ivy_b (ivy_b) wrote,

Thoughts about Jack and Drinking

I have a few thoughts regarding Jack and drinking, post episode 2.12. 

We know from DW that Jack drinks-  he drank in The Doctor Dances. But ever since Torchwood started, we've seen him continuously drink water only, except for  a few special occasions. I've been wondering about this for a while, and in someone's review of 2.12 they've come up with a theory that I support: After Jack drunkenly told strangers about The Doctor and who knows what, he probably realized it's more prudent to keep sober.

Which made me rethink about Jack on the show. I mean it must have been torture for Jack, being abandoned in a time and place he doesn't belong, surrounded by dead bodies and Dalek dust. Arriving in 1869 instead of 2000+ and having to live on the slow path again in a time and place he doesn't belong. Then it took him about 23 years to realize he couldn't die (didn't he notice the not aging bit?) and in 1892 he had so many more questions for the Doctor. Why was he the way he was, could the Doctor cure him, etc. Life must have been so angsty for Jack, losing people he cared about, wanting the relase of death at times and never being granted it. So he drowns his sorrows in alcohol and finds release by telling strangers all his angsty stories and problems. Only to have that little released turned against him when Torchwood compiled a whole file on him and the Doctor- putting the Doctor in danger and forcing him to work for Torchwood.
  I could definitely see how Jack would quit drinking after that and also be a bit more secretive- you never know what the other person will do with that information and Jack can't just use his Vortex Manipulator to make a quick exit. I'm guessing Jack also has major trust issues, and considering Suzie and Owen both killed him and his entire team turned on him, he might have good reasons.

    There were two moments in the whole series that I remember Jack drinking, though I haven't rewatched it all, so I'm sure I missed a few. One moment that stuck with me of Jack NOT drinking, was KKBB, when John suggested they grab a drink, Jack picks up the bottle- but never drinks. I think that speaks volumes of the amount of mistrust there. The first time I remembered Jack drinking was CJH, when he and Tosh were toasting to the Real Jack and the Second was SB, at the wedding. Now one could say that Jack felt comfortable enough with Tosh and later the whole team, to let his guard down. 

  But those were also emotional moments for him, when he probably couldn't cope without some help. He just met and lost the Real Captain Jack, got reminded of the person he used to be, the moment he met the Doctor and Rose, his best friend being tortured- not to mention the fact that he really fell hard for the idea of Captain Jack and had less than an evening with him before he died. Jack was emotionally vulnerable when he toasted with Tosh. In SB we learn that Jack was married once, and it adds a new layer to how he acted at the wedding. Gwen getting married probably reminded him of his own marriage and he felt like he was losing her- to Rhys, to a marriage and steady life that wouldn't have a place for him and Torchwood in it. So Jack was very mellow at the wedding and later in the hub when he looked at the old photographs.

[ETA- apparently Jack drank in 1.05 after that whole bit with Estelle- another emotionally traumatic experience- so once I rewatch that episode I'll be able to comment on that moment and what it says about his relationship with Gwen.]

  Is Jack getting more comfortable around his teammates and ready to let his guard down, or when he's emotionally vulnerable he turns to alcohol? I'm not sure, but it's an interesting thought to ponder. Of course this is simply my musings and I'm open to other opinions.

On a side note- now that I know about Tosh's recruitment into Torchwood, I understand better something. Tosh found out Jack was a conman by his own admission in CJH and Gwen found out via John in KKBB. They both reacted quite differently- Tosh seemed to take it in stride and Gwen seemed surprised and almost indignant. Considering what Tosh did, I could see her being more accepting of, shall we say, un-lawful behavior and willing to think there are mitigating circumstances. Where as Gwen's a cop and also pretty morally self-rightous at times, so her startled and disbelief makes a lot more sense.

Am I just reading too much into things? Probably, but this Fandom is eating my brain! First I review about episode 12 and now I'm actually analizing characters and posting my own thoughts, rather than just replying in other people's post. Two weeks is too long and what will I do after it? Well there's always DW season 4....

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