Tonight, Outlander season 4 episode 7 was largely all about Brianna and Roger — but there was another component in this, as well.
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Perhaps the biggest surprise within this episode was getting a chance to see Tobias Menzies show up one more time as Frank Randall, the man Brianna looked at as a father for the entirety of her life. While we think of this show so much as the story of Jamie and Claire, Bree never knew Jamie and never understood him. Frank was the one responsible for caring for her and while imperfect, he was in many ways a good father. He loved her and wanted the best for her, and in this episode we saw bits and pieces of their relationship alongside a brief sighting of Frank at the very end, a reminder to Bree that he will always be there to look after him.
So why feature Frank in flashbacks alongside this moment? Speaking in the postmortem video after tonight’s new episode, executive producer Maril Davis had the following to say:
“For me, the most interesting part of this is when we discussed the parallels between Frank and Claire and [then] Laoghaire and Jamie. Frank and Laoghaire have loved people and actually not been loved back. The parallel of that and trying to show that in the storm [was], for me, such an interesting level.”
Of course, bringing back Laoghaire was essential in that it helped to further ensure some conflict for Brianna in 18th-century Scotland. Bree got to learn a little bit about Jamie and her mother here — or at least how Claire was interpreted in the eyes of another. While Laoghaire is not a likable character by any means, seeing her lash out at Brianna made sense for who she is — she has not had a way in which to unleash any anger on Jamie and Claire directly since they departed. Brianna was in many ways a surrogate for some of her rage.
One other fascinating reveal tonight came with Frank and the Wilmington Gazette newspaper, one that made it clear that he had so much more advance knowledge of what happened to Jamie and Claire in the fire at Fraser’s Ridge than anyone. To think that this weighed on him in addition to everything else going on in his life.
What do you think about the Outlander producers bringing back Tobias Menzies at this particular moment? Share in the comments below. (Photo: Starz.)