How far would you go?

Previous Jack and Jennifer post: What if I told you I was raped?

Jack has been on the trail of Nick’s killer for months. He learned that Nick had a letter with him when he died, that presumably Nick’s killer now has. This letter is supposed to be damaging to Lawrence somehow, and Jack is determined to bring Lawrence down … to avenge Steve.

On the train, Jack and Jennifer found the gun that was used to kill Nick. They devise a fairly clever plan — by Days standards — throwing a big party and carefully collecting the champagne glasses of all the guests to check their fingerprints against the prints on the gun. Somebody who is NOT a suspect, also at the party, touches April’s glass and leaves her fingerprints on it.


Jack confronts Jo

The opening shot of Jack holding the picture of Steve and him as boys is the perfect way to kick off this arc. He is obviously missing his brother, and his guidance, right now.  What would Steve want him to do?

As he is working on her to confess, there is an intensity in Jack’s manner that borders on violence. We don’t often see Jack like this anymore, and I love it. When he grabs her purse to look for the letter, he is nearly out of control. It’s not clear exactly what is driving him, but it feels right. I think it has mostly to do with the letter, that Jack has been pursuing for months. If Jo has it and has been keeping it back, maybe doesn’t care about seeing Steve avenged. She has also tried many times over the last months to talk him out of his pursuit of Lawrence, saying she’s already lost one son, she doesn’t want to lose another. Was that true, or was she just protecting herself at the expense of Steve?

Jo explains why she killed Nick

The way this unfolds is perfect, so we see exactly why Jo was driven to do what she did.  Jo says giving up her babies was the worst mistake of her life. I love the line about how Duke took their childhoods from her — but notice also the selfishness here, she’s thinking of their childhoods being stolen from her, not how much they (well, Steve) suffered. I never felt Jo really understood that. Joy Garrett is incredible here, when she says they all found each other and her dream came true, and then they were destroyed a second time by Nick.

Then the flashback, so we can see exactly what happened. When Jo confronts Nick, he lashes out at her. Badgering her, verbally abusing her, taunting her. He sounds like Duke. I think it’s clear a lot of this is Nick’s bravado, what he’s been telling himself to excuse himself for Steve’s death, and then attacking her for good measure. The best (worst) part is when he taunts her about Steve’s horrible childhood, and when she says she loved Steve, he sneers “too little too late.” It’s a way of getting at Jo like nothing else could.

Then, afterwards, when Roman comes in to arrest her, we see all the driving intensity is gone from Jack’s manner, and he just looks defeated. All his efforts to avenge Steve’s death — finding the gun, finding Nick’s killer — have led him only to hurting someone who wanted to do the same thing.

Next Jack and Jennifer post: Pollyanna

15 thoughts on “How far would you go?

  1. It’s funny that you write about these two scenes. I just watched them last night. It still had the power to make me cry. After watching them I was thinking about how clear I understood Jack’s motives for trying to figure who killed Nick as well as Jo’s motivation. I think that gets lost today. We don’t seem to really understand characters motivation or what drives them forward in storylines. Anyway , just wanted to say another great post. Also, I was trying to find the clip of when Kayla goes to see Jo after she finds out that she killed Nick. I couldn’t find it. I just remember that was a great scene too.

    • I agree. A lot of times we have to fanwank character’s motivations. Days used to set things up so well.

      I teared up too during parts of this, like when Jo talks about giving up her babies.

      I had another request for that scene with Kayla (which is great), so I will definitely clip it and upload it! I am going away for the weekend so I’ll have to do it when I get back.

  2. Of course makes me miss Jack watching these scenes. Still can’t believe with all the characters they are bringing back for the 50th, Jack is not one of them (or that they killed him in the first place, which I saw via youtube)

  3. I’m glad that you mention Jack’s motivation for bringing down Lawrence, which was to avenge Steve. He has his own reasons, exclusive of Jennifer’s rape, for wanting Lawrence to pay. The relationship between Jack and Steve (and Jo and Adrienne) that the show spent years developing really pays off here.

    Even though I’m not a big fan of Jennifer’s rape storyline, I think that some balance is finally restored to their relationship during the investigation into Lawrence. Jack is driven by his love for his brother. And although he stands by Jennifer and supports her in her decision to press charges for rape, she does that on her own.

    Like thirddip, I’d like to see Jack back for the 50th anniversary, but it’s this version of Jack, full of conflict and with that undercurrent of anger, not the farcical character he became later.

    • Andrea, I agree this is where Jen’s rape storyline gets good again. I like the strength Jen shows and I love the angst Jack goes through trying to do the right thing for her.

      One thing I love about this storyline (that Jo killed Nick) is that it brings up how important Steve was to both Jack and Jo. And like you say, how much Steve is driving what Jack has been doing.

      • This time period is one of my favorites for Jack – as he tries to stand by Jen, do the right thing for her and also support Jo. All the while thinking of Steve and how much he misses him (although this is very subtly shown).

        It is really what helped their relationship grow to a “grown up” one you see Jen support Jack and Jo as much as he supports her.

  4. Andrea,

    I feel the same after all the Jack angst and vulnerable still edgy Jack – Days fell into the what do we do with him after they are married,, happy and kind of turned him well dumb. Jack was never dumb, he was always smart and edgy and they lost that along the way when he became too much of the comic relief. So it will never be the same even if they brought him back, which it doesn’t look like they will.

    The Jack here is still the driven Jack to get what he wants (and in this case although he didn’t know it when he started) no matter the cost. Even when he knows it is Jo – he pushes her to get her to confess.

    Good scene – I always liked Jack and Jo together, there was always the backstory and how she gave up her “Billy” that you always felt in every scene so it was never “perfect” between them, which I think is right to keep that mix of hurt, confusion and well anger on jack’s part about her choices.

  5. This was the first time I have ever watched these scenes, thanks for posting the storyline. I always liked Jo, I got mad and frustrated at her a lot, but never failed to be sympathetic to her. That was due to the Joy’s portrayal of her. Jo was such a conflicted dysfunctional women. She was a protector and she would make any sacrifice to protect those she loved, even if it was wrong. I think Days did a good job of showing how she and Steve had that in common. I used to get mad a Steve for always saying, “If you loved your kids you don’t give them away.” I never could get how he couldn’t see the sacrifice she made, by loving them enough to give them up. She even said to him once, that Duke would have killed him if Steve had stayed after the fire. Both SN and JG did such a wonderful job of being so eaten up with their own pain,guilt, regret,and anger that they often missed what the other was going though. Like when Jack was sick and Jo eventually agreed that Steve should give up Kayla. Oh, how I hated that!
    I think Steve finally understood after Stephanie was born, that sometimes it takes more love to give someone up, than keep them.

    Oh for writing and story lines like that again. How we miss it.

    • I loved Jo too because she was an imperfect soap mom. She really loved her kids but she made mistakes and kept making them. I agree that she and Steve were a lot alike, in their capacity for self-sacrifice. I loved too the insight Steve had into Jo’s decision after Kayla gave up Stephanie when she went to jail. It didn’t take away the hurt but he understood her side better.

  6. When this aired I was still mourning Steve and only watching Kayla (and I was not a fan of J&J)… so I didn’t watch it then. I watched (a very bad) copy on tape years later…I was put off by Nick’s sudden change in character. Because even though he always had that dark/seedy side… He and Steve *did* have a bond after Steve took care of him when he’d been burned. I expected him to have and show immense regret for what happened. Somehow I felt like the scene lacked “value” or realness because he was sacrificed to a plot device…. It’s not like I was even a Nick “fan” per se, although I did enjoy the actor. Why it mattered to me was simply that it cheapened the whole thing. It might seem like a small detail in the overall scheme of things- since it provided good story for Jack and Jo. But I found it very off putting and it made it hard for me to believe Jo’s reaction to. She should never have believed what Nick was saying…

    On a more positive note: Something new for me in those scenes- I actually was touched by Jack’s show of sensitivity to Jo and what she was going through. And though Jo’s flaws certainly drove me nuts sometimes (especially how she prioritized Billy’s feelings over everything else), she was such a treasure and Joy Garrett was perfect in the role.

    • sidenote: Meant to add- When did Nick find out about Steve’s family’s past and all of the details – when did he become so judgmental too. That was what drove me crazy. He had no reason to be so hateful/vicious to Jo?

      • I really can’t speak to Nick’s side of all this because he’s not really on my DVDs. But I think he had become an associate of Lawrence’s, so he was definitely on the wrong side of the law again. Steve found out about it soon before he died. I don’t remember the details but I think Steve tried to help and Nick rejected it. I hear what he’s saying here as bravado, I think he does feel guilty. But he definitely was into some bad stuff and did intend to kill someone, just not Steve. So I didn’t find this beyond the realms of believability. I know they did make him a good guy for awhile, though.

  7. I do hear some bravado too, it’s the lengths he went to, to be vicious to Jo, that seemed over the top to me. I also remember thinking that maybe Nick knew Steve was alive, and he was in on the plot of switching caskets. That’s a pointless fanwank since Nick ended up dead though lol.

  8. Nick’s whole thing with Jo is 90% covering the guilt he feels. He was clearly devastated when he found out Steve was caught in the explosion instead of Bo. But he had the “bad guy” thing going then and he wasn’t going to let any of that guilt show. All of his comments about Steve and how he was sticking his nose into the wrong places and he should have been home with his wife are nothing more than Nick trying to assuage his own guilt. If Steve hadn’t gotten involved, he would have never been killed. It’s a great performance by the actor.

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