Claire takes on the stereotypes of the 1950s
After already being talked down on in 1949, Claire Randall was done living the stereotype of the 1950s housewife. Now a mother, she was ready to set up the life she wanted her daughter to have and ready to be an inspiration for a young woman of a new generation.
It isn’t all roses, though. At first, Claire has to find her way in the 1950s and figure out if there’s anything left in her marriage. It seems she does want to connect with Frank again, at least sexually. She and Frank attempt to rekindle something that they had, but Frank sees that Claire isn’t quite there.
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What this episode really does is show the differences between men and women. While men are more visual, women naturally rely on other senses, especially touch. Claire closes her eyes and whether it’s to fantasize about Jamie or not isn’t overly clear, but Frank is sure that Claire is with “him.”
My bet is that she needs to get the look of Black Jack Randall out of her head. She wants to be with Frank, but everything that Black Jack Randall is still in her mind. I do have to wonder if she ever told Frank everything that happened with his ancestor–and whether she told him that Black Jack isn’t his direct ancestor. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that’s touched on in the show and it lacks some depth and emotion because of that.
Regardless, Frank decides that he’ll only be with Claire if she’s willing to give herself completely over to him. How does that go?
Before we get an answer to that question, we learn that Claire has decided to go to school to become a doctor. She’s the only woman in a class with boys–oh and one “Negro,” who happens to become close friends with Claire. I’d have loved to spend more time on their relationship and their time in med school. Seeing how they built the respect of the others as they proved their abilities would have been a perfect addition, but sadly there wasn’t enough time. Oh well, there’s always “Voyager” for that.
In the end, we finally learn that Claire and Frank haven’t been able to connect. They’ve opted to sleep in separate beds like so many other unhappy marriages in that time.