Jessica Jones: 1.05 AKA The Sandwich Saved Me
The episode immediately starts with a flashback and seemingly there are quite a few dotted throughout the forty minutes duration. I realise they have featured in previous episodes, but this feels like information overload and not necessarily in a bad way. But we learn several things pertaining to several characters so quickly, I can’t help but think it could have been savoured or indeed saved for a later issue. The first (and a couple later) set up Jess’ work history; she’s not exactly work shy per se but seems to choose jobs that “suck [her] brains through the air-vents” or they choose her until her naturally inquisitive nature stumbles across some dirty secret and she gets the push.
Although, interspersed with present day shenanigans, we do see a hilarious flashback to Trish attempting to talk Jessica into wearing a flame-retardant superhero costume as “Jewel” – the slutty stripper name she would actually adopt. Jess and Simpson’s juvenile interactions are also, presumably for light relief, they fail somewhat. I don’t know whether I’m being unfairly picky or not but I’m yet to be completely gripped by Jessica Jones as a series…
Anyway, determined to locate the smarmy Brit before he does any more damage, Jessica must now follow her mystery stalker, the identity of which is surprising, a little heart-breaking and yet further testament to the grievous, manipulative, abusive bastard Kilgrave is. For this, she reluctantly accepts the help of Trish and Simpson who has all manner of connections including access to a hermetically-sealed room but refuses to divulge why he is no longer Special Ops. Yes, it adds mystery but I just don’t care for Simpson.
Their plan is fool proof or so we and they think, you know, attempt to incapacitate a mind-controlling human in broad-daylight, what could go wrong? The kid running into frame dressed as Captain America is a lovely touch. The look of triumph of Jess’ face when she sees her abuser fall is wonderful (and let’s face it we all fist-pumped) but short-lived – never underestimate the power of a man who has the control issues of a psychopathic ex-boyfriend.
Perhaps, the slow-burn is not without purpose, I mean the scenes where the hero and villain converge are amazing and my gripes, I’m sure will, subside as the series progresses and we get to see more of Jones. As an allegory, it is far more developed than one would expect from a superhero piece and continues in the same vein as Daredevil, another series also without flaws. All I know is that the noir vibe, that sedate Whiplash theme music building to a guitar-heavy crescendo and the whiskey-slugging sardonic leading lady keep me watching week-in week-out.
During one of the final flashback sequences, we see how Jess met Kilgrave. Tennant is so effective – having seen him in 2005’s ITV drama Secret Smile – I didn’t doubt it. The once affable Doctor practically crawls off screen but is completely convincing as both super-villain and Nice Gu; I cannot wait to see him in full fettle.