OK, so, in one corner, you have Claudia Joy Holden, the friend who:
- Helped you deal with your son’s abuse (1x01)
- Gave you the strength to hold it together when your husband was involved in a potentially fatal helicopter crash (1x03/1x04)
- Supported you when the guy you were falling in love with died in a motorcycle accident, even though you were married to someone else at the time (2x10/2x11)
- Got mad at you when you had yet another affair, but still cared enough to come running over to your house in the middle of the night to let you know that Frank had survived a close-call (3x02)
- Never bad-mouthed you for cheating on your husband, and reprimanded Roxy and Pamela when they did: “Ok, stop. Please, let’s just stop. I know feelings are raw here. I don’t like what Denise did any more than you do, but does that erase everything we’ve been through together? Look at us. We’re not just friends, we’re family. I love Denise, I still love Denise, and I know you all do, too.” (3x02)
- Put up with you acting like a cold-faced bitch when she tried to make amends (3x02-3x04).
- Had countless arguments with her own husband about the way he was treating you, to the extent that she refused to sleep with him in 3x10: “The simple fact is that you can’t stand to be in the same room as Denise, can you? Michael, I know you live by a code; it’s all about duty, honour, country, but what about compassion, huh? What about compassion? Where does that fit into your equation?”
- Was besides herself with worry and couldn’t get to the hospital quickly enough when your son tried to kill himself (4x01)
- Agreed to be your Lamaze partner when your husband was in Afghanistan, supported you through your pregnancy, and ultimately helped to deliver your daughter - figuratively and literally holding your hand (4x18)
- Rushed over to the hospital when your daughter was sick, and stayed with you all night until she was given the all-clear (5x02)
- Organised a bridal shower for your son’s girlfriend - at her own house (5x03)
- Stayed by your side every step of the way and acted as a buffer between you and the rest of the world when your son died (5x04)
- Came to keep you company at the beach house when you ran away, and then put up with your cruelty and abuse in respect of Amanda’s death - even though it was tearing her apart (5x06)
- Went through a cancer scare all alone because she didn’t want to add to your worries (5x07-5x08).
- Persuaded Joan to give you another job/chance at the hospital you’d been sacked from in S2 (5x11).
- Threw a birthday party for your daughter and then took care of her while you were in a coma (6x01 - 6x02)
- Has always listened to you, supported you and provided you with a shoulder to cry on in your time of need (except when she was too distraught to help you out because her own life was falling apart in 3x01).
- Has laughed and cried with you, and clearly feels your pain as if it’s her own.
And in the other corner, you have Jackie Clarke, the “friend” who:
- Was no-where to be seen during the pivotal moments of your life
- Did not call to congratulate you on the birth of your daughter, commiserate with you on the death of your son, or visit you when you were in a life-threatening coma
- Selfishly monopolises all of your time and treats you like her errand girl
- Is intent on modelling Fort Marshall on the caste system, where only the elitist Officers’ Club is allowed to come to her fancy-pants events
- Likes to insult your other friends and imply that they dress like two-bit ‘hos
- Appears to be scheming to overthrow your “best” friend and sabotage her husband’s career.
So, taking all that into consideration, who do you side with?
Why, Jackie, of course. Whether you’re relying on your gut instinct or your rationale, she’s clearly proven that she’s the one who can be trusted, the one who’s more worthy of your support and understanding, and the one who deserves your undying loyalty. Right? I mean, I can totally understand why you’d throw away 10+ years of friendship/unconditional love on a whim.
Denise, I hate you so much right now. But still not quite as much as I hate Jackie Clarke.
The writers have seriously jumped the shark with this storyline. They’re assassinating Denise’s character and trivialising one of the most amazing friendships on TV. And, ohhh, it makes me mad.