Jessica Jones Binge-Watch & Blog-Along (Part Four: Eps 10-12)

Welcome to the Part Four of the Jessica Jones Binge-Watch and Blog-Along!  This post will cover Episodes 10 through 12. You can find reviews & reactions to previous episodes in Parts One, Two, and Three.

Warning: Spoilers below!

Episode 10: AKA 1,000 Cuts

Welp.  The poop has hit the fan.  For months now, reviewers have said that Jessica Jones would be darker than Daredevil.  And for eight episodes, I doubted them.  I knew Jessica Jones would offer more psychological horrors, more mind-games, but figured Daredevil couldn’t be overtaken in the field of gritty action and physical violence.  But in episode 9 we had the scene with Kilgrave’s parents, and this episode ramped it up even more with Jeri and Wendy, Simpson over-medicating and going rogue, the support group and Robin going after Jessica, and that final showdown back at Kilgrave’s favorite restaurant.

I was literally yelling and squealing at my screen and covering my face in shock throughout that whole episode.  So brutal.

To be honest, there’s nothing more I want to say about this episode.  I just want to jump right in to the next one to see what happens.  Ugh, so intense; so brutal.  After eight episodes of meeting our characters, setting the stakes, and teasing out the danger, things have been kicked up a notch or five.  Which, given how much I enjoyed even the earlier episodes, is saying something.  That’s not to say that darker/more intense automatically makes it better, but this is definitely edge-of-your-seat television.

Now that my heart rate has finally gone down a bit, it’s time to jump into Episode 11…

Episode 11: AKA I’ve Got the Blues

After two episodes of intense Kilgrave-induced action, it was an interesting change of pace to focus on something else other than the mind-manipulator.

This was very much a Jessica and Trish-centric episode.  We got to see a bit more of their past with young Jessie protecting Trish from her abusive mother.  This was the episode I was looking forward to back in my reaction to episode 7.  Here we see Trish take some initiative — she fights back against Simpson, both verbally and physically to protect Jessica.  After the talk of her Krav Maga training in early episodes, it was cool to see her fight and fight well against a powerful opponent.

Speaking of said opponent, Officer Will Simpson has had quite the storyline throughout the series.  He started as a mere cop, a victim of Kilgrave’s.  His need for absolution in episode 4 was moving, and the early stage of his relationship with Trish was sweet.  But it was soon made clear Simpson is prone to act under the need for revenge rather than justice, which clouds his decisions and actions.  This ultimately lead him back to his spec-ops team on experimental combat drugs, and now, he’s a bit of a loose cannon.

Netflix’s Will Simpson is supposedly adapted from the comic character, Nuke (aka Frank Simpson), a villain with ties to Daredevil, Captain America, and Wolverine.  While Kilgrave is sometimes depicted as sympathetic, he is quite obviously the villain of this series.  Simpson, on the other hand, is a much more gray character.  He started out as a victim, then an important supporting role for our protagonists.  At this point, although his ultimate goal, killing Kilgrave, is arguably in favor of “the good guys,” his reasoning and methods are both questionable.  Plus, he’s out for more blood than just Kilgrave’s, wanting Jessica to pay for the deaths of his men.  So right now, I would argue that Simpson is more in the villain column than a hero.

Given that the character that he was based on was originally a Daredevil villain, I wonder if they will keep Simpson (and by extension, others in his spec-ops group) on throughout the rest of The Defenders shows.  That could be really interesting, I think.  Have Kilgrave as the season’s big bad, while Simpson and co. are introduced here, but will be used with other heroes later.  Guess we’ll see how his plot develops in these final two episodes!

Lastly, did Kilgrave find out about Luke?  How??  I gasped at the bar’s explosion, but then quickly remembered Luke’s powers.  It was a rollercoaster of emotions, guys.  It’s been quite a few episodes since we last saw Mr. Cage, and his return is a much welcome one!  I love Luke and Jessica together, and look forward to their reunion (hopefully with a heart-to-heart chat or two and some heroic team-up action) next episode.

Episode 12: AKA Take a Bloody Number

Dat ending doe ;_;

Great episode!  There was a lot of interesting developments here.  First, I liked that they gave Robin and Malcolm a bit of closure.  As supporting characters, they could’ve easily been swept aside in favor of the main plot arcs, but thankfully the writers chose instead to serve all of the characters.

No Simpson this week, and if my theory of him being a Defenders-spanning villain is correct, he may not show up again this season.  Instead, we got some more information on the group he works for — the mysterious IGH.  Through Trish’s mother, we find out that IGH paid for young Jessica’s medical bills after her family’s accident.  I was wondering if/when the show would explain how Jessica got her powers.  They had already established that she was not born a mutant, and instead had her powers thrust upon her.  As it stands right now, it seems like IGH may have experimented on her while she was recovering from the accident.  Her super-strength does bear strong resemblance to the adrenaline-fueling red pill power boost that Simpson (and later, Trish) exhibited.

I would be surprised if the IGH plot line reappears in the final episode.  As Jessica herself stated at the beginning of this episode, she “can only fight one big bad at a time.”  (I laughed at that line.  It’s like Jessica read my thoughts on the previous episode!)  Episode 13 will probably fixate on the final showdown with Kilgrave.  Then again, I could totally be wrong and we will see some closure on both plot threads!

If they do decide to follow up on IGH, I’m sure we’ll see some more interactions between Trish and her mother.  I thought those scenes were done really well.  Trish’s mother (played by Rebecca de Mornay) does such a great job of seeming like she actually wants to rebuild her relationship with her daughter, but then subtly switching back into controlling agent/manager mode.  You can see how Trish was easily manipulated as a child, and feel for her as she stands up to her mother’s machinations.  In the early episodes in particular, I was disappointed by how Trish was often sidelined as the victim who needs saving.  It’s cool then to see how she’s grown, albeit fairly subtly, as a character.  Her strength is not as pronounced as Jessica, but there is still courage and fortitude shown in how she defends her friends and stands up for what she believes in.

The Luke and Jessica interactions were exactly what I wanted coming into this episode.  There were apologies, forgiveness, teamwork, and tenderness.  Throughout the episode you could see how they feel for one another, yet neither would admit it out-loud.  All the more heartbreaking, then, when Kilgrave claims to have had Luke under his control this whole time.  Thus, Luke and Jessica, both gifted humans with super-strength, go into a crazy fight.  My favorite move in the sequence: Luke punching through the wall, grabbing and pulling Jessica to the other side.  Superhero fights are so cool, y’all!  But, of course, there can be no happy ending when our combatants are both super-strong, one with more agility, the other with impenetrable skin.  In a last-ditch effort of self-preservation, Jessica shoots Luke under the chin with a shotgun.

This was obviously hard to watch as I’ve come to adore both of these characters, and didn’t want to see either of them get hurt or for them to hurt one another.  As this scene played out, I couldn’t help but think about their first date in episode 3 where they discuss Luke’s limits (“So just how ‘unbreakable‘ are you?”  “On a scale of ‘I-don’t-know‘ to ‘I’d-rather-not-find-out?'”)  Given that there will be a Luke Cage series coming to Netflix in the future, we the audience know that he will survive.  But Jessica’s sobs were still so painful to watch as she believes she’s hurt one of the few people she loves.

All in all, another fantastic episode.  Can you believe we only have one more left?!  Can’t wait to see how the cast and crew wrap up this amazing first season of Jessica Jones!

Thanks for joining me for Part Three of the Jessica Jones Binge-Watch & Blog-Along!  Coming soon: reviews and reactions to Episode 13 and the series as a whole…

‘Til then — “I hope they have free express shipping in heaven.”

Disclaimer: All images and videos shown belong to Netflix and Marvel, the use of which have not been specifically authorized by the copyright owners. This blog post is for non-commercial criticism and comment purposes only. I believe that this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law.

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