Outlander season 5, episode 5 recap: the real story behind Claire’s big discovery

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In episode five of Outlander’s fifth season, Perpetual Adoration, we finally learn why Claire is so obsessed with penicillin. Spoilers ahead: continue at your own peril.     

Lord knows, I love an Outlander flash-forward scene – and episode five of season five is full of ‘em. They help give answers to one of the season’s main storylines so far: Claire’s invention of penicillin. And it turns out there’s more to it than just being completely bonkers. 

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s quickly recap what happened in episode four:

Brianna became particularly paranoid about Stephen, after she heard that an Irish man had been lurking around Fraser’s Ridge. Claire and Jamie discussed bringing up the newborn baby they saved, before deciding to leave her with another couple whose baby had just died. And Roger once more failed to impress Jamie in his role as captain. In fact, Jamie relieved him of his duties and told him to escort Claire back to the ridge.

Here’s what happens in Outlander season five episode five

Claire’s past (well, future) explains her obsession with penicillin

Claire’s narration talks a lot about spiderwebs throughout this episode. I’m not entirely sure what any of it’s got to do with the story, but she sure does make it sound poetic.

Anyway, our favourite doctor finally cracks penicillin – eureka! Thanks to a series of flash-forward scenes to the 60s (are they technically flashbacks? I never know, but you get what I mean), we learn why she’s been so hellbent on inventing antibiotics.

It turns out that a Scottish patient she once treated in Boston died because he had an allergic reaction to the penicillin she prescribed him before an operation. The trauma of this led her to take a break with Bree to London, which is where they met Roger.

Basically: Claire insists that the man’s death is what ultimately brought her back to Jamie, and she owes it to the man to… invent penicillin, of course. I guess on some Outlander level, this makes sense.

Also, I must admit that when Claire removes Kezzie’s tonsils, it is an absolutely fascinating watch. God she’s good.

Roger surprises everyone by finally redeeming himself

If there’s one thing I can do without in this life: it’s listening to Roger’s unsexy pillow talk. Can we have less of that please, Outlander writers?

Anyway, Roger does finally redeem himself in this episode, but not without being tested. He finds out that Bree told Stephen about baby Jemmy and kept the rare jewel he gave to her. She explains to Roger that she kept it in case Jemmy needs to travel back to the future one day. Roger, once again, shows he can’t handle the fact that the baby might not be his, and he storms off. Shocker!

But after yet another pep talk from Claire (why doesn’t she just tell him to bog off?!), he returns to Bree and apologies. He also says that they will use the stones if Jemmy is in danger. Now, why couldn’t he have said all that without the added drama in the middle?

Let’s just be thankful he didn’t get the guitar out in this episode.

Jamie final shuts up Knox (erm, by killing him)

Jamie bumps into insufferable Knox who is literally throwing knives at a wanted poster of Murtagh. According to Knox, Tryon intends to pardon the regulators (hmmm), but the hunt for Murtagh is very much still on.

In fact, Knox has sent a letter asking for a name of all Murtagh’s inmates at Ardsmuir Prison. This forces Jamie to tell him that his name is on the list – because they are family. Knox is outraged and he waffles on for about five minutes talking about loyalty, deceit, blah blah blah.

So it’s almost a welcome relief when Jamie smothers him to death and burns down the room. Seriously: Knox was a total bore.

Hot Scots: the episode’s most heart-racing scenes

  • Say hello to the Fraser clan’s newest and cutest member: Asdo the cat. Jamie carries the wee feline in his pocket and hands it over to Claire as a gift. Her heart melts, and so do ours.
  • Also, did you see Claire momentarily wearing those glasses? Hot!

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Images: Starz

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…