'Alice & Jack' Episode 2 Brings a Funeral, a Death, a Divorce & a Breakup

Andrea Riseborough and Domhnall Gleeson as the titular 'Alice & Jack' in a wheat field

Andrea Riseborough and Domhnall Gleeson as the titular 'Alice & Jack'  


At the end of last week’s premiere of Alice & Jack, Alice drops in and then promptly leaves Jack’s life again; sadly, that is not the end of their story. Lest we forget what a terrible person he is, Jack begins the second episode mulling over how to accompany Alice to her mother’s funeral and how much to tell his wife, Lynn. This show places a lot of stock in a relationship, yet it doesn’t bother to make it look appealing. The central characters are nigh insufferable; their interactions aren’t romantic or inspiring, and their fixation on each other seems baseless. Spending six episodes “rooting” for them is a big ask. But here we are.

Lynn: “What percentage of the days I have known you have you thought about her?”
Jack: (Not trying to soften the blow) “A hundred percent.”

Instead of being an adult, Jack tells Lynn a preposterous lie and goes to the funeral. Walking up to the grave, Alice tells Jack her final wishes she expects him to carry out, yet another colossal assumption Alice makes about her importance in Jack’s life, despite their non-status. It is worth noting they behave like a couple at the cemetery, complete with holding hands. (Jack forgot he’s a married man with a baby.) Alice declined to tell Jack why she dreads seeing her father, Randall (Mark Cameron), but during the funeral service, Alice has flashbacks suggesting he sexually abused her. Randall cannot stop staring at Alice and stammers, “I’m sorry,” over and over before keeling over dead. Alice is emotionless.

Jack’s lie blows up on him in the most spectacular and contrived of ways: Lynn sees him with Alice in a television news story covering the strange but true tragedy of the widower dying at his wife’s funeral. Jack comes home and is confronted by his own image on the telly. He tries to explain when Lynn interrupts and says they should talk. The audience is spared whatever maudlin tale he spins about Alice, but Lynn is clearly given all the gory details. Three words: Get. Over. Alice. And if he can’t, spare womankind and don’t date again. He’s obsessed with the idea of a person, not even the woman herself.

Domhnall Gleeson as Jack, Aisling Bea as Lynn in 'Alice & Jack' looking at themselves in the mirror

Domhnall Gleeson as Jack, Aisling Bea as Lynn in 'Alice & Jack' 


Lynn is rightfully angry and regrets marrying him. Jack tries to defend himself: he didn’t know his Alice damage was still that fresh. (Ugh.) He destroys the romantic notions of his original proposal by confirming he was mainly trying to prevent Lynn from having an abortion. Jack pushes: Does she want their daughter not to exist? (Aggh!) He compounds things by suggesting this doesn’t have to be a “catastrophe.” (This is just awful.) Not only is Jack stupid, he’s delusional about Alice’s effect on him. (Lynn doesn’t deserve this.) To her credit, she knows her own worth. She begins laying out the divorce procedure. 

Jack thinks they shouldn’t be rushing into any decisions, but Lynn is resolute. She’s no one’s consolation prize. Amid all this, Jack’s cell phone has been ringing off the hook. Lynn looks at the caller ID and shocker, it’s Alice. Lynn gets a mallet from the kitchen and smashes the phone to bits. In the divorce negotiations, the lawyers snipe at each other on their clients’ behalf in what feels like litigation flirting. Jack takes a deal against his lawyer’s advice, giving Lynn two-thirds custody and a hefty alimony. They seem embarrassed and sad yet compassionate towards each other, especially in the face of the lawyers’ brutality.

Meanwhile, Alice feels liberated now that she’s free of the crushing weight of her parents. She seems physically lighter and smiles freely. She hurls her father’s ashes into the sea and leaves Jack a voicemail that she’s “f*cking wonderful.” They meet up, and Jack explains that he’s been staying with Paul but is about to get his own place. Alice wants to help because she feels the dissolution of Jack’s marriage is her fault. Jack disagrees: “Who could have seen any of this coming?” (Everyone!) Although Jack swore to Lynn he and Alice couldn’t be together, their entwined fingers and lingering gazes tell a different story.

Sunil Patel as Paul and Domhnall Gleeson as Jack in 'Alice & Jack' walking down the hallway at work together

Sunil Patel as Paul and Domhnall Gleeson as Jack in 'Alice & Jack'


Jack is fighting to assemble a crib when Alice’s assistant, Maya, shows up with a delivery crew. Alice sent an entire house’s worth of furnishings for Jack and baby Celia, including groceries. Jack calls Alice to say he can’t accept it. “Let me fix what I can fix,” Alice insists. They make plans for Alice to come over one night later that week. That same night, Jack brings Celia home for his overnight solo custody and the first chance to prove he’ll be a good parent. Unsurprisingly, he fails (because he’s selfish and stupid), as Alice shows up unannounced, and Jack lets her stay over. She performs baby magic by getting Celia to stop crying (cartoon hearts pour from Jack’s eyes). 

Alice babbles how she wants to go slow if they date again, building Jack’s expectations as they snuggle until Celia starts crying again. Jack whines, so Alice checks on her. (Jack’s first night with Celia, and he’s already shirking his responsibilities.) Alice rocks Celia and calms her down. Jack then enters the room quietly but scares Alice. It seems she might drop the baby, but instead, she screams at him for surprising her, upsetting Celia all over again. In the morning, Jack asks for explanations, but Alice won’t share, changing the subject to meeting up at a kite-flying event later that day. Jack takes Celia back to Lynn, who is friendly and chatty until she realizes Celia smells like Alice’s perfume. 

(Poor Lynn. Why isn’t she our main character? She’s the lively, interesting one, unlike the lifeless pas de deux we’re being force-fed.)

We’re back on the kite-filled hillside from the first episode. Alice reveals her father abused her, then asserts she and Jack don’t have a future due to her damage. “If I could be with anyone in the world, it would be you. But it would end in ruins.” Jack is devastated and insists it should be his choice. She digs the knife deeper: he’s everything she’s ever wanted but can’t have. Jack tries to argue for their love. Alice declines, breaking his heart for a third time, then gives him “permission” to think about her. Gee, thanks. Alice walks away, leaving Jack crying in her wake. 

Stream Now

Alice & Jack

Andrea Riseborough and Domhnall Gleeson star in the new series from writer Victor Levin.
Alice & Jack: show-poster2x3

Marni Cerise headshot

A writer since her childhood introduction to Shel Silverstein, Marni adores film, cats, Brits, and the Oxford comma. She studied screenwriting at UARTS and has written movie, TV, and pop culture reviews for Ani-Izzy.com, and Wizards and Whatnot. You can usually catch her watching Hot Fuzz for the thousandth time. Find her very sparse social media presence on Twitter: @CeriseMarni

More to Love from Telly Visions