This post is dedicated to Jal. I had too much fun writing this mainly because Jal is not a character I explore too much.
Jal in the beginning of Series 1 comes across as a practical, hostile, and a negative smartass of the group. To be honest though every group needs someone to point out how idiotic the rest of the group is. Jal is that person. She in many ways acts as support to the other characters. She is there when Cassie tries to commit suicide and she acts as support for Michelle as well throughout her troubles with Tony. Then there is that awesome scene where Jal is holding court over a couch full of depressed boys. She is the support of the group in many ways the rock.
She comes from a family of boys. She has two older brothers and a father who is a legendary rapper. Her Mom left the family quite some time ago. Being in a house with two immature boys and a father who lives a pretty lavish lifestyle will make a girl tough. You need to be louder and stronger than your brothers. I grew up with mostly boys myself which is why I was such a tomboy. I had to be good at shit talking and standing up for myself otherwise I would get lost in the noise. Jal is brutally honest with her father and her father loves her though it pains him since Jal reminds him of her mother. However when a role is missing in the family unit usually one of the kids will start to fill it. Jal did by mothering her brothers and also taking care of her Dad in a way. People do amazing things to survive.
Jal is someone who uses her sarcastic and tough nature to hide a wild side. This is brought out when her friendship with Chris started to move toward a more romantic direction. When Chris asked Jal to stop saying no. Jal says no, because she is responsible but also because she is afraid to open up. When she promised Chris that she would start saying “yes” she took that promise serious. When she did we saw a different side to her a side that commits and has fun. She also guides Chris to admit his issues and gets him to start making plans…gets him to start acting oppose to giving up.
I also find it interesting that the character that has acted as a supportive rock to so many of the characters ends up being the one who needs support in the end. With Chris dying and her becoming pregnant it was her that needed support. At first the only support Jal had was Cassie. Michelle was busy with studying and talking about Tony. Eventually Michelle finds out and Michelle stepped up to the occasion to be both support for the decision of the baby and the loss of Chris. Even though she needs support she was still the picture of strength at the end. Telling the boys to return Chris’s body and making plans to go to the funeral anyway. Then saying that amazing speech about Chris. To be honest I am in awe of her strength. She may not be the craziest character, she may not have had a dramatic story line, but she did have a strength. A strength to support her family, support her friends, and eventually support herself through a tragic situation.
Jal Fazer you are superwoman.