Jennifer has just decided to press charges against Lawrence, to take a step to fight back and not feel like a victim, to move forward from the rape. Here, she finds out it’s not going to be that simple:
It starts with a kiss, a kiss that Jennifer enjoys, but also one that makes her realize she isn’t ready to sleep with Jack – which in turn reminds her that she isn’t healed, things aren’t “fixed.”
And in one of the best speeches she gets during this story, she wryly refers to herself as “Pollyanna,” so sure that everything is going to magically work out. If just forgets about it and moves on, everything will be fine. If she tells Jack, everything will be fine. If she presses charges, then everything will be fine.
Everything is not fine, and it shakes her worldview, even her sense of self. How does Jennifer reclaim her optimism and faith now that she has lost her naivete? This is what I wish the show had explored more.
I love Jack in this scene. I like how careful he is not to push anything physical, how afraid he obviously is to make the wrong move. And it’s such a great role reversal to hear him trying to find his optimistic side, to play the role for her that she usually plays for him. And what he comes up with, the phrase “contra mundum” — us against the world — is so perfectly Jack. Indirect, quirky, obscure — and yet sincere.