Outlander has proven to be a huge success across the world. Based on a series of novels by Diana Gabaldon, the show follows the life of British nurse, Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe). Claire finds herself falling through time and arriving in the eighteenth-century, where she falls in love with a Scottish highlander.
Before Claire's marriage to Jamie (Sam Heughan), she had also been married to ex-soldier Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies). Though Frank still had his terrible moments in the show, Menzies' interpretation made it much easier to like the character, portraying a much softer side to the soldier rather than the chauvinist seen in the books — which is mostly what'll we focus on. Here are 10 examples as to why Frank was the worst.
10 Doesn't believe Claire
Considering Frank was desperate to win Claire's affections back, not believing her story was not the way to go about it. When Claire returns, Frank has her vetted to a psychiatrist because the doctors said she was suffering from trauma and delusions. Here, fans gave him the benefit of the doubt as most would have reacted in the same way.
However, after discovering a huge revelation about Jamie, how could Frank still not believe her story? In his final letter to Brianna, he revealed he still found Claire's story skeptical but had nevertheless prepared Brianna for the journey through the stones.
9 Destroys any mementos of Jamie
It was easy to see who was the most honorable between Frank and Jamie. Jamie once told Claire to keep her wedding ring to Frank because he "wouldna take him from her." However, it looks as if Frank doesn't share the same courtesy, as he tries to make Claire take Jamie's wedding ring off.
Frank was known to have a terrible jealousy streak, especially when it came to Jamie. He wanted Claire to forget her past life and did everything he could to make sure she did; even in the show, fans saw him burn her 18th-century clothes ("Through a Glass, Darkly"). According to Frank, he had no chance of winning Claire back if the Scotsman's ghost loomed over their marriage.
8 Tried to take Brianna away
Considering he wanted a family with Claire and Brianna, Frank almost destroyed the bond between mother and daughter by taking Brianna to England with him. Frank goes on to request a divorce from Claire, implying that Brianna would be better off with him because she is a terrible mother.
Unsurprisingly, Claire does not take this very well. She doesn't like the thought of uprooting Brianna when she is on the verge of graduating, nor does she think that Brianna would want to leave her friends. However, Frank is determined to take Brianna, demanding to have her medical records. It was like he was on a vendetta to take everything from Claire.
7 Didn't like Claire's career as a surgeon
Although Frank convinced Claire not to quit medical school, the historian scholar did not like that Claire had a career outside of the home. In the final fight, he uses Claire's career as a surgeon as the main reason she is a bad mother. Even though Brianna is nearly 18, Frank tells Claire that Brianna will need supervision once she goes to university and Claire wouldn't be able to give it.
Considering that Claire was a very hands-on mother and was willing to resign from med school for Brianna, Frank cannot say she is a bad parent. Rather, it comes from his insecurities that he would not be needed in their lives. If he wanted to get custody of Brianna in the divorce, he needed a valid reason because he was likely to lose her.
6 Accused Claire of infidelity
Frank's jealousy streak seemed to surpass Jamie as he also accuses Claire of having an affair with her colleague, Joe Abernathy. Joe is another doctor who formed a close friendship with Claire after they bonded over a badly written romance novel. They also bonded over the fact that they were ostracized by many of their peers because he was the only African-American to enroll in the course and she the only female.
Frank's motives for divorce is led by the belief Claire is having an affair with Abernathy. Frank claims she spends too much time with the doctor and others suspect she is having an affair too. Even though they hadn't had a romantic relationship in years, Claire is forced to ease Frank's jealousy by defending her and Abernathy's honor.
5 Frank's infidelity
Frank comes off as a bit hypocritical when he is shown to have his own string of affairs. In Voyager, Claire reveals to Frank that she is aware of his infidelities. Although Frank says he thought he was being discreet, Claire says that several of his mistresses have asked her to leave him.
This was also seen in the episode "All Debts Paid," when Frank's mistress turns up at Claire's graduation. When Claire accuses him of doing it on purpose, Frank admits on some level that he wanted to hurt Claire. He says he wanted to give her a taste of her own medicine.
4 Banning talk of Jamie
Frank's "no Jamie" talk was fair when he tried to reconcile with Claire. If their marriage was to work, then Frank couldn't allow Claire to keep chasing a ghost. Therefore, him making her promise not to go looking for Jamie was valid.
However, when they decided to end their marriage, Frank had let himself down. The historian scholar could have repaired his friendship with Claire if he agreed to help her in her research. It seems even more hypocritical of him to force Claire to bottle up all her heartbreak and trauma when he was investigating her story. Frank just let her suffer in silence.
3 Made Brianna pick between him and Claire
The books didn't reveal Brianna's reaction to Frank's news, but the show did. In the episode "Down The Rabbit Hole," Frank dumps his divorce on Brianna and then follows it up with his move to England. For all his faults, Frank was a good father, but he was shown to underestimate the relationship between Brianna and Claire.
As Frank completely bombards her with information, Brianna's first concern is about her mother. Brianna isn't happy that he put her in an impossible situation. If she goes with Frank, she would be leaving Claire in America. If Brianna stays, she would loses Frank. There's no win for her, and Frank pressuring her to follow him doesn't help make her decision either.
The show's version of Frank was far nicer than the one fans met in the books. For one, Book-Frank was a racist, making several offensive remarks about Joe Abernathy and his family. Frank also expressed his concerns over Brianna's relationship with Abernathy's son and her involvement in rallies.
It's one of the uglier sides to Frank. Not only does he tell Claire that he hates inviting the Abernathys to their parties, but he is also disgusted at the thought of Brianna marrying Joe's son, Leonard. He won't even listen to Claire's protests, saying he will take Brianna out of the country before there is a chance of a romance brewing. Frank seems to forget that Brianna was old enough to make her own decisions, including participating in marches and rallies.
1 Knew Jamie was alive
The biggest jerk move Frank committed was hiding Jamie's survival from Claire. In the book Drums of Autumn (and the episode "Dragonfly in Amber"), it is revealed that Frank knew Jamie had survived the Battle of Culloden. Instead of telling Claire about it, Frank hid it from her and ordered a gravestone with Jamie's name on it.
Frank believed Brianna deserved to know the truth about her heritage, but he didn't want to risk losing them both. The tombstone was to deflect them from finding out Jamie was alive. If it wasn't for Roger finding a letter addressed to Reverend Wakefield, Claire would have never found out the truth.