Where to start?
Let’s start with Jack and Jennifer. They finally do the deed, in a cave on an island after the cruise ship got blown up and sank. (Apparently everyone on the cruise died except the eight people from Salem—bummer.)
I have mixed feelings about the way this was handled. Let’s start with the bad. I’ve seen this all hashed over on message boards, so I won’t go on and on about it, but I have no idea why they decided to inject that note of comedy with Jack being unable to get his zipper down. I think sometimes, after Jack and Jen were established as a comedic couple, TPTB were afraid to make them too serious for too long. Likely they thought this would a cute way to make this scene unique, but I don’t think it works. I do like Jen’s response to the zipper crisis, when she reassures Jack that whatever happens, this is how it’s supposed to be, for them. No such justification exists, however, for the silliness of Jen’s diaphragm surviving a shipwreck, and the way she apparently slips it in with her third hand, below camera range, without Jack (or us) noticing a thing.
Then, after wasting our time with Jen’s indestructible diaphragm and Jack’s malfunctioning zipper, the scene fades out almost right after they get horizontal. I feel cheated!
But there is a lot of stuff to love here. Other than a moment here and there, these scene are a rare oasis of Jack and Jennifer slowing down for an extended period, and being very serious and emotional. We get to see my favorite version of Jack—angsty and vulnerable. The walls finally come down, and they finally talk about what has been going on between them for so long. This was one of my favorite moments, in the afterglow:
I usually don’t like afterglow scenes that include some form of “was it good for you?” which is basically what Jack says here with his comment about disappointment. But in this case it works. Given that she was a virgin, given Jack’s worry about hurting her, Jack just needs to hear the words that she enjoyed it and has no regrets.
They both reflect on what led them to this moment, and what kept them apart for so long. Setting aside Jen’s engagement to Emilio, which complicates the idea that she was always steadfastly pursuing Jack (and which I will talk about more in a future post), what they both say is spot on. I love how she talks about knowing that the real Jack was hiding underneath the arguments and the snark and the bad jokes. It’s very true—she was able to see behind those defenses. I like Jack’s dialogue even better. His comments about Jen getting tired of him and giving up, I think implicitly tie into what happened with Kayla other than the rape—he loved her, she didn’t love him, she was with him but didn’t really want to be with him . I love how he says with such wonder that he never knew that someone could have that much love inside. Jack is finding out what it’s like to love and be loved back. Earlier, Jennifer told him that they are just two people who love each other, and he says, like it’s a revelation, “I guess that’s all we are.”