Marvel’s Jessica Jones
Anybody want to take a quick field trip to Jessica’s childhood vacation spot to dump a body? Specifically, Simpson’s body, since Jess has the cops on her tail — what with her whole “being adjacent to a murder scene” thing that Oscar was aggressively not helpful in diffusing — and our girl cannot solve any crime by dinnertime if she’s behind bars.
Jess thinks the only way forward is to dig through her past, which is definitely going to suck. But considering her past has popped up in her present with a hit list, she doesn’t see another way to go. Trish suggests hypnotherapy. Jessica gets all bratty Good Will Hunting about it, bitching about how she needs more pillows and has no safe places to go back to. (In her defense, the two places the guy suggested are “a stretch of beach” and “a childhood home.” Not exactly soothing spaces in this psyche.)
We learn that Jess told Trish about the “meat-faced creature” who attacked her in a flashback — that is, assuming that’s a real memory and not a fake one. For a literal superhero who knows plenty of other powered-people, Jess is surprisingly dismissive of the possibility (dare I say probability) that the meat-man exists. Jess leaves the session thinking it was all for naught, but it turns out this shrink did shake some stuff loose in her brain after all. Later, she has some trippy nightmares where brown liquor is getting pumped into her veins through an IV drip and it’s sort of snowing inside, but in a gross, buggy way, not a romantic, Jane the Virgin way. And the meat monster is back! But then she wakes up. On the floor. As she is wont to do.
Back at Trish’s home front, Griffin is very upset that Jess never called to tell him Trish was safe. The happy couple bickers and Jess walks away, files in hand and perfect smirk on her face. “Aren’t relationships great?”
But all is not well at Jessica’s home, either. She’s getting evicted because her apartment is zoned as a residence, not a business. Ah, Oscar the super grouch. He’s got an issue with power-people, as we know — Jess calls him a bigot and he snaps that she’s “not a protected class” — so she sends Malcolm out to honeytrap the landlord. They eventually find out that Oscar not only has a criminal history, but that he made a fake passport for the owner’s Cambodian boyfriend, so the guy owes him. Love how Jess cons Oscar into coming upstairs to unclog a toilet she wrecked with 20 tampons — “Yeah, it’s just a heavy-flow kind of month” — so she can break into his apartment, where his adorable kid asks her if she knows Captain America. Can’t get enough of that #brand #synergy.
Jess tries to make peace when Oscar bursts into his apartment, explaining that she didn’t know he was on parole when she brought the police to his front door. But Oscar is still a dick to her.
Speaking of men who are dicks: Of course Griffin is insecure, possessive, totally unwilling to play, as he puts it, “the worried girl left behind.” Trish tells him to stay away while she and Jessica work on this case, and he both refuses to do that and leaves immediately because he “needs some time.” Great communication skills, Griffin! The worst part of Griffin is how he and Trish constantly reference, with irritating specificity and awe, the war zones he’s covered in the past. “You were dodging bombs in Damascus,” Trish pouts. Later, she brings up all of his “awards” again. What’s next, a pissing contest about their respective Twitter followings? (Probably not, you know beloved child star Patsy has him beat.)
As you can imagine, I felt all kinds of validated when Griffin took the first opportunity to snoop on Trish’s laptop and steal her research. I bet he’s going to try to scoop her, and then as soon as she figures it out, make her feel crazy for suggesting he would ever do such a thing.
I like that we get to see Jessica is actually good at her job, even when she isn’t resorting to methods that are kind of unfair (superstrength) or ethically questionable (ass-kicking with the aforementioned superstrength). One of Trish’s files has a photo of a door that looks like the ones in the old IGH building, so she heads back there. It’s all a little meta: Remember when Krysten Ritter’s Jane on Breaking Bad brought Jesse to the Georgia O’Keeffe museum and talked to him about why you’d paint a door over and over again, because it’s different every time? At IGH, Jess can tell something sticky is on the door, and when she blows dust on it, it clings to the sticky spaces where a nameplate used to be: Dr. Leslie Hansen.
They find Leslie soon enough, even though the past 20 years of her web presence has been erased, because she lived in an old building and, as Jess reasons, “No one gives up a rent-controlled apartment, ever.” The apartment is squeaky clean, and don’t worry, there’s nothing to see in the creepy basement, except a decaying human head.
As much as I want to be team Trish, in this episode she is like 90 percent annoying and 10 percent harmless-to-useful. When she isn’t giving self-pitying monologues about how she’s just a “silly radio host,” she is stating or echoing the obvious (“this apartment IS too clean”) or wussing out (“I’m not touching that head”). So far, her main contribution is her ability to get the guy at the morgue a hot dinner reservation in exchange for an ID of the human head they sneak into his queue.
Trish tries to participate by shouting out Leslie on her radio show. A woman claiming to be Leslie, in the least-original villain move in the history of villainy, tells Trish to meet her tonight and come alone. Obviously, Jess goes instead. The woman she meets insists that Jessica’s survival was a miracle — that Jess died on the table and was brought back to life. Jess calls what happened to her “torture,” but this mystery lady disagrees. She also tells Jess that her superpowers were a side effect of the advanced crazy science doctors used to rescue her.
Just as Trish learns from her morgue-attendant boyfriend that the severed head is, in fact, Leslie Hansen, Jess figures it all out for herself. This strange woman is strong enough to throw Jessica through a wall, but considering Jessica had threatened to “rip your spine out through your ear,” I guess it could have been worse? Trish arrives just in time … to do literally nothing but get Malcolm injured, wind up in a paparazzi photo that will definitely go over well with Griffin, and watch Fake Leslie leap up a building.
Meanwhile, Jeri’s partners swing by the office to kindly announce that they know she’s sick, and that she’s violated a medical disclosure clause in her contract. Also they hate her, and honestly it is not hard to see why, on account of the whole “she is vicious to everyone” thing. But you know what they say: It’s not personal, it’s fiduciary duty.
So Jeri finds herself at Jessica’s door, all but begging for assistance from Alias Investigations. Can Jess find some dirt of these partners? “There’s dirt everywhere,” Jessica says. “You just have to know where to look.”