Jessica Jones: 1.13 AKA Smile
“Always a sodding hero, aren’t you?”
Following the ferocious fighting of the last episode, Jessica was left with only one choice to prevent Luke killing her, begging him to stop was largely ignored as the man-machine looked hell-bent on carrying out Kilgrave’s dirty work. She manages to get him to a hospital but how do you insert a cannula or take blood from a man with unbreakable skin?
Thankfully Jessica meets an ally in Daredevil alum, Claire Temple and the nurse is not only willing to treat Luke but stick around and keep an eye on him while Jessica goes to finish off a job she started around twelve episodes ago. Presumably, this is the first crossover we’ll see with the second season of Daredevil due in March and spin-off The Defenders to start later this year.
It is now more apparent than ever why Kevin needs his dear old dad around. Albert has the potential to make his pathological son go, er, viral, Junior, in the face of losing his ability, screams at his father, “It’s incremental not exponential!” The fact that Jessica has rejected him is sending him further and further into a psychopathic rage. He wants to see her helpless, he intends to make her want him or failing that, kill her and they say a woman scorned is the one to look out for…sheesh. He’s pathetic but brilliantly played by Tennant; I think it’s safe to say that the quirky, wide-eyed Doctor is well and truly behind him.
We see a softer side to Jessica in the wake of Luke’s ‘problem’; she even confesses that she would like to go on an actual date when he comes to. Depending upon how faithful the series will be to the comics, there’ll likely be more than the odd dinner date or cinema trip. Jessica had already introduced Trish to Luke and in this episode describes her best friend/sister as having an iron will – is this a hint? Trish Walker was Hellcat in the comics but how cool would it be if she has fists of iron too? Other than gender, there is little difference between the two characters’ powers/abilities. Oooh, I really hope so.
Kilgrave is stronger than ever. How? Blood and foetal tissue, of course, duh (we have Hogarth to thank for that) and The Purple Man becomes a (slight) reality as the cerebral injections give his skin a purple-veined appearance albeit briefly. There is a nice build-up to the finale as Kevin gives it one last go at snagging the woman he allegedly adores, what’s love without a little humiliation, eh? Said woman, incapable of love, proves her biggest critic wrong and saves the day down at the docks but she isn’t a sodding hero, remember…
I knew little of Jessica Jones when I started watching it, and to be perfectly honest I was very tempted to throw in the towel after the pilot. I can’t say what kept me watching, other than people I trusted raved about it. By episode 5 I was coming around and by 7 I was hooked, even swigging from the whiskey bottle along with my (sur)name sake. Is it perfect? No, of course, few serials are, especially for me (I tend to rapidly lose interest in, almost, all TV series) but JJ has something. The titular character is identifiable; a reluctant hero who doesn’t want to don lycra and claim all the glory. She drinks too much and can be a dour cow but she has suffered horrendous abuse at the hands of an ex and has come through the other side so, as far as I’m concerned, she’s a hero (disinclined or not) worth watching.
Some have argued that to have the one villain was to the detriment of the show. I would have to respectfully disagree. Tennant proved his salt and sheer misogynistic gumption as Kilgrave (although, he will always be Kevin to me) and it gave Jessica a full arc, redemption, and the purpose to continue on a path she needs; the chance to heal and to do so with a little dignity while showing a (mostly) captive audience, it’s okay to lose your shit. Personally, my interest was such that I devoured the Pulse comic series (a little twee and too much Spider-Man) and the Alias ones (much darker and matched to the tone to the Netflix series).
It has taken a while but having Agent Carter, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Supergirl, my main home-girl Wonder Woman, and Jessica Jones gracing the screens small and large, feels like some weird validation – women can be heroes too (although, a few more women of colour wouldn’t go amiss), we sure as shit like the medium they’re in.
Yes, there are moans that it’s a show about white angst. As an angsty white woman who pushes people away (and likes whiskey), it spoke to me. I know it won’t be the same for everyone but I am bloody looking forward to season 2.