|This article does not cite any references or sources. (September 2008)|
||This television-related article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (July 2010)|
|Beverly Hills, 90210 franchise character|
|Portrayed by||Daphne Zuniga|
|First appearance||Melrose Place:
November 11, 1992
(episode 1.15: "House of God")
Melrose Place (2009):
October 20, 2009
(episode 1.07: "Windsor")
|Last appearance||Melrose Place:
May 20, 1996
(episode 4.34: "Dead Sisters Walking")
Melrose Place (2009):
March 30, 2010
(episode 1.16: "Santa Fe")
|Created by||Darren Star|
|Residence||Los Angeles, California
4616 Melrose Place, apt. 6
West Hollywood, California
Jo Beth Reynolds (née Foster) is a fictional character in the American television series Melrose Place, the second series in the Beverly Hills, 90210 franchise. Portrayed by Daphne Zuniga, Jo Reynolds appeared in the first four seasons of Melrose Place and later appeared in two episodes in the 2009 series revival.
Arrival at Melrose Place and relationship with Jake (1992-1993)
Jobeth "Jo" Reynolds comes to the Melrose Place apartment complex from New York to escape her stormy marriage to Charles Reynolds. Afraid of exposure, she is initially unfriendly to her neighbors and hesitant to allow anyone into her personal life. Jo meets her match in gruff "bad boy" Jake Hanson, and the two begin a tempestuous romance. Alike in their passion and stubbornness, they fight and reunite repeatedly. Jo is threatened when the complex is bought by the aggressive Amanda Woodward, who has an obvious attraction to Jake. After a further series of fights and mis-communication, Jo loses Jake to the conniving Amanda.
Reed Carter, arrest for murder, pregnancy and custody battle (1993–1995)
A new love entered her life when Jo attended a high school reunion and bumped into an old high school acquaintance named Reed Carter. Soon, Jake was a distant memory as she began a seemingly great love affair with Reed. However, she discovered that Reed was secretly dealing drugs. Before she could even blink, Reed kidnapped her, holding her captive in a boat he used to share business with Jake and Amanda.
On this boat, Reed beat, raped, and ultimately tried to kill Jo. In self-defense, Jo killed Reed. But her troubles with the Carters were far from over. Jo was immediately tried for the death of Reed, and almost lost it all in court. After settling down with being proven not guilty, new troubles plagued Jo. She found out a few months later she was pregnant by Reed, and wanted to get an abortion. With help from Jake, who was beginning to realize the feelings he still had for her, she got through the pregnancy.
A couple of months before Jo was due to deliver, Reed's parents arrived at Melrose Place. The Carters wanted revenge on her for "killing their son" although they knew Jo shot Reed in self-defense. Nothing Jo did would satisfy them. She tried to tell them she would settle out of court, but the Carters sued her for custody of their grandson. The Carters' attorney convinced the court that Jo was not a fit mother. In a horrifying turn of events, Jo lost the custody of her child to the Carters before it was even born. She also ended her friendship with Allison, who was supposed to testify on her behalf but showed up high on uppers in the courtroom the day she was to testify.
Jo slowly began to die inside, going through depression and not feeling the work of her beloved photography job any longer, when Kimberly Shaw showed up. Shaw showed a ray of hope still survived: She was going to help Jo fake her own child's death, so that Jo could go into hiding back in New York City and raise her child there, and the Carters would never know. They even set it up with switched hospital records that would declare Jo's baby dead. Through the months preceding the due date, Kimberly and Jo were able to trick the Carters into believing their grandchild was dead.
When the baby boy, whom Jo named Austin, was born, Kimberly suffered one of her imbecilic head colds, and decided to steal Jo's baby and keep it for herself. For weeks Jo struggled to prove her son was in danger, and alive, despite what the birth records stated. Once a blood test was done by Michael Mancini, Jo was revealed to be the baby's mother. After extreme pressure from Dr. Peter Burns, then Chief of Staff of Wilshire Memorial Hospital, Michael was forced to concede and set Kimberly to work on Christmas Day, and while she was gone, he gave baby Austin back to mother Jo, the perfect Christmas present.
Not long after, things again became ugly for Jo. Kimberly called upon the Carters, telling them their grandson was very much alive and that she knew where he was. Jo, on the other hand, was happy and made Jake the godfather of Austin, when an unexpected nanny came to 4616 Melrose Place. All seemed perfect, this nanny was terrific and took excellent care of Austin - until she stole him and it turned out she was working for the Carters to get Austin back all along. Jake helped Jo search for her son, although all hope seemed lost. The two were finally able to track the Carters down at their lake house, and Jake swore to Jo he would get Austin back for her. The two refound the love they once had, albeit briefly. After tracking the Carters down, Jo panicked upon seeing her child in their arms, and tried to take the plunge to get her son back, but in another turn of terrifying events, she was shot by the Carters when trying to flee into Jake's arms. Taken to the hospital, Jo recuperated for a few days, when Mrs. Carter threatened Jo in the middle of the night, telling her to stay away from them. But Jo was not going down without a fight. She took the Carters back to court, and declared that if she couldn't raise her child, she wanted him to be raised buy a family who could.
The Carters lost little Austin, and were never going to see him again. Jo, on the other hand, would be able to see Austin again when he was eighteen. In an emotional and heartwarming moment, Jo was allowed one final moment with her son, to say goodbye. From there, Jo settled down, and took it easy, sticking with her work, and staying away from relationships. She and Jake seemed to be getting along well, and she trusted him after all he had done for her.
Later, Jo along with Jake and Jane Mancini fell victim to vandalism. Rikki, who moved into 4616 Melrose with Sidney, trashed her motorcycle and committed other acts to her apartment, including stealing her cameras. However, this did not stop her career.
While downtown in the rough side of town to take pictures for a huge story on night life, there, she witnessed a violent act of police brutality which led to a plethora of questions from the police concerning which one of their team committed the act. Jo cooperated, only to meet stern "justice" when the officer who committed the act of violence ripped her apartment to shreds, and would not leave her alone about keeping her mouth shut. So she went to Matt Fielding, close friend and fellow Melrose Place resident. He turned the pictures in, causing much dismay from the cop who was the murderer. This led to the cop holding Jo and Matt at gunpoint, another victimized situation, but Jo was strong again, and got the gun from the cop and stated "What you didn't know, is that I am tired of being the victim!"
Reunited with Jake (1996)
Because of all that Jake had done for her, she decided it was her turn to do something for him, by accompanying him to the funeral of his mother (who was shown in season one.) There, she helped Jake deal with the trauma of the incident and took note of the stormy relationship that lay between him and his brother Jess. She and Jake even slept together again, but only once. After driving home with Jake, Jo laid low for a few weeks.
But things heated up again when Jess Hansen moved to Los Angeles with a sinister agenda. Jo, being a kind and sensitive person at heart, felt his pain when Jake shut him out of his apartment at Melrose Place, so Jo lent him her couch, and soon became attracted to him. Their attraction was a lightning bolt of a relationship, having sex in the alley ways behind bars, sex on bookshelves, and all the while, she was afraid to tell Jake, because it would damage their relationship.
Jake eventually did find out, and wanting to protect Jo. He and his brother had a feud that ended when his brother hired men to kill him. Jo knew nothing of this. She continued her affair with Jess, but kept a close watch on Jake. Jess became irrational and never let her spend time with her friends, causing her to stress the relationship. Finally, when Jess proposed to her, she had to tell Jess they may have needed to take some time to really think about their relationship. This did not go well. Jess beat her up, and she was unable to fight him off, and he left her for dead. When Jake found out, he knew Jo was not to blame for any of his problems, and that Jess wanted to steal Jo away from him the whole time, and ended up killing his own brother, for Jo.
Jo was in a mental state of shock after all this. Aside from the beating and Melrose Place being blown to bits by Kimberly Shaw, the unstable doctor who kidnapped her child, she was alone and afraid. So she and Jake made amends and became involved again. She and Jake were going very well, but her friendship with Jane was not. Jo knew that Jane was only marrying Richard Hart, a very successful designer, for money. Jo told Richard everything, tarnishing both Jane's relationship with Richard and Jo's relationship with Jane.
Soon after, Jake developed feelings for his new waitress, Shelley. After finding Jake on a pool table with Shelley, Jo called it quits with Jake for good, and ran into the arms of Richard, who willingly accepted her. For most of season four, Jo was playing second fiddle to Richard, assisting him at his company "Mackenzie Hart Designs". Many times she was caught in the middle of public feuds between Jane and Richard, and Jake would fall into them as well, but this would not bring them back together, something that many fans would have wanted to see.
Jo later dumped Richard and then put her life on hold, trying to figure out what to do next. Jake offered comfort, but not his love. She could tell he wanted to though, but the two had been through too much, and their love, could not save them this time. As she was living on "automatic pilot" for a few weeks, a friend of Sydney's, Laurie, came by 4616 Melrose Place, with her son Tyler, to stay. Sydney was not very interested in this friend anymore, and Jo, being the wonderful and kind hearted person she was, let them stay with her. When the little boy showed bruises, Jo was concerned and made sure Matt Fielding, did something about it, by going to his mentor, Dr. O'Malley. O'Malley helped the boy out and all was well with her relationship. O'Malley became, in these few days, attracted to the headstrong Jo, and so much that he had Matt set her up with Dr. Dominick O' Malley.
Initially, Jo did not care for Dominick. When Matt's health was in danger, Dominick came through, and Jo realized that he was a great man. They enjoyed a happy relationship and he later proposed to Jo. At first she was taken aback, believing she had been through too many bad relationships to go on with them seriously. He told her she had not, and that if they didn't get together, then he would never be able to see her again, because he was going to Bosnia to help the orphans. Jo had never been more torn in her life, and for the first time, she knew what true love was, and that she truly loved Dominick O'Malley as much as he equally loved her. Jo eventually agreed to leave L.A. with Dominick.