Jessica Jones: Episodes 4 – 6

An interesting trio of episodes that expand the world a bit away from Killgrave. Spoilers follow.

Episode 4 “AKA 99 Friends”

I think this episode is the first to really introduce us to the idea that there’s more going on in New York beyond Jessica vs. Killgrave. Jessica is stalked by both a spy for Killgrave, and a suspicious “client” wanting dirt on her husband. The client is setting a trap. She seeks revenge against metahumans for the death of her mother during the events of Avengers, starting with Jessica Jones.

Jones responds by terrorizing the couple. She smashes every piece of furniture in the house, and threatens them by telling her “99 freinds” who live in the borough. This combination of demonstrated violence and bluff is something of a cliche in comics. Batman can’t go for a few months without dangling someone off the edge of a building. However, since Jessica Jones tends to avoid the usual stylistic conventions of superhero cinema, the framing of the scene is pretty terrifying.

It’s a nice, if a bit subtle genre deconstruction.

On the Killgrave front, the introduction of the support group makes the discussion of coercion and rape still deeper. We find that being coerced into small things (such as giving up your coat) can be traumatic as well as being coerced into big things (such as killing your parents).

The Killgrave narrative is ultimately about abusive coercion, and I don’t think that discussion is less powerful because Killgrave uses a superpower as opposed to actual or threatened emotional, physical, or economic abuse to get what he wants.

Episode 5 “AKA The Sandwich Saved Me”

Back to Killgrave, the plan to capture him goes awry. I must admit, I’m a bit undecided about Simpson. Meanwhile, Malcolm starts to sober up.

Episode 6 “AKA You’re a Winner!”

What initially looks like a tangential subplot becomes the mid-season conclusion to the subplot regarding Jessica, Luke, and Luke’s wife. I’m a bit glad that the confession comes out here as opposed to being dragged out for the rest of the season.

Explicitly on the Killgrave front, Jessica helps Hope get an abortion, with cutting through prison red tape as the only complication. There’s not a hint of debate about the issue.

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