Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman/Joe & Jane
QUESTION: Gosh, am I glad to have finally found someone who may have some answers to my burning questions! I apologize up front because I wrote I book, but this is my favorite couple ever!
I just recently got back into Quinn after about 18 years or so. My favorite thing about the show is Michaela and Sully's romance, of course. I kept saying, "Gosh, they look like they're NOT playing!" Then I read somewhere that they used to date in real life and I really got deep into investigation mode trying to discover every detail I could of what went down.
You have already touched on a few things I was curious about, but I find a few discrepancies in some of your info. For example, you said in one of your replies that Joe met Kirsten, or started dating her after he and Jane broke up. I read in some interviews on his site how he met Kirsten when he was like 26--4 years before he met Jane. You came back in another response and stated that they dated off and on for 8 years or so, which matches what Iíve read in articles.
You also gave a little detail into why they broke up. You said that Joe wasn't ready to father Jane's kids. I did see a source mention in an article that Jane's ideas on domestic life finally rubbed off on him, therefore he decided to marry Kirsten, which I took to mean that Joe was afraid to get married periodónot necessarily with Jane. From what Iíve read, he acted like he talks like he wanted to marry Jane but she dumped him before they could get that far. It seems as though he gave her hell behind the scenes of the show because of his heartache over her dumping him.
Joe says in another article on his site that he was madly in love with Jane and that she fell for James while they were dating. Jane also eludes to the fact that he was not mature enough in so many words, and that they were in two different places in life. I guess her statements could go along with your premise, and it's possible that Joe doesn't want to come out and say "I didn't want to father her children." But Joe always says that Jane broke his heart and dumped him, and that she didn't love him back. That doesn't sound like a mutual decision to move on. I guess I would like a little more clarification from you and your perspective of what really happened between them.
I mean, I have read quotes from Joe about how he wanted the wedding episode to happen in real life, in so many words, and he wished Jane could have had his twins, etc. I was really shocked to see that he admitted this to a magazine while Jane was married and he was either dating or engaged. Even on their vlog, he brought up 2 or 3 times how Jane broke his heart and he still has scars. She didnít deny this either.
This kind of leads into my next question. From all I'm reading and hearing, it sounds like Joe was still in love with Jane for most of the show. I even think Kirsten was afraid of their relationship, since I've read that she was the reason Jane didn't get invited to their wedding, and even Joe said in an interview that sometimes Kirsten would conveniently have to go use the restroom while they would watch love scenes on Dr. Quinn. In Sara Davidson's book, she and another writer joked about how Joe seemed to be trying to seduce Jane on the sly half the time, and you could tell he still wanted to "____" her...LOLóSara Davidson & Josefís (Quinn writers) words, not mine. Yet, I know that their relationship was strained off and on throughout the show.
Which leads me to another question, and I guess I'll wrap this diatribe up. You also mentioned in another reply that Jane and Joe's relationship was strained after the show for a bit...can you give more clarity, cause that's something else I've been trying to figure out, is when, where, and why did they fall out, and when did they smooth things out for good. I was surprised that you said that because, I honestly thought the strain was because Joe couldn't get over her as long as they were acting out all of his desires on screen and they couldn't be reality. I thought once the show was over, they were finally able to heal. Finally, I knew about Joe's visit to Arizona while she was making Sunstroke, which was when she met James, but I didn't know that that was a final attempt to get her back after he agreed to break it off. It just seems like Joe was so in love with her, even well into his relationship with Kirsten. I also wonder when Kirsten finally got comfortable with everything. Jane and Joe still kiss on the lips, talk about the past, flirt, etc. I'm glad they get along, but it's so hard for me to comprehend how they handle everything they've been through.
I know all of this is in the past, and they both seem to be happily married now, which I think is great, especially since they are all friends. But this was my childhood show, and Sully/Michaela, i.e. Joe/Jane are the most romantic story I have come across in a very long time. I guess I just want you to fill in the blanks or missing parts to my research, give me your opinion on my speculation of what happened between these two over the years. I am still so captivated by them!
ANSWER: Hi Gabrielle,
Sorry it's taken me so long to reply to this, but as you said, you wrote a book, so it's been a challenge digesting and processing everything for a reply.
All right, so you're looking for a little more clarification on the Jane/Joe dating thing. You already know they dated, and they were quite serious. He even had a key to her house and spent a lot of time there. Marriage did come up in discussion, but the part about Joe fathering Jane's kids is slight misconstrued. My replies to other questions meant that to mean the 3 children she already had after her recent divorce. Joe wasn't ready to become an instant father to stepchildren, though he would have loved having children with Jane. That was a big part of why Jane went with James so quickly after she and Joe broke up. Too fast, obviously, since it didn't allow time for Joe to apologize and reconsider. By the time he did, Jane had already moved on. And that's what broke Joe's heart.
We as people make decisions every day of our lives, some of them end up not being the best choices for our lives, but we have to live with the consequences or results. It was this way with Jane and Joe. Would they go back and do things differently if they had the chance? Perhaps. But time heals all wounds, and eventually, they were able to move beyond the hurt and pain and adjust to their new relationship as good friends, sharing their families and their history together.
Hope this helps! Moving on to your part 2 question now. :)
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Ok, that makes a lot of sense.
Again, sorry for the post being so long. I guess I was trying to give you details of all of my research so you would see why I had a hard time believing that he was responsible for the breakup.
But, I totally agree with your ultimate synopsis...It's something about these two--I mean if you watch them together in interviews, listen to them talk about their relationship, it's hard to believe they didn't end up together. I really believe they could've made it in a relationship, particularly because they have become best friends, as Jane said--and I think they know it, too. Jane seems very happy with James, but the writers said Joe could still make her melt in love scenes, etc.
So my last comment/question and I will leave you alone for the second time...I re-watch the For Better or Worse episode with their commentary from time to time and it seems like I catch something new every so often. For example, the last time, I noticed that Jane asked Joe if he was all nervous and tense because he was trying to act like a nervous fiance would, and he was like, "No, I'm a lazy actor. Whatever comes natural, I just do." She was like "So you really wanted to marry me that day?" and he said "Yes, Jane, don't you remember?"
I never paid attention to that comment before cause I assumed they were being funny, but this time, I noticed by their voice inflection and lack of laughter that Joe was dead serious--Lol. I was amazed because he was dating Kirsten at the time that they shot that episode and I believe he proposed within a year.
So you basically told me what you think of them in a nutshell, which I agree with, and that may be the same response to this admission from Joe. I'm basically asking if this was kind of common knowledge behind the scenes of Quinn and if you know anything about him feeling this way or admitting this.
No need to apologize. That's why I'm here, offering my time. :) But yes, Joe and Jane still carry a great deal of passion for each other, and Joe can still make Jane melt in a love scene or even an intimate scene.
As for marrying Jane, Joe never denied that he wanted to, especially after their break-up. It might not have been public knowledge at the time with the cast or crew, but Joe had told Jane he still loved her, even when she married James. That's why the years of 1994-1996 were so tense between them.
I suppose if Joe couldn't marry Jane for real, he decided to put everything "natural" into the wedding episode as Sully marrying Michaela. :)