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[TV Review] ‘Jessica Jones’ Episode 1.02 – “AKA Crush Syndrome”

We delve a bit deeper into the life of our lead this week.  I didn’t touch on it much in my review for the first episode of the series, so I’ll do it now.  Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is a former superhero and does indeed have special abilities, such as super-strength and agility.  While the character operated under the name Jewel in the comics, it’s unclear whether that holds true for this series.  Regardless, she has left that life behind and has now become a private investigation, running her own business called Alias Investigations.

Not long ago Jessica experienced trauma in her life courtesy of Kilgrave (David Tennant).  Kilgrave, the Purple Man, has the ability to influence those around him into to doing his bidding, whether they want to or not.  For a time he held Jessica captive and forced her to do things she otherwise would not have done.  She broke free from his grip and thought he had perished in an accident.  She was wrong.  The Purple Man has returned.

After a run-in with him (though an indirect one) left some of her clients dead last week and another in lock-up, Jessica is determined to track Kilgrave down and put an end to his reign of terror.  Doing so has forced her to not only expand her business relationship with lawyer Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Ann Moos, doing great work), but also revive her friendship with her former best friend: talk show host Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor).  It has also led her to mysterious barkeep Luke Cage (Mike Colter).

This week mostly stuck to Jessica’s investigation into Kilgrave and how her day to day life operates.  She’s as isolated and lonely a person as we suspected after the pilot and certainly has a tough time interacting with others in meaningful ways.  Ritter sells every minute of her dreary life and she’s wonderfully backed up by Moss and Taylor’s reactions.

Colter’s as well, though Cage is now beginning to have a different understanding of Jones.  After all, he has abilities too, something revealed to both Jessica and audience members not familiar with the source material during a bar room brawl here.  Just as Jessica tosses her assailants around like they are feather-filled pillows, so to does Luke non-chalantly react to being hit, stabbed, and shoved.  Watching the two of them handle a bunch of drunken idiots like they’re flies simply being swatted away was a lot of fun.  As he says to her afterwards, “You can’t fix me because I’m unbreakable.”  I’m sure we’ll get into the details of it later on, but Mr. Cage is impervious to harm.

This episode also teased a few things yet to come.  In addition to giving us a tiny glimpse of Kilgrave, albeit still mostly in shadow, we are also seeing a bit more of Trish’s private life.  Nothing is as it seems in the Hell’s Kitchen of the MCU and that remains true here.  Why is Trish taking self-defense training?  Fans of the comics already know and it will be interesting to see if Trish’s future plays out in a similar fashion this season.

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