[ Jeff's Letter ]


Jeff's Letter (?) to Hilary
Updated 11 June 1998

For a few frames, the entire screen was taken up by the letter Hilary was reading. It was lit from behind and since the paper appears to be very thin, the letters from the other side can be seen.

But not very clearly. The picture above has been has been flipped so that the letter reads from left to right. The image above is also linked to another copy. For that one, I merged images from two different frames and upped the contrast in an attempt to make it more readable. If you want to give a shot at translating it, you might want to check it out. It's a 280 KB JPG image.

According to Hilary's reading out loud, the letter should contain:

"Life is too short...
...have to learn who I really am...
...Pavla's like no other woman I've ever...
...only pray we can remain caring, loving friends."

And here's my best guess:

"Dearest Hilary,

"This may come as a complete and utter
shock to you. It is not ?? ?? ??
to not talk ??????????????
reasonable alternative ?? ?? this letter
??.

"I do not love you any more. I'm not
sure I can love you -o ?? ?? you ??
???????????? "The Rivals" which
others heard --ay you ?? ?? ?? ??"

I don't think I'm any more enlightened than I was before. Although the use of the affectionate "Dearest" does set some alarm bells ringing after comments they made in the episode "Magic."

Could Jeff and Hilary's actions in "Happy Homecomings" have been a bravura performance on both their parts for the benefit of their fellow WENNers? When Jeff caught up to Hilary outside the station did they act completely different as they caught up on the last few months?

The letter was probably a dummy used as a prop. Yet...it was framed full-screen with plenty of light for the letters to be seen. And, if someone had videotaped it on a S-VHS tape at SP speed off a satellite transmission, most of the letters were probably readable. (My frame grab came off a VHS tape at EP speed from a somewhat noisy cable feed.) I suspect it may be fully readable on the actual film.

Perhaps the new season will tell us something about the letter.



MORE!

Desiree M. Fahrenkrug has put her eyes to the blur test also and has advanced the decryption. Here is her guess as of June 9th:

"Dearest Hilary,

"This may come as a complete and utter
shock to you. It is not easy for me
to not tell you so - for lack of any
reasonable alternative here is the bitter
truth.

"I do not love you any more. I'm not
sure I ?? loved you [so/as] much as you ??

Looking at the image again I believe she's cracked the rest of paragraph one. And it's inspired me to take another crack at it. Here's my latest read on it.

"Dearest Hilary,

"This may come as a complete and utter
shock to you. It is not easy for me
to not tell you so - for lack of any
reasonable alternative here is the bitter
truth.

"I do not love you any more. I'm not
sure I can love you as much as you ??
yourself ? any to "The Rivals" which
others heard --a- you ?? ?? ?? [in/is]"

We agree up to the second paragraph. I feel confident in the second line there, but I'm going out on a limb for the first part of the third line (although the "f" seems fairly certain).

Perhaps Rupert had meant for us to decode it. Certainly "It is not easy for me not to tell you..." seems foreshawdowing for the multiple-negative episode, "Courting Disaster."


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