'Outlander' Season 5 Episode 5 Review: Jamie kills Lieutenant Knox and Claire successfully creates penicillin
While Jamie's story this episode is the most action-packed, Claire has a smaller but no less thrilling victory in her clinic when one of the bread molds finally turns out to be the long-elusive penicillin
Despite not being on screen, Governor Tryon's (Tim Downie) decrees simultaneously defuse the situation with the Regulators and also lead Jamie Frazer (Sam Heughan) to take the drastic action of murdering Lieutenant Knox (Michael D. Xavier).
Up until now, in this season, we have had a series of close shaves with Jamie trying to keep his family safe while keeping Tryon happy. It will only get worse from here on. We are given a taste of just how bad this week.
When Tryon "pardons" all the Regulators, Jamie is relieved even though he can't show it. But when Knox tells him the governor has pardoned everyone but Murtagh Fitzgibbon (Duncan Lacroix), Jamie is back to feeling under pressure.
Though he has been asked to disband his militia and head home, it becomes clear that Knox will soon know about his and Murtagh's connection once he goes through the prisoners' rolls that arrive from Scotland.
Hoping to sway Knox into keeping this a secret, he tells Knox everything and tells him he swore an oath to his family long before he swore an oath to Crown and Country. Knox, who has been leaning on Jamie for support and sees him as a comrade-in-arms, feels betrayed. Just when you are sure Knox is going to get Jamie arrested for being a traitor, Jamie attacks him and chokes him to death.
Then he tucks Knox's corpse into bed and sets the prisoner rolls on fire. He stuffs up the chimney and lets the smoke and fire spread from the fireplace. He then steals away into the night using the commotion around the fire as his cover.
It is a brutal turn of events but Jamie, all square-jawed and determined, knows it had to be done. But he looks happy when he is finally back home and done with machinations of men and war for the time being. He hands Claire Frazer (Caitríona Balfe) a fluffy little kitten that is just adorbs. After the whole episode apart, it is a welcome reunion. But it was great seeing both of them have strong storylines independent of each other.
While Jamie's story this episode is the most action-packed, Claire has a smaller but no less thrilling victory in her clinic when one of the bread molds finally turns out to be the long-elusive penicillin. Armed with her first antibiotic, she takes care of the tonsillectomies of the Beardsley twins. Marsali is shaping up nicely as a nurse, soaking in Claire's wisdom.
Claire's success with penicillin also makes her remember a patient who died of anaphylactic shock after a false positive cleared him for the antibiotic.
His death affected her greatly, making her take a leave of absence to travel with Brianna to London where they meet Roger Mackenzie (Richard Rankin) and the rest, as they say, is history.
The bonuses of this storyline are seeing Claire in a cute 60s hairdo and period-appropriate dresses, and, gasp, realizing she loves reading overblown romance novels to relax.
The romance novel felt like a nice nod to the 'Outlander' narrative core that uses a historical romance to anchor the time-traveling yarn.
During the episode, Claire also contemplates the fine spider web of time and its small fluctuations across each strand, affecting the others around it, with God as its architect or as the spider itself orchestrating each movement within the web.
God or someone is looking out for the Frazers till now, helping them avoid war and death. Hopefully, their luck won't run out when it collides with Stephen Bonnet's (Ed Speelers) "luck of the Irish".
'Outlander' airs on Sundays at 8:00 pm ET/PT. The episode will be aired on STARZ, the STARZ app, and STARZ On Demand.