Jessica Jones: AKA I Did Something Today

"Despite the everything on my side, the good, the right, they still win."

When Trish's failed attack on Salinger potentially exposes her to the public, Jessica has to help - but how? Meanwhile, Jeri has another potential avenue to Kith in an episode which shows how moral ambiguity can damage those who would be heroes.

The more I think about it the more I see the similarity between Trish and Jeri. They're both characters with an enormous amount of power who use the excuse of helping others to hurt others. The ends differ. Jeri's out for Whatever Makes Her Life Easier, and Trish is trying to make the world better - a charge which has become intensely personal with the murder of her mother.

With Jeri - it's getting harder and harder for her to deny the selfishness which motivates her own acts. She raises hell on behalf of Sallinger, despite knowing that Sallinger's likely the murderer of Dorothy. I wrote that I thought Trish would be attacking Jeri at some point because of the Sallinger association, and now because of her commitment to unmasking vigilantes. I thought it was interesting that Laurent and everyone on the show basically knew right away that Jeri manipulated the world around her; Jeri's the only one keeping up a thin pretense that she didn't do anything, but Laurent just blew away that shield today.

The characters seem to be going in different arcs, however. Trish is becoming more and more violent. She doesn't believe in the ability of the system to bring justice to individuals - something she and Matt Murdock could have a conversation about, maybe. You can see Jessica is extremely disturbed by what she saw when she rescued Sallinger. Jessica has to be thinking about her mother, and how her mother was unable to control her own violence. It crossed my mind. From the episode as a whole - especially that conversation with Malcolm - I'm not sure what Trish is thinking or where her mind is going. She spirals down in the tub, but is she upset because she started the job - or because she wasn't allowed to finish? It's interesting that Jessica tried turning to Erik to find options for bringing Trish to safety. It's interesting that she's willing to work with Erik to break into a police crime lab. I think she considers the trauma Trish has gone through large enough to merit these decisions, but she still asks Erik to check her aura for evil when she destroys evidence to save her sister. Erik is basically useless except for identifying Nussbaumer and actually complicates the situation by blowing his own cover, but I still think he's cute.

It's his story later which hammers home the moral of this episode, and maybe the series, to me. Erik shares his experiences as a child when he 'tried to do the right thing' before. His sister was molested by his father, and Erik used the knowledge from his power to find out the truth. Was this right? Was it wrong? "She said it wasn't my truth to tell." In a way, Erik is guilty as Trish is; he also used his powers in a way which controlled others instead of supporting them. Which is a very imprecise way of putting it, but I think Jessica herself is developing her superhero ethos as the show goes on, and seeing what's happening with Erik and Trish, it makes me wonder if Jessica's going to be opening Superhero Hogwarts at the end of this season so as to help people with powers figure out the nitty of these so-very-gritties.

That's if she gets out of jail. While following Trish and trying to figure out what's going on in that cute little mind of hers, Jessica gets apprehended by the police - for the murder of Officer Nussbaumer. Has Sallinger planned something successful for once?

Bits and Pieces

At one point when Jessica talks to Erik she stands next a painting by Egon Schiele. The painting's subject - a dancer without feet - is sometimes interpreted as a woman struggling with her inner strength.

The Raft is a supervillain prison in the comic books.

The actor playing Nussbaumer looked like Kevin James from the King of Queens to me.

Sallinger just doesn't seem scary anymore. He seems like a failure with a scar.

Quotables

Laurent: (to Jeri) "Don't hurt her. More. Don't hurt her more, please."

Trish: "I guess the best places to hide out are the places no one wants to go."

Malcolm: "You know, they don’t always. Win. They don’t always win."
Trish: "They do enough that I can’t do this anymore."
Malcolm: "Good."

Overall

What I like about this show is how it still believes in good and evil. It just takes those concepts to a very, very complex place. A slower episode, but solid. Four out of five Nussbaumers.

1 comment:

CoramDeo said...

They've been talking about main characters going to prison the whole season long, and now the Raft has come up. Somebody's definitely serving some time by the end of this season.