I think Jimmy was growing out of love with Dorothy as he was falling for Vivien. Unintentionally, of course.
Dolly was his first love, and he was indeed, devoted to her, but as time went on and he interacted with Vivien, he was seeing Dolly for her manipulative behaviors and noticing more and more the uneasiness created in himself when dealing with Dolly in their extortive efforts to secure the means to their marriage dreams.
The scene where he presents the check to Dolly, thereby hoping to put ‘the plan’ to rest, and Dolly leans over the table to kiss him, he feels nothing for her all while he’s agonizing over his guilt and the overwhelm of Vivien’s goodbye – that felt like the final snap to me. Then we learn he’s set up a meet with Vivien.
But, because he was fiercely loyal of character, who is to know what his meeting at the railway cafe with Vivien would’ve brought or whether he would’ve stayed committed to the marriage proposal/dream with Dolly.
At the end, I think we see that confirmed devotion – after all, first loves leave a lifelong imprint, no? – when Jimmy looks her up to check in on Dolly and her life after the war. And then we glimpse once more, his goodness and loyalty of character when he realizes what Vivien has done and he simply walks away (but not until confirming she has the husband and life she deserves) and takes the knowledge with him to his grave.
🥴 All that to say, I believe Jimmy loved them both. One might suggest ‘it’s complicated.’
- This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Kelly.