Sunday, January 17, 2016

Jessica Jones Recap: "AKA It's Called Whiskey" (1x03)

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 opens somewhere close to where the last one left off. Only now, Jessica is undressing Luke, and they seem to be contemplating a particular way of testing each other's in-vulnerabilities. Really frigging rough sex--wall-breaking Breaking Dawn level sex(I am going to milk these Twilight references as far as they will go. Cheers to you, Melissa Rosenberg.) Will Jessica actually have an apartment left by the end of the season, or will it be a pile of drywall crumbs? 
"Let me down."

Jessica notices that there's in fact someone watching them through her partially cracked door. It's one of the people who keeps Jessica awake on a regular basis, Ruben from upstairs.  He's come to tell her that Robyn thinks she's making too much noise. (You could knock, dude...) Jessica slams the door.

The scene cuts to Jessica and Luke later that night, grabbing food to recharge from their "intense workout." (I love the fact that this series is remarkably devoid of marketing anything recognizable. For whatever reason, marketing shots bother me unless they're funny or serve a point.)
"I've never done it with someone else who has, you know...""Gifts?""Yes, well, you're very gifted""Likewise."
Their conversation boils down to a few witty euphemisms, then takes a turn toward discussing each other's powers. We learn more about what Jessica can do.
"So can you fly?""It's more like jumping really high....and then falling."

...And then discussing other "gifted" beings who have graced the streets of New York. 
"Okay, there's you, me, the big green dude and his crew, you think there's any more of us out there?"
(Part of me wonders if Luke knows them?)

Luke and Jessica connect over being gifted yet burdened and how they came by their gifts. He expresses that all being a hero does is make you a target. (hinting at registration act?) Jessica reveals that she gave being a hero a shot but that it didn't last long (Please can we get flashbacks of her time as Jewel?) 
"I did some good, but not enough to outweigh the bad." 
"The way I see it most people have both going on, it's just about which side wins that day."
(I noticed in this scene that Jessica's skin looks so untouched, even a bit shiny. Is it possible that she's actually not wearing *gasp* makeup? I love how realistic this series is. Finally, a heroine with a realistic look for having just done something that even the best makeup would have had trouble hanging on after.)
" Want more?""I'm full.""I wasn't talking about food."
The scene cuts Luke and Jessica again in bed. (I'd like to pause for a minute to say that I love how the music is filtered into this show. It still feels very much a part of the world, as if piped in through a muffled speaker.)

Post-coitus, Jessica shuffles into Luke's bathroom and asks if he has a toothbrush; he responds negatively. She pauses in front of the mirror yet again and opens the medicine cabinet to look at the picture of the woman. Jessica slips into yet another purple-tinged flashback; we get to see the woman falling as the light slips from her eyes. This reflection is cut off by that of Luke as he shuts the medicine cabinet. 
"She died...bus crash."

After the night of vulnerability they just shared, Jessica's wall goes up just like a car window. She's off again. (What does Luke's former lover have to do with Kilgrave?) Jessica takes off toward a convenience store to prepare for doing some work. She picks up a bag of jerky and what is more than likely an energy drink (Oh hey, it's me freshman year of college...). The proprietor is listening to  a radio show that lets people call in and share opinions. A caller mention The Avengers, but he seemed more than a bit less than thankful. He also talks about Hope Shlottman, Kilgrave, and the possibilities of people like him existing in the first place. He and the clerk seem to find the possibility laughable. The fact that some residents of New York are  scared and moreso annoyed by super beings is becoming more and more clear. 
"Bourbon, cheapest one you've got."*Clerk chuckles* "You trying to drive away customers with that shit?""You don't have to buy here."
(The face Jessica makes after this exchange is one of my favorites. ) She rolls her eyes and throws her money down on  the counter. 
Jessica is back in her apartment with several tabs open on her computer. She takes a swig of Wild Turkey 101 and turns on the radio program that had been on in the convenience store. (So much for brand visibility being nil. Oh well, at least this one serves a purpose.) She picks up the paper with the name of the anesthetic on it again, and we see that Sufentanil is the strongest surgical anesthesia on the market. A few shots pan around as Jessica reads, and the radio show continues in the background. 
"Hope Shlottman is just another weak and damaged person hiding behind the age old excuse that 'the devil made me do it'."

The camera artfully follows Jessica as she picks up a list of New York's hospitals and continues to do research. She clicks over to an article about Hope. 
[Jessica] "But what if the devil actually did make you do it...even if you could prove it would people ever forget about what you did...could you forgive yourself?"
Jessica has decided to again turn to Jeri for help. She wants her to defend Hope from being, as Jessica says, "crucified by the media." Jessica accuses Jeri of not having any balls. Jeri holds Jessica's own experiences over her head, claiming that Jessica's testimony could turn the case in Hope's favor. She says that going public without more of Kilgrave's victims would seriously undercut her credibility. Jessica thinks just the opposite: that going public with the case would bring forth more of Kilgrave's victims and help sway the public. Jeri seems to think that Jessica is too busy attempting vigilante justice to actually do any good for Hope.
"Be careful, Jessica, because I am the only other person who is trying to save Hope's life.""Your compassion is overwhelming." 
Jessica walks out and opens a text from Luke, Bought a new bed.

Jessica makes a phone call and appears at Trish's apartment, trying to convince her to talk about Kilgrave on her show. When she refuses, Jessica tries to leave. 
"I knew it, you said 'Let's do lunch,' you hate that saying." "Because it sounds stupid, you eat lunch.""It sounds better than let's do Jessica another favor." 
They then discuss Jessica's idea to obtain surgical anethesia to take down Kilgrave. Trish is surprisingly in.

Apparently, all of the doctors Trish knows only save small villages. Trish takes off her jacket, and Jessica notices the bruises she received while training. Jessica panics, thinking Trish's mother is back, and rattles off a list of security upgrades Trish has made to her apartment.
"What are you afraid of?""Not much any more, except clowns, but that's common sense.""You turned my room into a gym?""I needed somewhere to train."
Trish proceeds to throw Jessica to the ground. 
"No one touches me anymore, unless I want them to."
Trish has presumably done a lot of growing without Jessica's knowledge. 
"I let you fight my battles for too long.""So you became a ninja?""Krav Maga, more brutal...I'll make us sandwiches."
(I love Trish to pieces already.) 

The scene cuts to Jessica in a doctor's office, who we soon realize is Wendy Hogarth. Jessica asks her if she's a flexible doctor. Wendy basically says get the heck out, but Jessica offers help protecting her during the divorce and promises to fight in her corner. Wendy seems to think things will blow over. Jessica tries again to convince her by talking about Kilgrave and Wendy responds with a prescription for an antipsychotic, for Jessica.

Jessica debates simply knocking people out to steal the drugs while buying a soda (Her inner monologue is a cool effect). She decides against it and heads back onto the street, witnessing a biker almost hitting Malcolm with his bike, thus, making him crash.
"Hey Requiem for a Dream, watch where the hell you're going!"
The biker shakes him violently while going on a self-righteous rant. Jessica shoves the jerk off of him.
"We get it, you're a real gift to humanity... go back to saving the planet.""You're a good person Jessica Jones.""You're high."
The scene cuts to Jessica waking up the next morning to creepy door repairmen who seem oddly hostile toward someone giving them business. 


*In Portugese* "This is a very broken door""Thanks for that diagnosis...the decimal point is in the wrong place...""My father says this is a business, not a charity for women with broken doors."

Jessica goes on from that exchange, agreeing to pay the men, to taking a call from Trish saying that she's going to interview Hope on her show the next morning. Surprisingly, Jeri orchestrated this. Jessica is terrified, not only for Hope but for her own safety. Trish insists that this will only help the both of them. She flashes back again to Luke's wife (as we find out in three seconds) falling dead. 
Jessica goes to apologize to Luke and also to ask if he knows any drug dealers who can get her Sufentanil.
"I figured you wouldn't want to talk about this on the phone, NSA and all."

What happens next seems to be a running theme for the pair. As they both fall back on Luke's new bed in the afterglow, he wins the award for most unexpected exclamation on this show yet. 

Sweet Christmas indeed, Luke
"Just say it, woman...""What?""Whatever it is you've not been saying since I met you."
Luke jokes, then genuinely wonders for a minute if it's some racial thing. Jessica starts talking about abilities and slowly hints her own experiences with Kilgrave through talking about Hope. Luke says maybe she's nuts, Jessica asks if knowing that she believed Hope would change his mind. He still has a hard time with it. 
"Says the man with unbreakable skin.""But you can see my skin, touch it, but you got no idea what my mind is thinking."
Jessica scoots closer to Luke.
"I think I do.""Okay then, I got no idea what you're thinking.""I think you do."
The pair snuggle up tighter and kiss. 

Next, the scene cuts to Trish interviewing Hope. The camera focuses on Trish and Jessica in studio and Jeri with Hope in the Prison accordingly. Hope recounts her time with Kilgrave, starting with him having Hope call her parents on her mother's birthday to keep up appearances of normalcy. She reflects on what it felt like, being trapped in her own mind, and how it felt to slowly realize that she was under his control. Seeing glimpses of herself and not being able to do anything about what she was doing or who she was becoming. (Seeing the absolute terror in Hope is one of the most absolutely horrifying things I've ever seen.) As Jeri tears down Hope's credibility, Trish goes Mama Bear on the defense. We begin to see that Hogarth set Trish up so that she wouldn't have to. (I also think she was aiming to get Jessica to testify.)

Trish's defense becomes highly emotionally charged. She not only asserts that she believes in Kilgrave but begins to berate him on air. Jessica goes into a panic trying to stop her, but she can't--not before a certain British gentleman calls to chime in on the discussion. It's Kilgrave, basically asking what Jessica had thought he would. He indirectly threatens Trish and suggests they keep talking off air. Of course, Trish is frightened. She and Jessica flee the station, causing Trish to take down an excited fan. (Look, there's a cameo of the comics her character originated from!)
Once arriving at Trish's fortress of solitude, Jess lets her know that she's installed a tracking app on her phone and instructs her to keep it on at all times. (Trish's fortress of solitude, I like the sound of that.)
"I hate feeling this way, I don't know how you handle it.""It's called whiskey."
Episode title, bam. 
"Where are you going?""To get some goddamn drugs!"
Jessica heads to her apartment building, making yet another attempt to get a hold of the anesthesia. She tries to contact Dr. Kurada again in a last ditch effort. Jessica finds her door fixed but with a note from the repairmen who are withholding her key until she pays them. Naturally, Jessica forces the door open. (I swear she needs to just learn how to fix doors; she breaks them enough that at this point it's a necessary life skill.) 

Due to the fact that she's left her door hanging wide open, she notices Ruben helping a still very-much-intoxicated Malcolm down the hallway. (Ruben seems like a genuinely nice person) 


Malcolm was apparently eating their peanut butter, this seems to be a recurring theme in his life.
"Robyn was asleep, and I was in the other room with my beetle collection... I heard the door and turned on the light, and there he was eating our Peanut Butter." "It's broad daylight.""We have foil over the windows."
(What? I remember someone saying something about that cutting heating costs but also my mom said people who do that are all crazy.)

Ruben seems to be pretty calm about all of this; I guess he got the more balanced set of genes. As the poor guy rambles on about the possibility of his sister (and everyone, apparently) being racist, it's clear that Jessica is in her own little world. 

She proceeds to head to the hospital with Malcolm, I first presumed to get him detoxed. But then she shoved him into a nurse and her cart and we soon see that she hasn't forgotten about getting the Sufentanil at all. It just seems that she decided to kill two birds with one stone. (I hope Malcolm gets turned around. I have a feeling he's going to become a much more important character than just being the guy who eats everyone's peanut butter.)

Malcolm's almost eye contact with Jessica as she leaves the hospital is heartbreaking. 

Trish's doorbell rings, and she walks over to her video intercom to answer it. It is a police officer who claims to be visiting to discuss the man she injured earlier in the episode. Trish tries to dissuade him and convince him to talk through the door. The officer shows identification and insists on coming in or else threatening to hurt her reputation by bringing a warrant and many other officers. In the interest of keeping things private, Trish opens the door to let him in--partially out of fear, partially out of trust for law enforcement. 

Yet, she isn't without caution. She grabs a weapon that ends up saving her life as she knocks the gun out of the officer's hand. Trish uses her new found self-defense skills, and it becomes clear that the officer has been sent by Kilgrave. Jessica bursts in to save the day as the officer actually says the words that confirm this. Trish is nearly unconscious and is seemingly so, or as Jessica begins to assert, dead. After the officer leaves the apartment it becomes clear that Jessica had grabbed an extra dose of the Sufentanil and had used it to save Trish's life. 
"You'll be fine."
   Jessica runs after the officer and corners him and he threatens her.
"I don't want to shoot you...he says it's not your time."
She chooses to let him leave but not before making sure she can follow. Jessica begins tracking him through Trish's phone in hopes of finding Kilgrave. And she follows Simpson to the apartment where we last saw Kilgrave. 

This is the first moment where Jessica lays eyes on Kilgrave in the current timeline of the show and it's a bit surreal to see her watching him through a skylight. He makes sure the deed is done, all while watching a soccer/football game on the television. 
"Personally, I always thought her television show was shite. Honestly, Patsy was a grating teenage do-gooder."" I see you, asshole."
Kilgrave instructs Simpson to leave now that he's supposedly finished the task. Although in Kilgrave's mind, leaving means " kindly go off yourself by means of leaping off of a building." Jessica cannot stand to see this happen and immediately leaps to stop him. She yanks him back and incapacitates him. All of this is enough to get Kilgrave's attention. Their eye-contact brings the flashback Jessica's been having this whole episode into full focus. We finally find out what Jessica has truly been struggling to tell Luke, and we now know what sparked her to regain control of her mind. 
Oh my gosh...

Kilgrave forced Jessica to kill Luke's wife by punching her in the heart. It was compassion and revulsion for what she had done that woke Jessica from Kilgrave's control. As Jessica walked away and ignored his commands, the bus hit Kilgrave and made it appear as if it had killed
Luke's wife as well. That loss of consciousness severed what little hold Kilgrave still had over her. 

In present day, Kilgrave nods toward Officer Simpson, who is again trying to swan dive off of the building. Jessica, making sure that he's lost consciousness, buys Kilgrave enough time to escape. 
But before he does, KIlgrave commands the inhabitants of the apartment to keep Jessica from following him. She incapacitates them and moves on to make one of the more chilling discoveries in the series yet. Kilgrave has an entire room covered in pictures of Jessica taken all over the city, including a printer that is still receiving pictures of her from some unknown source. He's been following her or has someone else doing it. Her worst fears are coming true. 
She's never fully escaped

Jessica copes in one of the only ways she knows how: by just going. She rescues Simpson, now semi-conscious, from the roof. As they untangle themselves from trash bags, Jessica tries to convince him to forget that any of this ever happened. Simpson's memory is coming back to him and she tries to alleviate his sudden guilt, trying to convince him that he's confused. This is all in hopes that Kilgrave will have forgotten about him entirely.

Jessica appears at Luke's apartment and it's clear to the viewer that she's trying to tell Luke what happened. To Luke, it's just another person who can't handle his baggage.(Poor Luke! :( I feel like he gets this far too often.)

Jessica proceeds to head out for another nightly prowl.This time, she's tracking down all the locations that Kilgrave had photographs of. Something isn't adding up, it seems as if Jessica feels that she would have noticed someone following her. She is becoming more confident and more desperate at the same time. She is searching for the missing piece to this puzzle. Perhaps if she can figure out where the person who took the photos was standing...

Have you seen "AKA It's Called Whiskey"?  What are your thoughts on the series so far? Any theories at how this could play into the larger MCU?


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