Jessica Jones: AKA It's Called Whiskey

Jessica: "What if the devil actually did make you do it? Even if you could prove it, would people ever forgive what you did? Could you ever forgive yourself?"

Things left unsaid, secrets, fractured relationships, and dead loved ones. At the core of this episode there was a truly unsettling sense of the unseen menace.

Who will be behind the door, a friendly cop, or a mind-controlled assassin? That's the kind of power our villain wields, which is beyond creepy. That's horror movie level stuff. So it is kind of interesting that we got to see Kilgrave in the flesh, even though he was still just beyond Jessica's reach behind a pane of glass. What kind of monster is he, exactly? What are his motives? Because he clearly seems to be obsessed with Jessica. Is it her powers? Or is it something more? In a twisted way is he in love with her? That gives me the shudders. I'm not sure I even want to know if he wants her dead or back under his control.

To make matters more complicated, there is Jessica's new and potentially amazing relationship with Luke. Except pretty much everything is standing between them. As Mark surmised in his review of episode 2, Jessica was the one who physically caused the death of Luke's wife. Why Kilgrave made her do it is still unknown, but that moment did seem to be the catalyst that somehow allowed Jessica to walk away from Kilgrave. I'm curious if it was just that, or something else, because I'm pretty sure it won't be the same solution that the original comic book used (more on that below).

Either way, one thing is for sure: both Jessica and Luke are very broken, despite being superheroes. Luke is still recovering from the loss of his wife, and Jessica from the events that killed his wife. The fact that she's been stalking him, taking pictures of him like Kilgrave has been taking pictures of her, is a messed up parallel. Yet for Jessica it wasn't obsession that made her follow Luke, it was guilt and a somewhat misplaced need to protect him.

At least we got some really nice relationship-building between the two of them. That scene at the cafe where they were talking about their pasts and their powers was sweet. I also like how drawn they are to each other, and how Luke kept trying to figure out why she was so reluctant when it was obvious how attracted they both were.

As for Jessica's personality, it is clear she is deeply conflicted. She is a reluctant hero who clearly wants to do good things, but is so beaten down that everything she does has an edge to it. Like the way she used poor strung out Malcolm at the hospital. At the same time, she actively had to save that cop more than once, and it was fascinating how she held back in that long fight scene against that poor family that Kilgrave used to prevent her from following him.

We're starting to get a better feel for the supporting characters too, like Trish. Even with her fortress of a home and her new Krav Maga skills, she was still nearly killed by that cop. Jeri is also strong character, but I'm honestly not sure if she is a good guy or a bad guy. She is merciless at her job, and doesn't really seem to have too many ethical problems lying to clients or using them to make sure her professional career isn't sacrificed by siding with a controversial client. Of course I'm referring to that scene in the radio station, with Trish and Hope and Jeri. It was so well done, especially when Kilgrave called in and made every single person lose it, including Jessica who frantically tried to keep her friend safe. Turns out she was right too, about Trish taunting him.

Comic Book Connections:

As a part of the back-story for Jessica Jones in the comic book Alias, her tenure as a superhero was short-lived but she was known by several other heroes including Peter Parker (Spider-man) and Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel). When she fell under Kilgrave's influence he sent her to kill another hero (Daredevil) but instead he accidentally sent her to the Avengers base where she was captured by Vision and Scarlet Witch and put into a coma where she was given mental defenses by Jean Grey of the X-Men. Obviously this is not going to be the case in this series, since it involves a lot of players either exclusive to the big screen (Vision/Scarlet Witch), owned by another studio (Jean Grey), or not even introduced into canon yet (Captain Marvel and Spider-man).


Luke mentioned the big green guy and his crew, obviously referring to the Avengers.

I kept thinking as Luke and Jessica talked about their powers and whether anyone else had them, how much more information we have than they do. Eleven movies and two other series set in the same universe imparts a pretty significant amount of detail.

Did Jessica really jump off that building with the cop, or did she just drag him down stairs and pretend?

I loved Jessica tearing off the microphones that Trish was trying to use for her broadcast, but I kept wondering how much money that was going to cost the studio.

What is going on with the upstairs siblings? The brother is clearly crushing on Jessica, but I hope they aren't given bigger roles in future episodes.


Luke: "Yes, well, you are very gifted."
Jessica: "Likewise. So just how unbreakable are you?"
Luke: "On a scale of 'I don't know' to... 'I'd rather not find out'?"
Jessica: "So if I were to bite your finger with all of my considerable strength..."
Luke: "Depends on how considerable. So don't go getting any ideas about my extremities. So what else can you do? Can you punch through a wall? Can you stop a moving car?"
Jessica: "A slow-moving car."
Luke: "Can you fly?"
Jessica: "It's more like jumping and then falling."

Luke: "You still get points for doing good."
Jessica: "Not near enough to cancel out the bad."
Luke: "The way I see it, most people got both going on. Just depends on which part wins that day."

Trish: "I knew it. You said 'Let's do lunch'. You hate that saying."
Jessica: "Because it's stupid. You eat lunch."
Trish: "It sounds better than, 'Let's do Jessica another favor'."

Jessica: "Trish, what are you afraid of?"
Trish: "Not much, anymore. Except clowns. But that's just common sense."

Kilgrave: "Everyone has feelings, even, um, how did you put it? Sadistic, corrosive men."

Trish: "I hate feeling this way, I don't know how you handle it."
Jessica: "It's called whiskey."

4 out of 4 mind controlled minions hell bent on stopping Jessica from leaving a New York apartment.
J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.


Billie Doux said...

That scene at the cafe where Jessica and Luke were getting to know each other and exchanging information about their superpowers was so cute. But Jessica killed his wife. Even though Kilgrave made her do it, it seems like a pretty insurmountable barrier to their relationship, you think?

I loved the way she treated Kilgrave's victims by convincing them they'd done what they were ordered to do. Like the cop jumping off the building.

Laure Mack said...

The upstairs siblings skeeve me out, and in a show about mind control that's saying something. I agree that I don't want their rolls to get bigger but I kind of do. It's like when I see a spider on the ceiling... I'd rather it not be there anymore, but I can't stop staring at because I'm afraid it will run in my closet and hide in a sweater or something.

I, too, loved the cafe date. But I have to agree with Billie, when he finds out that she killed his wife he's going to be hopping mad. I bet he forgives her when he finds out she wasn't thinking for herself, though. Stalking is harder to forgive.

Loved your review JD. And I loved loved loved the comic book connections section. I know it'll never happen but how cool would a crossover be with all those characters!?!

Sian said...

Curious to see what they'll do with Trish. I mean, she's ostensibly a powered individual as well, though her abilities are almost entirely around sensing and defending against magical threats, with Doctor Strange entering the MCU, we know magic is A Thing.

Josie Kafka said...

Luke mentioned the big green guy and his crew, obviously referring to the Avengers.

I thought it was really interesting that Luke described them that way. He thinks of the Avengers as the Hulk, plus others. Given their shared unbreakable status, that makes sense.

(I wonder if Jessica thinks of them as Black Widow and her male sidekicks.)

Billie Doux said...

I love that, Josie. *Of course* Jessica would think of the Avengers as Black Widow and her male sidekicks. Actually, *I* sort of think of the Avengers as Black Widow and her male sidekicks. And maybe Iron Man.

Wendy said...

I'm still wondering what happened to the kids Kilgrave sent into the closet. Was that a different family?

Docnaz said...

Billie, Black Widow and Iron Man are my favorites, so I agree with you.

Marianna said...

I have to give this show/comics credit. I'm trying to think of a creepier villain, and I can't come up with one. Excellent writing and acting. and of course Krysten Ritter is the perfect person for the role of Jessica.

Wendy, I was also thinking about the poor kids in the closet. I wasn't sure if he had moved on to another home.