In this Outlander season 3 episode 3 reaction piece, we’re keeping our thoughts rather simple: They’re all about Tobias Menzies and a Primetime Emmy Award. Why hasn’t it happened yet, at the very least in the form of a nomination? Not only is he one of the series’ finest actors, but he’s one of the finest actors on TV period. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about broadcast, cable, or streaming; the same goes for any genre. He’s an exceptional performer who manages to breathe life into a number of characters … even if that life is surrounded in darkness.
When we said farewell to Black Jack Randall at the end of the season 3 premiere, we waved off into the sunset one of television’s most horrifying villains. Jonathan Randall stopped at nothing to ensure the pain and destruction of anyone in his path. Unfortunately, now we also must say farewell to the haunted and at-times sympathetic Frank. While the TV version of the character was no perfect person, he was well-depicted as a man who tried his hardest. He tried desperately to find Claire when she was gone into the past, not realizing precisely what transpired to her there. Upon her return, he then tried to make their marriage work, and tried once more to raise Brianna as his own daughter. In the process of trying, however, he realized that his life was not as he wanted. Claire did not love him in the way he loved her; he wanted to stay together for the sake of his daughter and for his own perception; sooner or later, trying fell by the wayside and desperation won out. He became resentful and difficult, and over time he and Claire both repressed so much that they kept their pain boiling over, preparing to explode and splash all over the place.
Menzies is exceptional at playing pain, and we saw that at various times throughout these first three episodes. He can also take on softer, tender moments with layers and the perfect amount of subtlety. It would have been very easy to make Frank a largely-unlikable character, the Black Jack lookalike who served as a distraction from Jamie. Kudos to the Outlander writers for not venturing in that direction, and realizing instead that this character is all the more fascinating as a living, breathing person with character and his own hopes and dreams. He can be at odds to Jamie without him being a terrible human being; he was just a product of his own beliefs and eventually his own longing to be unconditionally loved before anyone else. He didn’t know how to compartmentalize his feelings enough to know that by staying in the relationship and undergoing a secret affair he was likely hurting himself more.
Hopefully we at CarterMatt see Tobias at some point down the road on the show, but this seems to be his farewell for the time being. We’ll miss him dearly, but we hope that the Emmys choose to give him a bit of love. Is he a guest actor or supporting for this season? There’s a debate to be had there, but one way or another hopefully these roles are a launching pad for him to either receive more awards consideration or additional acting opportunities.
Want some other Outlander season 3 episode 3 coverage?
Rest assured that we’ve got everything that you could possibly want right now! A good starting-off point is our full episode review here; meanwhile, you can click here to preview what’s coming up on net week’s episode. You can also gather up some more CarterMatt Outlander content over on our official Facebook page. (Photo: Starz.)