Marvel’s Jessica Jones
We suspend our disbelief for superhero shows, right? I am here for men so fast they whoosh by in a blur and top-secret medical experiments that turn ordinary, unloved orphans into human weapons of mass destruction.
But there was one incredible thing in this episode that was so preposterous it stopped me right in my recapping tracks: If it is, as Jess tells us in her episode-opening voice-over, a hot, humid summer in New York City, why the hell is she wearing her leather jacket and jeans and boots? If Jess were actually dressed like that in the middle of a sweltering city summer, she would be “super” in an Alex Mack way, by which I mean, she would be a puddle on the floor.
The Alias Investigations office is cooled — barely, I assume — by some rinky-dinky fan. Yet when Jess returns home from her court-mandated anger-management session, which she attended while dressed in the attire described above, the only thing she takes off is the jacket. She is still wearing her leather boots! It’s one thing to play fast and loose with your wardrobe when your show takes place in some seasonless neverland (I’ll never forget you, Pretty Little Liars), but this is some sartorial nonsense. You know in real life she’d be sitting there in her T-shirt and underwear, hair piled on top of her head, concentrating on not dying.
Jess didn’t last long in anger management because, contrary to what the guy running the session said, you can shock people who have seen some shit when you’ve seen Jessica Jones–caliber shit. She bounces his stress ball to smithereens and skedaddles out of there, returning home to find Malcolm nursing his wounded shoulder and that embarrassing In Touch cover, which speculates on his and Trish’s relationship status. Trish would be a step up from Malcolm’s typical routine, which involves hooking up with girls from Tinder whose names he immediately forgets.
Jess realizes the woman who attacked her was wearing a wig, and Trish is actually useful because in her Patsy days, she wore a wig and thus knows the top-tier wig shops in the city. (Even this is a stretch re: Trish’s contributions, because Jess easily could have figured it out via Yelp.) A field trip down memory lane finds this snotty woman who is still pissed that “Patsy” was high all the time — “Patsy goes to rehab, there’s your comeback show” — and bit her, like, one time, which is really a minor indiscretion as childhood screwups go. My favorite thing about the wig shop is that RuPaul’s photo is on the wall of celebrities who apparently frequent this place.
After shelling out a few $100 bills that I guess Trish just carries around, as one does, they learn the name of the wigged woman: Inez Green. This calls for another trip to Max’s film set so he can use his donor leverage to get all those IGH-related hospital records, which he has not yet handed over.
On set, Jess and Trish show the young female star of Max’s current movie what Malcolm secretly recorded earlier this season — you know, the footage where Max pulls a Roy Moore and insists Trish was a totally consenting young teen when he preyed on her. The star, disgusted, promptly walks off set. Max is very unhappy with this turn of events, and is all, Ooh, is this leather-jacket girl supposed to scare me? Jess roughs him up and he flips out: “What the hell are you?” He swears he isn’t like a regular child rapist; he was only a statutory rapist for Trish because he “loved” her.
I’ll let you all take a break to gag/vomit/etc., and return to this recap when you’re ready.
Jess could have killed this dude, but Trish reminds her that she’s on parole, so instead she punches a hole in the hood of his car. This is extremely cool, but unfortunately I am distracted by the fact that she is wearing fingerless gloves. In. The. Humid. Summer. JESSICA.
While Jess and Trish wait for Max to deliver, Oscar comes over. You see, his adorable kid came by because he wanted to know more about superhero things — “Are you bulletproof?” — and then, after asking Jess if she would catch him if he fell out of her window, he fell by mistake. And what do you know, she catches him just as Oscar and his ex walked in at a not-opportune moment (then again, did he seriously think Jess shoved the kid out the window?), and Oscar tells her that she has 25 days before her “superhero ass is out of here.” I am realizing now, as I write this, that it’s like what happened with Jack and Rose in Titanic when she’s all about to kill herself and he catches her right after she slips. The moral of both stories: Never let go.
Oscar, realizing that he owes Jessica an apology and a thank you, comes over offering exactly that, and also booze. They drink together and flirt and use the word “misanthrope” in very endearing ways and I am 100 percent here for this relationship. But Jess tries to escalate from kissing to tearing off Oscar’s pants and he pumps the brakes. “This isn’t normal,” he says, meaning going from “I hate you and I’m evicting you!” to “Let’s have sex!” in under 30 minutes. But of course, what Jessica hears is: She isn’t normal.
Griffin and Trish, who earlier gave a barely convincing performance of “we are madly in love” for the paparazzi, engage in some dull pillow talk. Then Griffin gets a call from someone to whom he says boilerplate two-timing bad-guy stuff like, “I can’t talk, she’s right here” and “No, she doesn’t know anything, let’s keep it that way.” Jessica Jones always has such slick, clever dialogue for our main character. Can we get some better material for Griffin, please? I want him to be evil because it would make him more interesting, thus validating the time we’ve spent getting to know him. But it seems equally plausible that he’s just throwing a surprise party or something similarly basic.
Meanwhile, Max came through with what they need, because punching a guy in a Tesla is a very effective information-gathering technique. Turns out IGH paid Inez’s medical bills. Jess and Trish go to the condemned building corner where Inez, who is homeless, is likely hanging around. Trish continues her track record of being more of an insecure, needy liability than an actual asset by taking a few puffs on Simpson’s old inhaler — without consulting Jess beforehand — and the result is basically that Trish is just, I don’t know, more reckless than usual? It doesn’t seem to give her any powers beyond improved night vision.
Jess and Trish don’t find the dangerous woman they’re looking for, though: Inez was a merely nurse at IGH, and the wig-lady threw her ten feet into a glass cabinet. Broken back, massive scars, pretty nasty stuff. But still no decent leads on the killer herself.
Back at Alias Investigations, Pryce sends his boy Nick to supermarket sweep Jessica’s place and steal all her files: “The cases are yours now. If she’s dirty, we’ll bury her.” Alas, it is Nick who’s going to get buried, because wig-lady catches him on his way out and murders him in the back of his van.
The good news is, Jessica’s files never got to Pryce! The bad news is (1) wig-lady is still on the loose, (2) Nick is dead (not that we care about him all that much, but still, don’t want to be disrespectful), and (3) Jessica is under arrest for murder, since she shows up on the scene and seems like quite the likely suspect. At least she can assure herself that she would never do what this assailant did. There is blood everywhere. Jess takes in the carnage as a cop handcuffs her. “It’s not me,” she says over and over. “That’s not me.”