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Did Frank really go "too far" in killing the Polaroid Stalker?

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Something that really stunned me after watching the s2 premiere was the way in which Kathy asked Frank to leave, chiding him for perhaps going too far in his slaying of the Polaroid Stalker, and Frank himself wondering the very same thing. As a viewer watching the scene in question, from first knife blow to last, the kill seemed completely within the realm of what would be considered by most reasonable people to be justified self-defense. The Stalker did attack first, mind you, and Frank only survived by wresting away the knife and retaliating. Wouldn't you (i.e. whoever might be reading this) stab an attacker in such a situation more than one time, just to make sure he were dead? Now, what I think would have been very interesting, more disturbing, and a more appropriate lead-in to Frank's St. Augustine-style tortured ruminations of culpability and the-potential-for-sin-within-us-all, as well as Kathy's guarded reaction would have been if Frank had achieved hold of the knife and The Stalker had thus unconditionally surrendered, hands up...only to have Frank kill him then.

To summarize, what Frank did never struck me as an act of rage unleashed, but simple self-defense.

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i would of done the same thing if it was my wife or child. I think Franks killing of PS was justifable. I always had problems with this episode even thought its one of my favs. My thing is how Catherine reacted to Frank killing him. I guess she saw the evil he can do even though he killed to protect.

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Evil likes to have it both ways. On one hand it says, "go ahead, it'll be fun, or it isn't really wrong, is it?" Then when you do something it likes to accuse you of how bad you are; " you bad boy, you killed someone, aren't you supposed to forgive?" Didn't one of legion's form bring up PM man's murder to Frank this way? Catherine's reaction could be less sinister. I'm not sure how I would deal with being kidnapped, caged under a moving car, mislead into thinking my daughter was in such a state, and then seeing her husband gut someone. She may be just stressed out and blaming Frank? Also, she has been thinking of leaving for a while and this might be a "last straw" event that allows her to go ahead and make the move?

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Evil likes to have it both ways. On one hand it says, "go ahead, it'll be fun, or it isn't really wrong, is it?" Then when you do something it likes to accuse you of how bad you are; " you bad boy, you killed someone, aren't you supposed to forgive?" Didn't one of legion's form bring up PM man's murder to Frank this way? Catherine's reaction could be less sinister. I'm not sure how I would deal with being kidnapped, caged under a moving car, mislead into thinking my daughter was in such a state, and then seeing her husband gut someone. She may be just stressed out and blaming Frank? Also, she has been thinking of leaving for a while and this might be a "last straw" event that allows her to go ahead and make the move?
great topic massofspikes....I think that given the same set of circumstances, nearly all of us would have done the same thing. I dont think that the situation left any other choice. It was an inevitability. Given the tension of seeing his wife tied up, the incredible stress of living with the fact that this person had followed them to Seattle (episode 1), and finally the fact that PM lunged at Frank in the dark, these base sums all add up to a sense of serendipity, a fate destined to occur..

I just dont see any other recourse. My surprise was always with Catherine's reaction, instead of comforting her husband over having to use deadly force (which he was most certainly trained to do as an ex-FBI agent as he was authorized to carry a firearm), she pisses and moans about "something lost"....Its difficult at best to predict someones response to seeing someone they love actually take the life of another person, but given the absolute justification Frank used, it has always been something of an annoyance that the writers chose to use this as the rubicon by which their relationship began to deteriorate. Catherine ALWAYS wanted the bucolic, pristine yellow-house life, and she could never accept who Frank really was....She saw violence in a man who all his professional life was surrounded by violence and evil, and she equated his act of justified agression with the actions of those he was always "on the hunt" for...she either could not/would not make the distinction between the two...

4th Horseman

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Speaking of Catherine (now I'm spelling it correctly) and Frank's marriage and these very issues, I think it would have been a fascinating conceit for an episode to go back in time and, in some sort of flashback form, explore their meeting, their courtship, and eventually their union. (Would s3 be a good time for this, or would it have been too much coupled with "Sound of Snow"?) I mean, just how much did Catherine know about Frank's life, his job, his mission back in those days? Granted, Frank had yet to be placed center-stage as a leading character in The Battle Between Good and Evil , but why was she okay with things then? (Of course, a lot of partners in a marriage are "okay" with some shortcoming involving the other partner, at least initially, because s/he's in love with him/her; eventually, though, whatever the problem is can become wearisome.) I've also always been very curious about Catherine and Frank's apparent dismissal of the vast age difference between the two as a hinderance. Did Frank ever surreptitiously use his "gift" to gain an edge over other suitors when it came to knowing what Catherine wanted, perhaps? The episode could even feature a Terminator-like angle in which some form of evil spirit (unrecognized as such by even Frank at this time) tries to either sabotage the marriage (which provides this future warrior of light stability and strength) or prohibit the birth of Jordan (Frank called her a "miracle child," after all), which would provide even further evidence that, one day, Jordan will be faced with the choice of maybe taking daddy's place in The Fight.

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Speaking of Catherine (now I'm spelling it correctly) and Frank's marriage and these very issues, I think it would have been a fascinating conceit for an episode to go back in time and, in some sort of flashback form, explore their meeting, their courtship, and eventually their union. (Would s3 be a good time for this, or would it have been too much coupled with "Sound of Snow"?) I mean, just how much did Catherine know about Frank's life, his job, his mission back in those days? Granted, Frank had yet to be placed center-stage as a leading character in The Battle Between Good and Evil ™, but why was she okay with things then? (Of course, a lot of partners in a marriage are "okay" with some shortcoming involving the other partner, at least initially, because s/he's in love with him/her; eventually, though, whatever the problem is can become wearisome.) I've also always been very curious about Catherine and Frank's apparent dismissal of the vast age difference between the two as a hinderance. Did Frank ever surreptitiously use his "gift" to gain an edge over other suitors when it came to knowing what Catherine wanted, perhaps? The episode could even feature a Terminator-like angle in which some form of evil spirit (unrecognized as such by even Frank at this time) tries to either sabotage the marriage (which provides this future warrior of light stability and strength) or prohibit the birth of Jordan (Frank called her a "miracle child," after all), which would provide even further evidence that, one day, Jordan will be faced with the choice of maybe taking daddy's place in The Fight.
MOS - you bring up some good points. I do take a contrary position on the courtship mytharc.."Sound of Snow" brought a pleasant, yet hauntingly melancholy ending to the Catherine mytharc...i dont necessarily care about how they met. Its obvious that they DID meet when Frank was working solely for the FBI. Its only afterwards that his sojurn with the Group begins...also in regards to sabotaging their marriage, isnt that what the Group's intention was all the while??? I cant see Frank using his gift to take advantage of other people in order to "get what he wanted" about Catherine. That is COMPLETELY out of his character....

S4 would have been a challenge in many ways. What about Peter?? How would his character been dealt with? I think thats why we are not absolutely sure its Peter's body in his study at the end of S3...then you have Lara Means...and then to top it off, and this is something i would have loved to have seen, is the developing gift that Jordan has...

4th Horseman..

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I cant see Frank using his gift to take advantage of other people in order to "get what he wanted" about Catherine. That is COMPLETELY out of his character....

Well, you have to remember that he never chose the timing of his "visions." Say you were Frank, and you had a vision of Catherine eating a strawberry ice-cream cone or something, how would you deal with the question of whether or not to use this information to your advantage, esp. considering the fact that you didn't ask for it?

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Well, you have to remember that he never chose the timing of his "visions." Say you were Frank, and you had a vision of Catherine eating a strawberry ice-cream cone or something, how would you deal with the question of whether or not to use this information to your advantage, esp. considering the fact that you didn't ask for it?
you're right about the timing, but this is now getting a bit silly...his visions were always of the victim, never of the perp, or what a person liked or disliked....."I see what the killer sees, I put myself in his head, I become capability, I become the horror, what we know we can become only in our heart of darkness"

We can play the what-if game all day, but Frank had a unique "gift" which allowed him to "see" beyond his contemporaries...it is hardly suggested that he used his gift to facilitate the knowledge of someones favorite flavor of ice-cream to his advantage...

4th Horseman...

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Truly enjoyable words all, especially 4th's synopsis of the solemnity of 'Sound Of Snow'.

Something that really stunned me after watching the s2 premiere was the way in which Kathy asked Frank to leave..

I think we feel the way we do about Catherine's treatment of Frank because our locus of attention is always with the protagonist. If we pause for a moment to give some empathic consideration to Catherine's circumstance then her decision is not entirely out of keeping with the reaction of a great many victims of a traumatic event. We presume that Catherine leaves Frank solely due to having watched him commit murder but the full flesh of her decision is expounded throughout the season when it is clear that she feared primarily for Jordan's safety due to her awareness of the clear and present danger Frank's work exposed them too. Even if her love of Frank had been all encompassing enough for her to discount whatever potential threat his presence posed to her and her daughter we seem to not give any credence to the fact that a woman was abducted and tortured and reality demands that some degree of post traumatic stress disorder be depicted. If Catherine had have returned home to the yellow house and the blissful serenity it represented without any aberration in function or thought it would have negated her experience to one of a-bit-of-a-pain-in-the-neck.

It is not to say that I don't agree that Catherine had a great propensity to be irrational throughout the season but I assert this is mainly due to our emotional investment in Frank over her.

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Truly enjoyable words all, especially 4th's synopsis of the solemnity of 'Sound Of Snow'.

I think we feel the way we do about Catherine's treatment of Frank because our locus of attention is always with the protagonist. If we pause for a moment to give some empathic consideration to Catherine's circumstance then her decision is not entirely out of keeping with the reaction of a great many victims of a traumatic event. We presume that Catherine leaves Frank solely due to having watched him commit murder but the full flesh of her decision is expounded throughout the season when it is clear that she feared primarily for Jordan's safety due to her awareness of the clear and present danger Frank's work exposed them too. Even if her love of Frank had been all encompassing enough for her to discount whatever potential threat his presence posed to her and her daughter we seem to not give any credence to the fact that a woman was abducted and tortured and reality demands that some degree of post traumatic stress disorder be depicted. If Catherine had have returned home to the yellow house and the blissful serenity it represented without any aberration in function or thought it would have negated her experience to one of a-bit-of-a-pain-in-the-neck.

It is not to say that I don't agree that Catherine had a great propensity to be irrational throughout the season but I assert this is mainly due to our emotional investment in Frank over her.

more fine wine from my friend...you make very salient points. My post was not intended to suggest that all would be cozy lovey-dovey after such an incident occurred. However, Catherine took the most drastic measure she could have. Instead of sitting down with Frank and trying to hash out what happened and why, she opts to just pack her bags and utter some off-beat quote as "I dont know if we can get it back"....I have many friends in law enforcement, and by the grace of God, only a very, very few of them have ever had to draw their weapon against another human being. Unfortunately, one of those friends was pushed to use deadly force. He also have children at home, and yet his wife, while difficult to talk about, will admit to being "changed" by their experience of such raw violence. The difference is, she KNEW that there was no other choice for her husband, other than being saluted in a pine box at the cemetary because it really did boil down to a him or me situation. Their perceptions have forever been ever so slightly altered, but in opposition to Catherine's decision to bail because she now felt uncomfortable, in real life, my friends wife stayedthey a by his side and their relationship is just as strong as before. Not because she is proud of her husband for taking someone elses life, (God Forbid that any of us ever have to make that decision) but for the fact that he is still there to enjoy their children, to go to baseball games, school functions, celebrate anniversaries and birthdays. Considering what the flip side of the coin could have been, in a sense, they are thankful. Catherine always wanted the sanctity of the yellow-house, a haven from everyday violence, yet she was drawn to a man whose career and life invited the very thing she despised most. Ethie, i know you and i will continue to disagree about this and i fully understand what you are saying in your reply, its just that i felt Catherine never gave Frank ANY chance to justify or explain his situation. Again, how would Catherine have handeled the alternative had PM been the victor. She would most certainly have been killed as well in the basement. I have serious doubts that PM would have released her in any way shape or form other than in a pine box....

4th Horseman...

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