You Can’t Go Home Again | Mr. Jack: A New York story, a Greek tragedy
You Can’t Go Home Again - Parodos Part I

Val begins to look for Jenna Bardi, the girlfriend he left without warning. After getting mislead by LES hustler Tommy Machine, Val has a chance meeting with Jenna, but Jenna wants nothing to do with him. Val tries explaining why he went, but Jenna tells him that it’s too late, she has moved on with her life. Val asks to see her one last time under the guise of obtaining closure. Jenna agrees to one final meeting at her new place for dinner that evening.

Upon arrival at her apartment, Jenna introduces Val to her friend Lara, and to Ian, Jenna’s new husband. (Ian looks suspiciously familiar to the man abusing the girl at Elsa’s house). Val is taken aback by the news of Jenna’s marriage. Further to add insult to injury, Val learns Ian is a successful painter and holding a show in a few months at the prestigious Turner-Prince Gallery. The same gallery where Val would have shown had he not sabotaged his career.

Val realizes he has lost Jenna, and as he is about to capitulate, Ian receives a phone call from his lover which instigates an argument between Jenna and Ian. While they argue, Val and Lara excuse themselves and leave.

Mr. Jack

In breaking with the traditional form of a Greek Tragedy, the Parodos in Mr. Jack is broken up into three parts (love, environment, and alter ego). Here in the Parodos Part I, Val begins to look for the love he lost.

Trying to avoid the story becoming a Love Oddesy, Val encounters the character of Tommy Machine, the archetype of the Greek Mythological character Dolos, the personification of trickery, deception, and craftiness. Tommy uses the excuse of looking for Jenna to con a few dollars out of Val, insinuating that it could be a lengthy task and his knowledge of her whereabouts could make it less painful. In comic contradiction, Val runs into Jenna almost immediately after leaving Tommy.

Later in Jenna’s apartment, Val begins to get a glimpse of what his life could have been if he had only stayed true to his human nature. Driven by both pain and humility Val is about to quit the fight, but then the foible of his rival is revealed. Ian receives a phone call from his lover and he and Jenna begin to fight. Val leaves the battlefield in turmoil yet intact to fight another day.
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