Saturday, November 27, 2010

Let Me Be Frank....

I've gotten a few emails and comments about my love of all things Frank (snicker)... so I thought it was about time I blogged about the man. You know... 'cause he's such a great guy and all. (wink)

Here's the deal. Nothing is set in stone. Ever. This is how I feel about Frank... and how I feel about what Frank "knew".

Do I think Frank warmed up to the possibility that Claire was telling the truth after living with her and raising her daughter? Um... of course? Frank knew Claire to be a reasonable, responsible, honest person.  And she was mentally capable of surgery - whether it was at the hospital on a heart valve of a 70 year old man...  or at home on a splinter of a 6 year old girl. A girl she loved more than anything else in the world.

At some point, Frank MUST have said to himself "Well... I really don't WANT to believe this...but the woman is as sane as they come! How can it NOT be true?!"

At THAT point, I believe Frank started doing research on Jamie Fraser. Now... we all know what happened after Claire went back to the 18th century; she built a life with Jamie Fraser in North Carolina. And had a few adventures along the way in the Carribean... NY... PA....etc. And there HAD TO BE SOME RECORD of her life with Jamie Fraser....and their daughter, Briana Randall Fraser MacKenzie. And at THAT POINT, when he found those records, Frank decided that he'd better get Bree ready for anything that might come her way in the 18th century.

COMMA HOWEVER.... Frank was kindof bitter about Claire's love for Jamie. How could he NOT be? I would be... that is for damned sure. Was he a good and decent man for taking her in after 3 years when she was pregnant? Absolutely. Did he still love her? Absolutely - as we all know no mere mortal can resist the charms of Claire Fraser. (She's like RPattz in that way. ) But did he say to himself "I'll be damned if I'm going to just tell her that Red Jamie Fraser's friggin Scots ass didn't die at Culloden? Not s'fast lass." What's that word I keep using? Oh yeah.... Absolutely.

And that's one of the reasons I don't care for him.

I get that he didn't want to lose his daughter - or his wife - by telling them they had a whole other life in another century. But I am one of those annoying people who is sickeningly honest and just doesn't have it in her to lie. If that were my husband - no matter how much I loved him - I'd tell him what I knew and let the chips fall where they may. I am a big believer in fate... as well as that "If you love something, set it free" bullshiz. It would eat me up on a daily basis to know I had information that could potentially change someone's entire existence - and not share it with them. But hey; that's just me.

As for the other reason I never cared for Frank all that much... I just hated the way Claire was never very important to him until she was gone and wasn't kissing his ass 24 hours a day. And I don't care that it was the 1940s and that's how they did things back then. I just never felt a great love for Claire on Frank's part... more of a love of being catered to before she left... and a sense of obligation once she returned. Don't get me wrong... Did he love her? Sure. Did he know she didn't love him in that way? Yup. Which is actually a point for him, seeing as he stayed with her. But I just don't think he and Claire ever had anything remotely close to what she had with Jamie... and I wish Frank would have stepped aside all those years ago and told her Jamie Fraser was still alive.

And yes... yes... that would have opened a whole new can of worms regarding Bree. They would have fought over her and Frank would have told Claire she wasn't taking her back, yada yada yada. But that didn't happen so we don't even have to ponder it, ken?

Sooooo... that is where I stand on Frank. As far as what he "knew" about Jerry... I don't think he thought a thing of the fact that his plane was found near standing stones. They were all over bloody Britain at that point. It would be like me saying "Oh my god his car broke down near a 7/11! He must have traveled through time at the 7/11!" At that point when Jerry disappeared, Frank was still at war and hadn't even come home to Claire yet. He didn't know doodley squat about standing stones - other than a possible rumor about the fairies he may have picked up along the way. And lord knows he wouldn't have believed it. I think he knew Jerry disappeared... and felt somewhat responsible (see the part above about Frank being a good and decent man) since he was the one who sent him on his mission. He went to see Marjorie out of a sense of honor - not because he knew Jerry was trekking around 18th century Scotland with Buck Rogers.

That is my opinion today. However... as I said before...

Nothing is set in stone.

30 comments:

  1. What if Frank knows something dire is to happen to them in the past? What if he can't live with himself knowing what he's sending them to or by keeping them apart? I need to reread Voyager, but I wonder if we know that Frank did not kill himself. I think he was a tortured soul.

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  2. Sent you an e-mail, Carol.
    I do think Frank knew something and thought he could prevent it from happening by taking Brianna to England, but inadvertently caused it to happen. The ensuing argument between him and Claire led to Frank being killed in the car accident which led to Claire taking Brianna to Scotland.....
    Diane in GA

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  3. OH, yeah... I'm totally in agreement with you, girl. BUT, comma, however, I think that AFTER Claire came back with her story of going through the standing stones, THEN Frank MAY have said to himself - much, much later, after he figured out that she really was quite sane and not totally off her rocker (as you pointed out), "Huh, that pilot that disappeared, wasn't his plane found near to some stones??? Mayhap he traveled through time as well! I shall do some historical research and see what's up with all this..." And then, maybe, that's when he found out about all the stuff with Jamie and Claire and Bree in the past.

    Am I upset with him that he didn't tell Claire whatever it was that he found out? NO. Why? Because, what was he supposed to do? Tell her? He does and she goes back?! Don't tell her? He doesn't and she goes back. It's the same outcome either way. Give the man a break... he didn't have any reason to tell her. To further your own analogy, it's like if he said, "Hey, I hear the love of your life is available now, for a limited time, at the 7-11... Wanna pop on over for a quick see? M'kay, bye! Tell Bree I'm so proud I taught her to shoot an 18th century weapon." Besides, Claire already had to choose once between Jamie and Bree - how cruel to make her choose again, say, when Bree is like 7 years old, all snaggle-toothed and trying to learn her times tables... talk about heartbreak! UGH! I'm glad Frank didn't tell her whatever it was that he knew!

    hehehehe - Buck Rogers

    Christie

    p.s. Tell Tracey to lay off Roger telling Jerry he loved him. I must confess - I was reading the story really, really fast, at work, in study hall, and was too tired and dim-witted to even realize who those 2 guys were until Roger said that to Jerry, at which point I sat straight up and blurted "Oh my God!", startling the crap outta everyone else in the room. It still makes me giggle uncontrollably remembering the looks I got... DG knew there were some of us, like me, who would need a stinking road map with a big, flashing neon sign explanation on it to understand what the heck was going on!

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  4. I agree 100% with everything you've said. I had a hard time figuring out why even in Outlander Claire was so desperate to get back to Frank. I understand that he was her husband, they were celebrating a reunion, and then she's suddenly thrown into another time period with complete strangers. Any woman would be urgently trying to get back home, but I never understood Frank as the sole motivation. I thought Frank was kind of pompous and uncaring, and once Jamie & company rescued her from Jack Randall, I was always rooting for her to stay. Diana Gabaldon does an excellent job of conveying emotions, so perhaps we're supposed to feel a strain and awkwardness between Frank & Claire.

    As for what Frank knew later after Bree...I think he should have told Claire. He tried and did what he could by training Bree for the 18th century, but I will always think he was a jerk for keeping it to himself. Then again my judgment could just be clouded by my love for Jamie Fraser. :)

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  5. ok, you have a child you love. You know the living conditions of the 18th century...especially for girls. No rights, no education, no opportunities, primitive health care, a land ravaged by war etc. Would you want your child to be taken back there?? Not me. And If I had to lie to protect her? Easy for me! Frank loved his child. He was trying to protect her. And, Bree loved him. Why do we forgive Jamie everything (don't forget his keeping his marriage to Lowhore from Claire because he was afraid of losing her) Well Frank didn't want to lose his family. I can forgive him that. He made mistakes,sure, but so did Jamie-they are MEN after all. We really do need a story about Frank's feelings about this whole situation. Pleeeaase Diana....

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  6. sanderson11, if this were FB, I would "like" your comment!

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  7. Just saw Eat, Pray and Love. David Lyons naked scene with Julia Roberts. He is Jamie. He is also starring in new TV show The Cape.

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  8. You said it Carol.....just a reminder to those of you that are defending Frank by using Claire's love & his love for Brianna - didn't he accuse Claire of having a fling in Outlander during the war & said he'd forgive her if she did! That was HIS guilt talking. I bet he was cheating then or had cheated before her disappearance!!!
    S

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    1. THAT is EXACTLY when I started disliking and distrusting Frank Randall. It made my skin crawl and the hairs on the back of my neck twitch. Perhaps I was hearing echoes of people I served with during Desert Storm claiming to one another that they had 'an understanding' with their significant others; really creeped me out.

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  9. Sanderson11 you rock! I soooooo agree with you. I don't remember Frank ever beating Claire! I always liked Frank. Sometimes I dinna like Jamie. Frank had his demons to live with and where was it portrayed that he was pompous?? I think a lot of us see him a too much as Black Jack Randall. There is no way he would let his Bree be taken from him and he was right to prep her for life in the 18C. It was a done deal and he did the right thing.

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  10. Carol,

    Thank you Thank you for posting such a great topic!!!! I Looove talking about Frank. By the way, who is that in the picture? He is TOTALLY MY FRANK. Love that picture!
    Anyway, I agreed with most of what you posted EXCEPT the part where Frank should have told Claire about Jamie sooner. Here's the deal, Claire had absolutely no idea that Brianna would be able to time travel. I'm sure that never once crossed her mind...so, If she knew about Jamie possibly not being dead, the only thing she'd be able to do with that information is leave her young child behind to possibly travel to see her lover. The Claire I know, would never do that. So, don't you think Claire would even be more miserable living in the 20th century KNOWING that Jamie was still possibly alive in the 18th century, rather, than thinking that he's actually dead? I do. It was better for her not to find out until the time was right. I'm pretty sure Frank KNOWS that she ends up going back, so why rush it? Even if Frank did know that both Claire and Bree can time travel, I agree with Sanderson, TOO dangerous for Bree to go back as a child. I hear you on the honesty, but, I truely think he did his best to prepare his girl for what may come.

    I WISH WISH WISH Diana would write an entire book from Frank's point of view retelling what happened in the 1950s and 1960s when Claire was back. Wouldn't that sell so many more copies than the LJG series? I think so. Plus, we could see and feel how Frank really felt about Claire (I think he was crazy about her) and what happened between the 2 of them (I personally think Frank did NOT cheat, Claire just thought so).

    I'm off to watch your video!
    Sally

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  11. I think someone needs to give Frank a T-shirt that says "Damned if I do, damned if I don't." I think that's pretty much his life.

    I DON'T hate Frank for the same reason I don't hate Wee Ho--because we never really see his side of the story. Here's how I see it--he marries a woman he truly loves--is separated from her for what, six years during the war? (BTW, I do think he's faithful to her during those six years, tho I'm sure he did quicken the pulse of many a lass with some grade A flirting.) Then he's reunited with Claire, is ready to start his life with her, and BOOM she disappears. And doesn't come back.

    At some point, Frank decides, OK, she's not EVER coming back. I miss her desperately, but I need to start living my life without her. As we've deduced, there are no shortage of women who'd be interested in filling Claire's shoes, and it's not long before he meets someone else. And (IMO, anyway), whoever this is is no conveniently-placed-by-Jenny Wee Ho--this is probably someone who would have gone on to become Mrs. Frank Randall Two. He's happy. He's very possibly in love again. Except...

    BOOM!! Claire comes back.

    So what does Frank do? IMO, he's built a life for himself. In all likelihood, he's involved--and happy in--another relationship. He still loves Claire, but at this point it's the MEMORY of Claire, who to him has been dead for three years. But Claire is STILL his wife. AND she's pregnant. AND he's not a cad. So he chucks whatever life he's made for himself and returns to his life with Claire. Except...

    She's totally, completely, irrevocably in love with someone else. And that doesn't go away. EVER. I'm guessing Frank has lain awake more than once watching Claire cry out for Jamie in her sleep.

    Looking at it through Frank's eyes, it's not surprising that he looks elsewhere for companionship--you can hardly blame the guy. It doesn't make it right morally, but it DOES make it understandable. (BTW, I DO think Frank cheated--check the flashback scene in Voyager where he tells Claire he's taking Bree to England and she accuses him of going there for a woman--he responds with "I thought I had been most discreet." To me, that's an affirmative.)

    You know who Frank REALLY needs to meet? Laoghaire. Can you imagine THAT conversation??

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  12. The thing about Frank is that, you have to remember, he's not the one who's ment to be with Claire. He's not her soul mate. He's not going to be the kind of guy that we say, OH I forgive him everything. Jamie is our hero! He's perfect in our eyes no matter what mistakes he makes. Frank's also a different kind of man than Jamie. Jamie is a romantic who would do anything for the love of his life, is only ever going to be in love with one woman and no matter what, can never have a romance/passion except with Claire. Not saying, physically, can be with someone else,but it doesn't mean the same thing to him. But things weren't like that for Frank/Claire. She was never ment to be with him, at least not forever. However, Frank was a good father!!! I'll give him that. I don't hate Frank but I don't love him either. I think he's the kind of guy who probably would have always cheated on Claire. I do believe he probably had an affair while away from her for the war years. But I don't hate him for it, I'm glad once she found Jamie she couldn't help but feel - NOW THAT IS A MAN FOR ME!!!!

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  13. Tracy, are you saying you think Frank was planning to go back to England with Bree to pickup the pieces of a relationship he started when Claire disappeared? Great story potential!

    Love these comments.

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  14. L: Not exactly--although that's certainly a possibility! I haven't really thought about whether or not he returned to whatever relationship he may have been involved with before Claire came back--I tended to think it was a different person, since Claire alludes to the fact that there have been multiple liaisons on his part--but what if he's had a constant on/off "someone" the whole time? Hmm....

    OMG we SERIOUSLY need Frank's Midnight Sun!!!

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  15. OMG such interesting speculations you gals have! Love reading all the comments on Frank. Hope Diana reads these and will give us his story. ps when I said the prayer at thanksgiving dinner I just has to ask for a safe journey blessing for Roger. Everyone asked who Roger was...my hubby was cracking up (hey, he actually came home from work one day because he was worried about Roger and wanted to make sure he survived the hanging)

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  16. Tracey,

    Interesting take on the 3 years Claire was in the 18th century. I hadn't really pondered Frank starting a relationship at that time, but, you are right, its quite possible. HOWEVER (there is always a HOWEVER with this books, LOL) I think the with "I thought I had been most discreet." comment could very well have been a Red Herring from Diana. What if Frank found something in the history books that required him to get the heck out of Boston and over to England with Bree, pronto. Maybe he was just making up the "most discreet" stuff to give Claire an excuse for leaving. I don't know. The reason I think he didn't cheat is because on CS Diana has said many times (in reference to "Did Frank Cheat") that we are seeing all of this Frank cheating stuff through Claire's eyes, and there really isn't any evidence that he cheated. We'll see... but if he did cheat, I think your scenario (a tryst during the 3 years Claire is missing) is most probable.

    Sanderson, LOL on the Roger comment!!!! I get constant Eye Rolls over here from my family so I can relate!
    Sally

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  17. Ooooh THANKS Y'ALL - I LOVE all these comments. I'm guessing we could talk about Frank all day. Tracey - I think it's interesting you want Frank's Midnight Sun. I thought about that and I don't think I care about Frank's Midnight Sun. I'm kindof ambivalent about him. Again - I am NOT A "Frank hater" - not in the slightest. I just don't really care much about his feelings... and I think it *might* be because he didn't seem to care much about Claire's feelings early on in Outlander. He was just sortof "Me Frank. You Claire. You my woman. Now I go to meet with Historian. You wear perfume when I get back."

    BUT - then again - maybe FRANK'S Midnight Sun would change my feelings? I'll tell you this - I definitely warmed up to him in A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows. Absolutely. He was dashing and caring and went out of his way for Marjorie and Roger - and definitely scored a few points. So yes - maybe I *do* want a Midnight Sun for Frank. Hmmm....

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  18. @ Carol "Me Frank. You Claire. You my woman. Now I go to meet with Historian. You wear perfume when I get back."

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

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  19. I don't like Frank because he reminds me of my ex. Physically, they are opposites, but the self-centered attitude? Oh, yeah. He expected me to take an interest in his activities, but couldn't be bothered to show any interest in my hobbies. And he cheated.
    Frank was adored by cute co-eds every day and Claire was no longer gaga over him. It would take a super man to resist that kind of temptation.
    Frank was repelled by sticky baby Roger and had high expectations of Claire on the nite of the dinner party for his colleagues. Again, selfish male attitude.
    I think Frank researched Jamie and kept Claire in the dark deliberately. She was his wife/property and no one was going to take her from him until he decided he was done with her.

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  20. hmmm...I don't remember Frank being repelled by baby Roger. Also, I think Frank's motivation for not telling Claire was his love for Bree. Never got that he thought Claire was his "property". I think Frank was generally supportive of Claire. He encouraged her to take up botany and did support her decision to become a dr. Give the poor guy a break already! After all, he didn't drink, gamble or break the law

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  21. Sanderson11: Agreed on all accounts. Look, I think that at the end of the day, Frank and Claire loved each other, but were two VERY different people. And you know, there's a fine line between "self-centered" and "passionate about something." I would argue that in the middle of reviewing some tricky surgery, Claire would be every bit as "self-centered" as Frank might have been when he was discussing historical stuff with Rev. Wakefield.

    Here's a question for everyone: suppose Claire had not gone through the stones. Would her marriage to Frank have lasted? I tend to think so.

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  22. From Leaf: "Eyes like a good sheepdog....Kindly, maybe, but he won't miss much."

    I think this is a big ol' clue about Frank's nature and what he knew. I think he knew more than WE know at this point. And I agree...Frank would make a great side-story. He would be good with mysteries, too - I would prefer reading about him than Lord John, though I did like the LJ stuff.

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  23. Just saw your new comment, Tracey. Yes, I think so, too.

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  24. Frank is my father's generation when the men were the heads of their households and the last say in everything. The little women stayed home and took care of their men. That is the way it was for most couples. Some of Frank's attitudes were typical for that time - especially in the 1940s. In the 50s he was ahead of the times when he "let" Claire go to medical school and took responsibility for Bree after school.

    My guess Jamie's attitudes were not typical for HIS time - that is why we love him and nitpick about all this.

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  25. With my first read through "Outlander" I didn't think about this but rereading it after reading the whol series....

    Frank and Claire's second honeymoon was all about Frank. It was Frank's lineage they were tracking. And it's been a while since I've read the first book and correct me if I'm wrong, cause it's possible, doesn't he initiate sex more than she does?

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  26. Carol...just love your post! Wonderful! I've often thought about what Frank knew of Claire and Bree's future that would make him train Bree as a horsewoman/marksman.

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  27. There is a HUGE discussion about Frank on Compuserve here, if you have some time to browse through it.

    This is one of those topics (like Laoghaire, and Claire/Lord John) that people debate endlessly, without ever coming to a resolution. I like that, personally. :-)

    Chat was fun last night. See y'all next week!

    Karen

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  28. Carol so well said!

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