Marvel’s Jessica Jones
Series-finale time, everybody! Is it possible for our show to pull something together here that is satisfying and not as meh-or-miss as much of this farewell season has been? Imagine me using my best Detective Costa I-believe-in-you voice as I say “I sure hope so.”
Jeri has found a way to make this nightmare situation all about her, panicking and pleading with Jess to tell Trish that Jeri won’t out Trish’s identity — which is making quite the assumption about the speaking-terms status of these sisters. Jess leaves the bloodbath behind and returns to Alias and I GASP ALOUD because LUKE IS HERE. Praise the Marvel gods, he has a BEARD now, which … !!! If any of you knew about this beard and did not immediately find me on the internet to tell me to drop everything and watch whatever episode(s) of Luke Cage feature said facial hair, I am going to be very disappointed.
Jess and Luke have more chemistry and are more interesting in this three-minute scene than Jess and Erik are for the entirety of this season. This will be a recurring theme in this series-finale recap, so get excited about that. I’m sorry, hang on, Luke is wearing a three-piece suit? Is his superpower making recappers’ hearts explode inside our fragile, mortal ribcages? Luke tells Jess that he sent his own brother to the Raft and he knows that Jess, too, is equipped to decide if this is the right thing to do with Trish. “The only decision I’m qualified to make is ‘bourbon or no bourbon,’” Jess insists, but we (Luke, me) know this is not true.
So off Jess goes to Trish’s place to tell her to turn herself in. Trish is sitting in the dark like a psycho, but also like someone with night vision. I can’t believe Trish is willing to trash her relationship with her only surviving family member over Gregory “Worm Farm” Salinger! She’s off to go sell spring sweaters because her cover is “more important than ever.” She also willfully misremembers the contents of this entire series by saying that Jess has “forgotten what it’s like to feel afraid.” I don’t know how many times Trish needs to learn that strength is always accompanied by vulnerability and that superpowers do not inoculate you against emotional and psychological pain, or loss, or fear. I guess more times than are allotted for in this series!
Erik proves that Trish has gone bad by approaching her until he cries blood. Trish pretends that she has been converted to the side of good and just wants a minute to “clean up” — the oldest trick in the I’m about to escape through a bathroom window book — and either Jess actually falls for it or she just feels an obligation to give her sister-friend the chance to bring herself in honestly before she really and truly gives up on Trish. Let’s say the latter. Trish bolts and hides out in an empty Jace Montero property.
Elsewhere in New York, Kith shows up at Jeri’s house and learns that Jeri has ALS. Trish gives Jeri a call just to catch up, like ladies do! No, obviously she’s calling to find another person to kill, because Trish is addicted to righteous and unhinged homicide. To save herself, Jeri gives up Dmitri, the wife beater/tax evader. I love that Trish doesn’t even bother to, like, Google this guy; she just goes to his house and starts kicking the shit out of him. Plot twist: He has a 12-year-old daughter who witnesses the assault. Her presence throws Trish into a quick little existential crisis — “but why does the bad man also have a child who is innocent, thus complicating his previously cartoonish villainy?” — and she slips out a door leaving him in critical condition but still very much alive.
Malcolm storms into Alias to tell Jess that Trish must be stopped; Jess is on it, as we already know. Jess sees news of Trish’s latest assault on TV and, with Malcolm’s dot-connecting assistance, goes to Hogarth to accuse her, correctly, of being Trish’s supplier. The next move is to trap Trish using Jeri as bait.
We then go back to Malcolm’s apartment so I can write in my notes I do NOT feel like spending the SERIES finale watching the completely implausible partnership of Brianna and Malcolm unfold in all its domestic dullness. Of course Malc’s real girlfriend comes by and sees Brianna there. Of course she was hoping for “closure” that she is so not going to get. Bye forever, love of Malcolm’s mid-30s!
Jeri lures Trish in by telling reporters that she knows the identity of the masked vigilante and an “arrest will be imminent.” Unfortunately for all involved parties, Jeri’s plan to just chill at home and wait for Trish to show up to try to murder her is interrupted by the arrival of a suddenly very smitten Kith. Kith, haven’t you ever heard of a text message? Kith feels FREE because the settlement got all, you know, settled, and Trish gets her best delivery of the season when she interrupts their makeout session to say “you’re welcome.” Jess makes an even stronger entrance, bursting in to throw Trish up against the ceiling. “You will always be my problem,” she says to Trish, and this is actually the biggest compliment I think we’ve ever seen her pay someone. Trish responds by leaping across the room and putting Kith in a headlock.
Jeri has a gun! I love that she threatens to shoot Trish and Jess is like “you’re gonna shoot her yourself or are you a goddamn marksman now?” Jeri tells Trish that New York is no longer safe for her but she can help her escape. They make some kind of speedy bad-girl pact with their eyes; Jeri shoots Jess in the leg and gets away with Trish. The plan now is for Jeri to set Trish up with a new passport and get her to Canada. Trish, the least self-aware person who ever lived, says “I don’t want to kill anyone” as if this is somehow 1) obvious and 2) even remotely true. She is still hung up on Jess’s inability to “make the ultimate sacrifice,” which is … “everything.” Huh?
Meanwhile, having exhausted all other options, Jess releases a video telling all the world that the masked vigilante is Trish Walker and that she’s taken Jeri Hogarth hostage. She shares the photo of Trish attacking Salinger and warns anyone who spots her to keep their distance. “Don’t try to be a hero. It’s a shitty job.”
That really throws a wrench in Trish’s travel plans — nothing legitimate will suffice. We’re in full Americans mode now, right down to Trish’s atrocious brown wig. Jeri knows a scary rando who ships coffins to war zones. Just as I write I wonder if they’re gonna ship her in a crate? this man reports that Trish is going to be traveling IN A COFFIN. The flight to Thailand is 17 hours and Trish refuses to take the drugs that would knock her out for the duration, which is arguably the most insane thing she does in this whole episode.
Once Trish is all settled into her, ah, coach class accommodations, Jeri calls Jess. But Jess — with help from Malcolm and zero help from Erik — has located the airport and is already here, knocking on coffins until she finds the one that isn’t hollow. What follows is a GREAT fight scene, in which Trish knocks out the power to have her night-vision advantage (+1 Patsy) and Jess kicks her out into a more well-lit place to ask some very pointed questions and declare that Trish isn’t avenging her mother; she’s becoming her. Trish pulls out a knife (!) and is ready to straight-up murder Jess and without flinching our girl just holds out her hand and lets Trish STAB HER STRAIGHT THROUGH HER PALM, then knocks Trish unconscious.
Trish wakes up in police custody. Costa tells her that “enhanced peoples” don’t really have due process; seems like an oversight in our otherwise totally fully functioning criminal justice system. As Costa rattles off Trish’s greatest hits — two counts of first-degree murder, a bunch of assaults, etc. etc. — Trish keels over and wails “I’m the bad guy” which, as the song goes and also as everyone in her life has been saying to her for ages: Duh!
Kith goes over to Jeri’s place, all romantic and grateful but also accurately saying that the “insane situation” they were in was one of Jeri’s own creation. “I know you don’t want to die alone,” Kith says. “But you’re going to.” Damn, that is how you say goodbye to an ex. Take notes, everybody.
Erik shows up at Alias with takeout and a first aid kit, plus a copy of the New York Bulletin with the headline “Bona Fide Hero” and Jess’s picture on it. He is basically applying to be Jess’s assistant in heroism; given his relative uselessness and general unreliability to this point, I would say no. And so does Jess! She doesn’t trust him. He has decided this means he has something to prove and is off to go become a better, more trustworthy man.
On a bright new day at Alias, Jess has packed up all her belongings. She swings by Malcolm’s to leave him the keys and some encouraging words. (“Don’t screw it up.”) Costa goes to the bar to meet Erik, on Jess’s recommendation, so the two can start helping each other. Jess makes a quick detour to watch Trish get put into a helicopter that will take her to the Raft. That’s an awfully speedy downfall for Patsy, no? I don’t know about the rest of you but that whole arc is still tough for me to really buy into. From “jealous of her sister’s powers, eager to prove herself as worthy” to “literally a serial killer” in what, four episodes flat? Does that really check out with the Trish we’ve come to know over these three seasons?
After this silent, sad farewell, Jess heads to the train station, because it is more dramatic to buy a ticket there than at an airport. The closest she can get to Mexico is El Paso. The ticket the guy slides her is purple — Kilgrave purple. She hears his voice in her head: “You’re right to give up. It’s someone else’s job now.” (That this very brief voiceover is more powerful, dramatic, and convincing as a character motivator than anything that happened in this season is … pretty revealing about the issues of this season, I think.)
Music starts to swell. Jess gets this great little defiant smile on her face. Hope Malcolm didn’t get too comfortable sitting behind that desk. Jess is not ready to retire, after all. (Plus the climate that far south isn’t really leather-jacket friendly.) She might say she thinks being a hero is a shitty job, but it’s her shitty job, and she knows it.