Jessica Jones is a character with two origins: a car accident that kills her family and gives her superpowers, and being ensnared by Kilgrave. Though we’ve seen a lot of the second origin, we haven’t really received the full glimpse of the first. This episode fills in a lot of Jessica’s life after her accident, including her adoption by the Walkers, and her discovery of her superpowers. I love how brazenly self-serving Dorothy Walker’s adoption of Jessica is; Jessica represents an opportunity for Dorothy to change the media narrative on her rowdy teenage star, who set a nightclub on fire. And Trish herself resents the dark, willowy teenager whose arrived in her house.
Though Jessica may be a victim, she’s also a vindictive teenage girl. Jessica discovers her powers by lifting a huge marble sink, and Trish walks in. She calls Jessica a freak and threatens to tell her mother; Jessica calls Trish a pathetic victim of child abuse and threatens to tell the world, that it would “save” Trish. They both agree to hide each other’s secrets. Jess and Trish start as enemies, but Dorothy unintentionally made them sisters. As Dorothy tried to force Trish to puke into a toilet, Jessica storms in and saves Trish, exposing her own powers in the process.
We’re still feeling the aftershocks of the last horrifying episode. Jess starts the episode looking down at poor Hope’s body while the Kilgrave survivors pick themselves up out of the ropes they almost hung themselves with. Jess convinces them from the bar to lie to the police, so they can hunt Kilgrave on their own terms. It’s not the best plan, hiding Kilgrave from the police and tarnishing Hope’s sacrifice as a suicide. But it’s the only plan Jessica has; Jessica isn’t worried about preserving the dignity of the dead, but on preventing Kilgrave from murdering more in his wake.
Though Jess has superpowers, this episode really highlights her limitations. She can’t sweet-talk or intimidate her way into a morgue, and has to rely on Trish to bribe the morgue worker. She can leap off tall buildings, but forgoing sleep still causes her to hallucinate. And she can survive being hit by a truck, but her ribs are cracked and she is physically and mentally broken.
Ultimately, it’s up to Trish who must rescue Jessica. Simpson has gone off the deep end, and is absolutely convinced that Jessica is another obstacle on his path of vengeance against Kilgrave. During a fantastic fight that sees Jessica’s apartment utterly destroyed, Trish shows up, pops one of Simpson’s pills, and goes to town on him.
My favorite Trish moment of the season is her exhilarated grin as she beats the shit out of Simpson. Trish is finally able to become a superhero, but it stops her heart and almost kills her in the process. Jessica Jones tells stories in the spirit of great Silver Age Marvel Comics; superpowers are great, but they come at a cost. It’s almost as though these great powers come with great responsibility or something like that.
4 Rock Flautists out of 5. Poor Trish. Just because she was a bit of a wild child as a teenager, she’s stuck as a public radio host. Nobody deserves that fate.
It will never be answered, but I’m so damn curious about the limits of Luke Cage’s powers. Are his eardrums invincible, like his skin? Why wasn’t his facial hair burned off in the explosion? If it’s also invincible, how can he shave? I demand Marvel address my pedantry with a lengthy lecture detailing the strengths and weaknesses of Cage’s powers.
Patsy Walker is the name of a redheaded, D-list Marvel hero who I have a bit of a soft-spot for. While I love Trish’s backstory in Jessica Jones, I kind of resent how they made Patsy and her red hair the “evil” of Trish’s two identities.
Do you think Malcolm has a crush on Jessica? The way he lingered outside her door said a little more to me than just his frustration at the hunt for Kilgrave. Of course, at this point, I think he’s too good for Jess; even without Kilgrave, she has a knack for hurting the people who care for her most.
Best line of the episode goes to a teenage Trish. When questioned about an open wound: “I got hit with a People’s Choice Award.”