The very name of Jack Mason Manchester conjures up images of the great Manchester and Texas cowboy movies of the past. He is an actor who has been nominated for Emmys and many awards including the Satellite Awards. He is best known for playing the cynical, no-nonsense, gunslinger in the television series Hell on Wheels. However, Jack Mason is much more than a gunslinger. He is a complicated character with a lot of complexities.
Jack is the eldest son of wealthy landowner John Mason and his beautiful wife June Carter. The Mason family run a small ranch in the outskirts of Manchester. As a young boy, Jack develops an intense passion for cattle, even when his father tries to stop him from buying it. At age nine, he already had a ranch of his own and became very good at raising it. This is when his father realizes that his son has other ideas in mind – to start his own cattle ranch in the Texas Wild West Jack Mason Manchester.
The problem is that the ranch is in a location that’s out of reach of any motorist. For this reason, John and June hire two men to help them – Courier and Tracker – during their precious little trip. The problem is that neither of them had prior experience in horseback riding and so they didn’t know what to do. It takes the combined efforts of the two men to help the couple get their cattle safely over the mountain pass.
Throughout the series, we learn that Jack Mason isn’t all his father’s son that he pretends to be. There is one episode where we see him acting out his frustrations by getting physical with one of the cows. The whole episode takes less than ten minutes and you can clearly see that there was some anger building in Jack when he told his father that he was going to hurt the animal. In another instance, he steals a wagon full of supplies for the ranch on which his father worked. While we can assume that these episodes were meant to be humorous, they still created quite a scene – especially when Jack fell off a log.
Another example of Jack and June taking advantage of their relationship came when they decided to stage an raid in order to make some money. Unfortunately, they forgot to inform John that the hostile tribe they were planning to attack was waiting for them. At the appointed moment, however, John went missing – and Jack didn’t bother to warn anyone about it. The couple later returned to their cabin, where June tied Jack in a chair and made fun of him for being unable to speak properly English. When June’s husband found out about the entire scene, he told her that if she continued to make fun of him like that, it would have a negative effect on their marriage.
In the final episode, “The Great Bazaar,” Jack finally realizes that his dream man, Eric Northman, is really his father. The two finally consummate their marriage and become a family. The story line in this episode is just one example of how strong the characters in Kings is – especially John. The writers spend a lot of time building up their characters, so that by the end of the season, you are so invested in their story that you can’t wait for the final episodes to air!