Follow TV Tropes


Series / Jack Taylor

Go To
Ireland's first private investigator.

Jack Taylor is an Irish television series airing since 2010 based on the novels by author Ken Bruen starring Iain Glen as the titular character. Set in Galway on the west coast of Ireland, Jack Taylor is a Garda turned private eye after he is sacked for assaulting a cabinet minister that was speeding. He is joined in his unorthodox investigations by Cody Farraher (Killian Scott), who takes it upon himself to become Jack's apprentice, and Garda Kate Noonan (Nora-Jane Noone), his former colleague who is very often reluctant to aid. Rounding out the cast are Mrs. Taylor, who has a difficult relationship with her son, and Father Malachy, likewise with his parishioner.


Jack Taylor provides examples of the following tropes:

  • The Alcoholic: Jack Taylor. Throughout the series he drifts in and out of sobriety.
  • The Apprentice: Cody, fascinated by Jack's forays into private investigating, appoints himself as one.
  • Big Bad Friend: Sutton, Jack's boating friend, in "The Guards."
  • Babies Ever After: Averted in "The Magdalen Martyrs." Despite finally leaving the torment at St. Monica's, Mary Catherine Taylor, née Kerrigan, may have found a husband and had a child, but her relationship with the latter deteriorated to the point that they can hardly look each other in the eye. Meanwhile, Geraldine McCarthy, née Cassell, also married and had two children, but her marriage fell apart and she was prone to self-mutilation, depression, and ultimately took her own life. Lucifer even gives a devastating Hannibal Lecture about this.
  • Advertisement:
  • California Doubling: Zigzagged. A lot of production takes place in Galway, but filming also takes place at Ardmore Studios in Bray and in Bremen in Germany.
  • Celebrity Paradox: In "The Magdalen Martyrs," Jack asks Cody what he knew of the Magdalene laundries, and Cody replies that he's only seen the movie. Nora Jane Noone, who plays Kate Noonan, was one of the main characters in The Magdalene Sisters.
  • Cigarette Burns: Before Mary Catherine left St. Monica's laundry, Lucifer, the nun told her that she hadn't thought of getting a farewell present for Mary Catherine, but would think of something. Said present turned out to be a cigarette burn on her neck.
  • Cowboy Cop: Jack's unconventional methods made him this, which did not help his case at all after he assaulted a government minister
  • Dark Secret: In "The Magdalen Martyrs," we find out that Jack's mother was in one of the Magdalene laundries run by the Catholic Church and suffered a lot of abuse and crippling guilt from turning away one of her friends when she needed help.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • In the very first episode, "The Guards," we see what leads Jack to get fired: he assaulted a cabinet minister whom he caught speeding.
    • In one of Geraldine's diary entries in "The Magdalen Martyrs," she, Mary Catherine, and another friend are caught after curfew under their covers... eating chocolate. Lucifer punishes Geraldine and Mary Catherine by having the two recite Hail Marys while they watch the third friend stand outside in the rain. The third girl dies from hypothermia and Lucifer covers up her death as a runway.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Geraldine, the mother of the client from "The Magdalen Martyrs," after years of psychological trauma at a Magdalene laundry.
    • Rita Monroe kills herself via carbon monoxide poisoning, after Jack exposes her as Lucifer, two of her nephews have been murdered, and a third is about to suffer the same fate.
  • Forbidden Friendship: Kate Noonan's friendship with Jack is mostly kept under wraps because she doesn't want to compromise her promising career as a Garda. Indeed, at one point she was put on probation for helping him.
  • Friend on the Force: Kate to Jack. It's implied that she wants to be more than friends.
  • Hannibal Lecture: In "The Magdalen Martyrs," Lucifer gives a devastating one to Mary Catherine before her departure into the real world and a life of marriage.
    "You think you're getting away, don't you? I know your plan. You'll get married, have a house, have children. And you'll make sure there's nothing ever to remind you of me or of your time in here. But you see, I'll always be with you. Because you. Let me. In here." (she taps Mary Catherine's forehead forcefully) "And that's where I'll stay. Now about that farewell present..." (Lucifer pushes her cigarette into Mary Catherine's neck).
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Jack's mother and their priest, Father Malachy, are very close friends, so much that Jack even addresses them as "Brad and Angelina" at one point. More often than not, Father Malachy takes Jack's mother's side of an argument, and Jack's mother herself relied on Father Malachy's emotional support after her years at a Magdalene laundry.
  • Kid Sidekick: Cody is treated like one. Lampshaded at one point when he's out of earshot.
    Kate: They grow up so fast.
  • My Local: The Crane Bar, which is also a Real Life location in Galway. It also serves as Jack's headquarters.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The girls at St. Monica's Magdalene laundry called a particularly sadistic nun "Lucifer."
  • Nuns Are Spooky: Rita Monroe. So terrifying, that the girls all called her "Lucifer."
  • Nun Too Holy: In "The Magdalen Martyrs," one of Geraldine's diary entries is about Mary Catherine's departure from the laundry, and as they are saying their goodbyes, Lucifer walks in and spots a packet of cigarettes in Mary Catherine's luggage. She tells them that if they had been caught with tobacco before, they would have been punished, and then lights a couple up for herself and Mary Catherine.
  • Pedophile Priest: The priest from "Priest."
  • Perma-Stubble: Jack. Lampshaded by his mother, who asks why he never shaves.

Example of: