Luke Owen reviews the third episode of Jessica Jones…
Well, this episode certainly kicks off with some explicit scenes. As we said in our preview of the show, this is not one to watch with your kids or parents. We’re… um… diving head first into this Jessica Jones/Luke Cage relationship aren’t we?
But that’s what we wanted to see. In the comics, Jessica and Luke are the rocks of the Marvel world – they’re the one consitent. Characters may change, people may switch allegiances and world’s may crumble around them, but you can always count on the strong relationship between Jones and Cage (and their child – a sign of things to come?). Not only is this important from a character stand point, it also introduces us to a shocking revelation that should play out through the entire series: Jessica killed Luke’s wife. Uh oh.
One thing that should be said of Jessica Jones so far is that, while it is clearly part of the world, it never makes overt references to the larger MCU. In Daredevil, we often had little nods to “the incident in New York” or newspaper cuttings of Hulk’s rampage in the city, but Jessica Jones is quite happy to play in its own little sandbox. In this episode, however, we do get some very subtle and small builds towards Captain America: Civil War. In the opening scene, Cage and Jones are talking about keeping their powers hidden because they don’t want to be part of this larger game, and there’s a sense from this conversation that there are certain groups with this world that very much look down upon superheroes. With Captain America: Civil War perhaps introducing us to the Superhero Registration Act (if it follows the comics that is), then this is a great look into the street-level view of superheros in the MCU.
There’s also a couple of funny lines about “the big green guy” and “alien invasion”, which is quite nice.
As revealed at the end of the last episode, Trish Walker is in training and it didn’t take long for Jones to work this all out (she is a private eye after all). It’s nice to see that the show isn’t about to play the secrets-between-friends card as we’ve already seen that in Daredevil, and it helps build Trish’s character as someone who relied too heavily on Jessica in the past but now wants to fend for herself. Something that should come in handy as she gets on the wrong side of Killgrave through her radio show. That was probably not a smart move.
Which also brings us to our next introduction – Simpson. Make no mistake about it, this isn’t just a one-and-done character folks. Simpson is going to be a running thread through this series. The real question, however, is will be become Nuke as he does in the comics…
And as mentioned back in the first episode review, we get to see just what an unlikable and bad person Jessica Jones can be. She uses her apartment’s drug addict Malcolm as a distraction so she can get the medical supplies she needs to take down Killgrave, not sparing one thought for who Malcolm is or even treating him like a human being. The look Malcolm gives her as she walks out of the hospital is awesome. But makes this all the more better is that Krysten Ritter sells this perfectly. Jones is a bad person, but she knows it.
However – this episode is all about one thing: our first confrontation between Jones and Killgrave. Yes, it’s happening this early in the show. The episode really shows off Killgrave as a monster while also displaying how powerful and dangerous he is. And just like in the first episode, it’s all done off screen with Killgrave playing the role of Geppetto, which further emphasises just what a badass this character is.
The episode also features some of the strongest writing yet. As mentioned in the episode two review, some of the exchanges between characters is a bit stilted and it doesn’t have that beautiful ebb and flow of Daredevil, but it’s much better here.
But once again, this hasn’t quite lived up to the expectations set by the debut episode. Everything here is good, but it’s not great. There’s some good character work and everyone in the show is exceptional, but Jessica Jones feels like its missing something.
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and a contributor on The Flickering Myth Movie Show. You can follow him on Twitter @ThisisLukeOwen.