Recently, discussion came up on the DI Jack Appreciation Society facebook page about how other women see Jack and it got me thinking… always a dangerous thing. I’m not sure it matters how other women see him. But, it matters deeply how this attention is perceived by Jack and Phryne.
At the center of it all is Jack’s dueling identity of Soldier vs. Man. This totally plays into the Antony & Cleopatra meme he and Phryne keep stringing along. The qualities of the Soldier/Police Officer (honor, duty, strength) warring with that of the Man (desire, love, vulnerability).
At his worst, he is withdrawn and punishes himself for daring to feel. At his best, Jack finds balance.
I just watched Marked for Murder. We get his best in this episode.
Marked for Murder also call backs to some of my favorite moments in Dead Man’s Chest to illustrate how important it is to Jack, at this point in their relationship, that Phryne sees him as a Man.
This is not so easy for Phryne. She is quite happy to flirt with him and indulge her attraction when he is safely in his Soldier role. But when confronted with Jack the Man, she gets caught up in much deeper feelings for him.
We also get the “Collingwood Girl” reference again - more directly this time. Whether the writers did this intentionally or not, it was bloody brilliant.
Dead Man’s Chest (S2 E3)
The sound of a popping cork could lead to my eviction. - Phryne
More so than entertaining a man in your private parlour? - Jack
A man? I thought you were a police officer. - Phryne
When Jack questions Phryne’s priorities, he’s got a bit of a smirk on his face. But, she puts him back in his place and drinks champagne as he chastely sips tea. She continues to flirt with him, though.
Ah, Miss Fisher. Has your handsome friend managed to retrieve my son’s coin? - Mrs. McNaster
My? Oh, the Inspector? Ah, I’m not sure, Mrs. McNaster. - Phryne
Phryne is totally flustered by Hilly McNaster’s reference to Jack. I think she has gotten so comfortable with Jack that she doesn’t remember how attractive he is at first glance. (We get that a little in Murder in the Dark, too when Isabella asks how good looking the policeman is.)
I rode further than I’d ever ridden before, through the uncharted wilds of North Richmond. - Jack
Where even Captain Flint didn’t dare tread. - Phryne
And the pirate girls of Collingwood ruled the waves. - Jack
To pirates, adventurers and boys on bicycles. - Phryne
A personal anecdote - SIGH. We need more of these. God, I melted when he did the pirate voice and Phryne was as enraptured as if he told her he had crossed the Sahara. When he called her a Collingwood girl in Marked for Murder, it hit me like a ton of bricks. There is no doubt in my mind that Phryne was a pirate girl.
Marked for Murder (S2 E6)
You have your brief to get on with, Miss Fisher, and I have mine. - Jack
Amazing what football does to a man. - Phryne
She is irritated at his common behavior. He looks her up and down with a smile playing on his lips as she leaves. I think he’s simply delighted that she saw him capable of being someone other than “The Inspector” for a change. It’s an uncharacteristic move for him to ignore her findings but, he wants the glory of solving the case for his team. Totally a man thing.
It’s very bad luck that his daughter found herself another Abbotsford man. - Phryne
Phryne needles Jack about Sidney Fletcher. In this case, she reminds him that he was replaced by another Abbotsford Man. He does not take it well.
Oh, (sighs) it’s Jack. I thought it was Father. It’s that policeman's knock. It just… (pats heart) - Rosie
Rosie sees him as both Soldier and Man in that moment. Rosie is totally flirting with Jack. She appeals to the intimacy they once shared and also his authority. Jack knows it and seems both surprised and amused by it – probably because Phryne witnesses the whole charade.
Two dead players, one coach locked up for obstructing an investigation and the other one charged with murder. Anything could happen. - Phryne
Even a Collingwood girl would have to stay for a game like that. To humour an Abbotsford man. - Jack
Holy hell. What can I even say about this? There are no words.
Oh, OK. I’ll try.
They are in the presence of Jack’s ex-father-in-law who is also his boss, his former wife and her new fiance, Hugh and Dot and a sea of rabid footy fans. But in that moment, no one and nothing exists but this Collingwood Girl and her Abbotsford Man. Fuck expectations. To hell with what other people think. I want to be with you.
♫ My baby don’t care who knows it. My baby just cares for me. ♫