[Review] Jessica Jones Episode 2×03: “Sole Survivor”

written by Brandon Moore

The waves lapping gently at the shore, a crisp wind in your hair. Feels like a good time to dump Simpson’s dead body and casually talk about suicidal thoughts. Jessica Jones is a ray of sunshine as always.


Building superintendent Oscar is being a pain. He seems to dislike fun and has a tendency to be a stick in the mud, although I can’t blame him since he lives in a real trash can of an apartment building. Always a little grumpy, it’s almost as if Oscar is some kind of…malcontent. He slaps Jessica with an eviction notice on the grounds that the building is zoned for residences, not private businesses. She retaliates by conniving her way into his apartment to try to find some dirt. (Oscar’s son has broken his toy Captain America’s shield, so he had to make a new one. Nice synergy there, Marvel.) Seems Oscar has a criminal history and pulled some less than legal strings for the landlord to win his favor. Without any proof as leverage, Jessica has thirty days to get out.

Meanwhile, the investigation progresses nicely. It’s nice to see Jessica show herself to be a good detective even when she isn’t using her powers. Some slick tricks at the abandoned lab and good use of contacts puts her on the trail of Dr. Leslie Hansen. Hansen worked with IGH until she finally lost her head over the whole thing. Using her radio show, Trish gets a woman to come forward claiming to be the good doctor. The mysterious woman demands a one-on-one meeting. Yeah, because that’s a good idea.

As if a grouchy superintendent and a shadowy cabal of murderous mad scientists weren’t enough, Jeri Hogarth stops by to pester Jessica as well. She has ALS (the disease that the recently departed Stephen Hawking had) and will eventually die from it. Consequently, her partners are trying to force her to retire from her law firm and she simply will not have it. She turns to Jessica to find some dirt on her partners in the best scene of the episode. Jeri is honest and vulnerable. Jessica, agreeing to help, shows that buried beneath her cantankerous jerkface exterior she really is a good and compassionate person. Brava to these ladies.

The episode wraps up with that meeting with the obviously-an-imposter Dr. Leslie Hansen. She claims that Jessica’s powers were a side effect of what they did to bring her back to life when she died on the table. So not only is Jessica a freak, but she’s an accident too. Great. The mysterious woman then tosses Jessica around like a rag doll and parkours up a building into the next episode in the blink of an eye.

While not much happened in the A-plot in this episode, it felt well-balanced between fun detective work and moving the B-plots forward. I’m still not terribly invested in the struggle with Oscar, but it does serve as a good vehicle for character exploration. It’s perhaps the most “normal” problem Jessica has to deal with right now. Jeri has won my heart for now, despite being so cutthroat in the past. I’m sure at some point she’s going to make me regret feeling for her, but her moments are some of the most dramatic.

And don’t think I didn’t notice the purple lighting in Jessica’s nightmare. I’m crossing my fingers for some more evil David Tennant.

Jessica Jones is available now on Netflix. Brandon can be reached on Twitter @BluThundur.

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