Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Jessica Jones S01 E05: AKA The Sandwich Saved Me

There is an interesting dichotomy in the life of Jessica Jones. As we open on our girl as a cubicle slave in a dreary desk job eighteen months ago we learn what that is. There's life before Kilgrave and there's life after Kilgrave, that's it. She was still sassy and sarcastic and smart as hell back then, but she wasn't apathetic, mean, paranoid, and in pain.

This is a world of difference. Jessica figuratively and literally trashes her job to join best friend Trish for happy hour. She is actually playful and fun when she teaches the perv a lesson. Believe it or not, Jessica was happy once.

My favorite part, of course, are the thinly veiled hints to Trish's possible future. Trish wants to save the world, and when Jessica suggests she put on a cape and do it herself, she exclaims without hesitation, "You know I would if I could!" Enough foreplay, how long do we have to wait for Patsy 'Hellcat' Walker to arrive??

Back to the present day, having determined that her junkie Malcolm is the Purple Man's unwilling spy, Jessica trails him. It's even suggested Kilgrave made him an addict. A visit to the park leads her to her prey, but just a glance at Kilgrave sends her frantically into her street naming mantra to combat her post-traumatic stress disorder.

I don't know whether it's my comics knowledge that Will Simpson is Nuke, or the fact that I don't even trust the character as portrayed here, but his involvement with Trish is bothersome. He feels like a wedge between the two, and neither Trish nor Jessica seem to be thinking straight when he's around. Could he still be in the Purple Man's thrall? And if not, why doesn't he have PTSD like Jessica?

Along with Trish and Will, Jessica has a plan to capture Kilgrave, but seeing how I don't trust Will, I don't trust the plan. There are times when he talks and acts like Nuke might. More tidbits of background fall through the cracks to us viewers, things like Trish, the highest paid child star ever, took Jessica in after her parents were killed. Hope is apparently in trouble in jail and asked for money from Jessica.

But the biggest treat was in flashback. After saving a little girl while dressed as a hoagie (yeah, thus the episode's title), Trish designs a costume and name for Jessica - Jewel. Yeah, it's the pre-Alias costume, looking pretty sad in live action reality. I would still like to see her wear it at least once though, just for kicks and giggles.

Just when the plan seems to be going so right, Kilgrave drugged, out, and being taken to the safe house, it all goes horribly horribly wrong. He has a tracker on him, and a security detail. He's not as dumb as our erstwhile heroes think. They might not have underestimated his power but they definitely underestimated his brains.

When Jessica tries to get a clue from Malcolm about Kilgrave, a horrible truth presents itself. She saved him once when she was trying to do the right thing, when she was trying to be a superhero (if not dress like one), and that's the night Kilgrave discovered her, and took her away as his prize... Serious props to Eka Darville who plays Malcolm here. He's terrific in this role, and previously has been in a number of projects varying from "Power Rangers" to "Spartacus."

Jessica determines to make/help Malcolm kick in the end, but Kilgrave has a demand. She does Malcolm's job, send him a photo of herself once a day, and Kilgrave will leave the addict alone. It's heart rending, but in a way, Jessica both wins and loses this round...

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