Marvel's Jessica Jones Review by Henry Tran

Marvel's Jessica Jones 1.11: AKA I've Got the Blues

Marvel's Jessica Jones 1.11: AKA I've Got the Blues

Written By:
Scott Reynolds and Liz Friedman
Directed By:
Uta Briesewitz

This is a return to form for the series. In fact, this episode feels like the ones from early in the season, where we knew next to nothing about Kilgrave and he hadn't even made an appearance in the flesh yet. Kilgrave doesn't make an appearance in this episode (save for texting Jessica his threat to Luke at the end), but we've already seen the extent of the damage his presence has inspired so that makes this episode rather haunting without him. Instead, the episode provides for a change in the story's tack, as flashbacks and present day circumstances focus on the bond between Trish and Jessica. Subbing in place of both Kilgrave and Jeri Hogarth is a drugged-up Officer Simpson, whose transformation from suitable hunky hero support to a villain worthy of a place in a horror film is sudden, and frightening to boot.  

The flashback scenes aren't as effectively written as the present day ones due to some clunky exposition and ordinary performances, but it does have a neat through line that syncs up with Trish and Jessica's relationship in the here and now. Trish's mother Dorothy doesn't adopt Jessica following the accident that killed her entire family out of the kindness of her heart or sympathy measure. Instead, the adoption is a PR move designed to tamp down on the tabloid stories that have been dogging both Trish "Patsy" Walker and her mother. As hinted in a previous episode, Dorothy is the classic "stage mom manager," one whose sudden fame and celebrity in being associated with the Patsy Walker name has gotten to her head. She takes desperate measures in order to secure that reputation, and that includes instances where she regulates Trish's weight and appearance by forcing her to vomit her food down the toilet.

In the middle of all this, Trish and Jessica build their sisterly bond. That starts off in a typically ice cold manner, as both girls don't exactly have the most compatible personalities. Once Jessica discovers her super strength (thankfully still unexplained other than a byproduct of the accident), the dynamic changes. That scene in particular is notable for its contrasting action: Jessica is alone in the bathroom and breaks the marble sink in half out of frustration while we hear a heated argument between Trish and Dorothy outside the door. Jessica is amazed at how easy it is for her to break the sink and also how she can lift the broken slab over her head. Trish then comes into the room and discovers her adopted sister in a compromised position. The show plays this out in an unexpected manner. It could have easily positioned Trish to immediately freak out and reveal Jessica's secret to Dorothy, but she doesn't. Jessica allows Trish to be in on her secret, and that agreement seals their bond into adulthood.

That bond carries into the present day, as Jessica follows through on her promise to kill Kilgrave for Hope. Trish and Jessica hunt down leads in various mogues around the city, looking for the potential dead body of Kilgrave's father. Where Jessica usually hunts for Kilgrave by herself, thus minimizing the damage to those she loves, here, she stubbornly accepts Trish's help. When Jessica gets into an accident, Trish is the only person she calls in order to pick her up. 

It's that accident that weakens Jessica enough to allow for Simpson to get an upper hand on her. The urge to get retribution on Kilgrave had always been there bubbling beneath the surface, ever since Simpson got "Kilgrave'd" into nearly killing Trish, and the transformation into a single-minded killing machine is frightening to behold. He and Jessica come to blows inside her apartment, basically tearing it apart, and the broken rib sustained in the car accident earlier in the day means that Jessica doesn't have enough strength to put him down. The red pills are effective to a point, increasing adrenaline and strength and pain tolerance, but the come down is just as hard, which is why it was such a bad idea for Trish to take the pills damned the consequences. 

Like the bathroom incident (as well as the instance where Jessica prevents Dorothy from ever shoving a finger down Trish's throat again), the two women have each other's back. Trish isn't strong enough to incapacitate Simpson, but her skirmish allows time for Jessica to recover enough and then bash Simpson's head in with her refrigerator. Kilgrave's threat to Luke Cage at the end pales in comparison to that centerpiece action scene, but it remains effective at demonstrating the level of danger everyone is still in with Kilgrave in the wind. There was the momentary thought that Cage had been Kilgrave'd, which is also a scary thought, but blowing up the man's bar (with Cage slowly walking outside as if the explosion was nothing) served its purpose. Kilgrave definitely needs to be put down at this point. Can Jessica do it? With help from Trish and Luke Cage, anything is possible now. 

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • A much-needed look into the bond between Jessica and Trish
  • Simpson makes for an effective and surprising late-season threat
The Bad:
  • The flashbacks were slightly clunky

Henry Tran is a regular contributor of review for Critical Myth; The Critical Myth Show is heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @HenYay

Marvel's Jessica Jones by - 2/1/2016 6:07 AM148 views

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