Mercy Street “The Diabolical Plot” Review (Season 1, Episode 6) [Finale]

Mercy Street

There was so much happening last night in the final episode of the debut season of Mercy Street, the new mini-series on PBS set at the start of the Civil War. Of course, since it was the final episode it only makes sense that there was a lot taking place so let’s take a look at all the main plot points:

Mary finally took a strong stance in her role as Head Nurse, not even letting obnoxious Nurse Hastings to get in her way, putting worth new mandates of all the nurse and nuns in the hospital.

It was also interesting to learn that while she had been at her late husband’s bedside during his lengthy illness, she had not been there for his final moments. Her taking a special interest in Private Sparks, the deserter who was reviled by most in the hospital, was – most likely – rather cathartic for her, allowing her to at least say goodbye to the man who was – without his knowledge – being left by the wife for whom he deserted his regiment.

As for Dr. Foster, as reluctant as he was to take on the Executive Officer position, he certainly stepped up not only by wanting the evil Silas Bullen removed as Steward of the hospital but also be reprimanding Dr. Hale. Given how repugnant both men were they both got what they deserved; no one more so than Bullen.

Speaking of Bullen, he was stabbed by Confederate spy Frank Stringfellow when he discovered him and the other men of the Knights of the Golden Circle planting the bombs that were to be used to blow up the hospital in time for the visit by President Abraham Lincoln and his wife. It was actually gratifying to see laundress Aurelia find Bullen on the brink of death, and only taking the money for which she was owed and leaving him to die.

As for Aurelia, Mary gave her details on a woman up North who could help her track down her son Gabriel; but as it turned out, Samuel actually did what seemed impossible. He found Gabriel and Aurelia’s mother, bringing them both to Alexandria just in time before Aurelia boarded a ship heading North. That reunion was one of the more treasured moments of the finale.

Where the Green family was concerned, however, things were not that good for them. James Green Sr. was being moved to a larger prison, his wife Jane was distraught, James Jr. – despite his attempts to not only free his father but also to help the Southern forces – he ended up signing the Oath of Allegiance to the Union Army (in the vain attempt to win his father’s freedom) while Emma was still deeply entrenched at the hospital and her younger sister Alice – emblazoned by not only the death of her beau but also by what was happening to her father – joined the Knights of the Golden Circle.

Then there was Frank Stringfellow, who went against everything he supposedly believed in all because the love of one girl – Emma Green. Emma was supposed to leave the hospital and meet Frank far away from the hospital. This was Frank’s way of protecting her from the planned bombing of the hospital. Instead she stayed there in the hopes of being able to speak with President Lincoln in order to save her father. Frank, after catching sight of Emma in the crowd applauding the arrival of Lincoln and his wife at the hospital, raced inside his (fake) dental office and down into the depths of the hospital to stop the explosive – nearly at the last final seconds.

Given that ‘Mercy Street’ has yet to be renewed by PBS for a second season, I have to admit I am curious what is next. What ramifications will there be for Frank because of his split second decision to stop the bombing from happening? What will Alice do as part of the Knights of the Golden Circle? Will Aurelia and Samuel start a new life up north with her mother and son? What will happen to James Green, both Jr. and Sr.? What are your thoughts? Please share them below.

Cast:
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Mary Phinney
Josh Radnor as Dr. Jed Foster
Gary Cole as James Green, Sr.
Hannah James as Emma Green
Norbert Leo Butz as Dr. Byron Hale
Tara Summer as Nurse Anne Hastings
McKinley Belcher III as Samuel Diggs
Shalita Grant as Aurelia Johnson
Peter Gerety as Chief Surgeon Alfred Summers
AnnaSophia Robb as Alice Green
Cameron Monaghan as Tom Fairfax
Donna Murphy as Jane Greene
Brad Koed as James Green, Jr.
L. Scott Caldwell as Belinda Gibson
Wade Williams as Silas Bullen
Luke Macfarlane as Chaplain Henry Hopkins
Suzanne Bertish as Hospital Matron Brannan
Jake Falahee as Frank Stringfellow