Marvel’s Jessica Jones
I’ve had to say this before about Netflix programming, but clearly I must repeat it, much like how this episode of Jessica Jones repeats approximately 30 percent of the episode we all literally just watched: PACING MATTERS. If you release all the episodes of a season at once, you should be crafting your show with binge-watching in mind. That means you definitely can’t spend two back-to-back episodes repeating entire scenes with extremely minimal plot advancement or character development. How much did we learn from Trish’s POV here that we couldn’t already suss out from the episode we just watched?
Also: Why did it take ELEVEN episodes to reveal one of Trish’s coolest and most character-defining powers? Those CLAWS. She can … scratch people to death? Whaaat?! That is scary and weird and great! And we could’ve been seeing that play out this entire season instead of watching her kind of flounder around aimlessly, trying and failing to have the same exact super-strength as Jess.
I love a good flashback, though, and I am a sucker for all these scenes of baby Patsy developing her hero complex. Dorothy was adamant that talent was a gift; those who possess it are obligated to share it with the world. But Trish’s way of giving her goodness to the world is like U2’s way of automatically uploading that whole album to everyone’s iTunes library without even asking if people wanted it (… they didn’t). And every scene in this episode that isn’t a flashback feels like a rerun. Entire scenes are just … shown again. With virtually no additional information or insight. Just … why? What did we gain from seeing what Erik did after Trish punched him in the face? Like, he called someone because he desperately needed to get into a card game? How thrilling?
When Trish was supposed to be “staying put” in that seedy motel, obviously, she slipped out instead to take matters into her own grieving, irrational hands. First she popped over to Salinger’s hospital bed, where she learned he “made a deal” with Jess. Salinger reveals that he took one of his last-moments-alive photos of Dorothy and left it for Trish to find in an obvious place: She realizes it’s in a photo album in her mom’s apartment. Isn’t this evidence, though? Trish does nothing with it when she finds it. As she leaves, an eerily wise doorman tells Trish that “Satan wins when the forces of light stand idly by.” Maybe Satan wins when everybody with a grudge and a dream just starts up and doing homicides? Just a thought.
Trish’s next stop is Erik’s place. She is like a CHILD, I swear to God. When Erik tells her Nussbaumer was killing drug dealers, her immediate response is, “So he killed bad people.” GOOD LORD, TRISH, THE WORLD IS NOT NEATLY DIVIDED INTO “GOOD PEOPLE” AND “BAD PEOPLE WHO ARE 100% KOSHER TO MURDER.” Obviously Erik is like … no, not bad people, just young people who got caught up in some bad shit. Trish instantly flips from “all drug dealers are monsters” to “all these drug dealers are children whose deaths I must avenge.” She wants to use Erik’s files to pick a new target. Her idea of what it means to “do something good” is so juvenile and grandiose. Does she not realize that doing something good is more about the unglamorous day-in-day-out work of being kind and helping other people, not just spinning out and doing a murder because, with .02 seconds of thought, you’ve determined that person does not deserve to live?
Because Erik is an idiot, he assists Trish in her mission to find Nussbaumer. Thanks to his handy migraine and not to, I don’t know, the clear sound of a car door slamming, we know Nussbaumer has arrived. “Generally speaking, people who die deserve it,” Nussbaumer shouts into the darkness, and rather than realizing that this dirty cop is articulating her worldview aloud and taking a beat to think, huh, that’s probably a sign that I’m doing something wrong here, Trish just starts reciting the names and ages of all the teens Nussbaumer killed. Erik is filming this beatdown because they want to get Nussbaumer’s confession on tape. As per usual when Trish is involved — remember Sal and the shovel? — the attack goes awry and she accidentally kills him.
This causes Erik to giggle wildly because the pain is gone from his head. Trish is freaking out. Of course Jess becomes a suspect in this murder, so these knuckleheads decide to rough up a different bad guy, this time when Jess has an alibi, so as to absolve her of murder No. 1. Why no one just tells Jess what is going on so that she can figure this out is beyond me. Erik tells Trish about Jace the arsonist, and Jace gave Erik an extra-bad headache so you know it’s serious. “This guy is really evil,” Trish says, triumphant. Love that Trish has such conviction about using powers to help people when thus far all her powers have done is create mass complications, risk the imprisonment of her loved ones, and cause her to commit a bunch of manslaughters.
Jeri bops over to Trish’s dungeon apartment to reveal that she knows who this masked vigilante is. She’ll destroy the footage if Trish helps her get Dmitri’s taxes. Trish, who has the emotional intelligence of a Muppet, lights up at the news that Dmitri is “a bad person” and agrees.
Meanwhile, Jess is in the wind with no alibi, but Trish doesn’t care about literally the only reason they have for another sure-to-be-botched mission. The next morning, she goes to Jace’s place — though the structure of these two episodes is really confusing from a timeline perspective, we are now in the same morning when Jess was tailing Trish in the last episode — and, to give Jess an alibi while Trish does her thing, Erik calls the cops on Jess to have her arrested on the spot. Wow, what a helpful guy.
Trish, as is her standard practice, gets carried away with her Salinger-inspired rage and accidentally murders her mark AGAIN. Also, I guess she’s going to make a habit of punctuating these attacks with sanctimonious demands like “ADMIT WHAT YOU DID”? Ugh. She tosses Nussbaumer’s badge on his body, as if that makes it all okay. When it’s over, Trish demands to know the state of Erik’s skull. Is the world better now? Erik stumbles away from her, probably because it’s Trish’s vibe that’s making him feel sick. You and me both, Erik.