Jinny In ‘The Buccaneers’ Season 1, Explained: Why Is Jinny Broken? 

The Buccaneers could be considered the next Bridgerton, but while the latter is a mostly happy series, the former makes you feel a sort of harrowing sorrow that slowly builds through the series until, in the end, you’re left a hollow shell. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but The Buccaneers is one of those shows I genuinely enjoyed from start to finish, mostly because of its fantastic dialogue that really drives home its very on-the-nose feminist “agenda.” I suppose there will be many complaints about historical accuracy, but I’m certain the people watching this show really don’t care. Yeah, it may seem like these characters all appear to be from the world of TikTok dropped into a Gilded Age-themed costume party, but I’m absolutely okay with that. I guess, when you think of it as an escape, all you’re left with is merriment.

In my article about Nan, I compared her to Jo March from Little Women, so it’s only fair that I try to make a similar comparison for Jinny. To me, Jinny is a combination of Meg and Amy. Meg, because she’s the oldest and the most traditional of the lot. Amongst all the girls in The Buccaneers, Jinny displays the most passion for a traditional lifestyle. On the other hand, she’s quite a bundle of envy, just like Amy (don’t picture Florence Pugh, or you’ll be distracted by the greatness of Greta’s version of the character). The category is “most misunderstood character.” Don’t get me wrong, I too had a visceral hatred for Jinny at the beginning of the series. It did come across as if she was sabotaging her little sister on purpose. However, as the show progresses, Jinny’s perfect doll-like shell falters ever so slightly, until it’s completely shattered by James.

Jinny has one goal and one goal only: to look out for herself and become the wife of some Englishman who will provide for her everything she needs to live a “normal” and happy life. Technically, that is all that any of the girls have really been taught all their lives. One can imagine that, as the older ones, Lizzy and Jinny feel much more pressured to be these perfect women, their youth withering away. It’s hard to imagine having a secret so wounding for such a big chunk of your life and having to keep it from the person you’re most close to. It would’ve been a relief for Jinny to finally come clean to Nan; it’s only her timing that caused a big mess. Jinny indeed makes a few big mistakes after this, too. Her biggest mistake of them all was trusting James.

Not even on their worst enemy would anybody wish for a man like James. As much as we may have despised Jinny for treating Lizzy and Nan terribly, we’ve got a soft spot for her after she’s married off to James. In a textbook example of gaslighting, James manipulates Jinny into isolating herself from her friends, the only people who can put some logic into her. She quietly accepts her fate because it’s the one that was promised to keep her happy, something she doesn’t truly understand. Jinny is, in many ways, the most naive of the lot. She doesn’t see James’ actions as wrong until she has another life to look out for. You see her primal fear when she says, “What if I can’t save my baby?” This is when you see her completely give up her facade and succumb to fear.

Jinny’s been polite and submissive all her life, so it’s only fair that she would think she’s the problem when it comes to James mistreating her. She’s so focused on how to keep her family from being ruined by society that she starts to blame herself for being a terrible wife. At least she has the presence of mind to go to Nan when the abuse is too much. Despite everything that’s happened between the two of them, there’s no shame in Jinny asking Nan for help, which is what makes the moment more heartwarming. Immediately, Nan knows that it was never Jinny who wanted to hurt her; it was James who wanted to keep them apart (somebody squish this man like a little bug).

Of course, it makes sense that Jinny will not be a fan favorite; in fact, she’ll probably be one of the most hated characters in the series, despite her situation. She’s like spoiled Amy until she starts seeing how tragic her life will really turn out. Jinny isn’t the problem here; it’s society that’s failed her at the end of the day. It is, of course, delightfully easy to like the other girls from The Buccaneers. There’s kindhearted Lizzy, who is virtually flawless. Mabel is the resident gay, who happens to also be funny and charming. There’s eccentric Conchita, and to top it all off, there’s passionate Nan. But what about Jinny? Where does this leave her? It leaves her to be the most weary of them all. The one who gives up easily. Jinny has always believed she’s the pretty one because there isn’t much else she has under her belt. So, when Nan and Lizzy steal the spotlight, there’s no way she can let that go. She doesn’t know what else she can do with her life, while these two have their own things going on.

At the end of season 1 of The Buccaneers, the plot twist for Jinny is the most shocking of the lot. She’s going to be looked after by Guy, who is the man her sister is in love with. Right until this moment, Jinny is still the girl who can’t choose for herself. However, it is fantastic that she’s gotten away from James and won’t have to feel anxious or get physically abused anymore. What will come next for her, only time will tell. 

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika, or "Ru," is a fashion designer and stylist by day and a serial binge-watcher by night. She dabbles in writing when she has the chance and loves to entertain herself with reading, K-pop dancing, and the occasional hangout with friends.

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