Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Review - 'Jessica Jones', S01E11 - 'AKA I've Got The Blues'

Throughout the course of the season, it has been fairly clear that the only real reason Jessica has been reluctent to kill Kilgrave was because of Hope. It was the reason why she chose to stay and fight, rather than run, at the end of the first episode - and, it has been her primary motivation ever since. Jessica needed either a confession, or clear proof of Kilgrave's mind-control ability, in order to have Hope released from prison - neither of which she would be able to get if he were dead.

With that in mind, having this particular plot-line come to an end with Hope's decision to kill herself was incredibly unsatisfying - even if she did claim that she did it to give Jessica the motivation she needed to finally kill Kilgrave. There was just something about this development, at the end of the previous episode, that felt cheap and unnecessary, to me. It was just one of many plot elements from the previous episode that I didn't really care for.

But, it's done, now. There's really no sense in dwelling on it. All that's left, at this point, is the see where things lead.

With Kilgrave, once again, managing to slip away, Jessica was left with little option but to deal with the immediate fall-out of Hope's suicide - with Jessica putting together a plausible story about a gathering of friends that ended in tragedy, which the others promptly rallied behind. There was definitely something especially morbid about all of this - with Jessica seemingly able to push aside her own grief and guilt, and with the others willing to go along with her story. Of course, it was also something of a necessary evil - since none of them could really afford to get caught up trying to explain what had really happened.

Later, Jessica finds herself with no other lead beyond checking the city's morgues on the assumption that Kilgrave's father was bound to turn up dead. Again, it's a morbid development - but, again, it makes sense. Jessica, after all, has no reason to believe that Kilgrave will let his father live. The episode did tend toward meandering a bit at this point, though - with little of interest resulting from Jessica's investigation her discovery of the burned remains of Detective Clemons (a death which she mistakenly attributes to Kilgrave). Fortunately, though, we also had flash-backs to Jessica and Trish's teenage years to keep things interesting.

These scenes, while seeming to be a bit oddly placed at this point in the season, where also very interesting - giving us our first clear look at exactly how Jessica and Trish became so close. We had already been given some of the details, of course. We did, for example, already know that Trish's mother had arranged to adopt the orphaned Jessica as a part of a bizarre publicity stunt for her teen celebrity daughter. And, we also already knew a bit about the abuse that Trish had suffered at her mother's hands. But, here, we finally had the chance to see some of it for ourselves. While Jessica's efforts to track down Kilgrave in the 'present day' might have been a little dull, these flash-back scenes did a fantastic job of giving more context to Jessica and Trish's long-time friendship. Also, the actresses cast to play the teen aged Trish and Jessica (Catherine Blades and Elizabeth Cappuccino, respectively) each did a great job of portraying the younger versions of these characters we have gotten to know over the course of the season.

With Kilgrave entirely absent for this episode, though, it seems to fall to Will Simpson to inject a little tension into the episode. Simpson has had a very interesting arc over the season - beginning as a likable potential ally, but growing increasingly antagonistic as he and Jessica butted heads over how to best deal with Kilgrave. It seems like a strange irony that, right when Jessica and Simpson should be on the same page with regard to Kilgrave, any chance of an alliance is over. Simpson seems to have come to blame Jessica for the deaths of his own allies a few episodes ago - and, with those combat enhancement drugs of his messing with his head, he has clearly come to the conclusion that Jessica is also an enemy.

The result of this is the most impressive action sequence we have seen on Jessica Jones, so far. It still wasn't quite up to the standards of anything we saw in Daredevil, sure - but, seeing Jessica, with her enhanced strength, and Simpson, with his 'red pills', trashing Jessica's apartment was still a lot of fun. Then, Trish took one of Simpson's pills and got involved, herself. It was a great moment for Trish - even if her own use of Simpson's drug did, ultimately, back-fire on her rather tragically.

Being so close to the end of the season, and with Kilgrave still to deal with, I'm guessing that we wont be seeing much more development on Simpson's story-line on Jessica Jones. But, as the potential origin story for a villain who might return to Netflix's corner of the MCU in the future, it was still very well done.

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