Jessica Jones: AKA 99 Friends

Jeri: "You're coming across as paranoid."
Jessica: "Everyone keeps saying that. It must be a conspiracy."

Paranoia is another theme that runs through these first several episodes. Not just the illusion of safety, or the lack of it, but the idea that even those closest to you are, in fact, secretly spying on you.

Poor Malcolm. I don't know what has happened to him to make him destroy himself, but there is most definitely more to his story then we've seen so far. Is Kilgrave using him? Or is this a job he has taken on to spite Jessica? I'm hoping it's the former, because at least then he has an excuse beyond being a junkie asshole.

Of course Kilgrave isn't the cause of everything. Take the case of the hour, for example. A woman who seemed almost too suspicious tasks Jessica with trailing her husband. Jessica being her usual paranoid self follows her and realizes that this woman is up to no good, setting up a shooting gallery in an abandoned bar. Except those bullets weren't meant for her husband, they were meant for Jessica.

I'm not sure where vengeance ends and justice begins in this story. But this is another case of the fallout from the attack on New York during the first Avengers movie. In Daredevil, Fisk's plan involved using the destruction of the city as a pathway to taking over the city. Here, there are more personal stories of devastation. Like Audrey, who lost her mother, and wanted to take it out on anyone gifted.

Jessica's reaction to the trap Audrey tried to set was pretty powerful. She basically destroyed the apartment around that couple, without actually hurting them. Audrey had shot Jessica, but Jessica didn't even seem to care all that much. That falls in line with what we've learned about Jessica so far, but it is a strange testament to how much she hates herself and who she has become. She is a hero, but has no concept of her own self-worth.

Simpson is turning into an interesting character. Right now I don't know what his motivations are. Is he really trying to make amends, or is he still under the influence of Kilgrave? Jessica seems to think he is just suffering, and now Trish has let him in, too. That conversation through the door was really well done. We got a real feel for each character, taking the time to have an intimate moment between the two.

Actually we have two characters now directly suffering from the aftermath of Kilgrave's influence. Trish has also changed. She's paranoid and afraid, as if she wasn't already paranoid before. But wow, she is clearly traumatized and terrified. The idea of letting Simpson in shows that she can separate his actions from the cause. That's a good thing, even if she will never be able to fully trust anyone, possibly even Jessica.

Jeri is a cold person, a villain in thought and opinion. Without having any foreknowledge of how the rest of the series will play out, I keep getting the feeling that she will turn out to be allied with Kilgrave. I have no real basis for that conjecture, except that she threw out the idea that the way Kilgrave uses his powers is a waste. I can almost imagine where a mind like hers would go with his kind of powers.

Bits:

Jessica Hecht (Audrey) is probably best known for playing Susan Bunch on Friends.

The support group is an interesting way to show how much Kilgrave uses people.

A second Avenger has been referred to now: Captain America as the 'Flag Waver'.

That moment where the eight and a half year old girl showed up to let Jessica know he accepted Trish's apology was downright shuddery.

Jessica's powers have been pretty subtle up to this point, since she uses them basically as a means to an end. But her letting loose on that couple was a really well done scene.

Trish: "He isn't here now."
Jessica: "Yeah, well he's always in here."
Great delivery by Krysten Ritter on this one.

Another really good episode that further developed both the plot and the characters.

4 out of 4 victims of Kilgrave's mind control.

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.

6 comments:

Josie Kafka said...

I'm not sure where vengeance ends and justice begins in this story. But this is another case of the fallout from the attack on New York during the first Avengers movie...Audrey, who lost her mother, and wanted to take it out on anyone gifted.

Actually we have two characters now directly suffering from the aftermath of Kilgrave's influence.


I love many, many things about this show, but one of my most favoritest things is the way it portrays violence, assault, and manipulation as being more about victim/perpetrator. It's not a problem between just two people (Jessica/Kilgrave) or two groups (Avengers/Alien Invaders). Instead, every act of cruelty has a complex ripple effect. People who don't seem to be directly involved are still harmed.

I think that deconstruction of the old binaries is a really useful way to think about the impact of violence and cruelty in a way that doesn't ever turn into victim-blaming, since it clarifies that so many people can be harmed by those bad actions.

Billie Doux said...

This one had some amusing moments, as well as lots of paranoia. I liked the cop, Simpson, and the way he connected to Trish. And I knew the neighbor Malcolm had to be in the series for a reason other than to show Jessica has compassion. Jess really needs a support group, and now she has one. If she chooses to participate.

migmit said...

I love Simpson. He is the most kind, honorable, and smart person on the show so far. Him giving Trish a gun was absolutely perfect.

Trish, however, acts stupid again. She couldn't have known that the gun actually works without testing it first.

I thought about Simpson being controller by Kilgrave, but it doesn't seem likely. To make someone act honorably you should know what "honorable" means, and Kilgrave doesn't seem to comprehend the notion.

Morgan India said...

It took me forever to recognise Eka Darville (Malcolm) from The Originals and Spartacus. He's becoming one of my favourites on the show.

For some reason, Jessica just comes off as rather unlikeable for me. I think Krysten Ritter is doing an amazing job with the role, but half the time I'm just going "Take a chill pill or something"

As a fellow Tasmanian, I'm so happy to see Rachael Taylor back on TV. Even if her accent keeps slipping on the regular.

Lamounier said...

Jessica Hecht (Audrey) is probably best known for playing Susan Bunch on Friends.

Thank you! I kept wondering “is it her?” during the episode and actually thought of asking that on the comments. :)

Marianna said...

I loved Audrey's husband immediately saying "I want a divorce" after Jessica left. When I saw Jessica Hecht I thought of Breaking Bad; thanks for reminding me she was also in Friends.

I loved the conversation through the door. It was a bold move taking time out of all the action to do that, and I think it paid off.

The mind-control victims were well done. I especially liked the person who had his coat stolen. It makes sense that someone with those powers would sometimes use them for little things like that. It reminded me of http://www.douxreviews.com/2002/04/supernatural-simon-said.html