WHY THIS BLOG?

I AM PARCA'S CHOSEN:
Parca is the Roman Goddess of Childbirth and Destiny and after you get to know me, you will see why I believe she has, without doubt, made me her Poster Child. I deal with the odd serious issue but for the most part, my posts are just some cheeky fun, reviews of favorite shows, and true stories that will make you laugh out loud (or run screaming...I don't know you well enough to predict your behavior). You'll find satire with the odd parody tossed in....and definitely a heaping helping of hyperbole.

I am Canadian so expect a bit of politeness too. Sorry.

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

OUTLANDER 'Episode 8': FRANKLANDER



It’s official. 

Frank has now become The Man.  Numero Uno in the Starz saga that is exploding ovaries and re-heating cold marriage beds all over the world. *but especially in the United States and Canada where, apparently, ovaries are particularly ripe and the beds unusually cold. Or so reactions to the Outlander phenomenon would have us believe.

I am talking about TV Frank, not Book Frank.

I never felt either of the two big PATHYs for Book Frank (SYM nor EM) which made it easier to fall for Jamie, whom I now refer to as 'Fido' (explanation forthcoming).  I believe Dr. Gabaldon made Book Frank unappealing on purpose for 2 reasons:

1)      Book 1, as a practice novel, didn’t need all the characters fully fleshed out, and in all honesty, who really cared what Frank thought? Not an issue at the time. 
2)     Diana didn’t know Tobias Menzies would own the show from the moment he opened his mouth and that Voice unlocked myriad psychological chastity belts worldwide

From Day 1, Frank is given to us on a plate of stability and thoughtfulness, with a generous helping of tenderness and romance and garnished with intellectual prowess (yes, it is almost lunchtime, why do you ask?). His sexy confidence and self-assured posture made trench coats the crotchless panties of menswear, and Frank is to sweater-vests what Dolly Parton is to tank tops. No mean feat that one.

He has a ruggedly attractive face that grows more handsome upon each word he utters and by the time he is bouncing on the bed with Claire, you want her to scoot off to the bathroom with an hour long bout of diarrhea so he can sit by the fire and read aloud a love poem by Browning …or the labels off his shirts…anything to keep him speaking. *It was a very wise choice not to have Frank’s voice as the narrator of the story thus far, as nobody would have seen their screens with their eyes rolled back in eye-fluttering ecstasy.

In Episode 8, we first see him with his back to us in the police station as he sits rock solid and immovable, a Standing Stone personified, as he demands answers from a detective who just happens to drink my favorite brand of coffee (let’s call it Justice Juice)



And he is as unwavering, relentless and dogged as any tax collector after a 2 dollar underpayment.  Dissing the entire precinct with his acerbic insults, 

he angrily refuses to believe that Claire has run off with another man, and channeling his inner Kevin Costner, he becomes Fist Slams On Desk and almost wastes an entire cup of Justice Juice.  He can’t seem to make them understand that his wife would never leave him willingly. Personally, I don’t know why he just didn’t show them the Castle Leoch pictures of his Table Top Tongue Tango with Claire. I mean really, WHAT woman would leave THAT? *I know I am not the only one who noticed that Frank kept his camera on his shoulder when he hit third base face-first that day…

Frank was so magnificently desperate and filled with such exquisite grief that I didn’t even care about the screen jump to the Quickie in the Grass with Jamie and Claire and I actually hoped it would live up to the 'quickie' part. The juxtaposition of Frank’s suffering and Claire’s lusty indifference was painful to watch and instead of feeling excited about some Push Push In The Bush, I felt appalled...the sound of Claire's laughter skipping and bouncing over the sounds of the cracking and crumbling of Frank's broken heart. If she was a man, I would be all over him for cheating on his sweet loving wife who never did him wrong and to whom he seemed devoted...and it IS cheating when you go past Wedding Night Duty to save your skin, into becoming Siamese Twins from the waist down. Me and Aretha know that R.E.S.P.E.C.T. is what you need and Claire is losing mine quickly...

TV Frank has me rooting for him big time and more importantly than Jamie losing his Cherry, Claire lost her Excuse.  And it was the Excuse of a loveless marriage to an apathetic ‘stranger husband’ that made it okay for her to fall for Jamie.  But TV Frank deserves a faithful wife. A loving D̶e̶n̶i̶s̶e̶  wife.

I LOVE Book Jamie beyond reason, but TV Jamie is a tough sell against such a massive hunk of good guyness. I don’t blame Sam for his portrayal of playful and youthful exuberance as it he was obviously directed to do so, but I couldn’t help but think of Jamie as a new puppy (hence the 'Fido') who can’t get over how much he loves playing with his new bone (pun intended)....licking (that wasn’t kissing) his play toy and copping a 2 second Squeeze N’ Suk on some gratuitous boobage. Meh. Quickie can still be hot. McQuickie...not so much.

In comparison to the rhythmic rattling of the chandelier at the Inn and that seductive love fest, the GITAS (Grass In The Ass Scene) just felt wrong.  I admit, I am a sucker for a throaty, passionate whisper of lustful sex-talk whilst in the midst of a rollicking great fuck, whatever the speed with which it is being delivered…so the GITAS high school giggling left me colder than the gun barrel pressed on Jamie’s face, which, by the way just pissed me off even more because FRANK would have turned around and bitten that barrel in half with his teeth and spit the bullet in the soldier's eye, then he would've shitkicked them both for the interruption. Just sayin'...

This isn’t just adoration talking here.  The ambush after the bar scene proves that well enough. Two attackers were nothing to Frank.  He smoked them like a cheap cigar and even had the presence of mind to NOT snap the neck of the bitch that suckered him into the trap in the first place. I would have saved her the trouble of ever needing fillings, but that’s just me. Frank has control, even half drunk, enraged, disillusioned and without his hat.

That BJR gene is well diluted methinks (too bad in this case though)

I also like the fact that Frank went up to the Stones even though he'd never heard of nor believed in that Time Portal fiddle-faddle folklore (which was a major plot flaw my opinion because prior to that, Frank was a veritable encyclopedia of Anything Scotland and could quote everything from the dates of pagan celebrations and obscure 16th Century political minutia, to the measured radius of Bonnie Prince Charlie's anus, but I will let that go for now...). I was hoping the directors would keep straying from the book as they have been doing so expertly thus far, and for a blissful minute there, I thought they had whipped out a biggie and were allowing Frank to see Claire again (that piercing, haunting music gave one real hope for such). The unspeakable hope etched on his face was almost unbearable to witness...


but her being snatched away last second kept things on track and Frank’s ruin was complete. I was both crushed for dear Frank and thankful that Tobias had a chance to work his magic and stretch his acting muscles. He was devastatingly devastated.


In the best scene in the series so far and the only one so far that brought me to tears, Frank baying at an invisible moon, his lover’s name ripped from his lips at the foot of the Stones that took her, I was left bereft of any feeling except a wish that my husband would run downtown and buy a sweater vest. 

And a trench coat.

I like this unexpected twist of my affections. This Unexpected Hero of The Heart (and this unexpected attraction to tweed). Frank was rather an afterthought in the book, a necessary plot device, but in the tv show he is, thankfully, a Force of Nature. Maybe I am just not cougarish enough for Jamie to be the one to light this old fire. He is a fine laddie, but a mere puddle to the tsunami that is Frank Randall. 

*How a tsunami and an old fire can possibly amount to anything good is beyond me at the moment, but I am willing to examine this more closely, as always, over a glass of Cape Ruby...

                                    BEST VIDEO EVER!!! Expresses my feelings better than words: MUST SEE!




*added March 11 2015




                                                                My #PocketFrank


DIANA RE-POSTED THIS ARTICLE ON HER FACEBOOK PAGE!
*and she was entertained. I entertained Herself! I can die a half-happy woman now. To die fully happy would involve Boromir and wild jungle sex  and...ummm...never mind.
*click pics to enlarge 
 This article has now received over 14,000 views...in one day. The Power of DG. Thank you Diana! (*UPDATE: as of today Jan 6 2015, there have been JUST shy of 20,000 view of this article because of Diana. Gotta love it. But I think 19,999 of them don't agree with me. LOL! )



My favorite:


IN DIANA'S OWN WORDS
From 2005...Diana Gabaldon's opinion on Frank. Brilliant, I must say, and I admit to forgetting about this article and now, after re-reading it, love Book Frank much more than before. Still mad about TV Frank too. *thanks to Linda Schultz on Outlander Series Facebook Group for the reminder!  
Here is the article...a reply to a fan question about Frank:


Nov. 13, 2005



"As to L'Affaire Frank... Geez Louise. You guys. 



Of course Frank isn't "a pathetic slimeball." Where do they come up with these ideas? (My personal guess would be that the people holding this particular opinion are possibly not that fond of their own SO, and would trade him in for Jamie in a heartbeat. Ergo, they project things onto Frank. But that's only a guess.)



Look. In the books, we see Claire and Frank's relationship only from Claire's point of view. Which is understandably a trifle biased, following her return through the stones.



What we see prior to her disappearance is an awkward but affectionate relationship between two people who are married, but who are effectively strangers-they've barely seen each other in six years, and have been back together for only a few days. They're feeling each other out, trying to reestablish the connection they once had, and struggling to overcome the fact that they are now quite different people than who they once were.



Frank asks her diffidently at one point whether she had ever been tempted to stray during the war-assuring her that he would understand if she had. Claire-and the reader-think that his reason for doing this may well be that he had strayed, and would feel better about confessing his own transgression if she had suffered similar temptations.



Well, maybe he did, and maybe he didn't. It's actually not an abnormal question to ask a mate you haven't seen in six years, and one whom you know has been working closely with hundreds of wounded (and thus possibly emotionally appealing) men, in conditions that you know are stressful, dangerous, and highly conducive to passionate, if short-lived, physical attractions.



He's trying to ask it tactfully, but-they're strangers. She takes offense, and he hastily drops the question. He doesn't bring it up again, in the time they're together-which is fairly short. So you have to draw your own conclusion there:



1) he hasn't been having affairs himself, but can't help a certain male feeling of curiosity/jealousy about what Claire might have been doing,



2) perhaps he had a brief fling, which he regrets, and wants to confess this to Claire, so their marriage can resume without his feeling constant guilt, or



3) he's been screwing every woman who crossed his path, but would like to find out that Claire's had her own affairs, so he can throw it back at her in case she ever finds out.



OK. There is NO evidence favoring any one of these three alternatives. None. Any one of them is as likely as another. The reader's conclusions depend on the reader-and each reader brings his or her own experiences and background to the act of reading.



Now, Claire disappears. No warning, no trace, no nothing. What do you reckon happened, when she didn't come back? A police search, no leads-and probably deep suspicion of the husband, who is the Most Likely Suspect. So Frank's left panicked, then grief-stricken, while probably being interrogated and threatened about his wife's disappearance. But this must obviously have all died down in the next three years, and Frank begins to rebuild his life.



Does the rebuilding involve any kind of relationship with women, or a woman? Quite possibly; he's a handsome, personable man, with friends who would think it their duty to introduce him to women.



BUT.



Claire comes back. Filthy, malnourished, and hysterical, if not outright demented. And, of course, pregnant. She tells him an unbelievable story, presumably the product of a disordered mind, the
result of whatever horrible abduction/captivity/rape has resulted in her present condition. She tells him to leave her.



Does he leave her? No. Does he produce another woman and explain that actually, dear, while you were gone, Mary and I. No. He replies shortly that no one but a cad would leave a woman in her condition.



So, OK. HE doesn't think he's a cad. Why on earth should anybody else? He does stay with Claire, not only while she's recovering, but thereafter. There's no hint that he's pursuing a love affair started while she was gone; in fact, he takes her to Boston, so that no hint of scandal will attend Bree's birth. If he did have some relationship while she was gone, plainly he's broken it off (and perhaps the removal to Boston is to make such a break more definite-we don't know, because we don't know what he was doing during those three years).



All right. From this point on, Claire's view of Frank is definitely suspect, because her own state of mind makes it impossible for her to connect fully with him, save for brief interludes of tenderness, when they're able to reach one another physically (like the night he makes love to her on the floor of the nursery). Yes, their relationship is strained-we know that, because we see it. But the relationship of any new parents is strained (believe me on this), even if the two parties aren't on difficult terms to start with. And these two parties definitely are.



Claire thinks he may be having affairs, but she doesn't ever have evidence of it. Either the guy is very dang good at hiding this stuff (and unfaithful spouses almost always give themselves away)-or he isn't having affairs. He may well be seeking companionship, sympathy, and ego-reinforcement from other women (he ain't gettin' a lot of those things at home-but note that he isn't leaving, either), but it's at least possible that he isn't crossing the line into actual physical
infidelity. Note that Claire says that now and then she forces her sexual attentions on him, trying to prove that he's been with someone else (and thus unable to respond to her)-but that every time, he does respond to her, even if with mutual rage.



On the other hand, Frank knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that Claire's been unfaithful to him. At first, he most likely thinks she's been raped, but she goes on insisting on her absurd story. If it's true in any way-then she did it on purpose. This can't do his feelings any good. But he stays, because only a cad would abandon a pregnant woman with no resources-and he isn't a cad.



See, all these red-eyed readers are identifying with Claire (for the excellent reason that she's telling the story)-but they'd do better to watch Frank. He clearly has a code of honor, and by God, he's sticking to it, dearly though it may cost him. Would a man with this kind of code then proceed to have promiscuous affairs?



Maybe--but maybe not. His own image of himself as an honorable man is probably as valuable to him as Claire is, at this point; if he won't abandon her, he won't abandon that image, either.




Now, their relationship is definitely a difficult one. On Claire's side, there's grief, resentment (over being parted from Jamie), the fractured feelings of giving birth to Jamie's baby, and the struggle
to build a career (which is probably not something Frank ever expected her to want to do, and wasn't prepared for). You note that she apologizes to Frank only once, in their initial conversation after her return-at which point, she's completely hysterical. She makes it clear that she loves Jamie more than him, even if Jamie is dead-this is Not All That Good for a marriage.



Mind, divorce was simply Not Done at this time, in either the UK or the US. A divorced woman was stigmatized, as was the child of divorced parents.



Frank--honorable man that he sees himself as-isn't going to expose either Claire or Bree to that stigma. Besides, he's in love with Brianna, and doesn't want to be parted from her. To not only divorce Claire but also get custody of Bree would mean a huge, ugly, public court-case, in which he would have to accuse Claire of moral depravity, alcoholism, and anything else he could think of-and prove it. No-fault divorce hadn't been invented; a divorce had to be approved by a juDianae, on the basis of strong evidence. (For the same reasons, Claire wouldn't seek to divorce Frank.)



A) She wouldn't deprive Brianna of a father who plainly loved her,



B) she wouldn't expose Bree to the trauma of an ugly divorce case, and



C) she'd have to prove that Frank was guilty of various horrible things.



And we do see evidence that he still does love Claire. He's angry at her, confused by what's happened, and obviously having a hard time with everything-but he does love her. Enough to help her with her medical career, even though he doesn't like her having it and objective enough to admire the sense of destiny that drives her to it, even though he's somewhat jealous that he doesn't possess that drive himself.



Frank a pathetic slimeball? Good grief. He's the major tragic figure of the books, unsung though he is. He is-on the evidence to hand-a stand-up guy, who's taken a horrible set of circumstances (which he didn't cause and had nothing to do with) and done the best he could to build a family, do right by his daughter, and treasure what strands of occasional tenderness form between himself and his guilt-ridden, emotionally-distant wife."



That help?



--Diana



On Nov. 14, 2005

Diana wrote:



"P.S. Forgot to note in the above that Frank, Claire, and Brianna are all Catholics. Catholics _really_ didn't get divorced in the '50's--they still don't do it all that often, since it means
excommunication.



I don't at all understand why the anti-Frank contingent thinks Claire should have left the marriage, though. Why? Frank wasn't beating her, or mentally torturing her, or otherwise behaving badly (with, of course, the _possible_ exception that he was being unfaithful. And that, we don't know). The only overwhelming reason she might have had would be to go back to Jamie--which is something that Frank obviously knows, which is why he doesn't tell her when he finds evidence that Jamie didn't die at Culloden. (And while I'm sure that the anti-Frank people view this as more evidence that he's a Bad Person, consider what he himself says in his letter to the Reverend. True, he _didn't_want to lose her (i.e., he loved her), but he also didn't want to cause her and/or Brianna additional grief and suffering by giving her an impossible choice. She was by that time reconciled to her live in the present, doing well as a doctor, and if their marriage wasn't great, it mostly wasn't bad.



If she knew Jamie was alive, though...either she'd choose to try to return to him, leaving her young daughter (more horrible guilt), or she'd stay for Bree's sake, but be constantly torn by yearning for Jamie. So Frank didn't tell her. He clearly had mixed motives for that, but they weren't necessarily evil ones, at all."


*see the original article here; top post on menu: Diana On Frank