Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Jessica Jones S01 E06: AKA You're a Winner!

Almost on cue, as if knowing Jessica Jones needed a breather from the intensity of trying to capture the Purple Man, Luke Cage steps back into her life. Except she doesn't want him to. And Luke's not the only invader from the past in this episode. Everyone ignored and forgotten while Jess was concentrating on Kilgrave and Malcolm is back. Life catches up, even when you're trying to do the right thing.

We actually open on Kilgrave, obviously feeling a bit better and in the midst of a high roller card game. It's as funny as it is sinister when he's dealt a two and a seven, tells everyone all in, and then tells them all to fold. I need a mutant sociopath at my side the next time I visit Atlantic City... or maybe not, Kilgrave doesn't always treat others well, as seen in this game. We are reminded quite simply and strongly that the Purple Man is not just a villain, but a monster.

As Jess and the now straight Malcolm are pooling their knowledge on that monster, Luke Cage arrives on her doorstep, beaten, and with a case for her. He wants her to find someone for him, the son of a female friend, and he leaves out a lot of details, if you get my drift. Despite all that, when they silently shake on taking the case, the sexual electricity is live again.

Luke isn't the only one begging to be let back into the story. Lawyer and client Jeri Hogarth gets in touch, and not about the case she had already hired Jess for, but because of Hope. Yeah, remember her. The poor girl is still chilling in prison, but apparently with a death wish.

Another inmate, straight outta "Orange Is the New Black," beat Hope and put her in the infirmary. Jess pays her a visit, threatens to put her there too, and learns the painful truth. Hope paid for her own beat down. She's pregnant, with his child, and wanted to lose it. This is truly the stuff of nightmare. Hope wants to live, she wants to have children, but she refuses to give life to this... thing.

Throughout the episode, Jessica juggles her two cases, for Hogarth and for Luke, as well as Hope, and makes sure to send her daily blackmail photo to Kilgrave. She still remains on task. Even when Malcolm, out of concern for her, confronts Luke - and spills all the beans. Once on even ground, Luke and Jessica end up doing what they were doing before. Their chemistry is more solid here than ever before.

Here's where it gets messy, because if you're going to do noir, the rules indicate that nothing ever goes right for the protagonist. If Jessica finds this young man for Luke, his female friend will give him possible evidence of what happened to his wife - and we all know Jessica, even though she was under Kilgrave's influence, killed Luke's wife.

And here's where it gets silly. When Luke and Jessica finally find their quarry, so do the loan sharks who were looking for him too. The main loan shark is a guy named Lenny Sirkes... who in the comics is a guy named... the Lone Shark. He's a typical super-villain on the rampage with a dumb name and a shark battle suit. It's really embarrassing when something like this comes up, especially when this series is so well done.

The fight between Jessica and Luke and the lone sharks is a good one. We haven't had much superhuman activity of late, and this was fun. What wasn't fun was what came next. The evidence wasn't what Jessica thought it was, but proof that the bus driver that hit Luke's wife was drunk and that it was covered up. Luke takes off, presumedly to kill the bus driver.

Some tense moments on the bus lead to a scary confrontation between Cage and the bus driver. Before Luke can finish him off, Jessica intervenes, and must confess what really happened. It's truly heartbreaking, you can feel the pain of both characters, a momentary triumph for both Krysten Ritter and Mike Colter. Do Netflix shows get Emmys? Then why didn't it? This was the moment.

And all the while, Kilgrave is still out there, planning something even more sinister. He's bought a home, almost legitimately and above board... the house where Jessica grew up...

Next: Top Shelf Perverts

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