Mercy Street Season 2, Episode 5 GIF Recap

Last Updated by Mercy Street Editor on
Dr. Foster and Lisette care for a patient in episode 205.
PBS/Erik Heinila

Catch up on Episode 5, Unknown Soldier, with an episode recap. Warning: Spoilers ahead.

This week on Mercy Street, the drama train is in full force as the events unfolding at the hospital and the Green family home are coming to a head. After a Confederate victory at Bull Run boosts Southern morale, more deals are made to aid the Confederacy, a battle takes place as we witness a man actually go up in flames, and conflict arises between close friends. But it’s fine, we still have Major McBurney for those great one-liners and a bit of comedic relief. Here’s the scoop on Episode 5, Unknown Soldier:

1. Unknown Soldier 

Mercy Street GIF Recap

After the battle comes to an end, a man arrives at Mansion House disfigured and so badly injured that he can barely breathe. Remember that guy running around on fire earlier because stop, drop and roll hadn’t been invented yet? Same person. With burn wounds covering much of his body, including his face, the soldier is left with amnesia and is hardly recognizable. Until his memory returns or someone comes to retrieve him, he’s now under Dr. Foster’s care.

2. James Tries to Find An Ally 

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As if they need more house guests after what happened to the last one, the Greens are temporarily housing the son of a British duke. James, trying to find his place in the family again, sees this connection as an opportunity to meet with the British Ambassador in hopes that an alliance can be forged to aid the Confederacy. When they meet, James and the ambassador strike up a deal with James offering cotton stocks at a lower rate in exchange for British support through arms and munitions supply. But the Briton, Lord Edward, seems a little preoccupied...

3. Dr. Hale Throws Samuel Under the Bus

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If you thought Dr. Hale was becoming a better man, you were wrong. After a successful autopsy during last week’s episode, Dr. Hale thanked Samuel for his lessons by crediting a “Dr.” Samuel Diggs on the autopsy report. It was a nice gesture until McBurney found out (because he always does) and asked if Hale had allowed Samuel to practice on a deceased soldier. Fearing that he may have jeopardized his career, Hale lies and attempts to convince Samuel to corroborate his story that Samuel misunderstood Hale’s directions and signed his own name to the report. Rightfully so, Samuel takes offense to this having thought that Hale was his buddy. I was rooting for you, Byron. We were all rooting for you!

4. Jimmy's Handling It... Maybe 

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Continuing with his schemes, Jimmy meets with Banfield and Parker to talk business with Mr. Morton, the maker of a rapid-fire gun who has already received orders from the Union. Though his peers try to bully him into being silent during the meeting, Jimmy takes the lead, offering cash upfront and more money to secure weapons with Morton. Like father, like son!

5. A Little Too Much Chloroform

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When McBurney’s friend arrives at the hospital for a minor surgery (a toe amputation, NBD), Nurse Hastings is delighted at the chance to solidify her spot as head nurse and takes the VIP patient under her wing. Still nervous by the Major’s watchful eyes, however, she throws back some liquid courage as she retrieves the anesthetic for the patient’s surgery. It’s not until Hale later joins her to perform the procedure that they discover the patient is dead, possibly as a result of a negative reaction to the chloroform. Guess he doesn’t need to take that toe off after all! Note to self: Don’t drink on the job.

6. Belinda Defends the Greens

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As his investigation moves forward, Pinkerton makes his way to the Greens’ house where he has the good fortune of running into an unaccompanied Belinda. Using this time alone with her, Pinkerton questions Belinda regarding a photo of Frank Stringfellow that he found hidden in Emma’s dresser. He assures her that he only wants to take down Frank, hoping that she’ll reveal some dishy gossip. Loyal to the family, she refuses to spill their secrets.

7. Dr. Hale Gets the Boot

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Good news: Hale passed his medical exam. Huzzah! But wait, that’s not all. Despite his success with a test he felt sure he would fail, Hale just can’t escape the wrath of good ol’ McBurney. So, naturally, he’s also being transferred to Drum Barracks in Santa Monica, California, under McBurney’s order, far far away from Alexandria. The horror!

8. Falling Off the Wagon 

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When we last left off with Matron Brannan, she had bid ado to her son Declan who had attempted — but failed — to receive a medical deferment to a new regiment. After receiving an ominous letter from a military officer, she soon discovers that Declan did not die in combat but after drunkenly falling off a wagon. After stealing medicinal alcohol from a supply depot, he attempted to evade Union guards, which resulted in a mortal injury.

9. Belinda Drops the Mic 

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Since things are never quiet at the Green residence, the family is distraught when they return home to see Pinkerton. After he leaves, all hell breaks loose and the truth bombs fly. Emma finally learns about Captain Van Der Berg’s murder, half of the family initially accuse Belinda of stealing James’ money and ratting them out to Pinkerton, and Emma and Jimmy reveal they both took the money from their father. It’s a lot of information to process, and due to the stress of it all, Jane tells Belinda to fetch her laudanum, but Belinda Shuts. That. Down. After everything she’s done to save them, she refuses to keep cleaning up their messes and leaves, because ain’t nobody got time for that.

10. Known Soldier

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Later at the hospital, all is calm. Well, relatively calm on a scale of 1 to Green Family Crisis, that is. Using her anatomical knowledge, Lisette sketches an image of the unidentified soldier after he receives surgery to repair damage caused by the fire and a bad patch job to his face. As families searching for their loved ones walk through the hospital, a familiar face appears in the background. Seeing Lisette’s drawing, a woman in mourning approaches the man’s bedside. But wait... that’s no soldier; it’s Solomon, the friendly Quaker who helped conceal Frank and Alice.

11. Has Samuel Moved On?

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Though Samuel experiences a minor setback from Dr. Hale’s blunder, McBurney excuses him when not only Dr. Hale but also Dr. Foster take the blame. Stealing Byron’s redemption thunder (but hey, he deserves it) Jed steps in and says that Samuel and Hale were only protecting him for altering the report, claiming that it was “a ruse, meant to bolster Mr. Diggs’ standing in his application to medical college.” Suddenly receiving praise from McBurney, Samuel says he will do his best to represent the hospital during his studies as long as he agrees to open Charlotte’s contraband school again. Hearing the news, Charlotte is visibly happy, and Samuel shares her joy. There’s a lot of smiling and googly eyes and it appears he has finally put his old relationship behind him. Aurelia who?

12. Wise Words from Lisette

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Later that night, Lisette invites Jed into her room, to which he refuses because as it turns, he is a good boyfriend. Realizing that Jed’s love now lies with Mary, Lisette reveals to him that she’s leaving the hospital. Yet before she goes, she offers some important advice, telling Jed not to make the same mistake in his new relationship that he did with Lisette. Take note, boys.

Stream Episode 205 now and catch Episode 206 on March 5 at 8/7c on PBS. #MercyStreetPBS

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