Closing in on the home stretch, Jessica Jones is struggling to maintain its earlier momentum as the Kilgrave cat and mouse game has gotten slightly stale and this was another running in place episode until the final confrontation.
Jessica’s finally joined the rest of the party in realizing Kilgrave needs to be killed after her entire purpose for bringing him in — Hope — decided to kill herself rather than become his victim again.
Jessica assumes Kilgrave has already killed his father, Albert, so she’s hitting up morgues figuring Albert’s body could lead to some clues. The writers probably should have worked in a few side quests for Jessica so everything doesn’t revolve around Kilgrave.
At this point, this conflict feels dragged out for the sake of their final confrontation occurring on the finale. Introducing other villains not tied to Kilgrave could have kept Jessica occupied without making every episode feel like she’s constantly 20 steps behind him.
Jessica strikes out on both counts as Kilgrave is keeping Albert alive to work on a counter to Jessica’s resistance to his control and she does find an ally at the morgue, but it’s Detective Clemons.
Clemons was killed by Simpson, who has now become the crazy psycho boyfriend who won’t go away as Trish learns as he keeps popping up at her job and home looking for Jessica. This series is in desperate need of a guy who can handle rejection.
Simpson’s transition to well-meaning cop to murderous villain definitely could have been smoother. It just felt so abrupt from him being a valuable ally for Jessica earlier to being a loose cannon nutjob willing to kill anyone who could possibly prevent him from murdering Kilgrave. Considering how his arc played out, the writers needed to show more of Simpson’s spiraling mindset and less his bed-shaking sessions with Trish.
On the plus side, psycho Simpson did provide an exciting action scene that for a change didn’t feature Kilgrave puppets as Simpson threw down with Jessica and Trish. To even the odds, Trish used one of Simpson’s red pills to plug into the fighting Matrix and put her training to good use.
Since Kilgrave is more of a mental threat the series hasn’t needed to do a lot of physical combat so seeing Jessica and Trish play Captain America & Bucky to Simpson’s Iron Man in tribute to Ryu and Ken against M. Bison (Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie) in a no-holds barred battle was a treat.
Among the worst developments of this final arc is the unnecessary increased screen time for cartoon neighbor Robyn. For someone so obsessed with controlling her brother’s every move, she hardly seems all that broken up about his murder making her even more of a ridiculous addition to the story.
The writers still seem unsure of how strong to make Jessica as the levels of her powers continue to fluctuate depending on the situation. While chasing a guy she assumes is Kilgrave because he clearly has a monopoly on purple blazers, Jessica gets hit by a truck. In the previous episode, Jessica got bonked over the head with a plank from Robyn and is knocked out for eight hours. Now, she shakes off a truck collision in a matter of minutes.
I loved the Saran Wrap rib tape bit though as that seems like a perfectly viable way to keep everything in place until it can be properly examined.
As has remained the best part of the show since its first episode, the highlights are the present and flashback scenes with Jessica and Trish.
In the flashbacks, Jessica awakens from the accident that killed her family to hear Dorothy Walker explaining to Trish that taking in the orphaned Jessica will restore her fading Patsy brand.
Later, Jessica discovers she has increased strength, which she makes Trish swear not to reveal provided she won’t interfere with Dorothy lashing out at Trish. Jess doesn’t make good on that promise long though as she prevents Dorothy from beating on Trish even at the risk of outing her abilities.
The Trish/Jessica dynamic has quickly joined the Captain America/Falcon and Matt Murdock/Foggy Nelson as one of my favorite duos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Quick note: Malcolm deciding not to do the Good Samaritan deal when Simpson’s fellow soldiers come to retrieve his unconscious body probably saved his life. Instead of focusing on saving Hope, Jessica should have been more preoccupied making sure Malcolm didn’t lose hope.
So she didn’t think he forgot about her, Kilgrave texts Jessica with a threatening message concerning Cage. She arrives at his bar just in time to make eye contact with Cage before a bomb destroys the place. There wasn’t much that could be done to make this suspenseful since Cage is lined up for the next Netflix series, but it was still a pretty cool visual.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Fun fight with Simpson aside, this was another episode where not much happened as the series is in a holding pattern until the final confrontation with Kilgrave.