Outlander 5×10 “Mercy Shall Follow Me” is the type of uncomfortable, yet necessary plot-heavy episode that is hard to love and yet impossible to totally hate, either. It’s not a soft episode focused on character heavy moments, not a romantic one that has you swooning, instead it’s the kind of episode where a lot happens – and you’re glad that it did, even if, at times, you sorta wish the episode had allowed you a moment to breathe.
The sense of anticipation, the dread of what’s coming is handled perfectly in this hour. Our expectations are half of what makes a storyline work or not, and this episode plays with those perfectly, all while doing what we expect and, sometimes, what we don’t – couldn’t ever expect.
Sophie Skelton, in particular, gets a chance to shine in “Mercy Shall Follow Me.” Sophie has never been my favorite actress in Outlander, and I have never thought she was the strongest – which can also be tied to the storylines she’s gotten, and what the writing has demanded of her – but in this hour she really sells every emotion, and makes me not just like Brianna, no, but root for her.
Here are some takeaways from “Mercy Shall Follow Me”:
- This is Brianna’s episode, and one of the first times where I think we’re all gonna be rooting for Bree for her sake, not for her parents.
- We get an extended Claire/Brianna scene in this episode that will feel familiar to anyone who has had a present mother, or anyone who has a grown-up daughter.
- Good acting is when you can take a character that we completely despise and give him some humanity, even if our general feelings don’t change. We see some of that in this episode.
- The women of this show almost always save the day, despite the fact that they live in times where it was up to men to save them. I think that’s why it resonates so much with modern audiences.
- The post-snake camaraderie of this family is *chef’s kisses*
- I kinda like the Roger/Jamie banter at this point, WHO KNEW?
- As I said before, this is, at times, a very, very hard episode to watch. The kind I wish would have been shorter, just to spare me some scenes.
- That’s compounded by good acting, in the sense that bad acting makes it easier for you to escape the moment, while good acting makes it compelling.
- I’ve really, really missed Ian, okay? I’m super glad he’s back.
- My sense of dread for what’s coming has been dialed up by about 28377237232%.
Are you excited for “Mercy Shall Follow Me”? What are you looking forward to the most? Share with us in the comments below!
Outlander airs Sundays at 8/7c on Starz.