Monday, 23 November 2015

Review - 'Jessica Jones', S01E06 - 'AKA You're a Winner!'

After a brief misstep a couple of episodes ago, Jessica Jones rallied to offer up the best so far with the previous one. Now, moving into the sixth episode, it seems that things are going to continue at that high level of quality for the time being - with this being, over all, another great episode.

First of all, I have to say that I am, personally, very relieved to know that there was actually a purpose behind the scene of Hope being severely beaten in the previous episode - and, that the show isn't going to waste any time in getting to it. Of course, the revelation that Hope was pregnant with Kilgrave's child, and that she had actually paid another prisoner to beat her in the hope that it would cause a miscarriage, is still a very disturbing one - but, it fits with what we have seen of Hope's story, so far, so it doesn't feel gratuitous, at least.

Meanwhile, we find Kilgrave, himself, in the process of buying a house - something which, it seems, he insists on doing without the use of his mind-control abilities. It makes sense, of course (after all, he probably doesn't want to have to deal with the family coming back when his mind-control wears off), but it still makes for a very strange couple of scenes. Of course, there is a very clear reason why Kilgrave wants this house, in particular.

Kilgrave's obsession with Jessica Jones was already disturbing, but the new deal that the two of them have entered into, where Jessica is required to send him a new photo of herself every day so that he will stay away from Malcolm, manages to take it even further. Kilgrave clearly seems to see this is a victory, of sorts - but, it is worth remembering that Jessica only agreed to Kilgrave's deal after she received some indication that Malcolm was actually trying to reclaim his old life. Kilgrave was able to reclaim a small measure of power over her, sure - but, it was a sacrifice that Jessica made, willingly, to help someone in need.

On the subject of Malcolm, it was also good to see him actually trying make the most of Jessica's efforts to help him, as we finally see something of the man he was before before becoming Kilgrave's unwilling spy. And, it was definitely great to have him turn out to be someone both decent, and genuinely grateful (even willing to go as far as standing up to Luke Cage, a man who would still be twice is size even if he didn't have super-powers, when he suspected that Luke might have been sent by Kilgrave).

Of course, much of the drama in this episode was caused by the return of Luke Cage (Mike Colter), who has a job for Jessica. It's a simple enough case, and one that isn't terribly interesting on its own - but, Luke has taken it on as part of a deal with a woman who has information he needs about the night that his wife died. Jessica, of course, is immediately worried that this could mean that her own role in the death of Luke's wife is about to be revealed - which is something that she isn't prepared to deal with.

These new developments do promise to lead things in an interesting direction, though, as we learn that Kilgrave is in possession of a flash-drive that contains information that is very important to Luke Cage.

I do have to admit, though, that the events of the night in which Jessica was able to escape from Kilgrave seem to be growing increasingly convoluted every time we return to it. First, it had seemed to simply be an accident that had left Kilgrave injured and gave Jessica the opportunity to wander off. Then, we learnt that Kilgrave had ordered Jessica to murder Luke Cage's wife only moments earlier. And, now, we learn that Cage's wife had buried that flash-drive, for reasons of her own, and that Kilgrave had discovered its location and decided to claim it. It could be that we now know everything we need to know abut that night - but, honestly, at this point I wouldn't be surprised if we eventually learn that Matt Murdock has also been involved, for some reason.

Jeri Hogarth's relationship drama continues to be a strange element on the show, though. It is, still, something that is only occasionally brought up, only to be forgotten again. Here, we learn that Jeri intends to propose to her secretary once the divorce if finalised - but, that Jeri's wife as, so far, refused to sign the divorce papers. We also learn that Jessica hasn't been able to find any 'dirt' on Jeri's wife that she can use against her (also, Jeri's wife is named Wendy - I don't remember that from the show, though. I had to look it up, since I can't remember if her name was ever actually given on screen. She is also played by Robin Weigert, who has done a fine job in the few scenes she has actually had).

If there has to be a 'villain' in a relationship drama, then it seems fairly clear that, in this case, it is Jeri, herself. We have only met Wendy on three separate occasions, in three very short scenes - and, in each case, she came across as a perfectly decent woman who doesn't understand why her relationship with Jeri has come to such a sudden, and messy, end. Due to the fact that we have seen so little, of course, the audience doesn't really know either. It's as though this romantic plot-line is being treated as little more than something happening in the background - something that Jessica doesn't really care about, and so neither should we. But, if that's the case, then there is still the question of why it's taking up screen-time, in the first place.

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