Happy birthday, Tobias Menzies: A Frank Randall appreciation post

Outlander Season 1 -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander Season 1 -- Courtesy of STARZ /

Frank is one of the most debated characters in the Outlander universe, but it’s Tobias Menzies’s birthday. We’re spending the day appreciating Frank.

This isn’t the space for hate for this character. Sure, you have your opinions about his life while he was with Claire in the 20th century and what he did during the Second World War, but this isn’t the place for it.

To mark another journey around the sun for Tobias Menzies, it’s all about the good that Frank Randall did. And there was good. Whether you watch the show or you read the books, there are things that he did that made him a good man.

This post is all about appreciation for the character.

Frank raised a child that wasn’t his own

If you asked a man (or even a woman) to raise a child that isn’t their own, not everyone would be able to do it. Sure, blended families are more of thing now than they were in the past, but Frank didn’t just become a stepparent to Brianna. He was her father.

Brianna had no idea that she wasn’t Frank’s biological daughter until after his death. There was no reason for her to believe otherwise because Frank treated her as his own. To him, she was his daughter. It was as simple as that.

Frank could have left Claire. He could have filed for a divorce because of an affair—try explaining time travel to justify it there!—but he didn’t. He wouldn’t be a “cad,” as he kept putting it.

It wasn’t an easy decision to make. On the show, we watched Frank turn to Reverend Wakefield for some advice about raising a child that wasn’t his own. Just like Roger later, Frank had to think deep down about how he felt. In the end, he chose to raise Bree as his own.

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Frank helped get Brianna ready for the past

We know Frank researched the past. During Outlander Season 4, Episode 7, we got to see Frank through Brianna’s memories. We saw that he found the obituary, finding out that Claire eventually goes to the past.

This wasn’t the only research he did. It’s clear that Frank knew that a trip to the past was a possibility. He wouldn’t live forever, and he knew that Claire would possibly go to the past if she found out Jamie was still alive there.

There was also a chance Brianna would too. So, rather than fight against it, he decided to get his daughter ready for it.

Frank made sure Brianna knew how to shoot. He made sure she could survive in the woods if she needed to. It does make me question Brianna walking through the woods alone when she got to the 18th century, but this piece isn’t a place for that.

It’s all about Frank. He was willing to accept that his daughter might go back to meet her biological father. Rather than just set her up to fail, he set her up to succeed. That was a huge decision for him and certainly gives him some points.

Tobias Menzies became Frank Randall

I’ll admit that it was Menzies who had me interested in Outlander in the beginning. Seeing his name as a series regular playing not just one but two characters made me want to see what the hype was about. Now I stay for much more, but it was Menzies who sold the show for me based on performances of his I’d seen in the past.

He became Frank Randall (and Black Jack Randall) on the show. Even without the hair and the clothing, it would have been easy to figure out which character he was supposed to be through mannerisms.

My heart went out to Frank in the first season, a man who simply had no idea what had happened to his wife. For six weeks, he held onto the hope that she would return and that she hadn’t run off with some other man. Even when she returned pregnant with another man’s child, he remained by her side.

He made mistakes; he’s not perfect. However, there is a goodness in him.

Next. 10 shows Tobias Menzies has been in outside of Outlander. dark

Happy birthday, Tobias Menzies!