Written All Over His Face- Frank’s Top Looks S2 E1

For being the proper Englishman, Frank does not hold his emotions close to the vest in this premiere episode. Ever expressive, whatever he thinks is written all over his face. I’ve chosen this sampling as Frank’s top looks from”Through a Glass, Darkly,” S2 E1 for discussion. Tobias Menzies is a thoughtful and well abled actor.

His openness of emotion handling the return of his two years gone wife, contrasts heavily with the tightly closed and disconnected Claire. His seeming inability to hold back, bordering on emotional chaos, takes us back to how we’ve seen Claire respond in the past in different situations. A keen juxtaposition.

In this, I find Frank’s responses at once appropriate and erratic. He’s all over the place, which would be expected having your disappeared wife back in your life. Yet, he is no ordinary historian, no ordinary professor.  With his military training and expertise, it’s odd to see him lack mystery and additional meaning behind his words and actions. Perhaps, it’s the personal kerfuffle that has him  so unlike himself.

  My wife is returned. Happy day.

   Something is very askew here. Why did she flinch when I reached for her? What in the hell happened to her?
Maybe if I get into a subservient position, this will go better.        Mrs. Graham, what?

 Why these appear high quality and period authentic. Where the hell has she been? (By the way, where did the plaid on the bed come from?)

  (This simply creeped me out. Why did he smell the shift? There would be dirt, sweat, Jamie odors on there...)  Why is she talking to Mrs. Graham and not me? Why the interest in Scottish history? Why? Why? Why?

You’re my wife.  I love you like I said I would. No matter what. I don’t care what has happened or where you’ve been or what you’ve done…

  Wait a second. Pregnant?!How wonderful.
  Oh wait. Two years…How? Who? What?
  Oh bloody hell. It can’t be mine.You’re carrying another man’s child!!!!!  I could… I do care, very much…
  Wait. What am I…Oh my God.  I have to get out of here.
Yes, I’m breaking down and breaking things. I cannot manage these feelings.  I DO CARE. IT DOES MATTER.I feel a bit better now.
  We tried to have a baby. I’m sterile. I can have a child now. I can have a child and raise it as my own.I want things back to normal. We can move forward, together, I hope. I’m desperate to move ahead.

Frank is now a bit more of an open book. This small glimpse into his perspective does his character good for the viewers. This brought him into reality and fully into three dimensions. If Claire’s perspective alone had been seen, it would be a much different vantage point. He loves her no doubt, but what does he love, the thought of her, the memory, who she once was?  Wanting a child and now having the ability to raise one as his own is a big deal. Especially to one who family history and lineage matters so much. He has an intact family once again, so it seems. He’s an upstanding imperfect fellow who wants to do the right thing for himself, Claire, and the baby. He earns respect for that alone. He hopes she will be in love with him again. He hopes the past can stay where it is. Only the future will tell.

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9 thoughts on “Written All Over His Face- Frank’s Top Looks S2 E1

  1. lmmerrill says:

    I don’t know how weird the smelling thing is. It’s such an evocative sense and so connected to memory. After my father died, I stood in his closet and hugged – and yes – smelled his clothes. That’s what this moment felt like to me. It wasn’t like it was her drawers. She didn’t allow him to get physically close to her, so it was a way to do that second had.

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  2. Norma B says:

    I found it odd that Frank would assume that the fertility problem was his and go get tested in Claire’s absence…

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  3. Kathy Van Wesep says:

    Tobias blew me away with his performance. I love how the character of Frank has been flushed out by Ron Moore. He is a good man (not a perfect one) and it make us understand why Claire cherished her memories of him, why she continued to wear her wedding band and why she risked her relationship with Jamie to prevent an untimely death for Black Jack to insure that Frank’s future would not be jeopardized. Frank seems so hopeful and Claire is reluctant to give him undo hope. I think his conditions were reasonable. Raising Bree as his own is what is best for her. As for smelling the petticoat, it may have been that he wanted to see if Claire’s scent was there or if he could detect smells that would be further proof that she wore those clothes in a different time.

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