THE TV SERIES: A Place to Call Home
THE PAIRING: Jack Duncan (Craig Hall) and Carolyn Bligh Duncan (Sara Wiseman)
THE MOMENT: The forever love between Jack and Carolyn.
MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE SERIES FINALE: PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!
A Place To Call Home, an underrated Australian period drama, has unfortunately come to an end. After a second season cancellation, the series was saved and given an extra four seasons. As fans, we were able to watch the right ending. No rushing, just a beautiful authentic finish for the journeys of these beloved characters. Sarah finally does find her home, her happy ending, living a long beautiful life surrounded by loved ones. An ending foreshadowed back in season 2.
Indeed, the series closes by revealing each of the character’s journeys. It was the perfect ending to one of the best period dramas on television. However, one end stood out as particularly satisfying: Small Town Doctor Jack Duncan and the free-spirited Carolyn Bligh Duncan.
When Carolyn feared midway through series 6 that she and Jack weren’t going to make it as a couple, I feared the same. The tension was real. Intense. There was even an atmosphere of doom and tragedy. So, after six seasons of watching a beautiful romance unfold, I worried that their love wouldn’t be enough to see them through to the other side.
Jack and Carolyn – The Lead In
Jack and Carolyn had the most romantic story of the entire show. In love when they were young, Carolyn got pregnant but gave her daughter up for adoption secretly because she feared her mother wouldn’t approve the match. Jack never knew until years later when Carolyn came waltzing back to town. In her return, the two fall in love again after he discovers the truth. They have a second chance at love.
Despite their intense love for one another, Jack and Carolyn had been bruised and torn up emotionally by their lives which has an effect on their relationship in the present. For instance, Jack lived through the war and was brutalized by the Japanese in World War II. Due to the trauma, he suffers internally for years. Too afraid to move forward, he stayed behind in the small town of Inverness, running a small town hospital. Jack learned to stand still, anxiety entrapping him with fear.
As for Carolyn, she loves culture, cities, parties, and excitement. She lives for movement, change, and purpose. But she loved Jack enough to marry him and stay in Inverness. As the years go by, however, Carolyn needs Jack to move forward. As a free spirit, there’s only so long she can stay in one place, stifled by society’s constraints placed on women. Eventually, she decides to leave him behind, a decision that breaks her heart. She just needed him to make an effort to improve or change and couldn’t live any longer stuck in one place.
However, Carolyn’s decision breaks her emotionally. She loves him too much. Even when tempted by a past love, she can’t move on. To make matters worse, Jack walks in on the two of them kissing (one fleeting moment), and Jack’s own heart breaks. He can’t even speak to Carolyn for months.
Time passes and still, Jack can’t change. And as the final season progressed, I feared these two wouldn’t find their happy ending. That being said, their depression and emotions were so nuanced onscreen and their love for one another so authentically real (it helps the two are a couple in real life) that there was a sliver of hope the two would find their way back to one another. But would it be too late?
Jack and Carolyn – The Romantic Moment of the Month
When seeking the most romantic moment of the month, I kept waiting for that scene that stood out. Just that extra bit of romance to make us swoon. After watching the series finale of A Place to Call Home, I knew nothing could compare to the forever love between Jack and Carolyn. The moment and then their ending was goosebumps-inducing romance. It was good stuff. Their ending is not only one of the most romantic moments of the month, but one of the most romantic moments of the year. It’s seriously that good.
Throughout the whole sixth series, the writing and atmosphere hit us with a feeling of doom on the horizon. I feared the worst. Would someone die? Was something bad in store for either Sarah Bligh or Jack Duncan? But that was just the brilliance of Bevan Lee’s writing. He lets us feel their anxiety. This is what an anxiety disorder feels like and Sarah smartly recognizes it before it’s too late. Both she and Jack suffered during the War. And now it’s time to change. Sarah’s anxiety kept her on the run, but with Jack, his anxiety kept him from moving forward.
And, finally, Jack realizes he needs to change to overcome his demons. In fact, he decides something drastic: return to the Japanese prisoner camp that enslaved his mind. Perhaps the shock would wake him up. When Carolyn discovers his plans, once again, she has hope for the future. Perhaps they have one last shot at a happy ending. So she tries to reconcile with the man she loves, pleading to make things right.
Carolyn arrives at his office with a purpose. She knows his plans and where he’s going. And now, she’d “like to know why.” He asks if she even cares but of course, she cares! Carolyn loves him. So he answers why:
“I was a mess before you came back into my life. Been an even bigger one since you left. Loving you helped dull what the war did, but it’s never not there. It’s time I face it head on. Examine the wounds.”
Going back will force Jack to face his fears, face his emotions. He had been pushing it down for too long. When Jack admits this, Carolyn hopes and asks if this change has anything to do with her. She hopes it has “even in the smallest way.” Carolyn asks if his journey might help him get past some of his anger at her.
He says no, but Carolyn disagrees. They both want to get past this. That there’s a “seed” of hope to the answer. Carolyn takes a deep breath to offer him one last chance:
“I’m here to say that I want to go with you. If you find the answer, I want to be there. And if not, I hope that my sharing it can somehow take the bitterness from our lives. All I know is that I love you with all of my heart. And I can’t let you do it alone.”
Carolyn walks away and tells him in classic movie style that she’ll be at Ash Park “until New Year’s Day.” She hopes they can use this chance to return to one another and doesn’t expect an answer. Jack doesn’t have an answer yet, so Carolyn leaves telling him he knows where to find her. He has until New Year’s Day.
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At the New Year’s Party, Carolyn waits with bated breath, seeking Jack out in the crowd. Outside, Jack stands in the dark. Will he have the courage to go inside? Then, the New Year hits, and Carolyn believes he isn’t coming. She looks at her family in tears. Jack didn’t show.
Suddenly, however, Jack comes around the corner. He came after all!
Carolyn starts to cry but then looks up to see Jack. The two stare at one another with love.
Then the two walk toward each other, meeting in the middle.
Jack tells her everything will be fine. “Somehow,” Carolyn agrees. “Somehow,” he repeats. “Forever.” And then the two embrace with a sweet hug that tells us everything we need to know about their forever love. When willing, you can work through the hard times and come out the other side even stronger.
Family and friends clap at their much-desired reunion, and the two end the scene with a kiss.
Soon after, the show ends by telling the audience what happened to all of our beloved characters. For Carolyn, she “became the first female MP for Inverness,” while “Jack received an order of Australia for his services to rural medicine.”
But, most importantly, and most romantically I might add, Jack and Carolyn “died within days of each other.” In fact, “their love indeed lasted forever.” It’s a forever love in a romantic period drama that many of us will never forget.
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What are your thoughts on Jack and Carolyn? Did you love the ending to A Place to Call Home? Sound off below as I would love to talk about the ending… Also,
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