T'eyla Minh (teylaminh) wrote,
T'eyla Minh

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More "Jonathan Creek" Ramblings...

There's a lull in the work (already!) so I shall take the opportunity to return to my regularly-scheduled ramblings, and write down that Jonathan Creek series 3 theory I keep mentioning. I apologise in advance to Eni for breaking her brain. :P

Before that: for anyone not on Twitter and thence not following Alan Davies's feed, there's another special due for next Easter. :) Nothing else known as yet...

It's a strange one, series 3, not just in terms of the episodes themselves ("Omega Man", anyone?) but the J/M dynamic. I already mentioned before about their relationship, as it stands, in series 2; how it's somewhat more comfortable after the trying-too-hard-ness of series 1, yet without the pesky emotional attachment of series 3. If we take the first Christmas special into account ("Black Canary"), it becomes even more interesting.

So, in "Black Canary" (henceforth referred to as "BC"), we learn a little more of Jonathan's past, in the form of Charlotte Carney. This understandably throws something of a spanner in the works in terms of his relationship (or lack thereof) with Maddy. It's implied, during the scene with Adam, that Charlotte Carney is the one-time love of Jonathan's life, and for him to admit such a thing is difficult enough, without the subsequent snark-filled jealousy displayed by Maddy.

Subsequently, the "comfy old sweatshirt" scene is one of my all-time favourites. Would she have driven all the way over to the windmill without the excuse of her flat being overrun by cockroaches? Jonathan seems to think she would have traipsed over there as a matter of course nonetheless, if his explosive outburst is any indication. I really like that she's finally driven him to the point of sheer, total frustration with their complicated non-relationship, combined with Charlotte's hasty departure, and that once he vents the anger things are once again amicable. Maddy distracts him by projecting her own guilt straight back onto him, which is the point, I think, where they both realise that battling against each other's inherent flaws is getting them absolutely nowhere.

It's a brilliant scene, one of those superb character insights which are so sorely lacking in the show; subtle within its blatancy, and deeper than I gave it credit for. I do enjoy re-watches. :)

Anyway, BC ends with Maddy indicating that her flat is being fumigated and she needs somewhere to stay, which leads nicely into the weirdness of series 3. I now realise that weirdness is a strange way of indicating the lead-up to "Miracle on Crooked Lane" (the penultimate episode: THAT episode, the one where they "stop dithering about, finally"). On re-watching with that end point in mind, it's entirely obvious now that they're spending the majority of series 3 trying to "stop dithering about", only to be interrupted or held up each time. There's that strange starched-bra groping sequence in the first episode (interrupted by someone at the door), Jonathan being delayed going to Maddy's flat in "The Omega Man" (he has a key, but ends up sleeping on the sofa, as meanwhile Maddy has been arrested by the US Army...), and the end of that same episode when she kicks him out without a chance to explain why he wanted the money. It also appears the key-swapping is mutual from the first J/M scene where she's bringing over her laundry in the first episode, not to mention the fact that she seems to be lounging around the windmill in Jonathan's dressing gown... I'm sure there were a few more moments, but I've forgotten them now. Probably should have done proper episode thoughts at the time, but yeah.

I do feel there's potentially a missing scene between the end of BC and the first episode of series 3 which led to this entire sequence of events. It may become a fic yet (or it may not, given my reputation), so I shan't mention it in too much detail, but in any case I'd like to think that there's an unseen element in series 3 of them at least attempting to date. I think it's in "Omega Man" (again!) where the episode begins with them leaving a theatre arm-in-arm, which would seem to suggest as such.

The only problem is that "The Eyes of Tiresias" throws a bit of a spanner in the works of my theory, as Maddy is trying to set Jonathan up and also then goes off with someone herself (or sometwo, technically, heh). Perhaps BC sets things in motion officially, but nothing happens until after "Tiresias". Oh noes, I need to watch them again. ;)

As far as the last episode ("The Three Gamblers") goes, it's also a tricky one. On the surface it seems nothing has changed particularly, which is odd considering the end of "Miracle on Crooked Lane", but again, it's all in the subtleties. Maddy manages to get Jonathan the perfect birthday present (oddly pre-emptive, which is ironic considering the reason they broke up, for want of a better word...) where Adam merely extends his egotism. The more I watch that scene, the more I like it. Jonathan is so pleased with the book, and Maddy is so obviously happy to have done well in that regard, and I always had the feeling that he wanted to kiss her but couldn't because of Adam being there. It supports another half-theory wherein perhaps their relationship is still something of a secret at this point.

There's another moment later on, the morning after the magic show Jonathan drags them to. Of the evening, Maddy spies him sitting in the car of a strange woman and reacts in her usual fashion, locking him out of the flat and ignoring any attempt at an explanation. The difference is that afterwards she actually apologises and admits over-reacting, which speaks absolute volumes for the level of trust: that she can get past her own insecurities and hostility to actually reason things through. Another of those amazing, subtle sequences which warrants several re-watches.

Of course, that rescue sequence has always been a favourite (and also the "I'm not the one who just put a live slug in my mouth..." bit. :D). Jonathan's "panic face" is perhaps even subtler than Mulder's. ;) There's a mutual, unspoken understanding in the scene, which is later emphasised by Jonathan's assumption that Maddy would be unable to keep a secret - and her surprising reversal of that assumption. It's lovely, really: Jonathan is trying to understand her, and she's trying to change for the better.

Sigh. Such a shame we couldn't have had more. I am ever more convinced that if Caroline Quentin and/or David Renwick can be prodded in such a direction as to resurrect Maddy's character, an actual J/M reunion would be absolutely amazing. Given how often their scenes together get better with repetition, I can only begin to imagine the awesomeness... that is, assuming Jonathan's bitterness in the latest Christmas special was just a front. Not sure how we'll get around that if it comes to it...

I think that's more than enough. Ended up a lot longer than I'd anticipated...

That being said, I shall post this and flee.
Tags: fandom: jonathan creek, ponderings, shippiness
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