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