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(05x03) 100 - Margaret's Engagement

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:03 pm
by edmund0901
In the episode of Margaret's Engagement when Frank is talking to his mother we are supposed to feel sorry
for him because Margaret has left him and gotten engaged. I could never see how we are supposed to have
sympathy for Frank. While it is a bit far-fetched for Margaret to become immediately engaged to someone she
just met in Tokyo, it is certainly understandable that she would finally want to move on after being in a
dead-end relationship for 4 seasons. As I recall there were several opportunities for Frank to make a commitment to
Margaret and ask Louise for a divorce but each time he weaseled out of it because he wanted to keep having Margaret
as a mistress and still be secure in his wife's money. If Frank had given Margaret any reason to think there was a future
for them together she would not have become engaged to Donald. Did Frank just take Margaret for granted and expect her
to always be there without any kind of promise for the future? For 4 seasons Margaret had stuck by Frank most of the time when everybody else couldn't stand him. It would be reasonable to assume that there would come a point she didn't want to stay in limbo any longer. Perhaps when Donald first proposed to Margaret she could have come back and told Frank about Donald's offer and that if he wasn't willing to make a commitment to her she would accept Donald's proposal but that would have required Frank to step up to the plate when confronted with the knowledge Margaret was slipping away but Frank had been so one-dimensionalized he couldn't be allowed to make a decision and thus in his final season he is isolated and all alone. Larry Linville was a great actor and was just as funny in the 5th season but it was sad to see him abandoned by Margaret but hard to have sympathy after all the time she had given him and muffing several good opportunities to make their relationship permanent.

Re: Margaret's Engagement 05x02

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:20 pm
by Big Daddy O'Reilly
It was partly Loretta Swit, and partly Gene Reynolds: on the one hand, Loretta felt that Margaret just needed to move on and end her relationship with Frank, because nobody (not even her) even respected him as a doctor, or even a human being, and that she deserved better than hime; on the other, with the departure of Larry Gelbart, Gene was now completely in charge, and rather than draw on parallels from the Vietnam War for anti-war satire, he wanted to focus more on character development for a change, and wanted to see Margaret grow, hence why she became engaged, and eventually married (and he actually wanted her to stay married, hence why he was unhappy that they eventually divorced her).

Re: Margaret's Engagement 05x02

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:08 pm
by kkt
Yes, I don't think they handled Frank's character very well. He could have been much more interesting as a seriously flawed character but with some redeeming qualities. For instance, he might have been as brave as he liked to let on, instead of always chickening out. Then they could have argued about whether it was a good idea or not.

But by Season 5, splitting up him and Margaret and him saying goodbye is about all they could do with him. At least they learned when they made the character of Charles: a seriously flawed human being, but with some good qualities too.