Jessica Jones: 2.03 AKA Sole Survivor
AKA Sole Survivor begins with Trish and Jessica taking a literal trip down memory lane to a beach resort Jessica’s family used to vacation at, in order to ditch Simpson’s body. Happy holidays everyone. It’s a beautifully shot scene, one which gives the show a slightly different texture visually with the water, beach and derelict amusement park in direct opposition to the usual city landscape. Plot-wise, this scene pretty much exists to show Trish taking ownership of Simpson’s arsenal of weapons - including his weird macho-gas - so there’s no prizes for guessing what might happen soon.
Then, in a first for the series, Jessica reluctantly attempts hypnosis. Encouraged (read: forced) by Trish, Jessica tries to take a trip down memory lane but stumbles at the first hurdle. When asked to picture herself in a safe space, she realises that she can’t. She doesn’t have one. It’s a sobering moment, there to remind us that Jessica is a broken person who needs serious help. Probably not from a hypnotherapist though, as she ends up leaving Trish to apologise profusely after she storms out.
A new character for season two is Griffin, Trish’s journalist boyfriend. He’s come across well so far, even managing to crack a few jokes with Jessica. Deep down, though, we’re all wondering what exactly is Griffin’s game? He’s almost certainly a baddie, due to his British accent (which is very unfair, American writers. Why do we always have to be the bad guys?) Aside from that, AKA Sole Survivor casts some real, undeniable doubt on Griffin’s good nature when he steals the video of Whizzer from Trish’s computer. It seems unlikely that Griffin will be the super villain of the series, but it’s looking probable that he will end up breaking Trish’s heart - which, in my opinion, may be just as bad.
The men of season two are shaping up to be utterly shady characters as Oscar (the new building superintendent for Jessica’s apartment, played by J.R.Ramirez) continues to act like a bigoted idiot. Enraged by police being called to the apartment block, which Oscar thinks was Jessica’s fault, he attempts to make life as difficult for her as possible. Which includes serving her an eviction notice meaning he’s got connections in high(ish) places. It turns out Oscar is dodgy AF and has provided Jessica’s landlord with a forged green card for his Colombian boyfriend, in return for Jessica’s eviction. Nasty.
Still, this is almost last on Jessica’s list of shit-she-needs-to-deal-with, as Trish and her find a new lead on someone connected with IGH. Proving once and again that she’s a bloody good investigator, Jessica takes another trip into the abandoned IGH building, only to find a name on one of the doors that has been painted over. Dr Leslie Hansen. Trish and Jessica attempt to find Lesley but instead find a skull in the basement of Hansen’s apartment block. In a switch-and-bait so quick I almost got whiplash, Trish and Jess discover that Hanson is alive, Jess goes to meet her, Trish discovers that no, Leslie Hansen definitely IS dead and the Hansen impersonator turns out to have super strength, powers that outweigh even Jessica Jones herself.
Trish and Jessica doing old-school style investigating together is one of the best parts of this episode. They have a Mulder and Scully vibe about them - especially on discovering the decapitated skull and Jessica’s obsession with keeping Trish safe at all costs. It’s truly enjoyable to see them putting the pieces of the puzzle together side-by-side. This probably won’t last long though, nothing good ever does in the Jessica Jones universe. Trish is doing some of the heavy lifting unlike last series; it’s thanks to her that the decapitated skull was able to be ID’d at all and her shout out on Trish Talks led the fake Leslie Hansen straight to them. I am hopeful that this continues and Trish doesn’t just become a pawn again - she’s got a lot more to offer the show and I think we are starting to see that.
The real take home from this episode is that Jessica is finally ready to start dissecting her past because (in her words) it is now getting other people killed. As we’ve seen in the previous few episodes, Jessica wants to distance herself as far away as possible from the idea that she is a killer, so she is determined that she not be the reason for anyone’s death in relation to IGH. Which, is easier said than done of course.