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'Alice & Jack' Recap: Episode 2

Daniel Hautzinger
Jack stands and looks at Lynn under a tree
Jack's quick marriage to Lynn is upset by the reappearance of Alice. Credit: Fremantle

Alice & Jack airs Sundays at 9:00 pm on WTTW and streaming. Recap the previous and following episodes.
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Alice’s sudden reappearance in Jack’s life has left him with two dilemmas: whether to accompany her to her mother’s funeral – and whether to tell his new wife Lynn, mother of his daughter Celia, what he’s doing if he does go.

He opts for going to the funeral, and for burying the truth about it from Lynn.

While walking through the cemetery to the burial, Alice asks Jack to find her a good burial plot when she dies. There’s no question that he will be the one in charge of her arrangements, she says, even though he and she have only gone on a few dates. She introduces her father as “Randall” and shies away from him while Jack offers his condolences.

Jack’s next interaction with Randall is much more intimate. The older man says “sorry” as the vicar offers rites at the graveside, then collapses. Jack rushes to him; Alice turns away, unruffled. He’s dead, of a brain hemorrhage.

The occurrence of a death at a funeral is remarkable enough to make the news, and Lynn sees it – and Jack with Alice – on TV. She tells Jack that they need to talk.

Having lied to Lynn, Jack now opts for radical honesty, detailing his profound attachment to Alice. Lynn asks how much he has thought of Alice since they have been together, and he admits it’s every day. He thought it had faded when he proposed marriage to Lynn, and then Alice reappeared.

Lynn feels she has been conned into marriage; she gave Jack a chance to tell her and he didn’t. He responds that they wouldn’t have a daughter if he had, because Lynn would have gone through with the abortion. She tells him they’re getting divorced, and that he needs to find somewhere else to live.

Jack doesn’t want to rush into any decisions, but Lynn insists that she won’t be someone’s consolation prize. She asks if he’ll start up again with Alice after this rupture; he says he can’t. You’re especially stupid if you did all this knowing that, she tells him ruefully.

As she leaves the conversation with Jack, she sees that Alice is calling his phone inside, and smashes it with a hammer. Alice keeps calling Jack, leaving him numerous messages.

Lynn’s lawyer pushes for sole custody of their child, but Jack eventually accepts a lopsided deal in which he sees Celia a third of the time and pays Lynn substantial child support. Lynn worries that the payments are too much, but he tells her he wants her to have the money.

Jack is staying on his friend and coworker Paul’s couch. While Jack’s life exploded, Paul pitched a joint project at work without Jack, and they were denied it – in part because of Jack’s drama. At least Paul’s girlfriend Donna has found a place for Jack to live, even if it is much farther from central London.

Jack meets with Alice, who is noticeably happier following the death of her parents, even “born again,” as she describes it. She tells Jack she’s so sorry for blowing up his life, but he says it’s not her fault. She asks him for his new address, and then sends her assistant Maya with a team of movers to furnish the place, feed Jack, and provide a stroller for Celia. He calls her and tells her it’s too much; she asks him to let her fix what she can. He insists he’ll pay her back, and invites her over some night, leaving it vague.

She arrives without warning the first night he is watching Celia. He feels badly that she has come all that way only for him to turn her away, and so invites her in for a minute – but then the colicky Celia wakes up crying. Alice suggests placing Celia on top of the running clothes dryer amongst pillows and blankets, and it calms her down. Jack asks her to stay the night – chastely.

He gently asks about her parents and why she’s happier now that they’re dead, but she doesn’t want to discuss them. She tells him that if she and he were to try a relationship again, she would want to take it very slow, so that it could last.

Celia wakes them in the middle of the night, and Alice goes to comfort her as Jack tries to rouse himself. He eventually comes up behind her as she’s holding his child and startles her, inciting a disproportionately violent reaction.

They go to a café together the next morning, where a waiter tells them that Celia is a perfect blend of the two of them. Jack once again asks Alice if there’s anything she can share about herself to explain some of her behavior. Before he leaves to return Celia to Lynn, Alice asks him to meet her at a kite festival later that day, if her shocking reaction the previous night has not turned him off her. He agrees on the date.

Lynn smells jasmine on Celia. Jack continues to overcorrect and is entirely too truthful, telling her that Alice stayed the night and held their child. Upset, Lynn tells him to learn to lie to her – he’s done it before.

As Alice and Jack sit outside and watch kites float overhead, Alice finally opens up. When she was a child, her father would wait until her mother had passed out from drinking and then come into Alice’s room to molest her. One time, he didn’t close the door all the way, and Alice saw her mother standing outside. The next day, her mother told Alice that she “stole” her husband from her.

Alice thought she would have recovered by now, but “the present can’t fix the past,” even when she does feel happy and safe with Jack. She loves Jack, but that’s the best she can do. They don’t have a future together.

Having let her unburden herself, Jack finally speaks and tells her that he won’t abandon her. She responds that, if she could be with anyone in the world, it would be him – but it will end in ruins, and she can’t put someone she loves so much in danger again. He can’t save her.

He says that he never thought she needed saving; he simply thought that if they loved each other enough, they would get through any problems.

But she won’t have it. She suggests that they not see each other again, but tells him he can think of her any time – she’ll probably be thinking of him. She gets up and walks away.