The ending of My Life with the Walter Boys season 1 has Jackie leaving with Richard for New York and leaving behind a note for Alex saying that she was sorry. The reason for the apology is clearly her kiss with Cole the night before and the fact that she gave in to the feelings she had since the time she came to live with the Walter family.
There is no doubting that Jackie liked Cole just as much as he liked her and from the beginning itself. It could have been the Cole effect, or it could have been more, but he had caught her eye. However, he never gave her a reason to trust him. Jackie was the kind of person who liked knowing what was going to happen next and planning for it. She thrived on organization and trust, but those were sorely missing in Cole. The biggest example of it was the prank he played on her. It wasn’t the prank itself, but how Cole made Jackie think that she was safe with him in the aftermath of it while he had been the one to initiate the whole thing. Jackie had probably started warming up to him when he took her to the lake, but all those feelings were unceremoniously pulled out of her when she came to know that it was Cole whom she couldn’t trust.
Contrary to Cole, Alex had a more mature approach to courting Jackie. Even he liked her at first sight, and Jackie must have realized that. The main difference between Cole and Alex that is noticeable right away is that Alex earns Jackie’s trust. He constantly stands up for her, be it in the classroom or in his own house during the prank. Jackie can see and understand how things are with Alex, unlike Cole, who always gives her mixed signals. It is also important to understand that, other than Jackie’s inherent nature, she is also in a very vulnerable place right now. She had just lost her entire family and was adjusting to new people and a new place at that time. Therefore, stability and comfort are extremely important for her because she simply cannot take the risk of getting hurt. If she had been with her parents and sister, she would have had an established support system that she could count on before taking any risk, like dating Cole. However, as much as she is getting used to the Walters, even they are learning to be with her, which means that there is still a long way to go before Jackie can count on them with her eyes closed. Also, both Cole and Alex are from that family. If things get messed up with Cole, Jackie cannot trust that people will take her side. As for Alex, she can at least count on a modicum of stability and maturity.
Another thing about Cole is that he is going through a very self-destructive phase. It is not that he doesn’t know how to earn someone’s trust, but he is in a stage where all of his feelings and actions are in conflict with each other. Cole is concerned for his future, but he is doing everything possible to wreck it since he believes that his future was lost with his ability to play football. He blames himself for wasting his parents’ money, and that supposed waste was what was spent on his treatment. This cocktail of hopelessness makes him push away everyone close to him because they will inevitably tell him to gather his act, which is the last thing he wants to do. There is a common pattern among the people who are close to him. First is his big brother, who is one of the most hard-working people and is constantly planning for his and his family’s future. Next is Erin, and she is just as focused on her goals. Her efforts to find what she really liked came after she broke up with Cole. Finally, there is Jackie herself, who has not let any adversity get in the way of her plans for Princeton. This is all very unlike Cole, who is unable to control his spiral of self-loathing. Even if Jackie had been with him, it would have been a terrible relationship, and both parties realized that. This was in sharp contrast to Alex, who may be insecure about himself because of Cole, but he never let that get in the way of his sincerity toward Jackie. That fact is that Jackie was attracted to Cole, and she knew that. However, she was not sugarcoating anything about him, and that meant that she saw him for the mess he was. This is why Jackie denied her feelings for him so much, because she knew she did not want to handle the mess. Her life was complicated enough.
In the season 1 finale of My Life with the Walter Boys, Alex tells Jackie that he loves her, and Jackie is clearly not ready to reciprocate that sentiment. That was the first fissure in their relationship, and one that would take a certain mindset to repair. Jackie may not love Alex back, but her feelings for him needed to be a lot stronger if she hoped to get there one day. If she knew that she wouldn’t ever feel the same way, she had to break up soon. Maybe Jackie had considered all that, or maybe she hadn’t. But when she saw the teapot that Cole had repaired for her, she couldn’t stop herself. He knew what it meant to her, and he had taken the effort to repair it. That was an extremely meaningful and overwhelming gesture, and Jackie could not stop herself from acting on her feelings anymore.
It remained that Jackie had technically cheated. She had been an equal participant in the very thing that she had judged Cole so harshly for, which was hurting his brother with Paige. Right now, Jackie is certainly not with Cole. But she also won’t be with Alex. The note she left behind indicates that she was breaking up with Alex. Jackie is completely single right now, and she owes a lot of people some explanations before she gets involved with someone again. If and when My Life with the Walter Boys season 2 comes, all three of the kids involved in the love triangle have a lot of work to do before there can be a conclusive answer to who will be with whom.