Jessica Jones Binge-Watch: "AKA Take a Bloody Number"

Thursday, 10 December 2015 - 1:39PM
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Thursday, 10 December 2015 - 1:39PM
Jessica Jones Binge-Watch: "AKA Take a Bloody Number"
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Like many of you, I binge-watched the entirety of Jessica Jones last weekend, and it was amazing. It boasts a compelling central character, played perfectly by Krysten Ritter, the scariest villain Marvel has to offer, strong supporting characters, and sharp writing all the way through. Now that the binge-watch is over (boo-hoo), I'll be reviewing one episode per day, but for those of you who are better at this whole self-control thing, I'll be staying away from significant spoilers for future episodes (but obviously, spoiler alert for this one).

Jessica Jones VS Luke Cage




Finally, we got to see Jessica Jones fight Luke Cage, and it was awesome. Just as Jessica and Luke fought together for the first time in the second episode, here they are fighting each other for the first time in the penultimate episode. There was some excessive editing, and the fight choreography wasn't quite as great as Daredevil, but the fight was still fun to watch, especially when Jessica tries to fly away and Luke pulls her down. 

But while the fight was the most memorable part of the episode, particularly the part where Jessica shoots him in the head, the most important and affecting scenes came before that, when Luke and Jessica finally reunited after that devastating fight in which Luke called her "a piece of shit." As usual, their chemistry is both tentative and undeniable (it's a particularly nice touch when Trish, who's never even heard of Luke before, rightly tells Jessica that the chemistry is "jumping off of them"), and all of their interactions highlight how much easier it is for Jessica to connect with Luke than almost anyone else. She accepts his help, when she generally prefers not to owe anyone. She offers to listen to him talk about his trauma, when she usually eschews talking about feelings and harshly told the victims in the support group to get a grip. The scene with Malcolm underscores this contrast; Malcolm tells Jessica that she makes him feel lonely, which is justified but still very sad, and Luke looks at Jessica like he has no idea why someone would feel that way. 

And then Luke tells Jessica exactly what she (and the audience) wants to hear: he forgives her, "and I'll say it every day for as long as you need to hear it." This was a standout, memorable line even before the twist, because it's wish fulfillment, but not so cheesy that it rings false. It's a huge blow when Kilgrave repeats the line back to her, casting doubt on all of the intimacy they shared since they reunited. We know that at least some of it was genuine, because Luke told Kilgrave when he had no choice but to tell the truth that there is "something between" him and Jessica, using the present tense. But we, and Jessica, don't know how much of it was real and how much of it was fake, so their road back to each other will be long and complicated (and will probably involve a stop at another Marvel character along the way, but we'll get to that next episode). 

Unbreakable Man




We find out more about the extent of Luke's injuries in the finale, but it's already pretty clear that we've discovered a limit of his powers: his skin may be unbreakable, but he can still suffer from internal injuries, so the impact from the bullet causes serious injury. This makes sense on its face, and it's interesting that Luke's power has limits, but at the same time, it's not really consistent with the portrayal of his powers so far. If his power is only in his skin and a little bit of superstrength, then wouldn't his organs have been damaged when he took a saw to his stomach? Does he get gigantic bruises when he gets into brawls in his bar? I feel like this is something he would have already known, and therefore would have been able to tell Jessica when they were doing their power debrief in "AKA It's Called Whiskey."

Marvel Madness


We're getting to the end of the season, so there are a couple plot threads whose resolutions are saved for the (presumed) second season, most notably the mystery behind the IGH, the shady government organization that seems to be behind both Jessica's superpowers and Simpson's newfound supervillainy. Just as IGH doesn't exist in Jessica Jones's world, it doesn't exist in the Marvel comics universe, but it seems to be a stand-in for the Weapon X program, which was responsible for creating Wolverine and Nuke (Fox must have gotten the rights to the name in the divorce). It would be a little convenient if Simpson, a supersoldier involved with the same organization that created Jessica, just so happened to be a random victim of Kilgrave's, but who knows? Maybe it's all part of the same conspiracy.

Humanity sucks and they don't deserve saving


This is a line from last episode, which revealed Jessica Jones's occasional misanthropy, and it was arguably on display even more in this episode. All of the background characters were stereotypical New Yorkers: self-absorbed, abrasive, and completely lacking in compassion for strangers. A man watching someone stick gardening shears in his mouth says, "Hey! You can't take those!", a concert hall manager thinks it's acceptable to be sexually attracted to underage girls. (The mailwoman gets a pass for lacking sympathy for Robyn's bereavement because Robyn is so incredibly irritating.) There are some good people in Jessica's world, but they don't nearly outnumber the bad people, which makes it easier to understand why Jessica is so abrasive and afraid of intimacy herself. 

Pet peeve


Can we all agree Robyn should join Ruben in that Big Incestuous Banana Bread-Filled Womb in the Sky? I didn't think she could get more annoying, until she started talking about astrology and delivering corny lines about dead peeople living on in your heart, including the most twee, annoying line of the entire show: "I hope they have free express shipping in heaven." UGH. I can see that we're supposed to maybe ship her and Malcolm, but I just desperately hope she doesn't come back next season. 

Best one-liners (aside from the title)




"I hear talking helps. That and jogging, two things that make me feel like crap." Word, sister.

"I can only deal with one Big Bad at a time."

"You can't improve on an asshole by making it bigger."

"It's just a saying."
"No, it's not."

"Breeders."
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