Outlander: All Debts Paid   Books Included 
September 24, 2017 10:17 AM - Season 3, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Imprisoned Jamie learns that an old foe has become the warden and has the power to make his life hell; Claire and Frank both put their best foot forward in marriage, but an uninvited guest shatters the illusion.

posted by olinerd (19 comments total)
I have no idea why but I liked this episode better than the last couple. I thought the inter-character dynamics (Lord John and Jamie, Claire and Frank) were really extremely good, and I was thrilled to see Murtagh again, despite TB and transportation :( I guess I felt like there was more forward motion here than there had been.

Intrigued to see how they manage the Geneva scene next week.
posted by olinerd at 10:19 AM on September 24, 2017 [2 favorites]

what is this godawful frank redemption arc and how can we stop it
posted by poffin boffin at 9:15 PM on September 24, 2017 [5 favorites]

So fucking pissed on all accounts on this "but what if Frank was really the good guy." No. He's a shitty sexist asshole who is racist about Claire and Brianna having black friends, and I will not tolerate this "all he wanted was loooooooooooove" bullshit.
posted by corb at 9:59 PM on September 24, 2017 [3 favorites]

IT'S THE WORST why the fuck would they ever
posted by poffin boffin at 10:05 PM on September 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

I liked everything about this episode except Frank. Tobias Menzies did a great job portraying Frank as a somewhat sympathetic sad Nice Guy, but OMG that is not his actual character. Now I look like a lunatic to my husband while I scream about how much Frank sucks. Caitriona was awesome at nailing Claire's complicated emotions.

The Ardsmuir scenes were just enough to give us the sense of what Jaime went through for years in prison, and I'm glad they compressed it all into one episode, because in the book it's a looooong chunk of pages. I'm liking John Grey, who kinda bores me in the books.

Murtagh! I'm holding out unrealistic hopes that we might see both Murtagh and Willie again some day.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 2:54 AM on September 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

It's also worth noting that per my criticism from last week, they are again redeeming Frank's character at the expense of Claire's. In the book, if I remember correctly, you see one of Frank's women appear at a faculty party drunk with her friends glaring at Frank, and Claire is just bemused - she doesn't have this full throated "how dare you cheat on me" defense. Even my husband, who hasn't read the books but who I force mercilessly to watch, said it seemed out of character for her.
posted by corb at 6:04 AM on September 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm so glad we are all on #TeamFuckOffFrank
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:12 AM on September 25, 2017 [4 favorites]

I'm not on the team but I don't really know why! I like that Frank isn't terrible! I guess I always felt like his terribleness was a weak point in the book and if they want to make him not-terrible that's OK with me.

I mean, they've changed a lot of other stuff too that I didn't agree with - inventing whole storylines out of nothing, etc. But for whatever reason I like this change. And I like that Murtagh is still alive, too.
posted by something something at 7:44 AM on September 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

Someone do a Frank/Poochie mashup.

Frank literally died on his way back to his home planet.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:18 AM on September 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

I think Frank has officially fucked off. Vale, Tobias Menzies.

Interesting notes from the Diana Gabaldon page FB thread on the episode:

- Someone pointed out that Claire was always in white in all scenes, echoing the "Dame Blanche" thing with Duncan Kerr
- Gabaldon's defense of Frank, from 2005 (unreliable narrator be damned, he shouldn't have been THAT sympathetic)
- A few people hypothesizing that Murtagh will take Duncan Innes's place in the Colonies. My mom guessed the same thing when she and I chatted about the episode last night. I dunno, he's a MacKenzie, doesn't that make it weird if he marries Jocasta?
posted by olinerd at 9:38 AM on September 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

Oh god that defense of Frank is just incomprehensible. Also, she herself wrote in Frank's bigotry and awfulness, but then she's like "he's a major tragic figure"? Does. Not. Compute. Did she forget her own book?
posted by corb at 9:49 AM on September 25, 2017

Murtagh is a Fraser, not a MacKenzie! Murtagh FitzGibbons Fraser. He can marry Jocasta.
posted by something something at 10:15 AM on September 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

Oh no, you’re right! My bad!
posted by olinerd at 10:37 AM on September 25, 2017

Also, she herself wrote in Frank's bigotry and awfulness, but then she's like "he's a major tragic figure"? Does. Not. Compute. Did she forget her own book?

Considering how she's fine with the bigotry of Claire and Jamie (all the awful stuff we have coming - Willoughby, attitudes toward Native Americans, and slavery), I don't know if she considers Frank's racism to be all that awful.

posted by oh yeah! at 11:08 AM on September 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

I haven't read the books, but I was a bit surprised at the stuff with Frank this episode. It's like he suddenly turns into a jerk, and then instead of any payoff for him being so, he's just dead and Claire has no tears for him. I really thought the show was heading into a season where Claire gets raked over the coals for not loving her nice guy husband.

I guess both Claire and Jamie were both in prisons for a long while.
posted by Catblack at 4:02 PM on September 25, 2017

It's a mark of Tobias Menzies' talent that I will miss him even though I shuddered pretty much every time he slithered onscreen.
posted by St. Hubbins at 9:22 PM on September 26, 2017 [6 favorites]

The thing about Frank is that before the standing stones, he was at least an okay dude and Claire loved him. Frank was utterly screwed over by Claire falling in love with another dude. It ruined everything, and I do feel sorry for him because of that. He probably would have continued to be an okay dude without that soul betrayal.

Lani Diane Rich on the "Sex and Whisky" podcast goes on about how much she doesn't care about Frank. Well, nobody cares about Frank except Diana Gabaldon/Claire, that's it. To some degree we have to/are supposed to care because she does. Though really, nobody likes being told they have to care about somebody they don't like, so that's part of our resentment right there.

I agree that Frank is an asshole and toward the end of his life he is the most asshole-y. He unfortunately has quite a lot of reasons to be mad/resentful of Claire and at that point they are staying together for a kid he now loves but is still not biologically related to and that's about it. Nobody likes or cares about Frank because we don't like assholes and we're not totally stupid about it.

But at the same time you do have to remember that (a) he wasn't always like this, and (b) his marriage was ruined for inexplicable bizarre reasons totally beyond his control. Under the circumstances of (b), well, most of us might not come out good and happy people either. I don't want to defend Frank at all, but that's the tragedy of him. He loved Claire, she loved him, but her love for him just fucking got eclipsed out and after that everything was awful.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:45 AM on September 27, 2017

Yeah, but what comparison did Claire really have? She loved Frank, yes, but what understanding did she really have of what options were out there to love?

Some things about Frank - the cheating, etc - were undoubtedly because of the betrayal of Claire being desperately in love with Jamie, and probably some deep seated resentment that Claire can still be in love with Jamie after all this time, but after only a few years apart at war Frank and Claire were like strangers a bit. I can buy that.

But him disliking her going to medical school, or not wanting his daughter to date a black man, or saying, "God Claire, why couldn't you clean yourself up?" after she's been home with the baby all day? That shit is baked in. That's just part of Frank. I think even if Jamie had never come into the picture, they wouldn't be happy together - that Claire's battlefield experience in WWII is actually what destroyed her relationship - the "How can you keep them down on the farm after they've seen Paree?" she references.
posted by corb at 6:50 AM on September 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

I agree with corb and feel that despite the author's retroactive sympathy she was wise enough to put plenty of red flags in Claire's pre-Jaimie narrative where the reader understands possibly more than Claire does about the type of man she married in Frank. They were married but separated for EIGHT YEARS. Frank does the classic move of "forgiving" Claire for affairs she did not have during that time, in essence exposing his own behavior. Nothing about Frank's anger or racism or underhanded attempt to move Brianna out of the country and away from Claire (however justified he felt in doing it) are a surprise at all to a careful reader of the first three chapters of the first book.
posted by annathea at 10:05 AM on September 27, 2017

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