One of my favorite things about Jessica Jones is that it doesn’t waste any time moving along. The best thing about every episode being deployed all at once on Netflix is that it’s serialized, and isn’t interested in recap, each episode essentially flows directly into the next. In this case it works perfectly for the previous episode’s confirmation of Luke having rock hard abs and unbreakable (at least for a bottle and a buzzsaw) skin. And considering Jessica is lonely, not just because of her previous trauma, but by the very isolation of being legitimately different because of her powers creates it’s a welcome experience. While it’s not a point for point recreation of Alias’ (somewhat infamous) scene with Jessica and Luke in the first issue, there’s an understandable appeal to the both of them wanting to meet someone they share something in common. And as Luke outlines in his conversation with Jessica “Being a hero puts a target on your back.” and neither of them have any desire to advertise both their differences from ordinary people, or their loneliness. And while on the outside that may take the shape of simple gratification, they’re both filling emotional gaps inside of themselves.
Part of what has made Jessica Jones so interesting to me is the emphasis on feminine relationships. While this is increasingly becoming more ubiquitous in a post-Frozen world, it’s still slightly surprising to see. Jessica and Trish’s relationship is one of the core elements of the show, and despite her resistance to any of Trish’s attempts to help, Jessica pretty clearly cares for her, hence her constant attempts to keep her at a distance, or alternatively bring her into help when it’s absolutely necessary. While Jessica’s other major relationships: with Hogarth and Hope respectively aren’t quite as grounded in love, they serve their purposes as a mirror of just what Trish does for Jessica. Hogarth and Jessica both use each other, and the former is extremely calculating to a point that Jessica herself calls her out on it. And Jessica’s willingness to help Hope is largely a reflection of the implied nature of how Trish helped Jessica through her own trials with Kilgrave, and out of guilt for failing to stop him. Those contrasting elements all come to a head with the attempt to redeem Hope’s name in the public eye with the derailed radio interview. Hogarth cynically uses Trish as a patsy (heh) to bring up mind control as a legitimate idea so she wouldn’t have to, Hope suffers through renewed trauma from a still-fresh wound, and Trish tries her most earnest attempts at defending Hope, but fails.
One of the most simultaneously genius and terrifying things that the show done is make Kilgrave to be essentially a Gamergate age stalker, one who is every bit as contradictory, spiteful, and “heroic” as the real world equivalent. That manifests from actions seemingly disparate as smashing a toy car, to sending a man to murder someone for badmouthing him, to sending that same man to his death for the lulz. Almost all of Kilgrave’s actions revolve around Jessica. And when they don’t revolve around tormenting people around her to get her attention, they’re just random attempts at causing misery for fun, like a child with a magnifying glass. Kudos to David Tennant for his performance since while he does still rely on that charm he had as the Doctor, it’s still very good at draining all of that when you realize how casually maniacal he is.
In addition, the climax of the episode: Officer Simpson’s attempted murder of Trish, and Jessica’s first encounter with Kilgrave in months reveals a lot of interesting moments. Trish gets her moment to shine, and while her obsessiveness with training so brutally may have seemed bizarre in the first two episode, it makes sense in light of the fact the show is set in a world where aliens are real, and a crazed man with mind control powers stalks the streets in pursuit of her best friend. Even with her failure to hold off Simpson, she’s allowed to have awesome moments in a series that by virtue of its premise has to balance showing the consequences of being mentally shattered versus depriving its leads of any victories. Overall though, Jessica Jones continues to chug along in its third episode, and introducing Kilgrave along with the considerable obsession he has for Jessica ups the stakes for everyone involved, as well as the isolation and toll it takes upon her.
Review by Slewo
- “The elevator went too high.” “You’re too high.”- I know it’s mean. But I do enjoy the quips Jessica throws out.
- “I mean I guess he is kind of scary. If you just wake up, you don’t know. And you’re a bit racist.”
- “Sweet Christmas.” Best deployment of a 70’s catchphrase ever?
- “Don’t just kick it all the time, you ginger twat!”