There's a bunch of things that say to me that maybe Frances wasn't raped and/or beaten by Brady. Consider this:
(1) Both Brady and Frances seem to indicate that they were together the "Night Kennedy was Elected" (Nov, 1960; a historical fact);
(2) Frank said Uncle Mark was around and giving the boys small gifts when Frank was 7 and Bobby was 4; that means Brady and Frances were associating with each other for at least 4-5 years, while she was married to someone else;
(3) When pushed for answers, Frances tells Bobby that (paraphrase) "I would have Uncle Mark put up some shelves, and your father would get the point," which indicates that not only were Frances/Mark Brady on friendly terms, but he was around the apartment frequently and that "Papa" Goren (I don't have a first name) knew of Uncle Mark's existence and maybe knew him personally
(4) Apparently, Frances went willingly to the Lake with Mark; and, she left her two small sons unattended to do so, according to Frank.
(5) We have been told/or lead to assume that "Papa" Goren was a gambler, an alcoholic, and a womanizer. Men frequently become violent when drunk and/or jealous.
(6) Let's paint a scenario.
"Papa" Goren comes home drunk to find his wife has headed off for a weekend at the Lake with "Uncle Mark" (and left her children unattended to do so).
"Papa" has finally had enough; he heads off to the Lake, and finds Frances and Uncle Mark in a compromised position,
he vents his rage violently on his wife (and maybe Mark as well; I don't remember hearing whether Mark returned home with the beaten Frances or not.)
It may be that Mark actually saved her life, instead of hurting her; as odd as that seems.
(7) Of course, family and friends would have protected the 2 young boys with a fabricated story about a car accident, etc.
Note: Bobby told Nicole that he noticed his mother "was different" when he was 7
(or was it 9, I don't recall), not when he was 4, when the beating/rape supposedly took place.
And, didn't he say that his father (Papa) left when he was 11? That means that there was a lot of lying and deception by all the adults close to him for at 3-7 years following the so-called "accident"
By the end of Endgame, Bobby has learned:
(1) That he may be the son of a serial rapist/killer;
(2) The mother he believed to be so pure--faithful to her unworthy husband and devoted to her children:
(a) was engaged in a long-term "cheating" relationship with a man other than
( could, without much thought, leave her small children unattended for several days
(d) could, even on her deathbed, lie about knowing Brady, her relationship with him,
(d) was evidently was sleeping with at least two men at once, as she couldn't answer as
to who was actually Bobby's biological father.
(3) while Bobby devoted so much time (and probably money) to his mother's care for so
many years; whenever in pain, she said
(a) that Frank wouldn't let her suffer;
( Bobby had all the breaks, Frank had none;
© never underestimate Frank, he's gone back to God;
(d) even though Bobby was there, and Frank didn't bother to show up; she asked how
Frank was doing, had he seen Frank, why didn't he become a scientist like Frank.
She only once asked how Bobby was doing; then, only after noticing his grey
(4) Frank didn't care enough to visit his mother, except to find out if "her affairs were in
order"; even when Bobby arranged to meet him at Noon to go together and stuffed his
pocket with money and a business card to allow him to contact. He even sold the coat
that Bobby took off his own back, so he wouldn't get cold.
Remember, one of the most fundamental aspects of Bobby's character is the need to observe, question, and put the pieces into logical patterns.
At the end of Endgame, he must have been left with dozens of questions about his own childhood. Just about every presumption he had had been opened up to re-examination. What is/was the truth?
His mother, father, and Brady are all gone now; that leaves only Frank to answer questions and fill in the blanks. (Or is there anyone else in Bobby's past that we haven't heard about?) If his natural instincts and habits are to remain consistent and stabile, Bobby will have a driving need ask questions and get answers to the mysteries opened about his own past!
Some interesting possible directions in the 7th Season and beyond:
(1) Bobby refuses to be his brother's keeper any more; but, he has to have Frank's
knowledge as a resource; so he interrogates his brother repeatedly.
(Maybe, with all the "clouds" of his put to rest, Frank can also clean-up his act and
become a productive citizen.)
(2) Frances may have been an intelligent lady; but, she obviously poor judgment when
it came to choosing male mates?
Were Mark and Papa, her only lovers?
Was she really a Librarian, or engaged in some other form of more lucrative
Could it be that neither Mark Brady nor Papa Goren is Bobby's biological father;
after all, he doesn't seem to carry either's character traits?
(3) We know from a bookee at the racetrack, that "Papa" Goren played the horses.
But, is the picture of "Papa" drawn by the adults in young Bobby's life, an accurate and
Were his wife, Frances,' habits enough of a justification for some of his actions?
Why did "Papa" stay with Frances as long as he did?
(I note here that they were Catholic, if Frances was pregnant with Frank by a non-
Catholic, marriage to a good Catholic boy, Papa, may have been demanded by family
and friends. And, once married, the Catholic Church forbids divorce. Might Mark and
Frances have been "in love;" but, because he wasn't Catholic, she was forced to marry
(4) And, one very far out observation? All the adults of Bobby's/Frank's youth are now
dead (the boys' memories are skewed by a child's viewpoint, 30-40 years of elapsed
time, and Frank's drug and alcohol addictions). And, how reliable are the statements
of a schizophrenic on drugs for treatment of lymphoma; a convicted serial
rapist/murdered, now on death row awaiting execution?
But, there may be another unexpected source of information:
What did Mark Ford Brady tell Wally Stevens in those last few weeks before his
After all, he knew that Bobby and Wally were pen pals?
Wally and Bobby have many odd character traits in common; is it possible that
Frances had a 3rd lover around the time of Kennedy's Election, a Mr. Steven's?
I missed the Mr. Stevens. Who is he? LOCIFan, this was a great post!