Fans of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander novels may have been expecting it but that didn’t mean we were prepared for Tobias Menzies’ heartbreaking final scenes as Frank Randall.
Menzies, who portrayed both Claire’s (Caitriona Balfe) first husband and his ancestor, Black Jack Randall, bowed out of the drama as Frank finally met his end in a car accident.
The series of events leading to Frank’s death remained faithful to Diana Gabaldon’s original tale. He stormed out of the house following a row with Claire over Brianna’s future – he wanted to take her to Oxford with him after divorcing her mother – and wasn’t seen again until his body was brought to the hospital.
A distraught Claire shared one final tender moment with the man who – despite his faults and indiscretions – had stuck by her after her traumatic return to the future. Their marriage had long been strained and he had been having several affairs, but they’d always done their best to give Brianna a happy life.
The final sequence in the hospital proved a fitting farewell for a character who divided opinion, and a man whom Claire had, in her own words, truly loved. And it was a much more tender departure than the demise of Black Jack, who met a grisly end at the hands of Jamie Fraser during the Battle of Culloden in the series opener.
“It’s been great. It’s been an amazing ride” Menzies told Mashable. “And I’ll also miss all the great friends that I’ve made on it. But it’s been fun to go on and do other things. We’ve been doing this for three and a half years now. But yes, I’ll definitely miss it, and it’s been a really great adventure.”
There’s been no word yet of a potential return for Menzies – be it in a flashback/flash forward or another historical role – so who knows if we’ve seen the last of him? But we definitely can say goodbye and sláinte, for now.