Marvel’s Jessica Jones
Even superheroes can’t have it all. Take Jessica: Sure, most of the time she can lift a minivan. But now, while she still has super-strength, she does not have an underrated organ that protects the body from infection.
Post-stabbing, Jessica is living that spleen-free life, which involves taking lots of meds, dialing back her “reckless lifestyle” (“Where would a liter of bourbon a day fall on the reckless scale?” she asks her hilariously cheesy doctor), and maybe allowing herself to stay in the hospital for more than 20 minutes after regaining consciousness so she doesn’t just … get hospitalized again. Also struggling, medically speaking, is Malcolm, who is peeing blood because of the internal bruising he got from deliberately crashing his car into the MVP of DUIs. I will say his relationship seems great and I eagerly await the news that his girlfriend is evil in some Hogarth-related capacity, or that she is so good that once Malcolm goes full-Hogarth evil, she breaks up with him, because if I’ve learned anything from recapping our series here, it’s that no one gets to be in a solid, supportive relationship for long on this show. (I do love that Hogarth, who “typically loathes the term ‘power couple,’” wants them to sign a consent form.)
I’m surprised to see everyone who knows Jess and knows anything about her past is so insistent on calling her a “victim” to her face. Trish, who really needs to do a better job of acting like she isn’t kind of loving the fact that Jess is weaker than she is (temporarily!) for once in her entire life, should definitely know better. Detective Costa is investigating, but Jess thinks she knows her man: Andrew Brandt, the sculpture stealer.
This episode brings me to a perennial Jessica Jones problem, which is a 13-episode season that always feels like it would be better as 10. There is so much throat-clearing and leisurely exposition and WHY does a show about someone who can literally move at super-speed have to drag so much at the start of every season? Do you all struggle with the pacing, too?
Jess gets home from the hospital to find her date left her a burger with the note “EPIC FIRST DATE” and I write in my notes What kind of dick doesn’t at least go with her to the hospital and make sure she’s okay? Later we will discover: The kind of dick who knew HE is the reason she got stabbed! And my first instinct here is … this is kind of a lame villain situation, is it not? Jess as a target by proxy because of a random bar hookup? Obviously there is still time for more layers to be revealed to this, but at present, just considering the past big bads — Kilgrave, Jess’ mom/the mad scientist who gave the Jones women their powers — this feels awfully surface-level.
Jess and Trish work the Brandt case separately, deploying one of my favorite unrealistic TV tropes: Printing out a bunch of stuff even though Trish does not appear to own a printer. Malc swings by with the knife because he is a smooth, sharp-dressed evidence-tamperer now. He also ran it for prints and has a bill for Jess, whom he knew would not want any favors but also, let’s be real, because he wanted her to see how expensive he’s gotten.
Jess goes to Brandt’s place and finds a lead in ten minutes. Trish has been searching for hours. I’d say they’re competing but Trish is extremely bad at this job! Why is she fighting her nature? “You can ride this ’90s parkour crap back into the fame you crave,” Jess snarls at her, which is perfect, and also says what I’ve been thinking this whole time: Trish has been at the hero business for five minutes, with extremely mixed results. You know what Trish is great at, though, is selling her cozy, tacky-ass sweaters in Starburst colors and horrendous cuts. You can see in her eyes how distressed she is to excel at something so vapid.
Eric, the burger king, returns supposedly to check on Jess’s well-being and find out if she likes the burger, which she claims to have tossed. Also swinging by Alias Investigations: Hogarth, who heard that Jess was pretending to be “Mallory,” a non-existent assistant of hers, to get intel on black-market auctions where the statue could be up for grabs. “What makes you think that I know anything about illegal art sales?” asks Hogarth, who obviously knows everything there is to know about illegal art sales.
Jess starts to make moves with a list courtesy of Hogarth, but she is NOT doing that post-op self-care (hydration, rest, repeat) and she collapses on the street. So Trish fuckin’ FLEECES HER UNCONSCIOUS FRIEND for the gallery list because she is so insecure she somehow thinks this will help her in any part of her life (… it will not). Jess lands in the hospital again with my new favorite supporting character — “your body has spleen better days!” — and leaves too early, again, relying on narcotics to numb her pain enough to do super-jumps. I’m not really emotionally prepared for this anti-heroine to go from “functioning alcoholic” to “statistic in the opioid crisis,” so let’s hope this is a short-lived pill-popping stage.
Jess snags the statue and speaks the truth: “Some people just have too much goddamn money.” Meanwhile Trish is out front cosplaying as a rich would-be buyer, putting those Patsy performance skills to use. Her outfit is A+, I must say. In the alley afterward, Jess shows off her findings to Trish, who shouts at Jess for not training enough. GIRL JESS DOES NOT NEED TO TRAIN SHE IS LITERALLY A SUPERHERO. Trish calls herself unstoppable so Jess has to kick her ass — like, gently! But you know, point made.
Jess then finds Brandt at his little hideout — “if you say it’s your man cave, this will end worse than you think” — and scares the daylights out of him. I love watching her shove cars, so this is a very satisfying sequence as far as I’m concerned. She leaves him all tied up for Trish, who will get to be the one who calls the police and therefore feel important.
Back home, Jess calls someone to ask if they want a massive amount of booze and I think Please be your friend, Oscar, make a healthy choice, but it’s Eric the burger king. Jess has put it together: Someone wanted him dead, not her. HE IS THE REASON SHE GOT STABBED. Wow, honestly, fuck this guy.
In other news, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Hogarth’s very strong seduction game with her ex, who it turns out after all that trouble is in an open marriage — so, not only was her tryst with Hogarth not some illicit little secret that Hogarth can cherish and lord over her, but that dirt Malcolm dug up on the husband screwing his students (ugh, men) is not valuable after all. All Hogarth really got for her trouble so far was a very erotic cello performance and new insight into how a marriage can work for someone who, like her, is inclined to “cheat with what can only be described as unabashed verve.” The more you know!