Well, it had to happen. The Marvel-Netflix tradition where the momentum of the season takes a weird turn and goes through the motions. The wheel starts to spin. Threads are overstaying their welcome so characters are forcibly written into ruts and dumb decisions.
We deal with the revelation that the mysterious killer has been Jessica’s mom all this time. She’s got a newly reconstructed face, a new lover to boot, and has been keeping track of her daughter all this time. And these episodes really want us to feel for it.
We’ve spoken about it before but a big problem with the Netflix shows is that they love telling but not showing. They want us to believe that this psycho lady is Jessica’s mom. They want us to feel the love for her daughter. They want us to believe all those shared experiences they had before the accident but they never actually show us. They want us to feel the importance of Karl to Alisa. But it’s really hard to care about all of this when the relationships don’t necessarily resonate. I don’t give a rats ass at all about Karl. When Alisa acknowledges Karl as the only thing she has in the world, it takes away from her being a mother. None of it works when it all falls flat.
I’ve never been a fan of Hogarth. She was the character with the worst morals in the entire ensemble. Her actions in Season 1 resulted in the violent death of her wife, the imprisonment of her lover, and the escape of a mass murderer who caused more death. Those actions are never met with consequence for Hogarth. Add to that, her secretly keeping Hope’s aborted Kilgrave baby for her own purposes. Hogarth is a vile manipulative character who gets away with what she wants. So Jeri Hogarth scrambling for some semblance of control over an unstoppable disease is the perfect predicament for her to be in the season. When you see her weep over her empty ransacked apartment, it means something. It’s a powerful moment for a character that I hope changes for the better down the line. Though I must say, I am kinda bummed that Shane and Inez ended up being plain thieves in the story. I was hoping for a larger connection to the story.
Trish has finally become a full-fledged crackhead. She’s resorted to lying to the people she cares about, using them to advance her vices, and hitting the back of their head when its convenient for her. Thematically speaking, it’s a logical progression for a character who has been battling substance abuse all her life. But as someone who roots for these characters to better the world, I really hate it. You can add me to the F*&! Trish Club. I find it hard to forgive Trish for duping Malcolm, the nicest and most genuine character in the series, into getting high with her. Even Frank Castle wouldn’t think to do that.
Things become more precise when we get to Alisa in prison. We get real plot advancement when Jessica’s is tasked to get Karl out of the country in order to get her mom to stay in a prison where they can reconcile. Things don’t go well when the prison guard in charge of Alisa turns out to be a real asshole. We get a little taste of what the show should be, a back-to-basics noir mystery when Jessica investigates the house of said guard. The episode caps off with the death of the prison guard at the hands of Jessica which is by far the most interesting to happen in these three episodes. The true focus of this season should have been Jessica dealing with that guilt.
2 inmate numbers out of 5: a boring slog of episodes salvaged by a handful of decent moments and the possibility of seeing things wrapped up. Between having to sit through Alisa fawning over Karl and Trish turning into the worst character in Marvel TV, I can only hope the story gets tighter as we near its end. 3 episodes of them figuring out what to do is just too much. I see the intent and heart of what they’re trying to do with Trish and the mother/daughter arc but the season’s structure doesn’t effectively lend itself to it.
+1 for The Raft namedrop!
Cheng shooting Alisa through the window had shades of Winter Soldier to it. Except they framed the chase sequence after that poorly. I get that Jessica Jones isn’t a brawl-heavy series but some better-staged action would go a long way keeping the story’s pulse running.
I laughed at loud at the detectives wearing sunglasses as they entered an active crime scene.
How did Shane and Inez ransack a high-end apartment without getting caught at all? You’d think luxurious condos would have tighter security.
As someone who recently watched the 70s classic film Network, I really dug Trish’s outburst and her anchor audition.