Manhunt – Season 1 Episode 5 Recap & Review

A Man of Destiny

Manhunt Episode 5 begins with Stanton figuring out the spy lines used by the Confederacy, which leads him and his team to ride out to intercept Booth. He comes across a band of Confederate soldiers who surrendered while they were on their way to pledge allegiance to the Union. While apprehending them, Stanton receives news of Johnson’s intention to take back the land grants under Lincoln’s reconstruction plan. 

Stanton heads back to the White House to convince the President, but Johnson is adamant that Black people cannot own land. Following Johnson’s reclamation of the land grants, Mary Simm and her brother are left with no choice but to head back to Samuel Mudd’s ranch to work as his household help. Mudd lets her work at his home but brutally whips her in return. 

Stanton is on his way to find Booth and stops by Mudd’s house. Mudd claims he didn’t know who Booth was, and he appears to be believed. However, the discovery that his house was on the spy line used by the Confederacy makes the union suspicious of his role in the conspiracy.

Stanton enters Mudd’s house and claims he has taken an oath to care for the sick, and that’s what he did with Booth. Stanton doesn’t believe him, with Mary Simms pointing him to go upstairs. He finds a pair of boots with John Wilkes Booth’s initials on them, and Mary comes clean to Stanton and reveals Mudd knew who he was and that Mudd has been a collaborator with the Confederates. Stanton and his men arrest Mudd, and he offers shelter to Mary and Miles at a camp in Arlington.  

Booth and Herold find an opening to cross the river into Virginia, but when Herold reaches the shore, he realises that they ended up circling back to Maryland because of the cloud cover. After changing into the Confederate uniforms of some dead soldiers, they sail back into the river.

They finally reach Virginia and take shelter in an empty cottage. When they’re intercepted by a Black man and his son, they force the father to escort them to a group of surrendered Confederate soldiers. One of the soldiers figures out that Booth and Herold are imposters and asks Booth about his true identity, and he reveals the shocking truth to them. The other soldiers shame Booth for being a coward for killing the defenceless president. 

However, Booth isn’t without his supporters, and one of them points them to Garrett’s lodge. He thinks Garrett might offer horses and supplies to help them reach Richmond, but it’ll come at a price. Later on, Booth ends up succumbing to the infection on his leg because of his injury. As a result, he collapses and finds himself in Garrett’s lodge, being treated by Garrett’s daughter. 

The episode ends with Stanton and his team back on the search for the Confederate soldiers from earlier when they run into a Black man who overheard a conversation Booth had with a local called Willie Jett. They track down Jett and he reveals the location to Stanton, who is one step closer to catching the man who killed Lincoln. Just before setting off to leave, Stanton suffers from an asthmatic attack and ends up collapsing. 

The Episode Review

Another tense episode as Stanton gets closer to tracking down Lincoln’s killer. It continues to use vast creative licence in its telling of the story, but that can be forgiven, as the tale is entertaining.

It’ll be good to see Stanton and Booth finally face off against each other, as it sometimes has felt like two shows put into one. It’s more of a political thriller than an action show, which works fine, and there’s plenty going on to keep the viewers on their toes. 

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