobility being unusual. A sociopath, with an inferiority complex, is dangerous.
It’s actually based on a true story. There was a girl who was kidnapped by her rapist and she did read to him, mainly to placate him, but also to try and pass the time. The one thing I talked to the director about was that I didn’t like that Brianna went towards the bedroom. I really pushed against that. It’s the last place [she’d go]—she would be hiding near the door if anything. That’s why that next line comes in: “Oh, my friends can join if you want.” That pulls Brianna away from the main door on instinct. You know when you say no to someone and your instinct is to go toward them as if to stop them? That’s the way I wanted to bring Brianna toward the bedroom—without her initiating moving there. ~ Sophie Skelton
M: He’s being convincingly sincere about his wish to be a gentleman. But then I remember the scorpionfish.
C: I almost feel sorry for Bonnet…almost. Ed Speleers does a really good job of being revolting and a sympathetic character at the same time.
But when he uses Bree’s words against her – love, money, revenge – and reminding her she visited him in jail, not for money, not for revenge, so….
M: We all knew the moment we saw it take place that the visit to the jail would lead to nothing good. Sophie’s so good at showing non-verbally how freaked out she is every time he mentions her child’s name.
A: She is so good in the way she communicates Bree’s silent distress. I also liked that she finally acknowledged how River Run is completely run by slaves earlier when they were eating dinner. I’ve been waiting for that for a long while.
M: I think his motivation is revenge. He thinks the world owes him for his sucky upbringing.
C: He is clearly a sociopath.
A: Indeed and his bad choices are why I find it hard to feel badly for him.
M: Earth to Stephen Bonnet – YOU’RE the monster!!
This book is a good one… I think you’ll like it…
C: This! But he’s a fine ass monster though. Again, Ed has menacing charm down pat. And “I think I could learn to love you…” – funny, but clueless. Ed’s line delivery is masterful and such an improvement from S4.
The mysterious sea-captain of the Pequod
was a man named Ahab. He stood on two legs,
one of flesh and bone, the other made of the bones
of a whale. His leg had been taken during a
voyage, by another monstrous, white whale…
known as Moby Dick…
M: Cathy up here lusting after the sociopath. I’m not mad at you.
C: At one point I was like “Roger who?” LOL. Ed really owned these scenes.
Captain Ahab nailed a dubloon to
the mast of his ship and swore
there would be a prize for the
first man to sight the whale… and
that they would stop at nothing
until they found him… and killed
The dance between Brianna and Bonnet continues at night, and now it is a matter of figuring out how Brianna would get around Bonnet’s obvious romantic advances. The solution was for her to “read” Moby Dick and make up the story from her memory. Since Bonnet doesn’t know how to read, it didn’t make a difference which book Brianna picked up.
This was a long scene that had to build to an emotional confession by Bonnet and Brianna’s subtle rejection, which she knows is only delaying the inevitable. ~ Megan Ferrell Burke, Annotation
No, and what’s really embarrassing is I never actually read it [Moby Dick].
When Brianna was talking about it I had to give it a quick Google: Are these the real words she’s reading to Bonnet or is she making it up? ~ Sophie Skelton
… the sailors prepared the shipfor the hunt. The harpoons werereadied, and the men startedsinging…
M: In Bonnet’s nightmare, “no one ever comes.”
That’s what happened when she was raped. No one came to help.
C: He’s such a sociopath; he doesn’t see what he did as rape. He really thinks they have a chance at being a family. A delusional sociopath.
M: I think she gave herself away with that, “I could never think any less of you.” Bonnet’s insane, not stupid.
C: I know this is an emotional scene, but all I wanted to do was have Bonnet wipe his damned nose.
A: I’m just thankful Bree was able to stop him from trying to rape her again.
I mean, it’s palpable, isn’t it? This notion of his deep-seated fear of drowning. He was treated quite poorly as a child. They bound him, and then he was buried alive, essentially. And I wonder if that triggered something with drowning.
Imagine being buried alive. It’s a similar feeling to drowning—I think there’s a link there. But he’s really spent his whole life trying to conquer his fear in a way. And I think this is a common thing in human behavior.
Sometimes your biggest fear, you end up trying to work as close to it as possible in order to conquer it, maybe never having a handle on it. I think it’s a great character detail that Diana [Gabaldon] has come up with, to make this sea-fearing man a pirate. I think it’s a brilliant character trait. ~ Ed Speleers
A lady would say “good night” andgo to bed. Alone.
Then I look forward to bidding you”good morning.”
A: Who is that woman in the pink shirt? A servant?
[V: No, it’s Eppie, one of the prostitutes from the brothel where he and Forbes met at the beginning of the episode.]
M: Brianna is playing her psychological game. She thinks she’s won. Bonnet is playing his psychological game.
I think he wants to bed her, “willingly.” I don’t think he actually believes her, though I think he WANTS to believe her. She’s not fooling anyone.
M: He’s acting like he believes her. Like he wants to believe her. But remember what Roger said about the scorpionfish. I think scorpion was used for a reason in the dialogue. Remember the fable about the scorpion and the fox?
A: I’m glad Bree survived the night, but I expect Bonnet will try to play some games again.
And we’ll seal our promise to oneanother with a kiss.
If there’s one thing I don’t needto be taught, it’s what a kiss is —
A: Just when I thought Bonnet wasn’t going to sink any lower, he does, forcing yet another woman to have sex with him.
M: Oh crud! Oh, crud! Bonnet is having sex with that prostitute! My eyes! Can’t unsee! Can’t unsee!
Poor Bree. You can tell she’s having flashbacks to when he raped her. Her reaction is so visceral! Devastating!
C: Even before this scene or the kiss, I’m not sure Bonnet is convinced of Bree’s sincerity. He is a classic narcissist – he believes his own lies, but he’s not stupid. He has to know that even if HE doesn’t think he did anything wrong, he knows SHE does.
But then has the nerve to act like his feelings are hurt because a woman he beat up and raped doesn’t want him and he says he’ll NOW give her a reason to despise him?
There is one thing to say about Outlander writers. When it comes to portraying psychological diagnoses, they have the DSM-5 down! As for this scene, that was unexpected and more than a little surprising. It’s a clear reminder what a sociopath Bonnet is, which makes the episode’s ending even more confusing.
When Brianna goes to the jail in season 4, I did a lot of research into how women react when they see their aggressors again. I wanted Brianna to come across very strong, but I’m also aware that when you’re sexually abused, your body can take over and dictate how it’s going to go, even if your mind wants to stay calm. I also went back to all my research for the rape scene. I wanted Brianna to be brought back to that night again. She’s been trying to suppress it this whole time, but when Bonnet—for want of a better word—mounts Eppie, Bree’s back at that moment in the tavern. She’s brought back to that night and the rape. ~ Sophie Skelton
A: It’s as if Bree is getting raped again and I’m disgusted. Why the need for relying on rape trauma?
M: Bonnet is fair? She says he’s a fair man, as long as you’re aligned with his goals.
How much does her life suck that she considers Bonnet a fair man?
A: I also feel badly for Eppie. She has clearly been threatened by Bonnet, or his lackeys, before. Just because she is a sex worker, she doesn’t deserve clients like Bonnet, who use psychological or physical threats.
Bree made a good effort appealing to her “woman to woman“, but that may be a concept she may not understand given how patriarchal this era was.
C: That poor misguided woman. Bree begged her for help, and she thought she was helping her by teaching Bree how to be a better prostitute.
Even though she wasn’t forced to be with Bonnet, she was clearly scared of him and therefore really didn’t feel she had a choice. I’m sure this interaction helped later when Eppie told Claire where to find Bree.
A: I’m so glad Roger caught Wylie.
M: Get ‘em Roger! Get that @#!#%$!! This episode has me cursing at the screen!
C: The look on Jamie’s face is incongruent with the fact that his daughter has been kidnapped by the man who raped her.
Why amusement? Where is the urgency?
Wylie is a weasel. Roger with a knife to Wylie’s throat while Ian is standing watch. #ThugLife
[V: I was a little confused by the lack of urgency too. I guess Roger is still in training.
But I do love the three of them together.]
A: Jocasta and Duncan seem to be relatively happy.
C: Poor Innes seems clueless and Jocasta seems annoyed and bored.
M: This Duncan Innes seems very sweet. You think he’s going to turn out to be an old defiler of slaves like the book version?
A: I certainly hope not, although the show has done quite a bit to erase the slavery in River Run.
C: Oh Ulysses! Did I see an eye roll? Again, the production treating slaves like servants.
But I love Colin in all his scenes. Although I hate the “dignified slave” trope, I love the sophistication Colin McFarlane brings to the role.
A: Ulysses always has his poker face on but he also seems a bit on edge here based on his body language.
Our earthly belongings, Mr. Forbes.I’d like you to help me bestow somegifts on my family...
C: Forbes is checking out the furniture and painting, adding it all up his 20%. How did he think he was going to get away with suffocating her?
Gifts? What kind of gifts…
A: I’m assuming Forbes was going to frame it on Duncan Innes and take all the money for himself.
[V: I love these shots of the town and townspeople.]
C: What is it about Claire and Jamie ending up in brothels?
A: These women are clearly too scared to talk about Bonnet.
Can I help you? Unusual to have…husband and wife, is it? But notunheard of… Mabel wouldn’t mind,being partial to women...
No… we’re not here for that…but we were hoping to speak to someof the ladies, urgently…
No — but we’re looking for
someone… and we think that you or
some of your girls might know where
this man is… Please.
We’re looking for a man named
A: I don’t think Forbes is taking good notes on Jocasta’s wishes.
M: He is just watching “his” money fly out the window and he’s not here for it.
He is like, you know how much time, effort, and work goes into putting up with Bonnet? I EARNED your money, Jocasta!
A: She likely had no idea he was skimming money from her accounts.
M: Pippin turns into Sméagol that fast. Hot dang!
[V: I was glad to see these two shots.
I was wondering how she was going to alert someone.]
M: I’m glad Ulysses was able to help Jocasta!
But I also remember vividly what happened the last time a black man rightfully attacked a white man in these times.
A: I just hope Ulysses can defend himself if someone claims he did it on purpose.
He can’t end up like Rufus back in S4.
C: The production has given hints of Ulysses’ true relationship with Jocasta. But him kissing her hand and calling her by her first name, left little up to the imagination.
There is no way he stays at River Run. He’s a dead man no matter the truth.
Mistress… Mistress… Jocasta.
M: Hmmmm. So you’re saying Jocasta just lost another of her secret boyfriends?
[V: Though I know what you mean, secret or no secret, he could never be considered a ‘boyfriend’. He is a slave, chattel-property, the power dynamics dictate that.]
A: Claire can always tell when someone is suffering.
Now the pack of cards and the shoes and the deck of cards comes in, helping her to get corrective footwear.
M: Claire uses her best weapon, her medical skills to win over that recalcitrant prostitute.
C: It was a clever way to introduce the playing cards and the shoe to tie in the title card. Always a healer – can’t turn it off.
I like how they are using Claire as a doctor in this season. The over-the-top medical dramatics was getting old and unrealistic. This season is truer to how medicine is really delivered.
In the novel, Claire, helps Eppie by giving her penicillin for syphilis.
We needed a more visual and instant way for Claire to see a specific problem about Eppie so she could offer help that nobody else could—hence we came up with anisomelia as a condition that would be something Claire would know about and could address in order to gain Eppie’s trust. ~ Megan Ferrell Burke Annotation
Please. Stephen Bonnet has ourdaughter. She was taken from us.She has a husband and a young son.We have to bring her home.
He will never know, I swear it.
You’ll need a boat.
A: I hope they have additional weapons in that boat.
[V: I think they will have enough.]
A: 18th Century sex traffickers really were this vile in the way they treated women.
They used the same tactics the slave auctioneers did.
M: Did he just SNIFF her? Horrible man.
I think we just found someone more vile than Bonnet.
Oh lord. Bree having to beg her rapist for help.
Can it get any worse for her?
A: I hate to say this, but Bonnet set this up precisely for her to feel that pain again.
C: Given the hierarchy of the time, Bree didn’t have a chance in hell.
The Dutch and English already had human trafficking down to an art form.
Bonnet really showed his true colors, but I think he cared about Bree in his own psychopathic warped way.
Although he absolutely battered me to shit on the beach scenes. I was in bare feet and oh my goodness, he stood on my feet about 20 times. ~ Sophie Skelton
[V: I did not see this coming.
It was so quick, I almost missed the shot.]
Someone came up to me and they’re like, “Is that real blood on your ankles?” I was like, yep!
When you’re dragged down a hill in a corset, let me tell you, your spine does not work for you. My neck was buggered. [Laughs] ~ Sophie Skelton
A: Go Roger, go!!!
[V: I was so glad that Ian was there.
But, I wanted him to bust Capt. Howard’s kneecaps for trying to buy Bree.]
This scene where all our heroes come together is a condensed version of this section in the sixth book. Brianna’s escape had originally been conceived as much more elaborate but had to be kept tight and in one location to allow for a packed shooting schedule. ~ Megan Ferrell Burke Annotation
[Script: ANGLE ON – Roger is in hot pursuit of Bonnet. He closes in on his target and tackles Bonnet to the ground.]
[V: This was a great scene. There was so much packed into a minute or so.
I noticed Jamie had all the confidence in Roger. He didn’t even move, just watched.]
M: Roger just beat Stephen Bonnet with the rage he’s been building since the moment that little girl got thrown out the window!
C: Now THAT was an ass whopping!
[Script: Once Roger has Brianna’s rapist and tormentor in front of him, there is no holding him back: Roger pummels Bonnet over and over —
. . . for Brianna, for Claire, for every wrong this man has committed. It is sweet and primal vengeance.
Bonnet goes limp and gives up.
Roger has beaten him almost unconscious.]
[V: I loved Jamie’s brief nod to Roger. Well done, son.]
Brianna understands (whether consciously or not) that one important reason for the existence of government is that it assumes an impersonal collective identity for the administration of justice.
So, justice can be done, but without the damage, distress or sense of guilt that might result from a single person’s being obliged to mete it out.
Government in the Colonies is beginning to fall apart, but there’s plenty of local courts left to condemn Stephen Bonnet out of hand–for piracy. ~ Diana Gabaldon
Quite surreal is the only way I can think of it. When you know it’s your character’s death scene, there is a real danger of falling into this trap, of building everything up in your head. ~ Ed Speleers
Stephen Bonnet, known pirate andsmuggler, was tried this morningbefore the Wilmington Committee of Safety.
A: Bonnet likely never expected all those people to testify against him.
M: No one’s coming to help you, Bonnet.
And upon testimony of hiscrimes having been presented by anumber of persons, was convicted ofthem and sentenced to death by drowning.
M: Wow? A sentence of death by drowning in the American Colonies. Was this a thing? I mean outside witches in the 17th century? It’s poetic justice, for sure.
C: The story shouldn’t garner any sympathy for Bonnet, but I still felt a bit sorry for him. I can only attribute that to Ed Speleers’ acting and Bear’s music.
A: I felt no sympathy at all for him. I do agree though that Ed did a great job with the role.
And of course, there’s a huge amount of work you need to do to be ready for that moment, but the scene was weirdly still. In my mind it was, anyway.
It was quite a tranquil setting, beautiful lake, beautiful woodlands, people in costume on the banks. And there was obviously crew there, and they were all geared up in this sort of diving gear that makes me think they could probably go to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean with it. ~ Ed Speleers
M: I loved that Bree never gave into the baser emotion of revenge, even though she had every reason and right to do so. Roger’s question there at the end was so irrelevant. What she did was a mercy, just like when he ended the suffering of the priest. But killing him was basically putting down a mad dog, which is also an act of mercy.
C: I thought it was brilliant that Bree didn’t give an answer for mercy or to ensure his death. The look on her face gave the answer in my opinion. She was resolute. I never understood the ambiguity in the books over whether Bree felt sorry for him. The few sad storied Bonnet told in this episode would not have created enough sympathy from Bree to counter everything he put her through. Mercy didn’t ring true. Revenge would have been to make him suffer – which she didn’t. I think she wanted to be sure he was dead to protect her family.
I thought, ‘What are you going to give me?’ And it was bullet wounds. Okay, sounds jazzy. I thought maybe in the arm or the leg, or who knows? Being Outlander it could be in a slightly more precarious position. But, it ended up being between the eyes. ~ Ed Speleers
A: I’m glad she had the chance to take her agency back.
I love that Roger asks Brianna why she did it, and I love that Brianna didn’t answer. I don’t really want anyone to know her feelings, and in all honesty, I can find many reasons why she did it. She could’ve done it for revenge. She could’ve done it purely to make sure he’s dead—he has a very good habit of slithering his way out of any problem.
For me, there’s almost an element of mercy in that. It’s like she did in the jail scene—I’m going to show you one tiny bit of goodness in this world. But I do like the mystery on Bree’s face. You don’t know if she doesn’t know herself or if she’s just not telling you. ~ Sophie Skelton
Was that mercy? Or was it to makesure that he’s dead?
There is an element of mercy to it, but I feel that she is taking control in that moment. She is taking some power back, because the control had been taken away from her. Brianna is putting him out of his misery—I don’t think it’s purely just a murder, but she’s decided to do it.
I think it’s a case of saying, ‘Well I can see you’re suffering, I’m going to take control of the situation. I’m going to end it for you, not because I like you, not because I’ve resolved the situation I’m in, but because I’m taking control.’ ~ Ed Speleers
Episode Rating (1-5 Shots)
We give this episode 4-shots! This episode got better the more we watched it. Initially, it was a wild ride and was so shocking after the Fraser’s Ridge, core-family treat last week. By the second viewing, we began to appreciate the themes of courage, revenge, and mercy in the episode. We liked the pace and the stories. Outlander is at its best when the story attempts to appeal to larger themes instead of just plowing through the plot.
The villains reached new lows that made it hard for some of us to watch. One concern is that the presentation of the sex trafficking had embellishments that were not entirely truthful to history, especially in comparison to Harlots, which is set around the same time as Outlander. Another was witnessing what Bree had to endure was very difficult, at times, to watch. The story weaving of Forbes and River Run worked, and we loved the scene with Ulysses. But we know that will not be good for him.
However, we thought it odd that only Claire had a genuine, guttural reaction to Bree’s kidnapping when she awoke on the beach. Everyone else seemed too relaxed, even when threatening and cajoling to get information to find her. We appreciated, by the end, the courts found Bonnet guilty. Some of us felt Bree had her revenge; while others wondered, if she wanted him dead, why wait until it went through the courts? We guess that is exactly how the writers wanted us to react. It is up to the viewer to make that determination.
The acting was superb. We appreciate Sophie Skelton and how she is taking ownership of Bree at her highs and her lows. She made the audience share in Bree’s pain and, impressively, has been able to carry a lot of the episodes this season. Her horror at having to witness Bonnet’s “re-enactment” of her rape was palpable. Her strength was her physical, nonverbal reactions. We just had to wait a bit for the American accent to develop.
Ed Speleers completely convinced everyone that his character is a sociopath. He was magnificent and finally embodied the charming sociopathic nuanced evil that is Stephen Bonnet. Every time he appeared on screen this season, he brought the creepy level up to 10. Richard also stood out in this episode. We are finally seeing Roger and Jamie as equals with Roger’s confidence level reaching an all-time high, especially with that beat down he gave Bonnet.
We enjoyed the costumes; Claire’s dress and coat were the perfect color, design and fit. We also loved Bree’s red/maroon riding habit (2-piece jacket) and Ian’s gentleman’s suit.
As for the set designed, they offered us a new place – Bonnet’s House of Horrors. It screamed 18th Century nouveau riche. It was a perfect blend of overdone finery of someone who did not know any better. Although the orange daybed was to die for.
The wide-angle shots of scenery were beautiful. We loved the shots of the whales and Bree and Claire’s bonding scene on the beach. We also appreciate how scenes shot at Bonnet’s house relied on closeups and were effective, even though some scenes were quite disturbing.
We kept being scared and freaked out by the score. So, thanks Bear for a totally unsettling experience! The music throughout this episode went a long way in creating an ominous and creepy atmosphere. We were on edge the whole time, uneasy, and not sure where this HUGE departure from the book would lead.
Even when watching the Bonnet water scene at the end, we felt like we had been gut-punched. Some of us even felt profound sadness and not just because Ed’s pretty face would no longer be with us. It was the music. When watching that scene without the sound, we did not even come close to the same reaction. We also need to ask Bear what kind of drum is used in Ian’s theme. Indian tabla?
What we are looking forward to in the S5 Epi10.
Marva: I’m a little worried about the next episode. The preview snippet seemed ominous and I’ve heard rumors that another traumatic moment from the 6th book is going to be brought forward. I’m more worried than looking forward. But as always, I’ll be waiting eagerly to see my favorite family and my favorite love story. Follow Marva on twitter – @mjsol.
Cathy: I’m looking forward to Ulysses having a larger story line. Since this is Outlander, I know it won’t be peaceful, but I’m looking forward to seeing how the story is adapted and progressed. Follow Cathy on Twitter – @Dr_DoNoHarm.
Amanda: I’m looking forward to seeing how Ulysses and Jocasta recover from Forbes’ plot. He might have left some unpleasant surprises in the legal documents. I’m also hoping for a return of the political tensions left behind at the end of Epi7. I don’t believe Bonnet is the end of violent threats. Follow Amanda on Twitter – @amandarprescott.
S5 Epi11 – Journeycake
A revelation about Jemmy forces Brianna and Roger to make a difficult choice. Claire finds that her attempts to make the Ridge safer have dire unintended consequences.
Outlander | S5 Epi11 Preview ~ Video via STARZ
See ye in next week!
Make sure you check out Blacklanderz Outlander Season 5 Episode 10 Review.
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