John Deveraux

Previous Jack and Jennifer post: Slap in the face

Imagine recovering from being raped and dealing with this at the same time:

Jen sees Jack

In terms of a supercouple story, this is very, very risky. To have Jack be that dark, that cruel, to Jen when she’s already in pain. He doesn’t know she’s been raped, of course. But his lines to her here are chilling:

Don’t try to put on the pure virginal miss innocent act anymore – that’s all it is, an act.


I can’t figure out how someone could be married to one person, trying to marry another person, and living with an old boyfriend — and still have time to run around down here looking for some new action.

This is all but calling her a whore. This is an echo, a very strong echo, of what he said, how he felt, when he discovered Kayla’s affair with Steve. The good girl is a hypocrite and a faithless slut. Given that, he rather be with a real prostitute, who at least is honest.

The show doesn’t follow up with this. We never see Jack acting quite this cruel again. However, this gives a hint as to how this story could have gone, if they had decided to go really dark with Jack. I’m not saying I would have preferred that (though I do love me some dark Jack), I just find it intriguing. Because in terms of using history, it’s crazy good. We saw on screen that Jack frequented prostitutes, after his rape of Kayla. This was related to the story of the Riverfront knifer — the show teased us with clues and hints that the knifer was Jack, before it was revealed to be Harper. Aside from that, though, going to prostitutes just fit with the character at the time. Here’s a taste:

Jack and Melissa

Jack’s words to Melissa are particularly interesting. I know he’s lying to her here, but I think there are glimmers of truth, of what he truly believes, when he explains to her what drove him to prostitutes:

It’s your fault.

Once before, I gave in to my passions and that destroyed Kayla and me.

After all this garbage with Kayla, I’m filled with so much anger … I didn’t want to compromise you in that way.

There is so much to unpack here. Blaming the victim? Check. Sex is dirty? Check. Good girls don’t like sex? Check. This is a guy who is deeply, deeply screwed up about women. A madonna/whore complex is the least of it. I’m particularly struck by the line about giving into his passions, and how that destroyed his relationship with Kayla. At this point in time, he’s still denying that he raped Kayla, so it’s interesting that admits that “giving in to his passions” is what drove her away.

With Kayla, she betrayed him by sleeping with someone else, and that sent him into a tailspin of anger and revenge. Now Jennifer has betrayed him too — she told him she believed in him, that he could be different, that he was different. After her professions of love and faith in him, she still sees him as just a rapist after all.

 Next Jack and Jennifer post: The scene of the crime



4 thoughts on “John Deveraux

  1. I have never seen this clip before (Jack looking for a prostitute) – can you let me know when this was? Obviously after the rape slap – was it before he thinks she slept with Frankie at this same motel? If it is after he thinks she slept with Frankie (and then married Eve).

    I like the line you can hardly hear “I want a girl who is at her best at her worst, just like me”. Kind of gives you Jack’s frame of mind. And oh yes this is the “old” mean dark Jack (which he does so good). But I see it as Jack feeling sorry for himself and still confused as to what went wrong with Jennifer (not him). The line of “I can’t figure out” is telling as he just can’t figure out what went wrong with Jen and how she could do those things when he believed she was so good. So it must be an act. And to bring Kayla back to the story, just like Kayla’s marriage to him was an act.

    So it must be him who is “at his best at his worst”, so he is just trying to hurt Jennifer.

  2. This is very soon after the rape slap. Maybe a week or two after. Well before seeing her with Frankie and marrying Eve. This is when he’s drinking a lot at the Cheating Heart, still reacting to what happened.

    I agree, I love that line about a girl who is “best at her worst, like me.” It sums up a lot.

  3. I’ve never seen this either. I liked and watched Jen and Jack, but never with the investment I had for SK and after this scene it makes me wonder how Jen could have ever wanted him back. (even if he didn’t know about her rape) His little redemption is that he turned down the hooker after seeing Jen. (it reminds me of when Steve turned down the hooker after Kayla was mad at him for standing her up, for playing pool) Now after all that said, I’m sure there are viewers of SK, who after, the Steve rejects Kayla to save Jack storyline, wondered how Kayla could ever take Steve back.

    Sadly, both the Johnson brothers could be verbally nasty to the women they loved. Steve was terrible to Kayla when he was rejecting her to save Jack. But he was doing it to try to save his brother. Does that make it somehow, not as bad, as what Jack was saying to Jen? Jack didn’t know she was raped.

    Strangely, as I started to write this response I was judging Jack more harshly, as being crueler than Steve had been. Now, after writing this and considering it more, I am not so sure.

    Actually, Jack and Steve were both darn lucky that the Jen and Kayla took them back. (again and again and again)

    As for Jack and Melissa, one of the most fun scenes ever was their almost wedding. Melissa was finally redeemed. Because in this scene you almost feel she deserves what she gets for being so stupid.
    However, Jen and Kayla have been accused of being stupid for taking back Jack and Steve, but of coarse the huge difference is LOVE. Jack never loved Melissa, but because he loved Jen, somehow bad behavior was more forgivable. Does that really make any sense? It sure did in Salem.

    Fun topic, you always pick good scenes to discuss.

    • Jack isn’t really this cruel for this story. This scene is really an isolated one — to the point where it feels the show drops the ball not showing more follow-up. Because you’re right, Jen should be devastated after this, and furious at him. One of my peeves with this storyline is that sometimes they don’t fully commit to the dark aspects of it. Maybe it would have been too dark, but if you are going to introduce this story …

      Anyway, I agree that both Kayla and Jen have a lot to forgive with their men. I think the show generally does an excellent job balancing things out, so it doesn’t feel like they are doormats. Not all viewers might agree, though. I remember reading a long letter in Soap Opera Digest in 1987 or 88 about how the Steve/Kayla relationship was irresponsible on the part of the show, it would encourage women to stay with abusive husbands.

      I love Jack and Melissa’s wedding! Melissa is awesome telling Jack off. I love how she rips up his ticket for the honeymonn and then waves hers in his face. “I always wanted to go to Europe.” What a sendoff! After a year of scenes of her being duped like the one above, it’s very satisfying.

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