There are many wonderful, painful scenes after Steve’s death to choose from, but I’m thinking we all need a little pick-me-up right now. Whether you’ve just gone through Steve’s death and aftermath like I have, or you’re a Jack and Jennifer fan disheartened by what is happening today, I think a little revisit to a delightful Jack and Jennifer scene is called for.
I don’t care for the more slapsticky humor that Jack and Jennifer do sometimes. Sometimes it feels pointless to me, humor for humor’s sake, like Eugene and Calliope. But I do enjoy the banter in their work rivalry—it really does remind me of His Girl Friday. And, at its best, humor gives them a medium where they can connect emotionally, no matter what else is going on.
This, for example, is pretty perfect:
Jack and Jennifer have been arguing for weeks over her involvement in this scheme she’s cooked up: she’s impersonating the princess Katerina (her friend Carly) in order to protect her from marrying a man she doesn’t love. They are not exactly on the outs, but Jack dragging his feet about getting married is part of what send Jennifer off on this scheme to begin with. But here, Jennifer isn’t hurt at all by Jack’s dismayed expression when she mentions getting married. Instead, she says confidently that he can’t say he’s never thought about what their wedding would be like.
The vows are priceless, and this is where the humor comes in. Jennifer strikes just the right note when she says she’ll take him “for better and mostly worse” and calls him egotistical and pigheaded. It’s a very funny, but it’s more than that. One of Jack’s fears has always been that he won’t measure up to Jennifer’s idea of what a husband should be. Here, her teasing, and obvious joy in it, reveals a profound truth: she loves him in spite of, or even because of, his flaws. That is more reassuring than a direct statement, and it’s what allows him to respond in kind, melt a little bit and join the fantasy. The seeming lightness is what lets the genuine emotion come through, and there is nothing pointless about that.