Was Frank really having an affair on Outlander Season 3?

Outlander Season 3 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ
Outlander Season 3 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ /

Did Frank claim he was having an affair to hide the truth on Outlander Season 3?

The more I watch something, the more I see new things. Outlander Season 3, Episode 3 had me questioning a few assumptions I’d made about Frank the first few times of watching it.

I’ve started to question whether Frank really was having an affair. He says he was but is it possible that was just a convenient lie to hide what he was really doing.

Let’s start by arguably saying that there was nothing wrong with him having an affair since clearly both he and Claire had agreed to see other people. Claire only had an issue with it when Sandy turned up at the door on her graduation night.

So, if he was really having an affair, then fine. But there are a few things that suggest he might not have been.

We know he was researching Jamie

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There’s no doubt that Frank had taken to researching Jamie. The Outlander Season 3 premiere confirmed he considered it, and in Season 4 we learned that he had definitely researched into the life of Jamie Fraser. He also learned that Claire had gone back to the past.

This all took place just before he told Claire that he wanted to go to England and take Brianna with him. While many are angry at Frank for doing that, it’s worth looking at his real motives. It was like he was giving Claire a chance to head back to the past.

Anyway, back to him saying that he was having an affair. He wouldn’t have wanted to tell Claire that he was researching Jamie. Wasn’t it easier to say that he was having an affair than admitting to researching Jamie? It brought up fewer questions on Claire’s part.

Claire seemed genuinely shocked

Around 1956, when the discussion of the affair first came up, Claire seems genuinely surprised. Frank says that he believes he is being discreet, and Claire agrees. She doesn’t even seem to realize that he’s been meeting with other women.

That does suggest that he hasn’t been doing that after all. It suggests that he’s actually been working, and maybe he even has some research to do that night. Is that why he said he’d seen the movies? Again, by claiming he’s having an affair, Claire isn’t going to bring up other questions.

Outlander Season 3 — Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ
Outlander Season 3 — Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ /

Sandy is only mentioned when Claire brings her up

We do have the thing with Sandy. After Frank’s death, Sandy is distraught. She believes that Frank loved her and couldn’t marry her because of Claire. However, was she just more interested in Frank than he was in her?

Let’s remember that it was Claire who brought up Sandy in the first place. She was the one who asked about Sandy when Frank said he wanted to take Bree to England. He said he’d marry Sandy after divorcing Claire but was that genuine?

Had Frank forgotten about Sandy? Had he just said it to make it look like he was ready to move on? Maybe it was just something to say to just convince Claire to the divorce. Telling her that Sandy wasn’t anyone he was interested in would have raised more questions, opening up some of the lies told over the years.

Frank does, at one point, make a note that Sandy is a graduate in linguistics. There has to be a reason for that. With how much he’d had to drink, he may have almost slipped up. Was she working with him to translate some Gaelic? It certainly seems possible.

Diana Gabaldon says Frank didn’t have affairs

There have been a few times that Diana has said Frank didn’t have affairs. That’s in the books and not on the shows, but it’s the reason I’ve started looking at Outlander Season 3, Episode 3 more carefully.

Were the affairs a cover? Could Frank have just easily lied about them knowing that the truth would have hurt Claire more? In a way, he was being kind while solving a puzzle he couldn’t put down.

It does then bring up the reason for the gravestone, but that’s for another article. I have my theories.

The "spoiled graduation" wasn't Frank's fault. dark. Next

What do you think about Frank’s claims of having an affair? Was there something else going on? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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