The girl of his dreams

Previous Jack and Jennifer post: White Wedding Dress

I really enjoy the time period between Jennifer’s acceptance of Emilio and when Jack kidnaps her from her wedding.

We get to see Jack being devious again, which is always lots of fun. After trying and failing—repeatedly—to talk her out of marrying Emilio, Jack pulls some strings for Jennifer to get a big promotion at work, so she can’t run off on a singing tour like Emilio wants her to. But Jennifer finds out what Jack did and turns the promotion down. So then Jack moves onto a new plan (the show only gives us teasers as to what that might be). As soon as he hatches this plan, he abruptly stops trying to talk Jen out of marrying Emilio. We can see Jen’s hurt about this, and ironically her hurt makes her more determined to marry Emilio.

YouTube link

(In honor of Frances Reid. RIP.)

I love hearing Jennifer run down all her reasons for marrying Emilio, because everything she says is true. Emilio is considerate, she and Jack do bicker and argue all the time. We get to hear very clearly that Jennifer just wants to get off this merry-go-round, that she doesn’t want to have feelings for Jack anymore so, that’s it, she doesn’t. And then I love Alice’s suggestion that Jennifer has been hoping, deep down, that marrying Emilio might force Jack to declare himself. Jennifer won’t admit it, not to herself, not to Jack, and certainly not to Alice, but that tiny bit of hope still lingers.

My DVDs unfortunately don’t include my favorite Jack and Jen scene from this time period, but I encourage you to head over to D2D to watch it. It takes place right after the Jen/Alice scene I posted above, when Jen goes to the church for her wedding rehearsal and finds Jack there. She tries to get him to admit he’s there to talk her out of it, and when he doesn’t, she says “I hate you,” very sincerely. Especially after the scene with Alice, this is perfect: if Jack isn’t going to declare himself, why does he keep hanging around? It must be just to toy with her emotions.

Then Jack gets serious and he talks about what is going to happen tomorrow, and they go through a wonderful “rehearsal” of the wedding vows, ending with Jack saying she shouldn’t marry the wrong guy, but the right guy, one who she loves and will love her back. We think this is going to make everything worse—it raises Jen’s hopes once again that he going to come through, only to have them dashed once again. And I think that element is there. But I think by letting his emotions peek through here it ends up being a little bit better for Jen somehow, because it confirms that she isn’t crazy, he does love her. That helps her see that as far as Jack is concerned, he really is telling the truth: he wants her to meet the right guy and be happy, and he honestly believes it isn’t him. She finally gets it, and she recognizes that as a tragedy for him, not just for her. All her anger at Jack falls away as she tells him that someday he will be up here with the girl of his dreams. At this final moment, when Jen thinks she is saying goodbye, she wants him to know that he does deserve to be loved. And Jack staring at her obviously seeing her, and no one else, as the girl of his dreams. Beautiful scene.

Next Jack and Jennifer scene: Cave O’Love

13 thoughts on “The girl of his dreams

  1. Mary pickford, you have the ability to pick out the most poignant scenes of the ever evolving story of jack and Jennifer. Frances Reid, Rest In Peace, was letter perfect in these scenes trying to convince Jennifer that it is OK to admit that this is NOT the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with… and Jennifer is trotting out her lame excuses about how good (?) Emilio is and how well he knows all about her. Doesn’t it sound , to misquote Shakespeare, “The lady doth protest too much”
    Overall just a great scene, i can’t see the newest ingenue and star of Days Melanie , (please know that i am speaking sarcastically) pulling this off in her tug of affections for both Philip her husband and the good doctor Horton who realy isn’t one.

  2. I love Frances Reid. She and Missy play really well off of each other. I love this scene because on one level Jennifer is being completely honest. Her lines like “Jack won’t let me have feelings for him” and “Would you keep loving someone if you knew for sure you had no future together?” really show the dilemma she is in and how she’s trying her hardest to move on. And her insistence that Emilio is the right guy for her and Alice is going to see the happiest bride in the world, just shows how much she wants to believe it. Like you say, the lady doth protest too much.

  3. I think what I have the hardest time with in regards to Jen’s engagement to Emilio is just that the show never completely sells me on why Jen feels the need to get married now. She’s all of what, 21 or so? I get why she wants to try and move on from Jack and I even get why she sees Emilio as a better choice. But the actual wedding part never quite works for me (although I recognize that it’s partly just the difference between real world and soap world).

    That said, this scene probably comes as close as anything to explaining it when Alice confronts Jen and brings up the question of whether Jen is doing all of this just to get Jack to declare himself. That’s the only motivation that makes this all work.

    The scene between Jack and Jennifer at the church is very good and I agree that this is Jennifer finally understanding that Jack hasn’t been lying, at least about his hopes for her. As you say, it’s Jen finally realizing that this is a tragedy for both of them, not just her. It’s quite wonderful.

  4. You’re right, it’s never explicitly addressed why Jen feels she has to marry Emilio as opposed to just being his girlfriend or whatever. My best explanation is that Emilio forces the issue by proposing (instead of saying, will you be my steady?), and that she sees it as a way to break the tie with Jack—something more “final” than dating someone else.

    And, as you say and as Alice points out here, she might be hoping this will finally bring Jack to his senses.

  5. Here is another thought of why the writers felt that she had to marry emilio. since it has been noted in this blog and on the show, jennifer is still a virgin and i guess that just to have a “relationship” would not be appropriate since it has been stated she needed a committment. just a thought

  6. Just to clarify, it’s not that I’m really criticizing the writing for not selling Jen’s motivations for marrying Emilio. After all, a character choosing to marry the wrong person because the right person has rejected him or her (in one way or another) is as common on a soap as a WTD? storyline. It’s a way of building angst and creating story tension (will the wedding happen? Will the other person stop it?) and I get that.

    That’s why I said that, for me, it was probably a real life versus soap life thing that I can’t quite get past. Because I think the whole idea of marrying somebody you don’t love just because the person you do love is currently rejecting you is pretty ridiculous. So, it takes a lot to sell me on that idea. It worked with the Jack/Kayla wedding because Jack was sick and possibly dying so that created a believable (for me) reason why they had to get married NOW!!. Short of repeating that scenario in some way or making it more clear all along that Jen was doing this just to try and make Jack declare himself (which creates its own set of subproblmes) I’m not sure there is any way the writers could have sold me on Jen’s decision to marry Emilio.

    So, my comment wasn’t so much a criticism as just a musing on the storyline and, I suppose, in a broader way, a musing on the soap staple of a marriage to the wrong person.

  7. esp13

    your comments are right on…this is a soap opera we are talking about:) to move the s tory along , jennifer would have to think about marrying emilio just to get some movement in her pursuit of jack. it is and was obvious to viewers and to members of her soap family, most especially alice that jennifer really has no interest in marrying emilio, this is just a plot device. .

  8. hi mary pickford,

    i was looking through some of your older entries on your blog from 2002, but couldn’t read them, as they were password protected… they looked intriguing… As jack would say to vern, suggestions??

  9. Oh, sorry about that. I actually didn’t even start this blog until 2006. Those older dates you see in the archives are just my strange record keeping system. It’s my way of keeping track of what’s going on on the DVDs as I watch. That way, it’s all right here and I can refer to it for my blog posts whenever I need to. I put it up with a password so unwary readers wouldn’t stumble onto it. Sorry about the confusion!

  10. Hey MP! I told you ages ago that I’d be around to check out your amazing blog, and I was, but I never commented and I have no good reason besides just life eating up time. Hopefully you’ll take a belated comment, as I too really love the church scene, it’s just one of my favorite J&J scenes ever.

    For my part, I always felt like Jennifer was trying to put together a happy family for herself as a reaction to her childhood. She did have some anger with Bill for leaving her in a boarding school, and her mother was in a mental institution all this time. I know young Jennifer was supposed to have worked through a number of those issues, but it was believable to me that there was a residual effect on her mindset that, when presented with the opportunity for a loving committed relationship, she found it too tempting to turn away from even if it was the wrong guy. I imagine this might qualify as fanwanking, in some sense, but up until a *point* it works for me to think of Jennifer as a bit of a perpetually abandoned child (and Jack too).

  11. Hello, billyjill! Nice to “see” you again!

    Thanks for your comments. I like your explanation/fanwank for why Jennifer found Emilio’s offer of marriage appealing. That would explain why it had to marriage for this plot point, not just her moving on and being his girlfriend or whatever (something that otherwise isn’t really shown).

    The idea of Jen as a perpetually abandoned child is a really interesting one, and I’ll have to think about the implications of that as I’m watching. I love the way they use Jen’s past in that “I believe in you” scene, and it’s interesting to think how that might give her greater insight into Jack all along the line.

    Thanks for commenting.😉

  12. Truthfully we know that the real reason is it’s because it’s a soap and weddings have to be featured in order to make something a Big Deal, and that Days sometimes has a weird approach to its ingenues (at least in my opinion). But I do think the fanwank works for a time! Not in the least because Melissa Reeves looks ever so much like a 7 year old girl when she cries.

    By the way, if this isn’t too personal, can I ask if your profession involves writing? I am really loving rifling through your old posts just reading your words on soaps, kudos🙂

  13. Yes, you are right that making it a wedding just makes it all more dramatic, and provides a deadline for the show to build up suspense toward. But fanwanking is fun. Hee!

    And thanks, I’m glad you are enjoying my blog! I do some writing for my work, but it’s not the primary focus. Being a fiction writer was what I originally wanted to do. I was an English major in college and obviously did a lot of writing, and analysis of writing, as part of that. So this is my outlet for that now.🙂

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