Once Jennifer files charges against Lawrence, everyone will of course find out what happened. So the show takes a fantastic opportunity to show Kayla finding out — from Jack:
There are a couple of lines that bug me here, but overall I adore this scene. I don’t like it when Jack says Jennifer’s rape is “poetic justice” for him. He shouldn’t see this as punishment for him. I also don’t like it when Kayla says she feels sorry for Jack (though Mary Beth plays it well). But, other than that there is so much good stuff here. When Kayla says, “You can’t take it away … ” and he jumps in with, “You can’t change it,” he’s obviously talking about what he did to her, that he knows he can never change it. Then, when she tells him all he can do is be a loving, supportive person, he responds, that’s a laugh. Jack is obviously aware of the irony of him being the one to help Jennifer through this. I feel like Jack is saying he doesn’t deserve to help Jennifer, to be a good guy that way.
And that is what is so perfect about Kayla’s response. What really comes through in this scene is that Kayla wants to help — Jennifer. She knows Jennifer loves Jack, she wants her to have the support she needs, and everything she says is geared toward that. I love the intensity when she says “you’ve got to do it” – it’s like she’s willing him to be there for Jen. And then when she says Jack needs to let go of all this “stuff,” Kayla is not saying all is forgiven and the rape doesn’t matter anymore. She’s saying it because she realizes that Jack flagellating himself will not help Jennifer at all.
When she tells Jack how she felt after he raped her — how alone she felt, how much she needed Steve standing by her — Matt Ashford just rocks his reactions. Jack is being confronted with the other side of his own story. He’s already come to see the horror of what he did, but now, because of Jennifer, he is starting to have a fuller understanding of the aftermath, Kayla’s struggle to recover and move on — and why it was so important that she press charges against him. When Kayla took him to court, I think what Jack primarily felt back then was self-pity. He had lost Kayla, Kayla had everything she wanted (Steve). Why couldn’t she just let it go, why was she being so vindictive? Now, he’s starting to understand why she had to do that.
Then, the end of the scene is so fantastic, because I think it’s just Mary Beth and Matt finding this moment to play. She goes, and when he says her name, she closes the door and doesn’t turn back to hear his “thank you.” It ends the scene on a note of distance, and creates a sense that what Jack did can’t be forgiven, not wholly and completely.
And then when he goes back into the room with Roman and Jennifer, we see him trying to put Kayla’s advice into practice. He offers help with any political pull his father might still have in Washington (it cracks me up that a jailed serial killer might still have friends in Washington, but, then again …). Then, he says to Jennifer, “You’re taking Lawrence to court … I’ll support that.” And we end on Jen’s brave little smile.