Outlander: Why did Claire sleep with Frank after return to future if she loved Jamie?

Outlander: Jamie sees Claire in vision he has after battle

Season three is perhaps one of the most contentious series of Outlander. The run charted Jamie (played by Sam Heughan) and Claire Fraser’s (Caitriona Balfe) 20-year separation ordeal and eventual reunion. However, some fans may be wondering about Claire’s relationship with first husband Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) in the 20th century when she returned before the Battle of Culloden.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from all seasons of Outlander

Claire and Frank’s relationship grew increasingly strained over the years during their unhappy 20 years together.

They had blowouts and arguments with Frank desperately hoping his wife would come back to him and forget about the mystery man with whom she’d had a child.

However, Claire’s love for Jamie held fast throughout the years and eventually Frank realised he had lost her.

Claire discreetly allowed Frank to see other people on the side and yet seemed bitter towards him for doing so.

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During this time, Claire did sleep with Frank and some viewers are curious to know why she actively engaged in sex if she was still in love with Jamie.

Addressing this plot point writer and producer Matthew B. Roberts said there were many questions during the making of season three over: “How much are we going to show? How much is going to be in [episode] two and how much is going to be in three?”

While fellow producer Toni Graphia said: “We did talk about this stuff quite a bit because it’s really important, I think to show that Claire really tried with Frank.”

Producer Ronald D. Moore went on to say: “You have to believe that Frank and Claire – why would they stay together 20 years if she was just completely cold to the touch? And Jamie literally is dead. I mean, he’s literally dead in this time period.”

Their words suggested the sex was necessary to try and keep the relationship alive to some degree – if not for her sake then for her daughter’s as she had chosen to raise the child with Frank.

Graphia went on to say about Claire’s motivations in sleeping with him: “And Frank was her first love, so she does care for him.

“He’ll never be equal to Jamie but know you know, it’s quite heroic what Frank did to take on this child, not only to take on a child that wasn’t his, but the child is the child of the man his wife really loves.”

The producer explained: “She thinks if she can channel all her missing Jamie and all into Frank that maybe there will be a spark there, and just for Brianna’s sake, not to replace Jamie but to make the marriage a solid foundation for their daughter and that’s admirable on both of their parts. It would be shortchanging the story not to show that.

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“I know we show quite a bit more of Frank and Claire than is in the book, but we just felt you really needed to understand what that cost her and what that cost Frank and just see what they went through.”

Roberts added on the Outlander season three DVD: “Because that is her story in the 20th century, the story of her marriage.”

During some of the sex scenes between Claire and Frank, it was clear she was using him as a substitute for Jamie.

She would often be seen acting in a sexual manner without any intimacy and closing her eyes and thinking of Jamie.

Frank soon picked up on how disconnected Claire was from, which have created conflict.

One scene featured the two having sex in the living room, but it soon became apparent her mind and heart were with someone else, leading Frank to respond: “When I’m with you, I’m with you. But you’re with him.”

His words summed up their sexual relationship. In these moments, it looked like Clair was almost doing her duty for the marriage.

But it was also to fulfil her own sexual needs, which she has very much owned since the beginning of the show and is an important part of her character.

Outlander seasons 1 to 5 are available to purchase on Blu-ray and DVD now

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