Jessica Jones: AKA Customer Service is Standing By

“Any time you try and make something better, it’s 50-50 you’ll make it worse.”

Or, the one where Jessica meets the Big Bad and Trish gets her big shot.

Considering Jessica lost her spleen I thought she took the realization that Erik was the actual target rather well. Her pragmatism and her need for justice far outweigh the desire to make Erik pay. After all, he wasn’t the one that stabbed her. Of course it doesn’t stop her from using him as bait.

In some ways, Erik and Jessica are flip sides of the same coin. Neither is averse to breaking the odd rule (or law) here or there but they are fundamentally good people. They are just so damaged by their abilities and life in general that they self medicate with booze and sex to make it through the day. Yet in the face of an ocean’s worth of evil Jessica’s response is to wade in and try to make it better, one bucket at a time.  Conversely, discouraged by the prospect, Erik searches for higher ground. This is why she can’t let Erik’s marks slide by with just paying a fee but is fine with Erik keeping the payments.

All of which is prologue to the introduction of Gregory Sallinger, this season’s Big Bad. He’s a photographer, lawyer, psychologist, chemist, engineer, and former athlete. He also happens to be a serial killer that believes Jessica has proof of his misdeeds. All of which should make him a formidable opponent.

Consider me underwhelmed. If Gregory was half as intelligent as he thinks he is he might have noticed that Jessica recorded his whole rant, including his plans to set her up for assaulting him. Have villains learned nothing from The Incredibles? Stop monologuing!

In other news, I’m not sure what Jeri’s endgame is. Does she want one last fling with an old flame before the bed rails and transfer benches take over her life? Is this her way of taking the home care specialist’s advice? Does she think Kith will come running once she finds out what a schmuck Peter is and nurse Jeri till the bitter end? She could have had the first without all the manipulations. The latter is unrealistic on so many levels. Kith has no interest in being one of Jeri’s playthings. And I suspect Kith will recognize Jeri’s fingerprints all over her husband’s fall from grace regardless of how careful Malcolm is.

And what of Malcolm. Trish, for all her faults, hit him where it hurts. In deciding to “make his bones” working for Jeri, he’s made a Faustian bargain, and he knows it. However, it does not stop him from parlaying his skills into a sizable raise and a nicer office. I know Jessica treated him poorly but when he worked for her, at least his conscience was clear.

Trish’s conscience is clear too, although it shouldn’t be. Trish honestly believes she’s on the side of angels when she accuses Malcolm. Yet, she’s just traded in one addiction for another in the false belief that playing hero is the healthier alternative. Considering it has cost her apartment, led her to breaking and entering, assault, and nearly manslaughter, I beg to differ. And just as with drugs, it’s affecting her cognitive abilities. If Trish had been thinking straight, her first real crime fighting foray ending in a near-death experience would have given her pause. Instead, she jumps at the chance to work with Jessica tracking down her attacker. Proving Trish neither understands how fractured their relationship is nor that there is more to Jessica’s 180 than meets the eye. A season one Trish would have known better.

The discovery of Erik’s abilities and the introduction of the Big Bad made this feel more like a season opener. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but at this point, I was hoping for a little more forward progression and a little less set up. However, Jessica’s journey from despising the sight of Trish to her willingness to use her ex-best friend in the hope of taking down a serial killer was almost worth the price of admission.

3 out of 5 “teaching moment” weights

Parting Thoughts

In the comics, Erik Gelden was a bank robber known as Mind-Wave who had run-ins with both Daredevil and Punisher.  

Sal’s condition may have stabilized but what about her son that was thrown unconscious into the pool?

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the blood on the money is either Jessica’s blood from the now clean knife or it isn’t human blood.

Quotes:

Erik: “Cut me some slack, Sal. I always come through.”
Sal: “A few days late and a few grand light.”
Erik: “At least I’m consistent.”

Jessica: “There are a lot of shitty people out there. There’s no reason for us to double up. Go find your own bad guy.”

Erik: “Our luck is changing.”
Jessica: “Yeah, if you set the bar at being drowned and stabbed.”

Jessica: “Say I wasn’t here and you’d found out what he was doing, what would you have done.”
Erik: “Asked for more money.”

Jessica: “I told you, I don’t rely on anyone.”

Erik: “We could spend the rest of our lives stopping bad guys and we would never even make a dent.”

Jeri: “A cheating, manipulative, narcissist like Peter isn’t worthy of your sympathy.”
Malcolm: “Says she who’s without sin, right.”

Jeri: “I was doing you a favor. I don’t see what the problem is.”
Kith: “Because you think of everything as a transaction.”

Erik: “Did you fly here or something? Do you need a ride?”

Jessica: “Gotcha, you stabbing piece of shit.”

Gregory: “Particle physics requires research. I figured you out in an afternoon.”

Erik: “Sal and I had a disagreement about punctuality.”

Jessica: “You make my life choices look good.”

Trish: “I’m happy to help. Thanks for calling.”

Shari loves sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural, and anything with a cape.

2 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Terrific review, Shari. I agree that it did indeed feel like it was the start of the season, not episode four.

I particularly liked how Jessica asked Erik to use his powers to check out whoever was at the door, he said that person wasn't a bad guy, and it turned out to be Trish. I've been going back and forth about whether or not Trish is going to turn evil, and that felt like we were given an answer -- that she's good.

Shari said...

I've had the same misgivings about Trish. Unfortunately, I think Erik's powers reflect the person at a given point in time. Trish isn't evil...yet. But she's certainly on a downward trajectory.