written by Brandon Moore
Jessica may be the private investigator, but Trish gets into trouble when she starts investigating privately. Also, Jeri Hogarth really knows how to party. It’s time for episode two.
SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT
The word of the day is “freak.” We open on Jessica again drinking her troubles away. After trying to run from her uniqueness for so long, she is rattled after finding the lab that turned her into something less than normal. The episode’s title, flashbacks to her witch of an adoptive mother, and even the guy she casually bangs in the bathroom of the bar hammers home that Jessica is a “freak”. After taking the night to gather herself, she gets on the trail.
Jessica tracks down the address of Dr. Kozlov, the man who supposedly experimented on her and others. She arrives to find that he is conveniently dead, but super-soldier Will Simpson from last season is still alive and clearly the threat she’s tracking. She butts heads with her new superintendent, who doesn’t like the kind of trouble she brings. (It would seem her new super ironically doesn’t like supers). After digging around the Whizzer’s laptop, she realizes that Trish is likely a target and runs to her rescue.
Trish has been spending her time with her dreamy newscaster boyfriend Griffin. He pushes her to chase the story and also thinks well of Trish’s selfish fame-hungry mother, Dorothy. That’s red flag number one. The fact that his hair is too perfect to be trusted is red flag number two. I don’t like this guy.
Trish speaks with her mother to get to Max, a director from her past. She wants to use his influence to get more information out of the hospital Jessica stayed at all those years ago. But how? Blackmail! It turns out that when Trish was a child star of fifteen, Max – then forty-something – had sex with her in exchange for giving her a good role in a movie. If that wasn’t bad enough, Trish’s mom pushed her into it. Yuck.
Trish is ejected from the skeevy director’s trailer. Luckily Malcolm got the argument on video. She is confronted by Simpson and it’s revealed that he isn’t the murderer, but rather has been quietly protecting her. Jessica arrives just in time to be told that Kozlov wasn’t the mad doctor who experimented on her, he was just a mad doctor. Oy. At that point the boogeyman runs in, makes sure that Simpson’s head is screwed on right, and then impossibly leaps over our heroes to escape. So it didn’t want Trish? Or Jessica? Well, now I’m lost. But in a good way!
Compared to the first episode, this one is more my speed. The investigation takes two steps forward and one step back, we have quality character moments, and we even get chances to laugh. I’m glad to see that this very female-led show is continuing to talk about sexuality. The first season, with Kilgrave’s power of persuasion, was inherently about consent and the reprehensible violation of it. In this episode, we see the hurt and pain caused by rape without any attempt to shock or titillate by actually showing it. We also see Jessica engage in casual anonymous sex as a coping mechanism, albeit an unhealthy one. Lastly, Jeri has a couple of scenes in which she picks up some prostitutes (and some drugs) so that she can feel alive and connected with someone in the face of her terminal illness. It was actually very humanizing.
It’s clear that Jessica Jones is going to continue to be a superhero show that touches on messy and adult themes not often seen in the lighter fare of the Marvel movies. And I love it for that.