Nov 12 2017 10:00am

Perpetual Anticipation: Top 10 Moments in the Sizzling Slow Burn of Miss Fisher and Jack

Phryne and Jack of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries

The long and flirty road of Phryne Fisher and Jack Robinson in “The Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries”  has been one of growing respect and friendship, interrupted opportunities, and intense eye-banging. Honestly, every single episode has at least one scene to make a shipper melt. Jack's first barely there smile when Phryne feeds him in “The Green Mill Murder.” Phryne sitting fetchingly on Jack's desk as they discuss a case. Every time Jack inadvertently runs into some appealing part of her anatomy. And the witty banter of two smart people sharing a constant dance of push and pull.

But of course, some episodes carry particular shipping weight. Here are ten landmark moments in the Phrack relationship.

“I Do Like a Man With a Plan”

Season 1, Episode 1, “Cocaine Blues”

The pattern is set at Miss Fisher and Jack's first meeting, in which his arsenal of authority and male dominance utterly fails to stop her from investigating a murder. Jack, a classic starchy hero, displays reluctant recognition of her deductive skills, and even more reluctant recognition of her charms, eyeing her as she walks away for the first of many times.

“You Might As Well Call Me Jack”

Season 1, Episode 2, “Murder on the Ballarat Train”


We get their first Coup de Foudre accidental eye lock and first non-case related conversation, which reveals to us — oh horrors — that Jack is married! Fortunately, in just a few episodes we'll learn that his wife has left him, though “a marriage is still a marriage” in his honorable eyes.

“It's All Part of the Job”

Seasons 1, Episode 7, “Murder in Montparnasse”

Now we're cooking with sexy gas! This episode has everything: Their first kiss... only to protect Miss Fisher, of course. Of course. You can even see how Jack's face changes from determination to anticipation. The stare into each other's eyes as it ends... Jack's desperation as the villain holds a gun to Phryne's throat... his comforting hand on her shoulder afterwards. And him calling her “Phryne” for the first time. Why don't they just go to Las Vegas right now? Oh right, he's already married, she doesn't want commitment, and they're in 1920's Australia.


“I Need You”

Season 1, Episode 12 “Murder in the Dark”

In a stressful time, Phryne has become more emotionally dependent on Jack. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to her, he and his wife have started divorce proceedings. His sense of honor is visibly fraying, and when Phryne undoes his tie to prepare him for a costume party, you can practically see the steam rising off him.


“All's Fair in Love and Football”

Season 2, Number 6, “Marked for Murder”

Although nothing major happens in this episode, it's still a shippers dream: we see that Jack and his ex have both moved on — though she clearly feels some pain over another woman managing to break into his closed off heart — and it ends with one of the most gorgeous moments of the entire show: Jack putting his footy scarf on Phryne, as confetti falls around them.


“Sounds Serious.”

Season 2, Episode 7, “Blood at the Wheel”

Despite Jack's divorce, the increasing intimacy between him and Miss Fisher — convivial drinks have become a tradition — and some hints of jealousy over her affaires, it's been made quite clear that he has no intention of letting things go further. But the tension come to a head here, when Jack briefly believes Phryne has been killed in an auto accident, and can no longer deny his feelings. Phryne's baffled at to why Jack is suddenly so brusque... and why he's drinking alone in his office. (Disheveled, tipsy, miserable Jack... how does Phryne not take him in her arms and smooth back that errant lock of hair?)

Finally Jack reveals the truth, breaking both their (and our) hearts:

“When I thought it was you in that wreckage... I found it unbearable.”
“I am who I am Jack. I can't give that up.”
“I'm not asking you to give it up. I would never ask you to do that.”
“So you're... giving up me instead.”

“What We Do Best”

Season 2, Episode 8 “The Blood of Juana the Mad”

A deliciously tense and tear-jerking episode, as Jack tells Miss Fisher to stay away from him: “I don’t want you to go…I need you to go.” Hurt, Phryne does try to comply. But the investigation keeps bringing them together, and they work more perfectly in synch than ever, thwarting a villain and chasing him down on a motorbike — possibly the shortest but sexiest chase in history. As they once again share a drink, Phryne asks if she should still keep being two step ahead of or two steps behind him, and Jack admits they work best when they work together: “I think we're more of a waltz.” (Foreshadowing of their waltz in Season 3!)


“Can't Live With Them, Can't Hit Them With an Axe”

Season 3, Episode 1, “Death Defying Feats”

OMG, the season opens with Phryne and Jack preparing for an intimate candlelight dinner! Apparently Jack overcame his annoying scruples offscreen. But of course nothing is that simple... first Phryne has to call the date off, and then murder intrudes. Jack thinks Phryne stood him up for another man, and gets grumpy and cutting... and then when she apparently does it again, drunk. We've seen tipsy Jack before, we've seen jealous Jack before, but jealous, tipsy Jack is something else again — how can he make two such unattractive states so adorable? Alas, though he wakes up in Phryne's home, charmingly befuddled, it's alone in a spare room. (Although Phryne did take the opportunity to undress him.)

“Too Much Ballast for Lift-Off”

Season 3, Episode 2, “Murder and the Maiden”

Now Phryne is the one having second thoughts, and she winds up with an old flame,  leading to an excruciating scene in which Jack catches them in flagrante delicto. “We were just reminiscing” she wails, chasing after Jack in nothing but her lover's coat. Oh Jack. Oh Phryne. How can you be so cruel to each other and us?

“Looks like we’ll have to make do with each other.”

Season 3, Episode 3, “Murder and Mozzarella”

When a case involves Jack with a beautiful woman who clearly adores him, it's Miss Fisher's turn to be jealous, even while she's having a fling with a tasty Italian chef. But it won't stop her from being Jack's backup of course, just as he's always hers. And though Concetta offers Jack devotion, faithfulness, domestic tranquility and everything else he might want, it's too late...  his heart is taken.

“Come After Me”

Season Three, Episode 8, “Death Do Us Part”

Jack has chosen Phryne, and he knows it. In episode 7, Phryne asks if he dares waltz with her, and he replies, “What's the risk?” It's too late not to fall in love with her, after all. And now he's finally straightforward — relative to Jack — telling Phryne he's making “a romantic overture.”  “Is that the best that you can do?” Phryne responds, and you can hardly blame her. Jack can do better... but he's so danged deliberate about it, and of course the moment is interrupted by Phryne spotting a clue to their case. And before he can do anything else, Phryne is off to England to save her parents's marriage.

But it can't all just end like that! So we get a classic last minute run to the airport — or, this being the 1920s, a field — and then a classic run to each other. Phryne proves she's much better at romantic overtures than Jack, telling him: “Come after me, Jack Robinson.” And Jack has learned his lesson, this time pulling her immediately into a kiss. It's a gorgeous kiss — which is good since it's going to have to last us until the movie.

There are many more fabulous Phryne/Jack moments that I had to leave out, of course.  (You can see some here.) What are your favorites? Tell us about them in the comments.

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Willaful has been diligently reading and reviewing romance for the past seven years, but for some reason just can’t seem to catch up. She blogs at A Willful Woman and Karen Knows Best.

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Carmen Pinzon
1. bungluna
My very favorite thing about this series was the way Phryne kept on with her affairs despite the times and her real feeling for Jack. It made it very believable for me that she was actually a woman of the world as opposed to the wallpaper heroines who claim this title to then turn out as almost virgins, ugh!
2. willaful
Yes! And it's so much a part of who she is... I know they expect to have fun with that when they make the movie.
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