Thursday, January 28, 2016

Jessica Jones Recap: "AKA 99 Friends" (1x04)

Trigger warning: This show is rated TV-M because it deals with realistic portrayals of sex, abuse, violence, swearing, and PTSD. Be warned before reading this recap or watching this show.

The episode begins with Jessica watching people exit the subway. Voice-over Jessica tells us how easy it is for Kilgrave to control them--one word and these people feel an intense need to follow her. To photograph her.

Jessica retraces her steps throughout Manhattan, holding up photos that Kilgrave had taken, trying to figure out where she was photographed from--and by who. Thankfully, there are no photos of Luke, so he should be safe. In the middle of Jessica’s search for answers, she gets a phone call. When she returns to her office, there’s a woman waiting for her. (Fans of Friends will recognize her as Susan. Fans of Breaking Bad will recognize her as Gretchen.) The woman’s name is Audrey Eastman, and she has an appointment. She was referred by one of Hogarth’s associates. As Jessica unlocks the door, Audrey makes a couple of snooty comments, including pointing out Malcolm, who is struggling to get into his apartment. Jessica goes over to talk to him, and Malcolm is surprised that she even cares.

Jessica: “Just don’t need to be another reason for you to get high.”
Malcolm: “Don’t need a reason.”

In Jessica’s office, Audrey explains that she suspects her husband of having an affair. She’s skeptical of Jessica’s abilities, but Jessica assures Audrey that she’ll earn her pay. Audrey wants Jessica to take pictures of Carlo sleeping with his mistress.

Audrey: “In flagrante--in the act.”
Jessica: “I know what in flagrante means.”

(Jessica is so done.)

Jessica warns Audrey that these kinds of pictures are hard to look at and harder to forget. Audrey presses on, insisting that she wants these pictures. Jessica is skeptical, so she asks Audrey if she’s had any conversations with a well-dressed, British man lately. Audrey doesn’t seem to know what Jessica’s talking about. (Question: if Kilgrave was controlling someone, couldn’t he command them not to tell Jessica anything about him?) Jessica is wary, but she pulls out a contract and starts the process. While Audrey looks for a deposit, Jessica gets a call. It’s Trish.

Trish: “He’s back.”

Kilgrave knows she’s alive, and he’s sent people to kill her. Jessica tells Trish to go to her safe room and that she’ll be right there. Officer Simpson, the guy from last episode, and another cop keep trying to get inside, eventually bringing out a battering ram. Jessica climbs up to Trish’s balcony, and Trish lets her in. Jessica watches what’s happening outside Trish’s door via a security camera. The other cop asks Simpson if he’s sure that there’s a body in there, to which Simpson says yes. Jessica tells Trish that Kilgrave didn’t send Simpson back--Simpson thinks he killed Trish. As someone whom Kilgrave forced to do bad things, Jessica recognizes the look on his face--one of concern and regret.

Simpson continues to ram away at the door, but Jessica finally opens the door. Simpson recognizes her. Jessica quickly covers by saying they were making a party mix with headphones on and didn’t hear the door. Trish appears, much to Simpson’s relief. The other cop asks if Trish is okay and if there were any violent incidents. Trish brushes it off, and the officer apologizes for the disturbance. He then goes on to compliment Trish’s old show back in the day, even going so far as to sing the theme song.

Trish isn't happy about this and starts to shut the door in his face, but Simpson stops her, still confused about what’s going on. Despite the other cop’s protests, Jessica says Simpson can stay. The other cop leaves.

Simpson asks how Trish can be standing there and how she can be all right. Crying, Trish undoes the scarf around her neck to reveal bruises on her neck and whispers, “I am not all right.”

Simpson looks shaken and says he’s “a goddamn monster.” Jessica takes him out to the hall and talks to him while Trish listens via her security camera and intercom. Jessica tells Simpson that Trish knows it wasn’t Simpson’s fault and that she’s just being dramatic. Trish uses the intercom to object to Jessica’s use of the word “dramatic,” so Jessica takes Simpson for a walk outside. She tells him that he knows she’s alive, and now the best thing he can do is stay away. Simpson is confused since he was so sure that Trish was dead. Jessica shows him a vial of Sufentanil, saying that it knocked Trish out, giving him the impression that she was dead. Simpson doesn’t understand why he wanted to kill an innocent woman, so Jessica debriefs him about Kilgrave. She tries to convince Simpson that it’s over now, but Simpson is convinced that Trish isn’t safe. He says he has experience as a police officer that could be of use to them, but Jessica shuts him down, insisting that she’ll take care of Trish. She has an idea to get Trish off of Kilgrave’s radar, but it’s going to be painful.

We cut to Trish beginning an episode of Trish Talk. She issues an apology for the disrespectful comments she made about Kilgrave.

Afterwards, Jessica and Trish walk down the sidewalk, discussing how Trish’s apology was fake and meant to make Kilgrave think Trish was still afraid of him. Jessica pauses the conversation when she notices a man snapping photos a few feet away. She charges after him but soon realizes that it’s a man taking pictures of someone else. Trish presses Jessica to tell her what's wrong, so Jessica reveals that Kilgrave’s been watching and taking pictures of her. Trish tells Jessica to calm down because Kilgrave isn’t here now, but Jessica points to her head and says, “He’s always in here.”

Back at Jessica’s apartment, she goes through the photos on her computer and deletes the photos she took of Luke. Voice-over Jessica tells us that she doesn’t need any reminders of what she did to him, even though she had (mostly) good intentions. She deletes all the photos except one.

At Hogarth’s office, Jessica interrupts a very important phone call to ask Hogarth if her firm represents Audrey Eastman. Hogarth says she should go ask Desmond Tobey, the referring lawyer, but Jessica says he wasn’t very helpful. Hogarth asks why Jessica is so on edge, and Jessica reminds Hogarth that the last referrals she got wound up dead in an elevator. Hogarth confirms that Audrey Eastman is a client, and, after being pressed, says that she trusts Desmond Tobey. He’s handling her own divorce. (Remember that plotline about Hogarth’s affair with her secretary? Yep. That divorce.) Hogarth says Jessica needs to calm down because she’s coming across as “distinctly paranoid.”
Jessica: “Everyone keeps saying that. It’s like a conspiracy.”

A bit later, Jessica is suspended between two buildings, her back on one building and her feet on the other. Trish calls, and Jessica reveals that she’s been tailing one of her clients (Audrey Eastman) to make sure she can trust her. Trish begs Jessica to tell her about her client as a distraction. They analyze Audrey for a bit, then Trish asks how Jessica will know if Audrey’s been “Kilgraved.” (I love that.) Jessica says that Kilgrave’s mind control only works for 10-12 hours. So if Kilgrave doesn’t show up, she’ll go ahead and take Audrey’s case… and take the pictures. While looking at a nearby police surveillance camera, Jessica realized something and calls Simpson, asking if he still wants to help catch Kilgrave.
Jessica: “It’s a little illegal.”
Simpson: “Answer’s still yes.”
She asks him to get her a police surveillance video. The video will show who’s been tailing her. Simpson agrees to help, saying he’s got her six. She says she'll text him locations to check the videos for as well as times she was there. After hanging up, she watches Audrey leave the building and follows her.

Hogarth and Pam are walking down the sidewalk planning a trip. Well, Pam is talking about the trip. Hogarth is looking at her phone. She makes a comment about work, and Pam asks Hogarth if she can have her full attention. Hogarth apologizes, promising to take Pam wherever she wants to go when “this circus” is over.

Unfortunately, Wendy, Hogarth’s soon-to-be-ex, comes out of the restaurant they’re in front of. Wendy’s upset, not only because she’s running into them but also because this is the restaurant where Hogarth proposed to her. Understandably, she’s very hurt, but she tells Pam this means Hogarth is giving Pam leftover romance.
Wendy: “If she orders you the tiramisu and there’s a diamond ring at the bottom, you’ll think there’s nothing that could ever make you stop feeling happy. Don’t choke on it.”
Hogarth tells Wendy they’ll never get back together, and Wendy walks away in tears. Pam isn't very happy either.
Hogarth: “She does not get this goddamn restaurant.”
Pam: “Yeah, she does.”
Jessica follows Audrey to an abandoned building, which leads to Jessica jumping onto a dumpster with considerable ability (Dumpsters are a theme in Hell’s Kitchen).

Audrey walks inside, turns on some loud rock music, and starts practicing shooting a gun. Jessica walks in through another entrance, armed with the syringe of Sufentanil in case of Kilgrave, and watches Audrey fire at some mannequins. Jessica wonders who Audrey plans to use her firing skills on.

At Hogarth’s office, Jessica is now back, responding to Hogarth’s urgent text. A bunch of people are gathered in Hogarth’s lobby, and all of them claim to have been mind controlled by Kilgrave. Jessica asks why Hogarth won’t at least talk to them, and Hogarth says that Wendy is making the divorce very difficult. Hogarth needs dirt on Wendy. That’s why she wants Jessica. Jessica gets annoyed, saying she has a gun-toting client and a spy to find. Hogarth reminds her that she owes her a favor. Jessica scoffs, saying that Hogarth was married to Wendy, thus she already has “her dirt.” Hogarth says that Wendy doesn’t have any dirt on Hogarth.
Jessica: “You’re sneaky. Doesn’t mean she is.”
Jessica tersely agrees to help but says she’ll do it later. Now, she has something else to take care of. She turns to the people in Hogarth’s lobby and asks, “Who’s first?”

In a conference room, Hogarth and Jessica listen to all of the people’s testimonies about Kilgrave. Some of them are ridiculous. Some of them are legitimate. He lived with one woman for two days and forced her to play the cello for him until she made a mistake. He forced another woman to keep smiling indefinitely. And finally, he made a man give him his jacket. The man says it’s not the same as killing his parents, but Kilgrave still owes him. This man uses the word “limey,” a British word, which convinces Jessica that this was Kilgrave. She makes the man stand up and looks him over, having an intense purple flashback to Kilgrave. After this, she tells them to put this man on the list.

The members of the aforementioned list are gathered together, and Jessica tells them to talk and exchange info. She goes out to meet Hogarth in the hall.
Hogarth: “What was that about?”
Jessica: “We’re starting a band.” 
Hogarth asks if this is a support group. Jessica says she’s going to be using them. She wants to know everything Kilgrave said, everywhere they went, and any piece of info that could help her find him.
Hogarth: “Kilgrave wanted a leather jacket, live cello music, and a flattering smile of a pretty girl. What a waste. He could solve so many problems with his gift.”
Jessica: “Gift?”
Hogarth: “I just meant… if he was on our side.”
Jessica: “What side would that be? The side that uses people? Treats them like animals? Just to throw them away like they’re garbage? The side that rips your life apart and destroys you from the inside out? Whose side exactly would that be?”
Jessica gets heated and punches the glass wall of the conference room as she leaves, cracking it.

Jessica walks the streets of Manhattan, hearing every noise and looking on edge. Simpson finds her and hands her the surveillance video. He follows her inside her apartment building, assuring her that they’ll figure out who’s spying on her. As they pass Malcolm, Simpson snaps, asking Malcolm what he’s looking at. He’s paranoid that Malcolm is watching him. Jessica intervenes and tells Malcolm to go sleep it off, then chastises Simpson. He apologizes to her, indicating his paranoia is a side effect of Kilgrave's mind control. Jessica tells him about the support group. Simpson leaves.

In her apartment, Jessica looks over the footage, watching her and Trish exit a coffee shop. She’s no closer to answers. She flips back to the one picture of Luke she saved and looks at it.
Voice-over Jessica: “Now I know how it feels, someone watching your every move, seeing you in private moments.” 
As Jessica walks down the street, a little girl approaches her and tells her that Patsy Walker is safe. She’s delivering a message from Kilgrave, who liked Trish’s apology. Jessica kneels, asking how old the little girl is. She says she’s sorry that this is happening to her. The girl responds by telling her she’s a bitch, then saying she could have stopped that bus but instead she left him in the street to die. She tells Jessica she turns everything to shit. Then she says that it’s Friday and asks if Jessica has a job to do. Jessica asks if she’s talking about Audrey, getting more persistent and grabbing the girl’s arm. The girl screams, and Jessica tells her she’s going to help her find her mom. Her mom runs up a few moments later, and though Jessica says she was only trying to help, the girl’s mom tells her to stay away from her. The whole incident leaves Jessica (and me) confused.

At Trish’s apartment, Simpson stops by with a gift, hoping to make things right with Trish. Trish doesn’t let him in, but she does have him leave his gift on the floor and walk to the end of the hall. She hurriedly pulls the gift inside and opens it--it’s a gun. Simpson says he just wanted her to feel safe. Trish asks if it’s legal, and Simpson says it isn’t. There’s a long moment of silence, and Simpson asks if Trish is still there. On the other side of the door, she’s aiming the gun at the security camera screen. She smiles a little.

Jessica tails Audrey Eastman’s husband, Carlo. He has flowers, and he’s going to a hotel or apartment complex. Jessica follows him in and looks through the window of his room where she witnesses what looks like him sleeping with another woman. The couple stop just as Jessica gets a call from Audrey Eastman. They talk briefly, and suddenly Jessica realizes that Audrey is the woman inside the room. Audrey asks, “Where’s Carlo?” Jessica busts into the room.
Jessica: “He’s three feet to your right, asshole.”
Audrey draws her gun and tells Carlo to get Jessica on the plastic that’s on the floor. Carlo isn’t sure how, and Audrey reminds him that she has a gun on Jessica. Jessica threatens that if they shoot her she’ll pull the bullet out of her ruined jacket and stick it in a less-than-desirable place. Carlo asks if she’s bulletproof. Before Jessica can answer, Audrey fires at Jessica’s shoulder, drawing blood and causing pain.
Audrey: “Nope, not bulletproof.” 
Through a convoluted conversation, it’s revealed that Audrey knows about Jessica threatening Spheeris with her “laser eyes.” (Never knew that conversation would come back to haunt ya, Jessica.) Jessica realizes that this has nothing to do with Kilgrave. Audrey asks if Kilgrave is “another one of you people,” asking how many of them there are.

Jessica asks if she means private eyes, but Audrey drops the word: “Gifted.” She then goes on a rant about how stupid said word is. She hates gifted people because of the Battle of Manhattan, which killed her mother.

Jessica: “So go after the big green guy or the flag waver, I wasn’t even there!”

Audrey says hurting Jessica is a preventative measure for next time. Jessica rips the plastic out from under Audrey, knocking her off her feet. She yells at them, saying they’re not the only ones with pain.
Jessica: “So you lost your parents? Welcome to the goddamn club. They died in some random accident. Do you see me trying to kill every shitty driver? No!”

She trashes the entire room. When she’s done yelling and throwing stuff around, she says, “Ninety-nine,” explaining that she has ninety-nine gifted friends in this borough alone. (Roll credits!) She says she’ll tell every single one of them about what Audrey and Carlo tried to do. Carlo pleads Jessica not to kill them. Jessica tells them to disappear and make sure they never contact anybody, especially her, again. She says she’ll stop by tomorrow with her friends to make sure they’re gone. After Jessica walks away, Carlo tells Audrey he wants a divorce. (I can guarantee you the legal proceedings will be handled by Hogarth’s firm.)

Jessica takes a shower, washing off the blood from the bullet wound, which only grazed her. She watches her blood go down the drain, and to me, it’s a reminder of just how human Jessica Jones really is.

Later, Jessica goes through the video footage of the Kilgrave victims as well as various pieces of evidence about them. Realizing something, she gets up and walks out.

At Trish’s apartment, Trish and Simpson are talking from either side of the door. She tells him about all the weird gifts she received as Patsy Walker, then says the whole thing is a little embarrassing now. Simpson helps her feel better by telling her about the GI Joes he had as a child… until they all melted while they tried to save his sister’s Barbies. They banter a bit, and then Simpson says that story is meant to show he’s always been the guy saving people. He says he needs Trish to know that. Trish says she doesn’t blame him, but Simpson says he blames himself. He says he tried to fight it. Trish tells him that Kilgrave managed to control Jessica.
Trish: “It doesn’t matter how strong you are.”
Simpson: “Maybe not. But we can protect ourselves.” 
There’s another moment of silence, and then Trish opens the door, letting Simpson in.
Trish: “I might shoot you by accident.”
Simpson: “It’s worth the risk.” 

In the sidewalks of Manhattan, Jessica stands amidst the crowd, looking at their faces… and looking for answers.

At Trish’s apartment, Simpson and Trish banter a bit, discussing life post-Kilgrave and how their respective careers are completely sane.

Jessica gets a call from Hogarth, who says she sent more people to her support group. Jessica insists it’s not her support group, but Hogarth says maybe she should go. She says Jessica needs to process her trauma so that she doesn’t take it out on her glass walls. Jessica says to put it on her tab. Hogarth asks when she’ll pay the tab, and Jessica says not tonight. She hangs up.

During the phone call, Jessica arrived outside a restaurant where “her” support group is meeting. She goes inside and just listens to the survivors talking. One man talks about how he left his toddler due to Kilgrave’s urging. (It’s heartbreaking.) The man says he disappeared for a week while being Kilgrave’s chauffeur. His wife left him, and he was charged with child abandonment. However, Jessica’s ears perk up at the word “chauffeur,” and she asks him where Kilgrave went. The man says he drove Kilgrave to meet someone every day at 10 am sharp. Jessica presses for details, and while the man doesn’t remember much, he does remember that he wore a blue and white striped scarf.

Jessica goes back to her apartment and scours the surveillance footage again, staying up all night to do so. She sees something that catches her eye: a man in a blue and white scarf. The camera zooms in on the surveillance footage slowly, interspersed with clips of Jessica breaking into someone’s apartment. She finds a printer in the apartment with a photo of her in it. The camera zooms in just as the man in the scarf pulls his hood off.

It’s Malcolm.

Jessica crouches in Malcolm’s apartment, looking at the photo of her. She glances over at a nearby photo of Malcolm and a family member, probably his grandmother. She starts to cry, a single tear rolling down her cheek. This is what Kilgrave does. He rips people apart. And Malcolm is his latest casualty.

Roll credits.

Have you seen “99 Friends”? What did you think of it?


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