Why Lieutenant Knox was essential on Outlander Season 5, Episode 2

Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ /

Lieutenant Knox was purely a show creation, but he was essential for Outlander Season 5. I look back at why.

Today marks the anniversary of Outlander Season 5, Episode 2 airing for the first time. Can you believe it’s been a year since we first got to watch this episode? It only seems fitting now to touch on why Knox was so important for the show’s story despite not being there for the books.

A lot of Jamie’s parts in the books are internal. He plays a lot of cards to his chest, only really opening up to Claire and maybe to others he has formed a bond with. It takes a lot for him to open up at times, though.

A TV show can’t have a lot of internal thoughts play out on screen. Viewers can get bored or the attempts of showing those internal thoughts don’t always work that well. This isn’t to say Sam Heughan can’t act. He certainly can! There are plenty of instances where we know what he’s thinking with just a look on his face, but there’s usually someone there that also helps the setting.

Knox is that character. He makes a comment—and I found him utterly adorable during Outlander Season 5, Episode 2 with one comment—and that leads to Jamie trying to show that he’s on the same side when he’s really not.

Knox gives Jamie reasons to act on Outlander Season 5

Without Knox, Jamie wouldn’t have done half the things he did on the series. Knox became the threat, even though really the threat was the British Army. Knox was just simply the face of the Redcoats at the time.

There isn’t really a character in the books that could have done what Knox did in the show’s storyline, a storyline that was mostly focusing on the Regulators and the Battle of Alamance in the first half of the season. It’s a big book and sometimes single plotlines have to be picked out for an overarching storyline. The Battle of Alamance and the Regulators formed that chosen storyline.

Knox just wanted to follow orders. He was eager to please and truly believed that the Regulators were acting in the wrong way. Jamie couldn’t show all his cards from the beginning, but we got to see glimpses of Jamie fighting hard with himself not to say anything—fighting with himself because people he cared about were being hurt and hunted.

Had Jamie gone out alone, we wouldn’t have got the full effect of Jamie’s battles within himself. Knox needed to be there to allow that to play out. To give us the two sides clearly with Jamie stuck in the middle.

In the end, Knox also made Jamie make a choice. Jamie had to take a life to protect his family, the people he always promised to protect. And it’s not like Jamie wanted to do it. Knox wasn’t a bad man, but he would have turned Jamie over to Tryon and Jamie couldn’t risk that.

No, Knox wasn’t part of the book storyline, but he was an essential part of the TV series.

dark. Next. 5 best moments from Outlander Season 5, Episode 2

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