Jessica Jones: AKA Everything

Jessica: "Don't try to be a hero. It's a shitty job."

It is indeed a shitty job, full of sadness and loss. But it would be completely out of character for the series finale of Jessica Jones to end in sweetness and light.

Trish was so certain that she was a better hero than Jessica, that killing poisonous bad guys was the right thing to do. (Maybe she should have just moved over to The Punisher.) Jessica said that when Trish killed Jessica's mother Alisa, she could see the evil in Trish. But it took until the very end of this episode, when Detective Costa was listing the charges against her, for Trish to accept what she was. "I'm the bad guy."

Jessica cried as she watched the guards put Trish in the helicopter for her trip to the Raft. Trish looked back at Jessica with an odd expression – acceptance, I think. It was much the same expression Jessica had on her face in the train station when she turned her back on a ticket out of town. Acceptance of who she is. Rejection of the voice of Kilgrave in her head telling her she was right to give up. There's no running away for Jessica. "Keep on living," as the song said. What else can a hero do?

Let me pause for a moment and say that Krysten Ritter has been absolutely perfect as this character: beautiful and shabby, angry and empathetic, strong but vulnerable. Her eyes are so huge and expressive like a comic book character, but everything Jessica is feeling is always right there in those eyes. It's hard to look away when she's on screen. Ritter's Jessica Jones is the embodiment of noir.



Thank you, show, for bringing Luke Cage and his three piece suit back for the final episode; I still think they make a striking couple and I'm sorry they're not anymore. Luke came as a friend to help her finish her hero journey, sharing the pain of sending his own brother to the Raft. Luke thinks that going too far someday is inevitable. That's so sad.

So is the fact that Jeri ended up alone. I wish I could say I was surprised; it would be totally contrary to the laws of comic books if she had managed to procure a happy ending for herself. Not that her ending with ALS would have been happy, even if she had acquired Kith to see her out. Jeri's story line in this final season paralleled Trish; Jeri even mentioned that her body would become her prison.

Kith was not unmoved when Jeri told her the truth, when Jeri offered herself as a hostage in place of Kith. But Kith saw Jeri for who she was, that while Jeri might have died for Kith, it was still a situation that Jeri's choices had created in the first place. In truth, Jeri couldn't sustain her redemption arc for even a day.



There is hope for Erik, though. He went with Jessica to Trish's place and touched her, confirming that Trish was lost as he bled painfully from the eyes – an effective physical manifestation of measuring evil. In their final scene together, Erik brought Jessica kung pao chicken and offered to help her in her work.

Jessica said no. She doesn't trust Erik. But what's lovely is that the last thing Jessica did was bring Erik and Detective Costa together, a nudge pushing Erik in the right direction. It was a good place to leave Erik. He could be a hero if he tries, if he wants it badly enough. It depends on his choices. Definitely the message of this final season.

Ditto Malcolm. Jessica left him her business. Malcolm was with Berry when Zaya came to the door. Malcolm told Zaya the truth – that he loved her, but that he couldn't help sabotaging their relationship, as he was there with Berry, outright advertising that sabotage.

Malcolm has a hero journey to take, too. He might make it, like Jessica did, or fail, like Trish. It's nice to think that he'll succeed. Will Jessica return to her office after all? Will they be partners?

I wish they'd told us. But it's okay that we won't know.

Bits:

— When Trish went to the warehouse, she was wearing a wig. She was Patsy, one more time. Okay, she was always Patsy, pretending to be someone she wasn't. The masked vigilante was Trish's ultimate truth.

— Come on. Seventeen hours in a tiny metal coffin stacked under other coffins, awake, conscious and unmoving? That was so incredibly creepy and claustrophobic that it made my stomach hurt. It also made me think Trish would die in this episode. You can't give an audience more foreshadowing than that.

— Patseras was a tax evader and wife beater, not a killer. The only thing that stopped Trish from killing him was the entrance of his twelve-year-old daughter. Again, that made me think of Patsy, or possibly who Trish was before she was Patsy.

— Jessica seemed to just blow off getting shot in the leg and stabbed through the hand. So much for spleen vulnerability.

— The train ticket Jessica bought in the station was an obnoxious purple, Kilgrave's color, right before she heard his voice in her head. Great detail there.

— "In loving memory of Stan Lee." Sigh. Everything ends.

Quotes:

Jessica: "I'm supposed to fix this. Fix everything. It's my job. No wonder people just look the other way. I want to look away, too. It's all I want."
"Everything" is the title of this episode, because Jessica cannot fix everything.

Luke: "He made a decision. And forced me to make one, too."
Jessica: "The only decision I'm qualified to make is bourbon or more bourbon."

Jessica: "Are you just sitting here in the dark?"
Trish: "It isn't dark for me."
Metaphor alert.

Kith: "How long do you have?"
Jeri: "It's progressing slowly. My hands, they're not mine anymore, and eventually my entire body will become a prison."

Jessica: "You're not fast enough, and you can't beat me."
Trish: "Not in the light."
Again, metaphor alert.

Trish: (re: Jessica) "She can't make the ultimate sacrifice."
Jeri: "Which is?"
Trish: "Everything."

Trish: "Why can't you just let me go?"
Jessica: "Sallinger, Nussbaumer, Montero..."
Trish: "They won't hurt anyone else."
Jessica: "No. But you will."

Trish: "I'm the bad guy."

Jeri: "I need you. I need you."
Kith: "I know. You don't want to die alone. But you're going to."

I'm sad to be posting a review of the final episode. I really enjoyed this series, even though the last two seasons weren't quite as strong as the first. I'd like to thank the fourteen Agents of Doux who have written reviews of this show, making it our most shared project to date. I'll miss Jessica Jones. It was my favorite Marvel Netflix series.

Three out of four purple tickets to El Paso,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

2 comments:

Panda said...

Wonderfully written, Billie. I loved Krysten Ritter, too. She was perfect in the role, and easily the best Marvel Netflix lead. The show was one of my favourite releases over the last few years and I'm devastated it's all over, but I'm really happy it got to end on a high note, and in a way that made sense for the series it was. That final scene really made me smile, even though the ending itself was bittersweet.

Billie Doux said...

Thanks so much, Panda. It was indeed a bittersweet ending. A good descriptor for it.