Emilio returns

Previous Jack and Jennifer post: Earl: of Duke

I’ve mentioned before that Jack and Jennifer were not a planned couple. That’s part of why I was so surprised at some of the moments in the baby Hannah storyline, which seemed to set up the Jack and Jennifer dynamic so quickly—where she believes in his good side when no one else does.

After the baby Hannah story wraps up, however, it becomes very clear that the show had not committed to Jack and Jennifer yet. But I think they liked what they saw between the two of them well enough that they decided to bring Jack into the Jennifer and Emilio story. Emilio has been on the run, but he comes back to town right after Jen returns Hannah to Sally’s parents. I get the impression that the show is keeping Jen and Emilio as the rooting couple for now and setting Jack up as an interloper, but hedging its bets for a possible change in direction in the future.

Jen and Emilio at the Spectator

Once you get over how crazy Emilio’s hair is, this is a really sweet scene for Jennifer and Emilio. Jennifer is angry with him when he first comes in (for plot reasons I won’t go into), but she is genuinely happy when she hears he has an interview. It’s all very cute. Emilio asks for a kiss on the cheek and Jen gives it to him, and then Emilio turns it into a real kiss, just in time for Jack to see it.

If the show had settled on Jack and Jen as the rooting couple, I think the camera would have focused more on Jack’s reaction to the kiss, rather than Jen gazing into Emilio’s eyes. Jack throws a fit about unprofessionalism, but ends up acting pretty inappropriate himself by calling her an oversexed teenager. I love the way Billy Hufsey makes kissy faces at Jack on the way out.

When Jennifer demands to know why Jack reacting so strongly to her kissing Emilio, I don’t get the sense that she suspects he is jealous. She just seems annoyed at the slam at her professionalism. (Her crack about having a date with the entire football team, plus the marching band, is pretty funny.) In fact, I have to say I love the introduction of Emilio into this story. Really, it’s true! I love how Emilio and Jack are presented on equal footing, and Emilio is able to give as good as he gets. And I like the fact that Jen still has feelings for Emilio and is much more focused on him than on Jack. It creates a lot of distance between Jack and Jennifer, and lets Jack be the one that feels more, first.

After Jen leaves, Jack has a dream, and this is the first time the show has shown us explicitly that Jack has feelings for Jen. I love how the dream shows Jen in absolute control. Jack is nervous and talking too fast and stammering like he often does, and Jen is cool, confident, and sexy. I love how it plays on Jack’s history of prying into Jen’s computer. Then the way she comes over and stalks him, grabs his tie and puts her mouth on his ear is great. I love her line, “You don’t know what to do with me, do you, Jack?” It’s a good way to make Jack’s feelings for Jen a real source of uncertainty and vulnerability for him.

When Jen wakes him up, Matt Ashford plays Jack’s reaction as very off balance and startled. It’s silly that Jack would fall asleep so quickly, but other than that I like the fact that this is a dream, not a fantasy. It shows that Jack has really been in denial. The humor of “You’re drooling” is maybe a little over the top, but it did make me laugh.

Next Jack and Jennifer post: The guy in the suit

12 thoughts on “Emilio returns

  1. I really like this scene. And I do think it serves as a transition point for Jack. He often seems to do things for reasons even he doesn’t really understand. It’s the bratty younger brother syndrome — look at me! Look at what I can do! This scene makes it clear that he hasn’t really been sure why he’s done a lot of what he’s been doing with and for Jennifer. I love his confusion when he “wakes up”. Like he’s saying “oh, that’s what I want.” But what the scene also makes clear is that he wants Jennifer to be a mature woman. He probably really needs her to be a mature woman because he can’t risk being the aggressor. But she’s not — not yet. It’s all part of the process of them growing up together.

  2. I think you’re right that Jack was in denial about why he was doing the things he was doing for Jennifer.

    Interesting point about him needing Jen to be a mature woman. I agree that he can’t risk being the aggressor. I love how this is such a contrast to how he was with Kayla, when he was so open and upfront in his pursuit. With Jen, he’s hanging around her all the time but he’s not pursuing her. He doesn’t even seem to know what he’s doing—which is why her question, “You don’t know to do with me, do you?” is so perfect.

  3. I have to admit I was surprised by how much I liked Emilio with Jennifer in this time period when I was watching the DVD’s. As bad as BH is at playing the tough guy, he does tender and sweet quite well and he and MR had some nice chemistry.

    And MA plays his confusion over his dream quite well. Jen was right — he has no idea what to do with her.

  4. I’m telling you, I take back everything I said about Emilio! (Except his hair). I was remembering him more from the community center storyline when he was such a punk. But he is really sweet to Jen and I like how he’s actually a viable option here. It makes the triangle much more interesting.

  5. He still doesn’t seem like a viable option to me. I mean, the hair alone! As I may have mentioned before, back in the days when it was obvious the soap couldn’t decide which way to go with Jennifer, I was so puzzled about what Emilio’s appeal could be that I asked actual teenage girls if they liked him, thinking my problem with him might be age-related. They hated him! I’ll admit he’s better than in his first appearance, but his hair is much, much worse.

  6. Hee—well, obviously mileage varies.

    Memory is a funny thing. I remember finding Emilio to be just a total lunkhead back then. So seeing him be sweet and funny is a total revelation to me now. It might be crazy, but I do see him as a viable option! I really do!

  7. You’re sweet, Flaco. And feel free to make fun of me for my Emilio-love. I’m making fun of myself! And I don’t want that to obscure the fact that of course I want Jack for Jennifer—by a long shot. I am just very excited to revisit all this, in all its different stages. And I love a good triangle, where the person in the middle can be a real obstacle, but without destroying the rooting couple. It’s a fine line to walk, and soaps usually do it wrong.

  8. I do remember liking the dance story with Jennifer and Emilio. I was a sucker for INXS.

    But once they started playing the Jack card, I was totally on board for that, because I love me a good redemption story, and they had great chemistry.

  9. I haven’t seen any INXS stuff yet, but Emilio just did a dance routine to Chantilly Lace. Yikes! Then he showed up in a black wife beater t-shirt so horrible that it almost scorched my eyes. It reminded me of one my husband used to wear until I literally took it out in the back yard and burned it. And just when I was getting ready to admit that Emilio was marginally better in this second go around. He’s even kind of cute from time to time (if you squint your eyes so you don’t really see the hair.) All of this horror was followed by Jack dressed in black leather and chains. Altogether a very painful sequence.

  10. Hey, if you were almost ready to admit he’s occasionally cute, we’re making progress!πŸ˜›

    I’m in exactly the same place on the DVDs as you are. In fact, I just uploaded those very scenes onto YouTube because I plan to write a blog entry about them. Plus I want everyone to witness the horror of the muscle shirt and Jack’s leather jacket! Which I agree are both horrible—though I don’t think Emilio looks too bad in his suit.πŸ™‚ And I kindof like Jack’s 50’s-greaser hair.

    The bit with “Chantilly Lace” was part of a whole Elvis-themed section which didn’t make it onto our DVDs. Jen is at the loft also dancing to the same song, and then after Jack arrives, he has a fantasy of himself as Elvis and Jen as a groupie. It’s on YouTube if you want to see it. I found it somewhat disturbing, though I think the scene is noteworthy because in the fantasy, he and Jen share a kiss for the first time.

    But first, I’m working on a post about Steve and Kayla and the eye surgery, which I’ll post later today or tomorrow.

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