“AKA Ladies Night”
Written by Mellisa Rosenberg
Directed by S.J. Clarkson
Jessica Jones is an alcoholic, asocial P.I with super strength and a perpetual bad mood. She’s barely making enough money to live off of, and definitely not enough to keep her apartment/office in good repair. She spends her down time spying on an exceptionally attractive bartender. The majority of her cases are catching cheating spouses and serving official documents, but then a couple from Nebraska hires her to find their daughter. In the middle of doing recon for this case, she goes to the hot bartender’s bar. They chat flirtily for a while, then head up to his place for some very rough sex. Then she finds a picture of a woman in his bathroom cabinet, which affects her powerfully, and she bails. She keeps on the trail of the missing girl, only to realize that the girl was abducted by the same man who destroyed Jessica’s life. She thought he was dead, but now he’s back. This realization sends Jessica into a complete panic, but her foster sister Trish (famous radio personality) tries to persuade her she can’t just flee the country while this girl is still in trouble. She’s halfway out of the city before changing her mind and going to the hotel she suspects the girl will be at. Her hunch proves correct, and she has to drag the girl out of there. Kilgrave’s power is mind control. For a moment, it seems like Jessica has successfully reunited daughter and parents and that she’ll be able to flee without any trouble, but then it turns out Kilgrave gave Hope a few more orders. Namely, shoot her own parents. She does so, then snaps out of it and crumples to the floor in horrified sobs. Jessica starts to bail because this is all too much, but then she grits her teeth and chooses to face this, because Hope is all alone now.
Jessica Jones has a fantastic tone. Very hardboiled/film noir-esque, right down to the score! Since that’s one of my favorite genres, I couldn’t be happier about it. The show, and the titular character, is incredibly cynical without being unlikable. This first episode is really about meeting Jessica and getting a view of her life. We see hints of her past trauma, but we don’t get the full story yet. It’s enough to make Jessica’s terror and reluctance to get involved again make perfect sense.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
If Matt Murdock is like Angel, then Jessica Jones is like Faith. I cannot wait for them to meet, and I really hope it’ll be just like the Angel/Faith bromance. This show is about facing demons of an entirely different sort than the ones in Daredevil. Fear and self-blame when you know you’re the victim. Jessica might have super strength, but what really makes her strong is her ability to turn away from that cab and go back inside to help Hope. I think the main reason Jessica is keeping all the people around her at such a distance is that she feels so damaged that she would only be a burden to anyone else.
Due to the aforementioned aloofness on Jessica’s part, and the first-person narration style, the other major characters didn’t really get much development of their own. Luke, Trish, Hope, Hogarth, Kilgrave, and Malcolm will probably all end up getting character analysis sections, but not yet.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.