Saturday, 21 November 2015

Review - 'Jessica Jones', S01E03 - 'AKA It's Called Whiskey'






After what, I suppose, we are left to assume had been a mutually unsatisfying one-night stand in the first episode, the realisation that they both possess superpowers seems to be more than enough to convince Jessica and Luke to give it another try as the third episode picks up right where the second left off. It makes sense, of course. These are two people who are clearly every attracted to each other, but who are both too used to the idea that they have to hold back to avoid hurting the people around them - the thought that they don't have to have to hold back with each other is bound to be appealing (though, to be fair, the way in which Jessica tore off Luke's shirt felt like something out of a much cheesier show than this one has been, so far).

So, good for them, I guess. They were obviously enjoying themselves. Hell, they even managed to break Luke's bed.

In the middle of all of this, too, they even find time to talk about their mutual surprise at meeting another person with super-powers. This moment between them, in particular, was pretty great - showing some elements of casual banter between the two that will, hopefully, have more room to develop as the season progresses while also giving hints about the history of each (history that those familiar with the comics would already be familiar with, obviously - but, still, it's bound to be new to some of the audience, at least). Luke, it turns out, got his 'gifts' from some sort of experiment - but, has largely tried to keep them to himself, since he isn't interested in the trouble they are likely to bring him. Jessica, on the other hand, got her 'gifts' from some sort of accident (in classic 'superhero' tradition) - and, judging by her reaction to Luke's question, she may still have the costume she wore during her brief time as an actual super-hero tucked away somewhere.

Of course, there are still some unresolved issues between them - such as the true reason why Jessica had been investigating Luke in the first place. We already know that it actually had nothing to do with the jealous husband of a woman that Luke was involved with - but, in this episode, we discovered that it was actually because of Luke Cage's own deceased wife. I have to say that I'm still not entirely sure what to make of this plot development. The idea that it was Jessica, herself, who killed Luke Cage's wife while she was still under Kilgrave's control is certainly a dark twist - but, with Luke and Jessica now inching toward a relationship of their own, I worry that the eventual emotional fall-out of all of this is going to move into the territory of overblown melodrama. It's all just starting to feel a little too contrived, for me - though, I suppose I'll just have to put aside my own concerns, for now, while I wait to see how it develops.

Elsewhere in the episode, Jessica's efforts to get hold of the drugs she needed to incapacitate Kilgrave hit a temporary dead-end, until she used her drug-addled neighbour, Malcolm (Eka Darville), as a distraction in the hospital - providing a fairly clear example of Jessica's willingness to hurt the people around her, if she believes that it's justified. Also, Jeri Hogarth's efforts to defend Hope (Erin Moriarity) took an interesting turn when Trish Walker agreed to interview Hope on her radio show - as a part of a plan to, hopefully, draw out more of Kilgrave's victims.

For the first half, or so, I do have to admit that I had started to worry that things might be moving a little too slowly. Jessica learning that it might be possible to incapacitate Kilgrave, and temporarily shut off his powers, was an interesting development, sure - but, an entire episode devoted to her efforts get her hands on the drugs she needed felt like a bit much. The slow and steady pace of the first two episodes is forgivable, since we were still getting to know the cast - but, there needed to be some exciting and genuine tension, at some point, otherwise the audience might start to lose interest.

Thankfully, it seemed that the show's creator's had the same idea as, despite getting off to a relatively slow start, things changed quickly once Trish made the mistake of insulting Kilgrave on air. First, an innocent police officer, Will Simpson (Will Traval), was sent to kill Trish. Jessica, after only barely arriving in time to save her friend, then had the opportunity to follow Simpson back to Kilgrave. Honestly, everything about the sequence of events triggered by Trish's ill-considered on-air rant against Kilgrave was fantastic. Trish had the opportunity to display the results of the training she had been putting herself through (though, it wasn't quite enough, this time). Jessica had the opportunity to confront her own fears, and display her own abilities. And, Kilgrave, who we finally got our first clear look at, had the opportunity to display exactly how evil and sadistic he truly is.

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