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TV Review: Marvel’s Jessica Jones S2E13 AKA Playland

Waking up in unfamiliar surroundings, Jessica once again finds herself torn between two worlds and facing an impossible choice.

The second season of Jessica Jones wraps up with an episode that reminds me of something but I can’t put my finger exactly on what. The season as a whole has had elements from elsewhere that it’s hard to nail down. Much like the rest of this season, this finale has thrown expectations out the window.

There’s three storylines, two of which play off each other.

Trish has to deal with her mother who is in manager mode, taking advantage and overall being a horrible human being. It’s the dynamic we expect. At times she seems great. At other times she’s horrible. But Trish is recovering with Jessica on her mind. She wants to help but also not turn her in.

Then there’s Jessica who’s on the run with her mother who shows sign of being super. It’s heartbreaking because you can see the hurt Jessica feels and the struggle with what she should do.

And it’s those choices that are interesting.

“We only have one mother” Detective Costa says emphasizing that Jessica is not in her right mind and is focused on blood over what’s right to do.

How that plotline wraps up is unexpected, shocking, and outright heartbreaking. It’s a great ending again preventing the formula we’ve seen so many times before. While not perfect, it’s probably the best finale of a Marvel Netflix series, especially in how it deals with its “villain.”

Then there’s Jeri’s storyline which has now roped in Malcolm. Out of all of the shit, this is Malcolm’s season to shine. Even after being fired, he fixes Jessica’s office, setting it up again. He also delivers the goods to Jeri which leads to a new status quo which should be interesting to see where it all goes in future series. Out of all of the characters, Malcolm is the one that has shown positive growth in so many ways and while he was “the junkie” in the first season, we can see he’s all heart and the best of the bunch. Out of all of the shit, there’s the slight glimmer of good through him. Without it, the season would be a rather depressing one.

The episode wraps up with Jessica figuring things out and taking stock of her life. The noir aspect of the season really comes through with the finale ending in a way that drips crime and detective stories.

As far as endings go, this was the strongest. It brought a lot of emotion and didn’t fall into what feels like the usual punch fest with a big villain. There was something rather muted about it, fitting for a season that as a whole was low key.

Overall Rating: 7.65

TV Review: Marvel’s Jessica Jones S2E12 AKA Pray for My Patsy

As Jessica and Dorothy wait anxiously for updates on Trish, a call from Costa brings alarming news. Jeri hatches a plan to get her revenge.

With just one more episode to go after this, the focus is mothers. Both Trish and Jessica’s. The episode begins in a way where you think that Jessica and Trish’s mother actually have made amends in a way. It’s the most mother/daughter we’ve seen the two out of the two seasons.

We also get the confrontation we’ve been expecting and has been foreshadowed as Jessica’s mother goes after Trish resulting in a hell of a confrontation and a result that’s a bit unexpected in some ways. It’s the fight that has been rather limited this season. Where it goes is interesting and while I had hoped the season wouldn’t end with another fight, it seems like that’s where it’s all going.

Then there’s Jeri who’s out for revenge after being robbed. She’s pissed and she’s going to go after everyone responsible. Where that all goes is rather interesting and it brings Jeri back to being the manipulative shit she is. There’s a comment about that from Jessica in an earlier episode and much like this season, it seems foreshadowing is what it’s all about. The end result is horrible and shows how evil Jeri can be. It’s actually a bit shocking, even for her.

That foreshadowing extends to how the episode ends. Not going to ruin that but this is a season that each episode in various ways build upon the rest. They hint at what’s to come regularly and without massive action sequences it’s all more focused on the characters. With one more to go, it’s going to be an interesting ending.

Overall Rating: 7.45

TV Review: Marvel’s Jessica Jones S2E11 AKA Three Lives and Counting

Shocked by her own actions and haunted by visions of Kilgrave, Jessica worries she’s turning into a monster. Trish’s plans for Karl become clear.

In the first episode of the season, Jessica’s client wanted her to kill her cheating boyfriend. She knew about Jessica and Killgrave and convinced that Jessica was a killer. For much of the season she’s struggled with that and we’ve seen her improve in so many ways.

The last episode had her make a choice though in a sort of act of defense where she killed again and now she’s haunted by her actions.

Literally haunted.

Killgrave is back haunting her as she deals with her choices as well as figure out what to do next with Doctor Malus. There’s something great about seeing David Tennant in his role. He brings such an evil and sadistic charm to it all and he and Krysten Ritter have a solid banter. Her grumpy demeanor, though she’s the good one, his happy/smiley responses, though he’s the evil rapist. It really works because it’s so unlike what you’d expect. It also brings Jessica back to her “traumatic center” that drove her narrative the first season. It was nice to see her make gains this season but this reminds us trauma lasts and isn’t an easy fix.

But, for as bad as Jessica is, Trish has gone off the deep end kidnapping Malus and betraying Malcolm. There’s some interesting stuff with her but her motivation is a little odd feeling like it’s driven by jealousy. The two’s dynamic has been a big part of the season and this episode really brings together the strange dynamic which while sisterly also is not healthy.

The episode explores Jessica’s loss. By the end of the episode, Trish is harmed, Malcolm’s relationship with Jessica has collapsed. For all the gains of the season, she’s now at rock bottom in many ways again shunned and shunning friends. With great performances by Ritter and Tennant, the episode is a standout of the season.

The season has been an interesting one in that way with ebbs and flows around relationships and this episode is one of the highs of the season.

Overall Rating: 8.35

TV Review: Marvel’s Jessica Jones S2E10 AKA Pork Chop

Jeri finagles a deal for her new client in exchange for Karl’s location. Trish forges ahead with her own investigation. A prison guard crosses a line.

Jessica is in a bit of a tough spot. Her mother is arrested and to get a better deal she has to give up Dr. Malus. But, the government clearly wants Dr. Malus for his knowledge and experiments. So, her mother gets a better deal, Jessica hands the US government and weapons maker. If she doesn’t, she’s going away to the Raft where she’ll be in solitary for the rest of her life. It’s a tough decision for her to be in and interesting in some ways as it puts her in the position where she might have to help a criminal.

There’s some revelations in the episode that are the interesting thing that really focuses on the dynamic between Jeri and Jessica. There’s a friendship that has been brewing between the two. It’s tenuous but it’s different than what we witnessed in the previous season and even how Jeri was acting earlier in the season. That makes what Jessica has to tell her more interesting and rather heartbreaking. You can see the two attempting to connect and be friends but it’s a struggle. The end result is not surprising but heartbreaking and in a few moments we go from thinking Jeri as a character that’s hard to relate to, to one for which we should have tons of sympathy.

Then there’s that ending… Not sure what I think but it’s a bit odd to go there and can’t say I’m necessarily pleased with it all. But, it does bring back that discussion of her being a murderer or not. I’ll let you view and decide yourself.

This second season is giving us something a little different in that the solution isn’t about punching people. Instead we have had 10 episodes that are focused on personal interactions and moral choices. This was a good episode in some ways and horrible in others. Still what was good was great which feels like a recurring theme of the season.

Overall Rating: 7.05

TV Review: Marvel’s Jessica Jones S2E9 AKA Shark in the Bathtub, Monster in the Bed

The shooting forces Jessica to rethink her plans. Meanwhile, Oscar asks for help with a family crisis, and Trish’s frustrations finally boil over.

The episode is an interesting one in that things have slowed down again but this one is bringing together a lot of various threads that have begun earlier in the season.

There’s the shooter from the end of the episode which turns out is Pryce Chang and he was aiming for Jessica’s mother. How was he hired? Who hired him? We don’t know but you better believe Jessica has him to find that stuff out. We haven’t seen the character in a while and the coincidence he’s the one hired feels a little too convenient and connect the dots but it at least uses the character in some way other than just being a rival to Jessica. It also explains why there was so many mentions of his military experience.

We eventually get his logic and it’s not bad at all. There’s some truth to it all and we can understand his choices, as extreme as they are.

Then there’s Trish and her using. Jessica finds that out and feels guilty that she wasn’t there to help at all. So, there’s another fall out that has echoes of the flashback episode. It’s sad to see her slide like this but Rachael Taylor has done an excellent job in the role and whomever handles her make-up has been doing a great job of making her look strung out. There’s a melt down which is interesting and where that goes builds into the cycle we’ve seen before of her being reworded in some ways for her destructive behavior.

Then there’s Oscar whose domestic issues come to a head and he needs Jessica’s help. There’s good in that Jessica has to work with her mother and also some good in that we get to see her again let down her guard a bit as well. There’s something nice about it all that humanizes her character even more.

This is the episode that sets up the last four of the series. There’s a lot good here in the way it brings things together and we see the struggle Jessica has with what to do with her mother. There’s this ongoing theme of sins of the past coming back and having to deal with them. This episode does a good job of emphasizing that.


Overall Rating: 7.25

TV Review: Marvel’s Jessica Jones S2E8 AKA Ain’t We Got Fun

While Jessica debates her next move, Malcolm confronts Trish about her erratic behavior, and Jeri makes contact with a healer.

Jessica is captured and has to decide as to what she’s going to do about the revelation that her mother is a killer and a monster. After some action, the episode evolves into something rather claustrophobic in a way. Jessica and her mother are mostly in a room discussing about their past and what the two remember. It’s interesting in that Jessica’s memories don’t jive with what her mother depicts as the reality. It brings up in a way how we look at our childhoods with rose colored glasses.

In the end, Jessica must figure out what to do with her mother and how to deal with her outside of their dungeon.

Malcolm confronts Trish about her addiction but all of that gets cut short when Jessica tells them the whole investigation of IGH is off. And, while Malcolm attempts to do good, Trish eventually becomes a bad influence. It’s interesting to see her become the “bad guy” in this case. She’s the addict and dealer bringing down others.

But that’s not where the interactions end. Jeri and Inez have some back and forth that’s intriguing. Jeri wants to learn more about Inez and Inez learns about Jeri, and we do so as well. They both represent hope to each other in some ways. Inez sees that Jeri has made herself from nothing and Inez gives Jeri hope for a cure. There’s also Inez’s scars which clearly remind Jeri of her own. The mixing of all of this with sexual emotions is an interesting one and in ways reflects Jessica’s relationship with Oscar.

There’s some interesting stuff in Malcolm doing the work for Jeri and he digs up dirt on her partners. How that plays out, I’m a little uncomfortable with as it both feels uncreative but also has some bad tropes about it. Realistic? Sure. But, for a show that’s so good in some ways, there’s some cringy moments. And maybe that’s the point?

The episode in a way is the quiet before the storm as relationships advance. It’s those final moments that really matter. The episode is a step back from the excellence of the previous one and while delivering interesting character interactions, it slows things down as they begin to ramp up.

Overall Rating: 7.15

TV Review: Marvel’s Jessica Jones S2E7 AKA I Want Your Cray Cray

Flashbacks shed new light on the aftermath of the family’s car accident and reveal a painful turning point in Jessica’s adult life.

The second season goes deep into the “origin of Jessica Jones” as we learn about what happened to her mother after the car crash and this episode is as close to an origin story as I’d expect for the series. Taking place right after the accident and five years later, we see Jessica and Trish falling out as Trish’ singing career takes off and her drinking and partying gets out of hand.

The episode fills in a lot of gaps to the story of Jessica. We see where things just aren’t going right and she drops out of college. We see her falling into the wrong crowd in a way. We also see the “origin” of her leather jacket and “Alias.”

We also get a lot about her mother’s experience. We see her recovery and the experiments by Dr. Leslie Hanson and Dr. Karl Malus. We see the impact of their work in a negative way and we also see the good too. There’s decisions that are made that make sense for good and bad and the person we thought was a bad guy isn’t so much. But of course she is. She’s prone to violent outbursts and she’s dangerous. And we see how far she’ll go.

Then there’s Trish. We see a lot of bad here. While her going to rehab has been referenced multiple times in the series, we have no idea how bad it really was. This episode lets us see all of it and it’s bad. What’s going on in the “present” might seem like it’s a low for her but her actions here are far worse and out of control.

It’s all an interesting episode that adds a lot to the characters. We see Jessica slide to the character we know. We see Trish out of control. We see Jessica’s mother’s story too. There’s also the loss Jessica experiences. It’s her at her most vulnerable and it’s difficult to not feel some emotion at the ending of the episode as the two reconnect and talk. They’re both at a low point and the emotion flows from Krysten Ritter and Rachael Taylor. It’s the two’s best work of the series.

Overall Rating: 8.45

TV Review: Marvel’s Jessica Jones S2E6 AKA Facetime

Jessica gate-crashes an exclusive country club on the hunt for the killer, and Trish’s new addiction begins to spiral out of control.

After the splash of the last episode, Jessica has to dry out her phone and use the photos she snapped to attempt and figure out who the mysterious individuals are. She heads to Oscar after all of it where the two finally get to it. What’s interesting is that paint spills over in which they have sex. But, it’s the color of that paint that stands out. It’s purple. Some nice transitions from last season to this in one simple detail.

Trish saves a woman, hears heightened noises. She’s drugged out at this point, a further slide for the character this season. In the comics she’s eventually a hero and we see a small glimpse of that here but who knows where it’s all going and if we might eventually get that version of the character.

Jeri asks Inez about the IGH experiments. We see lots of scars on her body. This is slightly triggering for Jeri who wants to find out more about what they were trying to do.

Malcolm heads back to his university he was put on academic probation. We learn a lot about him. He had a full ride to the school. He’s from a wealthy family. And he screwed it up due to addiction. We’re seeing his story play out in some ways with Trish this season, an interesting twist to the dynamics we’ve seen before.

Through Malcolm’s work, Jessica was is able to track down an individual who has info that might help her. We learn a bit more about what the mysterious doctor was doing and that some of it might not be completely evil. He’s helped people as well as doing some horrible experiments on others.

But during all of this, there’s Trish who is having withdrawal from what she’s been taking. It further emphasizes that Jessica is now the one in control and Trish is the one spiraling out of it.

But, what’s really interesting in this episode is scenes involving Inez and Jeri. Inez, being a nurse, is able to figure out what’s going on with Jeri. A connection is made and that eventually leads Inez to reveal there might be someone who was experimented on that might be able to help Jeri. Again, it’s these small character moments that really stand out in the series. There’s a real sense of pain and compassion between the two.

Fans will love the Gaydos art on display in the episode, a nice nod to the comics the series is based on. The episode does an excellent job of exploring the characters. And it ends with a hell of a twist that I definitely see coming. As the season has progressed it’s gotten better and has me wanting to see where it all goes.

Overall Rating: 7.95

TV Review: Marvel’s Jessica Jones S2E5 The Octopus

Backed into a corner, Jessica’s forced to share her intel on the killer. A groggy Trish tries to pull herself together before an important meeting.

Jessica’s in jail… again. This time she decides to cooperate with the police which is a big change from previous interactions. Episode five continues the growth we’ve see of Jessica in the last few episodes. She’s now trusting the police and she puts Malcolm in charge of things while she’s tied up. There’s also a key statement when she says she’s not mad at something. Real growth of a character over multiple episodes!

There’s also bonding between Jeri and Jessica. Jeri’s not doing well and Jessica asks about it and offers a bucket in case she throws up. Again, it’s something simple but important.

There’s also a moment between Jessica and the detective where he talks about what Killgrave did and how Jessica’s killing him helped them with their nightmares. There’s been struggle by Jessica all season dealing with her actions of killing Killgrave. Where she’s called a “killer” multiple times, here she’s given absolution in some ways by a person in power. But, that’s flipped later when Pryce confronts Jessica claiming she killed his friend. There’s an interesting balance being played in how people in what roles view Jessica.

Then there’s Trish who is coming down and her mother thinks she’s off the rails and using again. Through this interaction, it’s clear her mother is in complete control again and Trish is the one this season that needs the real help. That eventually leads to something between Griffin and Trish… we’ll let you enjoy that one without spoilers.

Jessica and Jeri are working well together this episode which leads to Jessica needing help protecting their lead, Inez. She needs a safe house to stash her in. Here we have Malcolm taking the lead in some ways, not only getting Jessica a new laptop but also responsibility for their witness. There’s an interaction between the two that not only adds depth to Malcolm but also how Inez sees him. It’s some interesting focus on character.

We’re also introduced to a new character who was framed for murder. Through him we learn more of what IGH has been doing, which sounds like DNA splicing of some sort. This leads Jessica to head to the acquarium where she crosses the path of suspects.


The episode’s heart again is Jessica and how she’s growing as a character. She’s trusting more and not shutting people off as much. She’s also fully into finding out about her past and discovering the truth, something she was hesitant before.

Out of all the episodes, this one has the most meat. A lot goes on here and there’s movement in many different ways as far as plots and characters. A slow start of the season feels like it’s picking up momentum here.

Overall Rating: 7.9

TV Review: Marvel’s Jessica Jones S2E4 AKA God Help the Hobo

Between anger management classes and tabloid scandals, Jessica and Trish track down a third patient linked to IGH. Oscar extends an olive branch.

Due to her actions earlier in the season, Jessica is finally at her support group. The scene shows off the various forms of anger, the causes, the trauma, it again expands on the focus of the season on the topic. It’s also interesting in the inclusion of a veteran as that ties into regular scenes in the Punisher’s series, where vets regularly met to talk. There’s also a little humor mixed in as Jessica does her bull in a china shop routine and pretty much ruins the group.

Pryce Chang continues to be a pain, this time going after Malcom and attempting to hire him. I have no idea where this plotline is going but overall it feels a bit out of place for the season and a little of a distraction in some ways. It’d have been good to get the ball rolling and maybe bring back later, but at this point Chang just seems like an alpha ass. There is some interesting stuff with Chang quoting Malcolm’s father which shows the character does his research. I have a feel that’ll be what comes out of it all.

The big thing I think revolves around a few scenes with Jessica. She goes after Max, the sleezy director who molested Trish. She says “there’s nothing she wouldn’t do” to find out the truth about her origin, a shift in her attitude. Jeri also wants to hire Jessica to find dirt on her partners. That’s a big deal as it’s the first we’ve seen of Jeri trusting someone completely and asking for help. It’s a complete flip from how she treated Foggy. There’s also a scene between Jessica and the super Oscar. There’s chemistry there and she says that she likes Oscar’s kid. Jessica lets her guard down a little.

There’s also Griffin being up to something. It’s clearly a fake out to get us to not trust the character. That’s a little too obvious.

Finally, we get some more information on the mysterious program that changed Jessica but that all feels secondary in a way.

While the moments are subtle, there’s a lot of important character development in this episode which is focused on Jessica and small shifts in her attitude. It’s these subtle moments and development that’s really driving the enjoyment of the season.


Overall Rating: 7.5

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