If you think you're a verified expert on relationship drama, then you've probably not met Outlander's Claire Fraser— or is it Claire Randall now? The two-timing time traveller knows all too well the struggles of both modern-day and 18th Century marital woes, and is probably the only person who can say their second marriage happened 200 years before their first.
Season 3 is sure to be rife with tension following Claire's confession to Brianna about her biological father, not to mention the drama that followed Frank's decision to raise her as his own. It's one thing to use a baby to try and patch up a broken marriage, but it's a whole other drama when that baby is another man's child.
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Gone, But Not Forgotten
The time between Claire becoming pregnant with Jamie's child and her reunion with Frank was technically 200 years, but it's not quite the same when time travel is concerned. Despite Claire's complicated infidelity, Frank is more than willing to look past the past and welcome baby Brianna into the world— a flashback we're going to see on #Outlander Season 3.
Balfe explained the strained dynamics of her second attempt at a relationship with Frank in Season 3 with TV Insider:
"Claire and Frank are coparenting. So it’s not miserable 24/7."
But despite the addition of the baby the couple never though they'd be able to have, things don't look too great for Frank.
Picking Up Where They Left Off— But Not In A Good Way
Claire and Frank looked like they were in post-World War II marital bliss during their second honeymoon to Scotland in Season 1, but their relationship before Claire disappeared through the stones wasn't all raunchy castle sex and squeaky box spring mattress romps.
Their relationship was still under strain due to their long period spent apart, as well as their difficult conceiving a child. Frank also suspected that Claire had cheated on him during the war, believing that Jamie's ghost in the first episode was that of a soldier she'd had a fling with. In truth, the trip to Scotland was more about trying to recapture a lost spark than celebrating their reunion.
Claire's pregnancy and distant behavior following her return has understandably made Frank feel bitter and angry, but it's also brought up those unresolved issues from just before she left— and things are only going to get worse with how Claire is about to treat her estranged husband in Season 3.
"It's A Broken Marriage"
Claire may have agreed to give things another shot with Frank, but that's easier said than done. Her relationship with Jamie was so much more than a short-lived fling, and her life had revolved around him up until this point.
Balfe emphasized Claire's unforgettable bond with Jamie, and the struggle of trying to move on so suddenly:
"At this point in Claire’s life, Jamie’s dead. She’s trying to build a life after him, but once you’ve experienced a love so all-consuming, nothing can live up to it. Claire decides to focus on her career and tries to slot Frank in. That leads to disappointment and resentment. It’s a broken marriage."
The Curse Of Jack Randall Continues
It isn't just the loss of Jamie that's set to put strain on their marriage. Frank's striking likeness to his ancestor, Jack Randall, is something that's no doubt going to prove hard for Claire to shake. It would be unimaginably difficult to maintain a loving relationship with a man who looks identical to the evil monster who spent months hunting you down, raped and tortured your husband, raped a young boy who was like a son to you, then continued to traumatize you until you finally had to give him your blessing to marry a young, pregnant family friend.
Both viewers and Claire can sympathize with the struggles Frank continues to go through, but they'll definitely never look at his face the same way again.
Everything Happens For A Reason
Don't tell Frank, but his "broken marriage" with Claire is actually completely necessary for her future with Jamie. The end of Outlander Season 2 made it pretty clear that Claire was going to reunite with Jamie in Season 3, and her unbridled enthusiasm was quite revealing; it was the rekindled hope of a woman who'd been unable to find happiness with a man she hadn't wanted to be married to.
The dysfunction between Frank and his wife was the source of his pain for many years, but ultimately it's going to serve a higher purpose: a refusal to let go of the greatest love Claire has ever known, setting up one of the most highly-anticipated romantic reunions on TV. Claire may have found it difficult to pick up where she left off with Frank, but perhaps her second chance with Jamie won't be nearly as difficult.
What do you think will be the biggest issue between Frank and Claire in Outlander Season 3?
(Source: TV Insider)