When Love Speaks It's Undying Legacy
As, an Immortal Beloved extremist, my favorite coupling on Forever Knight were without a doubt, Nick and Janette. They both possess such fiery dispositions and have shown us that even when they're at odds, their pride always dissipates in the name of something much more meaningful: love. I believe Nick's loyalties have always belonged to Janette's and she has willingly embraced this notion with the exchange of her own. I love and admire the eternal unity between them and the devotion they've shared over the centuries. The love between Nick and Natalie was more of a familial love, and was always presented as a tame reminder of what friendships often encompass. Nick and Janette shared a love for over 800 years and the ties of this bond run far deeper than that of any frienship. While, I believe Natalie was important to Nick, I feel that his relationship with Janette was far more potent.
Starting from the beginning in
Dance by the Light of the Moon, it was proven it was Janette's idea to bring
Nick across. I spoke with the writer of this episode - Roy Sallows
– here is a copy of the email:
I asked: "Was it Janette's idea to bring Nick across or did LaCroix send Janette out to seduce Nick for him? This has always been a common question among FK fans."
There you have it. Even from the beginning when Nick and Janette first met at the tavern, the two fell in love. Why else would Janette ask LaCroix to bring Nick across? She saw something very special in this crusader and knew she wanted him with her, not just for one night, but for eternity. At first it may have seemed like lust, but notice how tenderly they kiss when Nick comes across as a vampire soon after their first night together. Janette gently takes his hand and they kiss and nuzzle each other, so dearly. I really believe it was “love at first bite" between them. Their love only grew stronger over the centuries.
Janette always tried to make Nick feel better about himself and his nature as a vampire. His vampirism is part of him after all. She proved she was more than soothing when Nick really needed it the most. He seemed to always bounce back after he confided in her. She did not wish to change him, like Natalie, but she did want to see him happy and healthy. Starving himself with cow blood, for example, is harmful to him and she knew this.
Eventually, in early season 2, she supports his search for a cure saying "If that's what he really wants she's behind him" (A Fate Worse Than Death). Although, Janette could see that Nick's quest brought him nothing but more pain and suffering. All of Natalie's supposed treatments for Nick went sour. For example, in The Fix when he is supposedly cured he nearly gets killed. In Father Figure Nick temporarily goes blind and gets injured over a mere bullet due to Nat's shakes. Natalie's constant badgering about giving up the blood is only starving Nick to death, slowly. Natalie really didn’t know what she was dealing with. Nick's search for mortality has only brought him more pain and anguish. Nick can do more "good" with his powers, as a vampire.
Janette has always accepted Nick as he is instead of trying to make him into what she thinks he should be. She may not have always agreed with his goals and may have tried to keep him from setting himself up for disappointment, but if anything, she is the one who is hurt by his quest, yet she's still there for him. Janette is almost never able to resist a request from Nick. She helped him escape from Lacroix (against her better judgment), guarded a mortal for him that she cared nothing about, and has given him information for cases on multiple occasions, despite her stated lack of concern for what happens to mortals. All of these things add up to more evidence of her love for him, or at least of a deep friendship and long history. This is in vivid contrast with Nat, who (with the exception of Francesca) never tried to understand the vampiric side of Nick and was always trying to suppress that part of him.
It is quite clear that Nick and Janette’s bond is not only physically powerful, but emotionally as well. Janette was always the one Nick would run to when he was in anguish or needed advice - not Natalie. A few examples include I Will Repay when Nick can't decide whether or not to bring over Nat's brother; Love You to Death, when Nick is distraught over his memories of Sylvine (Janette is there to help him through it and he finally opens up); Curiouser and Curiouser, when the going gets rough, who else to turn to but Janette; A Fate Worse Than Death when Nick comforts Janette; Blood Money after the whole ordeal with his fortune, he goes to Janette for simple talk and comfort; and The Fix, Nick runs to Janette to share his cure with her. If he really wanted to be with Nat, why go to Janette immediately? So, you see Nick and Janette's bond is far from simply physical.
While Nick is quite fond of Natalie and grateful for her help, he really loves the mortal world she represents, not her. Hence, Nick always puts Natalie on a pedestal. The intrigue vampires have for mortals is merely an exotic fascination. Even though he has feelings for these mortals, in the long run no one can separate the unique bond between Janette and Nick. They've not only known one another for centuries, but have remained confidants and lovers throughout time. If you notice, she is the one that he ultimately runs to when he's in need. He seeks her wisdom and voice of reason, and overall her comforting embrace, as no one else seems to understand him. Their chemistry is undeniable.
Nick has many human aspects, but it will always boil down to his vampiric nature. There are many things that Nat could never even come close to understanding about him, and that makes for a less than ideal relationship. Relationships are about knowing a person in and out, and if you noticed, Nick didn't tell Natalie everything. He seemed very hesitant to dig into his past and reveal all to her, in fear that she would ultimately place judgment on him or simply not understand. With Janette there was this comfort level - centuries of time spent intimately with one another. How can you even compare a 4 year relationship to centuries of adventure and intimacy? While his and Natalie's relationship was significant, it seems their relationship was more of a convenience for Nick than anything. Their relationship catered to his wants and needs, and who wouldn't eat that right up? We’re all capable of using people, whether it varies in degree if seriousness or not. Vampires are the ultimate, needy beings. Nick's quest for mortality was so strong, who's to say he wasn't using Natalie the whole time? He even hints at this in Be My Valentine. Why else would he keep on such friendly terms with her when it is forbidden for mortals to know their true identities. Natalie and Nick had what seemed to be a mutual, sexual frustration. It consisted mainly of elements of friendship. They basically drowned in one in another’s sorrows. It lacked chemistry and passion, while Nick and Janette openly showed their feelings for each other.
Nick rarely showed any feelings other than friendship to Natalie. Most of the few kisses they shared lacked passion, in my opinion. In Only the Lonely he does say he cares for her like a brother and only signs her card “with affection.” The first kiss they actually share in Be My Valentine is brief and not what you'd expect if they really were two people in love. They should have had more desire waiting to be unleashed after several years of longing. However, the end kiss at the restaurant was more passionate, but not any different from any kiss Nick gives to a mortal he's ready to snack on. He was also showing off for LaCroix. The only other kiss Nick and Nat share is in Night in Question, but Nick lacks his memory, and finally there's a very brief kiss in Last Knight (again not what you'd expect from a couple in love). In Be My Valentine, Nick does state it's in his best interest to "humor" her since she's working to uplift his curse. It's open to debate if he meant that or not, but his actions in the series always tend to revolve around close friends or a "brotherly" relationship with Nat. He would have left without saying goodbye to Nat in Black Buddha, but was devastated when Janette left without telling him in that same episode (of course, USA Network was really the reason she left…). He never said he loved Natalie, but both Nick and Janette actually said out loud they loved each other in Partners of the Month.
If Nick is so determined to regain
his mortality, why does he keep going back to Janette time and time again? Why
doesn't he put their relationship behind him like he's trying to do with
everything else pertaining to his vampiric nature? The simple answer is he's
still in love with her. Janette is the woman of his life. He's known her longer
than any other mortal or vampire lover. She was the first person he saw when he
awoke as a vampire, and she was the one who lured him there in the first place.
She knows him inside out, more than Natalie ever could, so Nick kept going back
to her because he knew she would always be there for him, no matter what.
There's a depth of trust here which neither has with anyone else. They've been in danger together, have saved each other, and have faced the wrath of Lacroix together. Nick can share both halves of his life with Janette, and Janette can reveal to him her own weaknesses, such as her hidden motherly nature and her sympathy for prostitutes. Even when the romantic love has temporarily cooled, the trust/friendship/family love always remains. She is so much a part of him and has shared so much with him that he needs her - her advice, her company, her criticism, her love, etc. He can confide in her in ways he can't with LaCroix because the animosity isn't there while the history of all they are and have shared is. He certainly can't totally confide in a mortal because of his own shame about what he is or has done. Janette is a much a confessor as she is a lover. A vampire's love is special. When they share blood with another vampire, that is when they are the most content, the most fulfilled, the most loved. They get to become that person. This is how a vampire truly feels things and emotions (as shown in, Last Act, Fever and Francesca), by the sharing of blood like the beautiful scene between Nick and Janette in Crazy Love (and who knows how many times they did this off camera and in the past).
Now, let’s explore Human Factor and Last Knight. Though both of these episodes are examples of character assassination and shouldn’t be considered part of the series, I’m going to discuss them here.
If Nick really loved Nat “too much” to bring her over in Last Knight or A More Permanent Hell, why would he do it without hesitation for Janette in Human Factor when she was the one dying? That says a lot about who he really loves and can't live without. Even when he was feeding on Nat in Last Knight, he flashes back to Janette as Nat is dying. This whole episode was filmed like a dream, so who can say what really happened.
Based on Human Factor, some fans believe Janette’s true love was Robert. A key line in The Human Factor is when she states “Robert reminded her of Nick.” The actor even resembled Geraint. This shows they can never forget their love for one another. However, this episode was really not the same Janette as seasons 1 and 2. Janette was always happy with who she was and would never want to become mortal to begin with.
In Curiouser and Curisouer, Nick’s guilt comes to the surface through dreams. We see what he feels guilty about “denying them,” as LaCroix states. In his dream, he married to Janette – not Natalie. In Nick's subconscious, he wants to be married to Janette. He imagines his mortal life including her. Perhaps, it's just the way Nick always felt about his relationship with Janette. Deep down, he always felt married to her - bonded as soulmates. In the vampire world, they were closer than any husband or wife could ever be.
One of the most interesting aspects of Nick and Janette’s relationship was the symbolism of Janette’s painting, first shown in Partners of the Month during their 97 year marriage. The handing over of the painting represented forgiveness on both their parts. Janette gives Nick the painting when she leaves him after their marriage to help ease his pain. In the present day, during that same episode, Nick forgives Janette for leaving him, giving her back the portrait as a gift. “Eternal friends?” he says. “Maybe more.” She replies before they kiss passionately. Later on, in season 3, Janette then forgives Nick for bringing her back across, saving her life in Human Factor, returning the portrait to him once again.
In closing, I think this quote from Dead Issue sums up their feelings for each other beautifully. Janette says, "What would you do without me," and Nick responds, "Oh, I don't ever want to have to face that." He didn't ever say anything that romantic to Natalie.
Thanks to Ashley/Knightrose, Amanda Berendt, Knight Vision Forums, and The Immortal Beloved Group on Yahoo for their help and inspiration.