People don’t talk about Jack Bristow enough.
The man is one of TV’s definitive badasses. He’s stiff and brittle and broken and pretty much over everybody else because everybody else is incompetent. He doesn’t really do relationships. But if you hurt his daughter, he will bury you.
Sydney is Jack’s only moral absolute. If you help her, you’re good; if you hurt her, you’re bad. Simple. Stay on the right side of that line and he’ll begrudingly protect you; cross it and you’ll never wear a hat again. Jack Bristow will frame a man for a crime he didn’t commit if it spares his daughter’s life, and he doesn’t even care if you judge him for it. Look how much he doesn’t care.
The lengths Jack will go to for Sydney are terrifying, but there’s still something so exciting about a man whose single purpose is to keep his daughter safe, no matter the cost. He’s dangerous and unpredictable, but he’s also one of the most fascinating characters I’ve ever loved. Jack doesn’t know how to express his feelings. Emotions are a weakness in his business, and he’s out of practice at being a dad. So instead of trying to talk to Sydney or take her out to dinner or do normal dad things, he just darts around in the shadows standing up for her. He’s like a big gruff teddy bear.
When Jack stands with Sydney at her fiance’s grave and reveals that he’s CIA, she wants to know how she can believe him. He’s got a long history of not being present in her life, and he did just show up out of nowhere with a gun to tell her that he doesn’t sell airplane parts and that her entire life is a lie. How can she know that what he’s telling her is the truth? Jack takes a second.
“I guess we’ll just have to learn to trust each other.”
Alias had me in that moment. How could I not come back next week? I had to watch them learn to trust each other. The whole remainder of the series is about him answering that question and earning that trust. Sydney and Jack Bristow are the center. He trusts her when she doesn’t trust herself. He holds her hand and takes her out to dinner. He also breaks her out of federal custody more than once. You know, dad stuff. So happy Father’s Day, SpyDaddy. I’d break the rules with you with you any day.