Friends, Expatriates, and Lovers: A Charmed Thirds Recaps

We did it! We made it through Charmed Thirds! As Anna noted in her last post, rereading Charmed Thirds slowly underscores how hard it is for Jess to maintain friendships post high school. So for a recap, I’m going to revisit some of Jess’s best friends, winter break compatriots, and lovers that only appear in Charmed Thirds (Anna’s brilliant suggestion).

Best Friends

Jane: the other Skinny J

  • Jane is Jessica’s first college best friend. They’re drawn together because of the similarities in their looks, upbringings, and general opinions. Jane blows into Pineville at the end of Jessica’s freshman summer and judges everything—Pineville, Jess’s lackluster internship, and most of all, Marcus. We don’t know that Jane and Jess are growing apart until it’s over. Jane was always more dedicated to the friendship, proclaiming that Jess is her best friend EVER, while Jess thought of Jane as her best friend at Columbia. When Jane was less than sympathetic after Marcus and Jess broke up, Jess let the friendship slip away—a wise choice.

Dexy: the Manic Pixie Dream Friend

  • Dexy views every outfit as a costume, sings exuberantly and off-key, and is unabashedly slutty. Dexy was just the frothy boost Jess needed after her breakup with Marcus and friend breakup with Jane. Dexy is the life of the party, until she’s not. William’s death hits Dexy hard, and she moves back to her parent’s to seek help for depression. Dexy plans to return to Columbia, but she never does. For Jess, Dexy is the friend that got away.

The Winter of Our Discontents

Tanu: the human equivalent of unbuttered toast

  • Jess and Tanu knew each other as freshman, but their busy schedules and lack of effort kept them from staying friends. Her notable qualities include writing 7th Heaven fanfic and switching her major from biology to urban planning against her parents’ wishes. Jess’s assessment of Tanu as unbuttered toast may be harsh, but I kind of agree.

Josh: ALF

  • I’m pretty uninterested in Josh, but I love Jess’s commitment to the ALF bit.

Kazuko: Asian-girl goth

  • Also known as the girl who told Jess and Bastian that William was dead. She’s a women’s studies major and she spent the money her parents gave her for a plane ticket home on shoes.


Bastian: a totally grown up foreign man

  • Bastian and Jess never get physical, but their palpable lust and Jess’s fantasies qualify them as lovers. Bastian is the super sexy Spanish married grad student who’s partnered with Jess for the storytelling project. Jess is so afraid that she’ll hookup with Bastian that she hides in Pineville for a whole month. Jess gets so close to hooking up with Bastian, but there’s not turn off like a rubber ducky. Lo siento mucho, Bastian.

William: Mini Dub the GOPunk

  • Jess’s friendship/hookup/feud with William permeates her entire college experience. He’s invested in the Breakup pool her freshman year. He goads her into wearing a Barnard sweatshirt to a bar and ends up taking her home. He’s her RA when she spends her summer at school—he takes every opportunity to go on a power trip and loves to make Jess uncomfortable with references to their tryst. And then he dies, leaving a cache of letters about his tortured love for Jess. And for the rest of her time at Columbia, people refer to Jess as the girl whose boyfriend died or the girl that some guy committed suicide over. Yikes.

Kieran: the assclown ex

  • Kieran starts off as just another participant in the Winter of Our Discontent, but he quickly progresses to Jessica’s first post-Marcus boyfriend. Oh Jess, he’s a mopey philosophy major who wears Axe, it was never going to go well.

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