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'Alice & Jack' Recap: Episode 6

Daniel Hautzinger
Alice and Jack hug in front of the ocean
After their fated reunion in Cuba, Alice and Jack are together until the end. Credit: Fremantle

Alice & Jack is available to stream. Recap the previous episode.
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Before the end, we go back to the beginning. Fifteen years ago, Maya is shutting down the office of Alice’s financial firm. It’s 9:30, but Alice, of course, is still there, engrossed in following the markets. She barely acknowledges Maya and apologizes, telling her to go home. She refuses Maya’s offer to stay and keep her company.

After making a trade, Alice finally turns away from her computers to another screen, her phone. She swipes through a dating app and stops on Jack.

Jack was also working when he decided to try the app. He and Paul were doing drudgework in a lab while Paul tried to convince him to try online dating. Jack was resistant; it “can’t possibly be a healthy way to start a relationship,” he says. But he tried it, and that’s how he met Alice.

Fifteen years later, after a long road, their relationship finally has become healthy – even if they themselves are not. Alice is dying of a cancer with very low survival odds; Jack has a dangerous syndrome that causes aneurysms but should be able to be managed. Following through on a promise from years ago, he is in charge of finding a burial plot for Alice.

He visits a cemetery with his daughter, Celia, who has also become close to Alice, to choose a spot. Celia promises that she will visit Alice’s grave; she knows time is short. Jack tells her that Alice insisted she not be buried next to someone dull. Celia says that the most important thing is that she’s not alone.

Jack’s heart syndrome is worsening, but his doctor still says he has plenty of time if he is careful. He spends his time waiting for an appointment with that doctor looking through photos of Alice and listening to a voicemail from her.

He visits Alice in the hospital daily, inundating her with a new bouquet every day as well as croissants. She knows about his own health issues and asks about them, even as she is dying. She’s going to lose her hair soon, due to chemotherapy. She asks Jack to scratch her back, and as he gently does so, she whispers, “I think this is what I’ll miss most.”

She then asks him to get in her narrow hospital bed with her. They lie next to each other, holding hands. He scoffs when she says he’ll be able to date again when she’s gone; she’s happy to hear his disdain. I’ll find and kill you and any woman you have contact with after I’m gone, she jokes.

Jack is considering retiring from work, which always seemed like a calling. But now Alice is his calling. Nothing else matters. They kiss, tears running down both their faces, and eventually fall asleep.

Jack is woken up by the beeping of an alarm on one of the machines attached to Alice. Nurses appear and confirm that Alice has no pulse. She’s gone, weeks before expected.

Jack walks with the men who escort Alice’s covered body through the nighttime hospital to a viewing room. He stays with her there in the few hours left before morning, thinking back over their lives together: their first meetings, her wedding, her insemination, their long walk, all their kisses over the years. He cries, falls asleep, wakes, and sits with her until he is asked to leave. He asks for one more moment and kisses her on the forehead. “I’ll see you soon, darling,” he says as he leaves. “To be continued.”

He packs up her personal items from her hospital room, then calls Celia as he steps out of the hospital into a verdant courtyard. He leaves his daughter a voicemail telling her that Alice has died. Maybe you can ask your mom if I could have dinner with you tonight, he says. I’d be grateful. Before hanging up, he tells Celia he loves her, and that Alice did, too.

He sits on a bench in the quiet courtyard and has another cardiac attack. He at least is happily thinking of running into Alice in Cuba, a chance meeting that finally brought them together for a durable relationship. She spotted him looking at the ocean, called his name, then ran up to him and laughed before hugging him.

Did you know I was here? she asked. No! he responded. It was simply fate.

They walked the seaside arm in arm before finding a photo booth where she took some photos that Jack has kept ever since. They found themselves on a roof drinking beers, and he scratched her back in the same distinctive way he would later on her deathbed. He told her that his life peaked at that very moment.

Alice finds herself in the best possible burial plot: next to Jack, who dies of his cardiac attack. Celia visits their freshly dug graves, side-by-side. She’s slowly going through Jack’s meager possessions, which are in a storage unit, shredding papers and discarding things. But one box, labelled “bedside table” – the same bedside table she once looked through before inaugurating her own relationship with Alice – has some things too priceless to get rid of: the photos of Alice from Cuba, the letter she left for Jack after setting up a medical research team with him at the head, an invitation to the kite festival where she first told Jack about her traumatic childhood.

Celia takes the box.