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'Alice & Jack' Recap: Episode 4

Daniel Hautzinger
Alice leans on Jack as they stand before a blue sky
Alice and Jack finally come to a place where they can simply be friends – at least for now. Credit: Fremantle

Alice & Jack airs Sundays at 9:00 pm on WTTW and streaming. Recap the previous and following episodes.
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Jack is now a millionaire. To make his payout from an investment spearheaded by Alice feel more significant, Alice has brought him a physical check. She wanted to set things right after asking Jack to be her best man and then abandoning both the wedding and him. He thanks her – the money will allow him to ensure his daughter's future. Alice tries to kiss him. He pulls away and she apologizes, saying her love for him sometimes just wells up. He says a relationship won’t work and it doesn’t matter, and she leaves, barely holding back tears.

That’s not the only check Jack gets from Alice. When he shows up at work later, he learns that she donated a ton of money to set up a pro bono division led to research dangerous diseases, stipulating that it must be led by him. (Jack had casually mentioned that he does some such research on his own time, without support from his boss.)

Despite the amazing possibilities, Jack is upset – he doesn’t want Alice to decide how he lives his life. He goes to her office to get her to take the money back, over the objections of his coworker Paul, and finds it cleaned out. Alice’s assistant Maya explains that Alice has closed her investment fund and left to travel. Maya tells Jack that the donation wasn’t a power play, as he thinks, but an expression of love and generosity. She hands Jack a letter from Alice.

He takes it home without opening it. His daughter Celia notices it in his back pocket and innocently asks about it. After he puts her to bed, he goes to his room and stares at the envelope before stashing it in a bedside drawer. Celia watches through his cracked door.

That letter sticks with Celia. Six years later, she’s still curious about it. When he leaves for work, she goes to his room and opens his drawer to find both some photos of Alice and the unopened envelope, with Alice’s name and address on it. The letter inside simply says “We’ll meet again.”

Celia goes to visit Alice, who still lives in her same expensive home. Celia has questions: why does my mom hate my dad? Is it because of Alice and Jack? Was her parents’ marriage a mistake? Does that mean Celia is a mistake?

Alice reassures Celia, who then asks if she can love and trust her father – her mother and stepfather say bad things about him, and Jack doesn’t defend himself. Alice tells Celia that Jack is the best person she knows, to Celia’s relief. Alice wishes she had had a dad like Jack. The visit relaxes a bit, and Alice offers to teach Celia some ballet – it’s one of the few activities Celia hasn’t tried.

When Jack returns from work, he finds Celia sitting on the stoop of his house – she has forgotten her keys. She leaps up to give him a warm hug, surprising him.

Two years later, Celia has taken up ballet seriously – all thanks to Alice’s introduction. Jack, Lynn, and Celia’s stepfather Mark all watch with pride as she performs a solo. Alice watches from the wings, and receives a quick hug from Celia during a break onstage.

Alice also accompanies Jack to a taping of a science TV show – he became the head of the pro bono research division after all, and has been making significant breakthroughs. Afterwards, Alice teases Jack that the host of the show seemed to be into him. Jack brushes it off.

He has continued to be unlucky in love, despite his efforts. He still goes on dates, but makes sure to tell any prospective partner that he not only has a daughter and ex-wife, but has been in love with someone who is also in love with him for fifteen years. Alice is even still in his life: they bumped into each other in Cuba and reconnected. Now they’re best friends, but they have tried dating and it never worked; that’s a line they’ll never cross.

Unsurprisingly, dates flee after this admission. As one tells Jack, he’s presenting himself as available when he’s not.

And yet, when it turns out that Rachel, the host of the science show, does in fact want to go out with Jack – she contacted his office for his number – he takes her up on it. She is confident and straightforward, and isn’t fazed when Jack tells her about Alice. She even puts two and two together and recognizes Alice as Jack’s friend from the show’s taping. She tells Jack that they’re both adults, and that she simply wants to enjoy his company – Alice won’t complicate that. And she has her own love of her life: her job, which takes up a huge amount of her time.

Rachel sleeps with Jack at his house, and then, the following morning, schedules him in for another date next week. Jack is a bit distracted in the morning, and admits that Alice is being inseminated that very day – she has decided she wants a child. Rachel asks Jack why he’s not with Alice for the insemination, if they’re such good friends. He says he didn’t want to impose, and Alice didn’t ask – but Rachel explains that Alice didn’t ask because she didn’t want to impose. Rachel sends Jack rushing off to be with Alice.

Indeed, Maya also encouraged Alice to lean on Jack as she embarks on parenthood. But Alice is simply happy that she and Jack are finally friends, and doesn’t want to ruin things by sucking him in to her family – something that Paul and his partner Donna have warned Jack against.

Jack was shocked by Alice’s revelation that she had an insemination planned, but she explained that she needs her own clan, even if it’s just one other person. Paul and Donna may think it’s a horrible idea and want to insulate Jack from the chaos that will ensue, but Jack doesn’t raise any objections to Alice.

Instead, as Rachel urged, he rushes to the clinic where the insemination will occur. Alice is there with Maya, but she nervously pops outside for a bit of air while waiting for her appointment. She takes out her phone and almost texts Jack, then puts it away – and he appears. Being in love is exhausting, isn’t it, he asks her. She heartily agrees.

They embrace tightly. You’re not alone, he tells her. You have had a clan of your own since the day we met.