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Sep 6 2013, 11:32 PM
I've been thinking about this, too. Even though I was a major Jack/Jen fan back in the day, I think I could accept either one of them with someone new. My issue with all of this is that there's no acknowledgement of what really went down (in my eyes) when Jack returned from Afghanistan. Jennifer treated him terribly. His very real struggles with PTSD were completely glossed over to focus on a trite Dating Game scenario. Throughout the whole ordeal, she showed a real bias toward Daniel. Then, once Daniel "bowed out" for the upteenth time, she decided she wanted Jack and was supposedly focused on him until his death. THAT is what happened, THAT is what JJ should be upset about, and THAT is what needs to be acknowledged and dealt with. I would have loved to see a storyline where someone in Jack's orbit, maybe Adrienne, was loyal to him and upset with Jen's treatment of him. If I couldn't have that, I would like to see Jennifer have to face it now. Every time she acts as if she was a grieving widow who reluctantly gave herself permission to love again, my blood boils. Because not only did she not show Jack more than a shred of sympathy and compassion when he was dealing with mental illness, she barely grieved him at all after he died. She has shown more grief toward Daniel's hand tremors and multiple break-ups than she showed Jack in total during his last stint. And the writers need to stop pretending otherwise.
The post I deleted above was trying to get at this -- JJ's story can feed off the audience reaction to all this stuff you mentioned, but it can't ever directly address it because JJ wasn't there to see what the audience saw, so if he's supposed to be the stand-in for the segment of the audience that can't stand Daniel or Dannifer, he will fall short there.

Every time we almost get to the point where Jennifer could once and for all clear up how she felt when Jack came back and why she behaved the way she did, something else happens, someone interrupts with another problem, or the argument veers away because the shocked and hurt looks are supposed to suffice as emotional beats.

The bottom line is Jack/Jennifer was a story viewers were sold for 20 years. No story is universally beloved, no, but by any reasonable viewpoint it was a very accepted and even celebrated story. The way that Daniel and Dannifer has been inserted into the timeline of the show has undermined what the viewers watched for 20 years. It is making all the emotions hard to believe, and emotions are what we're here for, and they're always skirting the issue. There are elephants in the room yet to be addressed.

Also, when a character says "I need to stay away from Jennifer" or "I need to stay away from Daniel" or "I need to mind my own business", the rest of the writing needs to stop contriving to make the exact opposite of those supposed convictions happen. Now and then it can be an buyable coincidence, but over and over again it becomes really annoying.

ETA: For the record, I don't think Jennifer was trying to threaten JJ with the possibility of prison rape, I don't think she doesn't care about him beyond his being an obstacle for her relationship with Daniel, and I do understand why she is angry with JJ for using Jack to evade responsibility. I didn't find her to be a poor parent in this episode. But I don't think that JJ's issues are about anything other than Jack, they clearly are all about Jack and his death. And I think I could enjoy the family drama more or less if it all wasn't subtext for Dannifer. I did find it annoying that she just had to hug Daniel right there in the cop shop with JJ looking on, and yes again, there are contradictions that aren't being addressed.

TL;DR I don't think fear of being a hypocrite should stop you from laying down the law as a parent, but I wish the show would find another way of confronting Jennifer with the issues some viewers still have with her.
Edited by DesignatedShelley, Sep 9 2013, 10:27 PM.
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Friday September 6th Daily Discussion · DAYS: News, Spoilers & Discussion