We all know Lionel Brown was the one to order the attack on Claire on Outlander Season 5, Episode 11. Why did he decide to attack?
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Lionel Brown was the one to order the attack on Claire at the end of Outlander Season 5, Episode 11. The question is why he chose to order that attack.
Lionel clearly doesn't like Claire. She's a woman he can't control, and a woman who isn't afraid to speak against him. Part of him will feel threatened by her actions and her attitude, and it doesn't help that deep down he'll believe she had something to do with his daughter running off with Isaiah Morton.
But a general dislike doesn't warrant his attack. And there's no reason to think the attack orders came from anyone else. The men involved were the Browns' men, but I don't think Richard Brown would have ordered this. While Jamie has declined Richard's requests to join his group of men to enact law and order, Richard's beef will be with Jamie. He wouldn't use Claire as a way to get revenge. This attack was personal—the men knew to get Claire and only Claire.
Lionel's wife was one of Claire's patients during Outlander Season 5, Episode 11. Claire made it very clear that she assumed Lionel was the one who broke his wife's wrist. He wouldn't have liked that.
However, it's what he saw in Claire's surgery that would have angered him the most. She saw the name "Dr. D. Rawlings" on Claire's medicine cabinet. He'd have read the "Dr. Rawlings Recommends" pieces in the papers, angry about how this doctor was encouraging women to avoid pregnancy. After all, he wants another child and his wife is clearly following the recommendations.
Now he knows that this Dr. Rawlings isn't some male doctor he's never met. This doctor is Claire—a woman that has become a pain in his rear end. With everything linking together, his hatred for Claire grows stronger. Is it now any wonder why he decided to order the attack? It's personal!
And in turn, Lionel makes it personal for Jamie. This means war.
The Outlander Season 5 finale airs on May 10 on STARZ.