judgment is damaged by love and guilt. At first, he can't see how bad Victoria is despite the mounting evidence. Then, he feels that he deserves the horrible things that are happening to him because of what he did ten years ago. Finally, he breaks out of his haze when Victoria threatens Ray. He relapses into love, regret and guilt at the end and decides to go with Victoria. All of these stages are remarkably well written by Haggis and beautifully acted by Paul Gross.
Fraser becomes a real, fleshed-out character as a result of Victoria's Secret. The missing elements are supplied and Fraser becomes more human and less of a caricature.
Un-Fraser-Like Behavior in This Episode - "No Ma'am, I'm afraid I can't."
- His logical mind doesn't question the two chance sightings of Victoria in a city as large as Chicago.
- Fraser calls in sick to work when he isn't; he skips out on work and let's the secretary cover for him.
- He forgets all about his friend, Ray, and his "boy's night out."
- Despite mounting evidence against Victoria, he can't think clearly and continues to defend her.
- He refuses to help a little old lady whose purse has just been stolen and asks him for help. "No ma'am, I'm afraid I can't."
- He rushes down the platform to Victoria, to run away with her despite the question of bail and the loss of Ray's house.
"And I thought this woman was going to come between us." (Ray to Fraser).
Some have said that Ray is insensitive in the scene at Fraser's door at 4 AM. Ray is not insensitive. He is hurt. Ray is angry because he has not even had an opportunity to meet this mystery woman. Not only has Fraser forgotten the "guys' night" that Ray is hosting and embarrassed him by not repaying him the money ("Caper, sir?") but Ray, his best friend has not even been introduced to Fraser's "mystery woman." Ray lies to the others, when they're playing pool at his house, when he says that he has met her. All he can say about her is that she's Canadian. She isn't, but Ray doesn't know that. He doesn't know anything about her. In the scene at Fraser's apartment door, Ray says, "I wouldn't want to embarrass you or anything…"
Ray is as loyal a friend as a person could have. He puts up his house for Fraser's bail even though Fraser tries to discourage him. He won't take the prosecution's deal and as we see in other episodes, he protects Fraser even with his own life.
Ray recognizes Fraser's flaws and tries to protect Fraser as best he can. Ray loves him for the truly good person that he realizes that Fraser is, but recognizes Fraser's vulnerabilities. His protective mode regarding Fraser is aggressive. For example, he says to Victoria, "You hurt him and I'll kill you." When Fraser urges him to take the deal that the State's Attorney might offer him, Ray responds, "Not in your lifetime." Ray is also literally willing to lay down his life for Fraser. We see this in the Pilot, Letting Go and Call of the Wild. Ray thinks that Fraser is worthy of such devotion and Ray is no idiot--on the contrary, he is intelligent, perceptive and worldly-wise.
Fraser is also protective of Ray. I think his reaction when Victoria tells him about the key in Ray's house is fascinating. His mood immediately changes from melancholy and a sort of resignation to instant action. When Victoria threatens him with actual proof against Ray, Fraser snaps out of his lovesick, guilt-ridden haze, begins thinking again and starts on a plan of exoneration. He is galvanized by the direct threat to Ray. No more moping around and feeling sorry for himself. Of course, he does run after Victoria at the end following her siren's song of "Come with me, you'll regret it if you don't." This is understandable, however, considering his ten years of regret over the only woman he ever loved and whom he felt as if he had known "across a thousand lifetimes." Now, I admit, that the bail question bothers me (see below) but I think Fraser went back into his non-thinking mode when Victoria started calling to him.
I think the writers have created, and developed, a wonderful story of two fascinating characters--Ray and Ben--involved in an extraordinary friendship.