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[TV Review] ‘Jessica Jones’ Episode 1.13 – “AKA Smile”

The end is here!  How did it all go down?  Expectedly or unexpectedly?  A bit of both, to be honest.  Poor Luke Cage sat out the majority of the episode unconscious on Jessica’s bed and being cared for by Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson, reprising her role from “Daredevil“).  I’m sure some will complain about his lack of involvement in the climax, but this isn’t his story.  It’s Jessica’s.  Cage will have his own demons to conquer during the finale of his solo series when it airs next year.

Speaking of The Man Without Fear, while referenced, the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen never rears his head.  While for a moment I thought we might get a cameo from his lawyer alter-ego, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), I’m glad we didn’t.  There’s plenty of time for such cameos and crossovers within the sophomore seasons of both that show and this one, as well as obviously within the eventual “Defenders” miniseries.  During inaugural seasons (and films), it’s generally best to keep things simple and streamlined.  Still, it was nice seeing Claire again and I’m happy to say that she was included in an organic way.

As I mentioned during my review of the previous episode, a thread for a second season has already been revealed: the mysterious company known as IGH.  Responsible for not only Kevin Kilgrave’s abilities and Will Simpson’s nuked personality, but also possibly Jessica’s as well, they are certainly something that will need to be dealt with at some point.  Jones might not think so at the moment, but it’s very clear that her bestie Trish Walker does.  Season 2, here we come!  Here’s hoping Trish gets to go full-on Hellcat once it rolls around as well!

It all came down to the central conflict that we have been tangoing with since the very first episode: Jessica vs. Kilgrave.  Despite the latter’s best efforts, he just couldn’t get the job done.  Sure, he actually could have killed Jessica plenty of times, both earlier in the season and especially during the finale, but I don’t think he ever really had it in him.  Sociopathic monster that he is, he loved her too much.

Don’t take that statement as an expression of sympathy.  Kilgrave was and always has been an unfathomable monster of a man.  In the end, he was undone not by his power or lust for vengeance, but through sheer hubris.  His ego was just too damn big and Jessica knew just how to exploit it in the end.  While he probably deserved to suffer a lot longer before death than he actually did, based on the atrocities he has committed, the look in his eyes before he left this world said it all.  He was crushed, beaten, and destroyed before she even snapped his neck.  Kilgrave might not have smiled like she asked, but I certainly did.

So how does it stack up to “Daredevil“?  It’s neither better nor worse.  Instead, I actually love them both equally and for entirely different reasons.  They are incredibly different from one another in tone, style, and storytelling.  Two great flavors of ice cream, if you will, that serve satisfy different cravings, but taste equally delicious.  I’m also certain that when the time comes, they will taste delicious together.

In “Jessica Jones“, Marvel has crafted another stellar TV appendage to their ever-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe.  The world of Hell’s Kitchen, New York City is a dark and frightening place, but also a tantalizing one.  Some have complained that the Marvel films are too light for their tastes.  Any who feel that way will likely find something to enjoy within both of these series, as well as the next two on the way (“Luke Cage” & “Iron Fist“).  As for those who find these series a bit too grim?  Well, that’s what the films (and the shows on ABC) are for!  No matter what, Marvel has you covered.

That’s all folks!  Well, almost.  Tomorrow we will be running a full season review from the perspective of another of our writers, so if you are reading this and aren’t in the mood to plow through 13 episode reviews, we’ve got you covered.  And if you did read all of these?  Not only do I thank you, but I also urge you to read Trace’s take anyway!  I hope you enjoyed following along!

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