OutlanderBTS The Discussion, Episode 510 – Mercy Shall Follow Me

Photo: Bonnet’s hunger, Ep 510, Starz

We’re baaack! Here’s our discussion of Episode 510, Mercy Shall Follow Me. I hope you’ll take a moment (or two hours!) to grab a drink, relax, and watch our discussion of 510. I realize it’s the 11th hour, but should you choose to discuss on Twitter, please use #BTS510.

As you may know, Diana, Herself, wrote this next episode, 511!!! I am so excited to see it. We haven’t seen an episode from Diana since Season 2’s brilliant 211, one of my all time favorites. The ladies and I will discuss, and I should be able to get that out on time (I hope)! 

In case you missed it, be sure and catch the panel I moderated with 6 Outlander cast members for Wizard World on Thursday, April 30th. 

There will be another one coming up this week, look for upcoming details.

I will be getting Episodes 508 and 509 out as I have time – but will prioritize keeping with the current episodes for the last two. <sniff> I can’t believe it’s almost Droughtlander again!!!

Sending love. xo

For our Season 5 Episode discussion, catch up here: Episode Discussions

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24 comments on “OutlanderBTS The Discussion, Episode 510 – Mercy Shall Follow Me

  1. Excellent Podcast – I so agree with the lack of continuity with Ian and Bonnet – Ian knows Bonnet so his not recognizing him was off — as was the entire set-up because Bonnet would have recognized Ian – great suggestion that Fergus would have been stronger choice. Another example. Noting the failings of Outlander in an examination of one seemingly innocuous scene in Episode 10 – Claire and Bonnet on beach. (Now, it IS Outlander … so you know any scene on a beach is going to require suspension of disbelief). While I cherished the moments between Claire and Bree on beach – there should have been a pallor as they are trying to avoid their worry about their husbands. However, Bonnet and Claire encounter is so ill conceived – it exemplifies the lack of cohesion in situation and character that has plagued this season … and earlier. First, specificity in set-up – ie, the gun (that was so prominent in the Episode promo shots in Claire’s belt but somehow has been moved to the basket). It made such sense to have Claire prepared with the gun close at hand – why is it no longer on her person and suddenly in her basket? Easy fix. When Bree recalls their past racing on beaches in her childhood. How simple to have Claire bend down to her basket with her remarking that she is too old and – while Bree doesn’t see – her mother is actually taking the gun out of her belt and putting it in the basket in preparation to take up Bree’s challenge. Claire turns around, they are off, and when Bree out runs her, Claire could easily have said, Maybe I AM getting old. So we, the audience, know the pistol is in the basket. The scene then had Claire separating from Bree and going to look for shells in the dunes. Reality check here! There would be NO SHELLS in dunes so far from shore – sand that has not seen the tide in decades if not centuries. Why not have Claire going to look for some plants – there are always medicinal plants nearby that are rich in minerals from the sea air. I understand that there had to be a degree of hidden separation from Bree and Claire – for Claire to encounter Bonnet first. But why give her an inane task? Obviously, finding the sea shell was to set up Bonnet’s lines about the sea .. which were appropriately thematic. AN EASY SOLVE: As Claire bends over to look at a plant, Bonnet throws a seashell at her feet. Claire turns around thinking it is Bree and then sees Bonnet. The fact that he has picked up a shell indicates to Claire that Bonnet has been watching them the whole time. Greater impact for Claire rather than then writers having her utter the most ridiculous line. “What are you doing here?” Claire would have immediately deduced his intent – this is, of course, Claire Randall Fraser!!! Bonnet and Claire proceed to have a quick exchange during which Claire inexplicably flails about with her knife. NOT CLAIRE. The flailing seemed to be an attempt to give Bonnet a more menacing presence though he is just standing there … that and some ridiculous swarthy make-up. The actress, Catiriona Balfe, is taller than Ed Speleers who portrays Bonnet so perhaps producers felt a need to diminish Claire physically and psychologically in order to strengthen Bonnet. Unnecessary. Dialogue could have commenced with Claire figuring if she could get to pistol in basket, somehow warn Bree to stay away, etc. In the past, we have always witnessed Claire thinking – it is iconic element of her character. I suggest that Claire would have been calmly assessing the situation as Bonnet and she talk — and she only lunges desperately at him when Bree arrives – Mama Bear Claire.
    In script, Claire signals Bree reminding her the gun is in the basket. It was cut. Bree grabs gun and Claire yells at her to “Shoot him” when she is being held right in front of him (I mean, does Claire yell that because she knows Bree is a crack shot or because she knows even if she is hit – bullet will go through her and still hit him!) Clarity here. Perhaps, Claire yelling an additional line, “You can do it” before she summons up the strength to break free of Bonnet. It is the women’s gun so, of course, it misfires. Bonnet knocks out Claire as Bree storms towards him — and he knocks out Bree as well. There was no need – just so he can carry her through soft sand all the way back to …somewhere … where he has a boat to take her to his island???? SUGGESTED ALTERNATIVE SCENE END: Bonnet goes to Claire’s limp body on the ground with Bree in hand, raises the knife over Claire, looking directly at Bree, pauses, grins – and throws it down violently. Only then do we see the knife barely misses Claire. Bonnet looks at Bree saying, “Well, I couldn’t kill my son’s granny, could I?” Bonnet leads Bree away as she turns to look back at her mother. CUT to Bonnet’s home with Bonnet pouring a cup of tea for Bree. Not only would this have ended scene in a more dynamic fashion, the idea that Bonnet considered killing an unconscious Claire by stabbing her in the back – would have been a potent reminder of his darkness.
    One minute. A few amendments that honor both character and situation. No added time … which seems to be the producers go-to excuse. Specificity and authenticity. The hallmark of Outlander’s earlier excellence.

    • Dianne, if you re-watch the episode where Bonnet escaped the gallow and hid in the wagon (S4), you will have noticed that he never really looked at Ian. Also in the boat going to Jocasta where they were attacked, it is not Bonnet who hit Ian on the head, but one of his men. So it is very understandable that he would not have recognize Ian but Ian would have recognized him. If he asked the man who came for the whisky if he was Bonnet, was just to make the guy think that this was the first time he saw Bonnet.

      For what happened on the beach, there was just too much in the book to be able to film on just one episode. I wish they would have shown Bree shooting Bonnet on his private part but Matt explained why they had to change it.

      • Astrid, I see your points about Ian and Bonnet BUT still agree with the podcast overall assessment … and quite frankly, love any idea that uses Fergus more. As far as the beach was concerned, my suggestions are a minor reworking within same time frame … and if they took a few seconds more — it would have easily been done by removing some of those ceaseless panoramic shots that have plagued Season 5. I understand why they cut Bree shooting private parts as it would have required Bonnet story to continue and they wanted it to end. But my issue is with the scenes that were included. I also felt the whole saving Bree on the beach was poorly shot … and muddy. And Bree and Bonnet major scene could have been edited down which would have given it more impact. I am recent to Outlander (February of this year) so the excellence of Season 1 … and somewhat 2 and 3 are fresh in my mind. Bree and Bonnet scene rather echoed Claire and BJR scene in Garrison Commander … and paled in comparison. But I am looking forward to this next episode because it is DG written and hopefully will carry us to the finale.

    • Bravo! You’re hired as a writer for Season 6! 😁
      I thought that about the shells too. Sometimes you can find shells in sand walls that have been left, but yeah -not likely just sitting on top of dunes. Great suggestions.👍

  2. Dianne, if you re-watch the episode where Bonnet escaped the gallow and hid in the wagon (S4), you will have noticed that he never really looked at Ian. Also in the boat going to Jocasta where they were attacked, it is not Bonnet who hit Ian on the head, but one of his men. So it is very understandable that he would not have recognize Ian but Ian would have recognized him. If he asked the man who came for the whisky if he was Bonnet, was just to make the guy think that this was the first time he saw Bonnet.

    For what happened on the beach, there was just too much in the book to be able to film on just one episode. I wish they would have shown Bree shooting Bonnet on his private part but Matt explained why they had to change it.

  3. Years ago I was reading or watching a program about the Far East and for the first time I heard about a staked drowning. That picture haunted me and my imagination developed a script for what the person would feel. I still dread the whole idea. I was shocked that it was employed by western countries. I couldn’t live well with the scene scenario; someone drowning by inches, slowly creeping up, if I could kill him before it happened. I cannot imagine people standing around watching that.
    Ulysses was a free man and he had physical and emotional relationship. I’m glad he strangled Forbes. He was a stand-in for me. Forbes was a slimy weasel.
    John has been fantastic in what we’ve seen. Normally John’s face is very animated and Young Ian showed that as well. His stillness changes him. He is obviously not young Ian, anymore.
    Ed was fantastic. His demeanor at the supper table; needy. He usually isn’t in a position to ask for anything. He takes what he wants. He seemed so sincere, asking for polish so they could be a family. He wishing to listen to Bree as his son does. You could see the orphaned little boy crying out. It can only last until the next day and the violent man rears his head. The violent use of Eppy was a signal; he is back. Well, now I’ve had pictures with 2 men that I’ve seen their very excellent bottoms, Sam and Ed.
    Great discussion.

    • hahahaha Frances. Loved your last line. And yes, the orphan crying out is why I chose the photo I chose for this post. Ed was spectacular. Yes, so brutal re the public death by drowning. Thanks for watching. x

  4. Really enjoyed the podcast! This is my favorite Outlander discussion group. A few comments: Roger taking down Bonnett a real stretch. Having him shot in the leg or tripping over rope or something. I agree about Sophie’s acting – I feel many times she is just flat. In the scenes that focus on her she does better but when focus is elsewhere, not so much. When she goes to Jamie as Claire is ready to inject his leg there is no real interaction with Jamie. the scene on the porch when Claire is agonizing over amputating Jamie’s leg – very little emotional response. I think Jocasta totally knew what Forbes was up to but didn’t expect him to react so violently. Not sure what her plan was. Having the Fraser clan just appear on the beach felt staged. I completely missed that Ian knows Bonnett! Having Roger spring it on Jamie that he wants to take out Bonnett seemed unrealistic. was curious to know who Roger was looking at after taking Bonnett down – Jamie for approval or Bree? Speleers and Eppy were wonderful! I believe they captured all the elements of the Bonnett story and did a very good job. I think they have lots to pack in the last 2 episodes and there just wasn’t room to have the Bonnett story line continue. I also missed the “crotch” shooting – if I recall, Bonnett kept said ball in a jar in his cabin on the ship. Looking forward to discussion of past episodes and going forward as well. Thank you!

    • Yes, It occurs to me that BJR was stabbed in the balls and Bonnet shot – doesn’t pay to be an Outlander villain. 😜 Thanks for watching and commenting Claudia!

  5. Listened on and off all day. Quarantine Saturday is oh so busy!!
    Welcome back! You ladies are so intelligent and have such insight into Outlander minutia and how it relates to global themes. (Religion, legal matters, psychology, medicine, etc.) And you examine each detail with enthusiasm and of course, a sense of humor.
    Your conversation put the plague on “hold” for the day.
    Thank you.

  6. Hi Courtney. It was wonderful seeing you ladies again! I wore headphones to watch on my laptop while my husband watched TV. He got startled whenever I let out a loud belly laugh. Thanks so much for the insight and comic relief (the “dollar bread” song, what a crack up!!) I miss the chats as much as the show in between seasons. Stay safe and have a good week! XO

    • Your poor hubby! 😉

      Well I’m behind in editing, so you will get us beyond Season 5. We may do some chats over Droughtlander, which will be long since they cannot gather to film. Jamie and Claire in masks 6 feet apart will not do! 😘

  7. I enjoy your podcasts. I hope you are feeling better and I am sorry about how episode 8 affected you. I don’t like that they are hurrying through season 5 to do 6. Spoilers, I guess they are still spoilers now that they glossed over them. I was looking forward to Bonnet getting shot in the balls. I would have loved to hear Karmen’s comment, if he would have been able to get away that easy. Also we didn’t get to see Jamie training Roger. I so wanted to see that. It would have been funny. Also what are they going to do about the stones on the island. Just use the ones Roger saw when he was trying to get away from the Indians. Ed Speelers was so good he made Sofie look good. I haven’t seen this observation anywhere. When Sofie was reading Moby Dick she was looking at Bonnet not at the book. I know she memorized it (who memorizes Moby Dick ). I love how you were all in agreement who liked Moby Dick? Another book we had to read in class and didn’t want to, Anyway, he would have seen her looking at him and not at the book and known then she was a fraud. The weak kiss sealed it. The missing scene between the kiss and the guy who was buying her. When did she get out of the dress and into her under ware? Not bright Bree. I do agree the leather coat on Jamie looks good. How do these people afford such things. I do hate the non readers using the excuse they don’t want to be spoiled by reading the books. They are just lazy. Reading the books enhances the Outlander experience. Now that we have all this time it would be a good to start reading.

  8. Hi girls!

    Have missed you all! So I just wanted to add one thing that struck me was that when Bonnet had Bree on his island, when he came up behind her and told her that when she came to see him in the jail and told him she wanted to let him know that when he dies, there will still be a piece of him left on this earth in the form of his son. He told her how hearing that and knowing that made him feel so, that he had never felt like that before and it meant so much to him. He was really showing a very vulnerable side of himself, the orphan, to her. It made you almost feel for him as a person. Nobody sets out to be a villain in life. The life he was given as an orphan probably formed him to be the kind of man he turned out to be and really, he was to be pitied.

    Also, I wonder how they did that so seamless, to have his face in the camera, and then boom, a bullet blows into his head just like that. It was so realistic. I was very impressed with that.

    And the part where Roger asked Bree why she shot him, out of mercy or no, I go back to the part where Bonnet was telling her how treacherous the sea can be and how scary it can be and you could see the fear in his face when he told her all this. She may have shot him out of mercy so that he didn’t have to die in the way he had always feared, like Ahab, by drowning. Was that compassion in part?

    I thought Ed’s swan song was done so eloquently using every acting chop he had in his quiver. Kudos to Ed on his exodus from Outlander. And Eppie, yes! She was perfect in every way!

    I live at the ocean and I have to say, I see whales all the time, but they rarely come in that close and breach the water like that. That had to be footage from NG.

    But all in all it was a great episode and I’m not easily entertained.

    Love, Suzie xo

  9. Hello- apologies in advance if I’ve duplicated my comment! Great discussion ladies and I always appreciate the varied points of view. I kept thinking about the Ian and Stephen Bonnet event at the port. Remember, Ian was pretending to be Malcolm Alexander- a new business partner of Bonnet’s. So, perhaps Ian was keeping with the ruse of not knowing who Bonnet was so that it wouldn’t ruin the attempt to ambush Bonnet. If he had immediately said- hey, you’re not Bonnet, it would have tipped off Bonnet’s associates that something wasn’t right about the deal. Just a consideration!

  10. I just had the most enjoyable evening watching your repartee! You ladies are stunning! The stretto of your replies based upon your fields of study had me enthralled for the entire 2 hours! I found myself laughing and chiming in yes, yes, yes so often! So glad I’ve found you! You are refreshing and bright women- not trashy catty ones! BRAVA!!! I can’t wait to devour more of your insight. Thank you.

  11. Always approach your discussions with genuine glee in hearing and seeing you express your ideas. I like to take notes as I enjoy being studious and frankly don’t want to forget anything. I thought about the parallel to the Garrison Commander you mentioned Courtney but each cat and mouse game played differently IMO. Black Jack trumped Claire but I think Brianna had the upper hand until “the kiss”. By the way this is the only episode of Outlander I watched once; Like Catherine, I have some sympathy for Bonnet. Death by downing is one of my own fears so I had a hard time watching it, even though I knew Brianna would shoot him.
    Moby Dick is a difficult read and I’m not sure anyone besides a seaman or my Dad would enjoy it. An interesting side note, Herman Melville’s brother, Captain Thomas Melville was the Governor of Sailors’ Snug Harbor; a rest home for retired sailors on Staten Island. Their grandsire was a merchant, a participant in the Boston Tea Party and a major in the American Revolution.
    Loved Karmen’s remark about Ulysses “dispatch [of] the Hobbit”. I don’t agree with Catherine’s observation that Ulysses killing of Forbes was too brutal. I do think that Jocasta was suspicious of Forbes, as she was of Roger.
    To dear Antoinette, thanks for your directness and observations about the needless length of some scenes and the omission of others. I would have welcomed seeing Jamie teach Roger how to fight; much as Jamie was encouraged by Murtagh in Season 2. Last but not least, here’s to the Diversions “Fattie Bum Bum. Slainte!

    • Hi Marion! I agree re Bonnet and Bree – the kiss was the turning point. Your dad liked Moby Dick? Do you know why? Was he a seaman? I love this! “An interesting side note, Herman Melville’s brother, Captain Thomas Melville was the Governor of Sailors’ Snug Harbor; a rest home for retired sailors on Staten Island. Their grandsire was a merchant, a participant in the Boston Tea Party and a major in the American Revolution.” Fascinating.

      Have I told you that my husband is a Fitzgerald, his great Uncle was Edmund Fitzgerald. We knew his daughter, whom Billy always called “Aunt Liz,” and she wrote a book called “The Fitzgerald Brothers, Sea Captains All.”

      Re Jocasta: Justifiably so wrt Forbes!

      Glad you liked Fatty Bum Bum (me too), and thanks for watching and making a list! xoxoxox

    • Hi Marion
      Thanks for your thoughtful response. Glad to hear you agree about Moby Dick. Like I said, reading Moby is like be on Procrustes’ couch! Ouch! So interesting about Melville’s heritage. Thanks, Marion!

    • Marion thanks for the nugget about Melville’s brother. I enjoy finding out interesting tidbits of information like this. Thank you for watching!

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