Thursday, January 14, 2016

Jessica Jones Recap: "AKA Crush Syndrome" (1x02)

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 a close-up of Jessica’s face. She looks uncomfortable, like she’s waiting for something, but we only see her reflection in a mirror. A door opens, and the camera pans outward to show that she’s in an interrogation room. In walks a police officer, Detective Clemons, who says he has a few more questions.
Clemons: “I know it’s been a long night.”
Jessica: “I work odd hours. I’m used to it.”
Clemons: “You seem tense.”
Jessica: “Wouldn’t you be?”
Clemons: “I don’t know what I’d be. Hard to imagine.”
Jessica: “Hard to forget.”

He asks how the Shlottmans found her, then how Jessica found Hope. Jessica says she followed the clues--credit card statements and interviews. Clemons brings up the fact that Jessica had an overnight bag with her at the time of the shooting. She dodges the question by saying she was going to Pennsylvania because of the great antiques there. (I wonder if Jessica really does love antiques…) She and the police officer briefly bond over how much they love antiques, but soon the officer gets serious again and asks her if she knew Hope was going to kill her parents. Jessica says that if she had, she would’ve stopped Hope.
Clemons: “So… you assumed she was in her right mind.”
Jessica: “Clearly she wasn’t, given the bullets in her parents.”
The officer asks if Jessica knows how Hope got an unregistered gun. Jessica says maybe some asshole gave it to her. The police officer pulls out a folder filled with photos of Luke: Jessica’s photos.
Clemons: “Maybe this asshole?”
She accuses him of going into her office without a warrant, but Clemons says it was part of the crime scene. He asks how her door got broken, which Jessica retorts isn’t related to the Shlottmans case… and neither are the pictures.
Jessica: “My clients expect discretion. This is bad for business.”
Clemons: “So is a double homicide.”
Jessica says she’s licensed and her paperwork is up-to-date.
Jessica: “The only thing you can charge me with is trying to make a goddamn living in this goddamn city.”
She gets up and walks out.

She ends up walking to Luke’s bar, where she finds a NYPD car parked outside. At the window, she sees two police officers showing her pictures of Luke to Luke. She starts to walk away but turns back just as the police officers are leaving. She decides to go inside and talk to Luke, who isn’t happy at all.
Luke: “We’re not open.”
Jessica asks him to let her explain. He asks her why she took those pictures.
Jessica: “I’m a private investigator.”
Luke: “That’s the answer to a different question.”
Jessica tells him she was hired by a married man who suspected his wife was cheating on him with Luke.
Luke: “I don’t mess with married women. I don’t do drama.”
She tells him that Gina, the woman he was with the other night, is married. Luke asks if the reason he and Jessica slept together was because of her investigation into him. Jessica says she shouldn’t have done that. Luke tells her to get out and stay away from him. Reluctantly, Jessica leaves.

After a shower, Jessica stares at herself in a mirror. Voice-over Jessica tells us that it’s better and safer to be alone because Kilgrave is out there. A cockroach crawls around on the wall next to the mirror, and Jessica flicks it into the sink. Voice-over Jessica wonders how Kilgrave cheated death. Meanwhile, she watches as the cockroach crawls down the drain.

Later, Jessica visits Hope in jail. She presses her for information on Kilgrave--anything that can help her find him--but Hope remains silent, much to Jessica’s frustration. Suddenly, Hope asks if Jessica was a good jumper. She continues; Kilgrave made Hope jump as high as she could for hours on end. Jessica’s face looks stricken at this (I love Krysten Ritter’s portrayal of Jessica so much). Hope says she was excellent at long jump in high school (which reminds us of what Hope’s life was like pre-Kilgrave), but Kilgrave said that Hope was never as good as Jessica was. She talks about her little twelve-year-old brother, who is alone now.
Jessica: “It’s not your fault.”
Hope: “I know. It’s yours.”
Hope tells Jessica something Kilgrave said: Jessica left him there to die, and Jessica should have stayed to make sure. Jessica asks if that means Kilgrave is mad and wants to make her suffer, which Hope confirms, adding that Kilgrave wants Jessica to suffer like he suffered. Jessica presses for more information so that she can get to him, but Hope screams that she can’t since he’ll make Jessica do terrible things. Jessica promises that she won’t let him. Hope tells Jessica that she should kill herself. Jessica looks at her for a long moment before saying, “Probably, but I’m the only one that knows you’re innocent.”

And with that, Jessica’s visit is over. A jail attendant gives Hope some pills as Jessica watches, then Jessica walks out.

We then cut to Hogarth taking some medicine as she tells Jessica that Hope was guilty. Jessica argues that she wasn’t. Pam, Hogarth’s secretary, knocks on the door, telling Hogarth that Hogarth’s wife is on line three. Hogarth says she’ll call back. (Friendly reminder: Hogarth is cheating on her wife with her secretary. So there’s some subtle tension here.) Jessica insists that Hope was not responsible because she was brainwashed, mind-controlled, or whatever Hogarth can sell. Hogarth says there’s nothing to sell. Pam continues to linger at the door. Hogarth asks what she wants, and Pam says that Hogarth has to talk to her wife, who is upset and freaking out. Jessica shuts the door on Pam and firmly tells Hogarth to take Hope’s case. Hogarth says she doesn’t represent losers. Hogarth tells Jessica to let Hope’s case go, relax, and get a massage.
Jessica: “Massages make me tense.”
Hogarth says there’s nothing Jessica can do for Hope. Jessica insists that she can prove that Kilgrave exists. Hogarth says that if a man could really control people like Kilgrave reportedly can, she’d hire him to do all her jury selection. Jessica snaps, telling Hogarth that this isn’t a joke. Hogarth primly asks how Jessica can prove it while Jessica simmers. Jessica says she’s resourceful and asks Hogarth if she will represent the case if Jessica can prove it. Hogarth hesitates, and Jessica reluctantly says she will owe Hogarth a favor. Hogarth agrees, and Jessica walks out. After Jessica leaves, Pam appears at the door, tells Hogarth to talk to her wife, and says, “She knows.”

Jessica walks down the street, and Trish gets out of the car, saying that she texted Jessica six times. She says she saw what went down on the news and that she’s scared for Jessica.
Jessica: “Don’t… have feelings, okay?”

Trish insists that Jessica needs help, but Jessica starts to walk away.
Trish: “That’s it? I give you whatever you need, and you can’t even give me a minute?”
Jessica stops and says, “Okay,” but starts walking again. Trish walks with her, and they go to Jessica’s apartment, where Trish notices Jessica’s broken door. They make small talk.

Then Jessica hands Trish an envelope full of the cash she owes her. Trish is slightly insulted but goes on to ask what’s next with regards to Kilgrave. Jessica says that though Kilgrave didn’t die in the accident, he still took a hit. If she can find his weakness, she can find him and prove that Hope is innocent. Trish is dubious about the plan, saying that Kilgrave could control her again.
Jessica: “I’ll die before I let that happen.”
Trish: “That’s what I’m afraid of.”
Trish suggests that maybe Jessica should move in with her again since she has a security system and an actual lock on her door. Jessica says she isn’t safe anywhere.
Jessica: “Every corner I turn, I don’t know what’s on the other side. I don’t know who’s on the other side. It could be the cabbie who’s gonna drive me into the East River, okay? It could be the FedEx woman. It could be a talk show host who was my best friend.”
Trish: “Was?”
Jessica: “I’m life-threatening, Trish. Stay clear of me.”
Trish: “I don’t do that.”
Jessica: “Please. I can’t risk you.”
Trish sighs and walks toward the door. Before Trish leaves, Jessica says the door had the name “Alias Investigations” on it. Trish says she likes it, and the two share a smile that is reminiscent of old times.

At Luke’s bar, Luke confronts Gina about the fact that she didn’t tell him she was married. Gina insists that her marriage is almost over and her husband doesn’t care. Luke says her husband hired a private investigator. Gina is skeptical about this, but Luke tells her to go home and ask him. The subtext is clear: she needs to leave, and their relationship (or lack of one) is over.

Jessica pulls down an old file folder and dumps its contents out on her desk. Inside are newspaper clippings about a fatal bus crash. One of them has a photo of the same woman that Jessica saw inside Luke’s medicine cabinet. Her name is Reva Connors. Jessica looks at the newspaper clippings and sighs, then takes another swig of alcohol. She continues to look at the items, clearly deep in thought, but gets distracted by a bump upstairs. She ignores it and continues to look at the items spread out on her desk. One of them is a photo of Luke at a funeral. Another is a picture of the Shlottmans. There’s more noise from upstairs. Jessica crumples up a newspaper clipping in frustration and gets up to do something about it. In the hall, she runs into Malcolm.
Malcolm: “Is that real, or is it just in my head?”
Jessica: “Both.”

Jessica walks upstairs and bangs on the door of her noisy neighbors’ apartment. They’re a couple, and the guy opens the door. Jessica tells them to shut up. The girl insists that it’s none of Jessica’s business, but Jessica says it is since she has to listen to it. The girl responds that they had to listen to glass shattering from her apartment the other day. The guy suggests that maybe Jessica can be the deciding vote on their argument. This lead to escalating tension, which ends with Jessica breaking the chain on their door and pulling the girl out into the hall. She pins the girl to the wall and says she doesn’t care what kind of “kinky shit” the couple is into, she just wants them to do it quietly. She walks away, yelling for them to get some self-respect. In the background, the guy is wearing only underwear.

Back at her apartment, Jessica unfolds the newspaper clipping. We see a flashback to the bus accident that claimed the life of Reva Connors--the woman in Luke’s medicine cabinet. Jessica was apparently present. We see Jessica running away from Kilgrave despite him telling her not to, and we see the bus wipe out Kilgrave.

In the present, Jessica goes to a garage and asks one of the employees where the nearest hospital would be if she were hit by a bus. The man directs her to Metro General.
Man: “Rude girl is lonely girl.”
Jessica: “Countin’ on it.”

Jessica goes to the hospital and sneaks in. (Side note: as Jessica walks in, a police officer asks one of the nurses to take another look at their records, saying, “The name’s Wilson.” (Wilson Fisk, perhaps?)

Jessica finds a side room filled with lockers and breaks the padlocks off of them one-by-one. In the middle of this, she gets a call from Trish, which she rejects. She finds a pair of scrubs (pink with hearts on them, no less) and walks back into the hospital, posing as a nurse but looking subtly nonplussed about it.

Using a stolen ID badge, she logs on to the computer. She recruits a nurse to help her and bluffs her way through acting like a hospital employee.

She’s looking for info on a John Doe who was in a bus crash on January 20th. There’s no info on a John Doe, but there is info on the bus driver and Reva Connors. Jessica says she should probably print out all the information on file. After the nurse leaves, Jessica pulls up the information on Reva. She just looks at the photo for a few minutes, looking haunted. (What? What is it?)

In the elevator of her apartment building, Jessica looks at the printed information from the hospital. She puts it in her pocket, as if to forget about it, but when she looks at the ceiling, she sees leftover blood from Hope’s parents. When she gets off the elevator at her floor, her apartment door is open, and there’s noise coming from inside. She reacts defensively, punching the man inside down and checking to make sure her apartment’s empty. The man was sent by Trish Walker, and he was fixing her door. Unfortunately, Jessica made his leg bleed to the point where he needs an ambulance.

As an ambulance loads up the injured man, Jessica calls Trish, saying that she almost killed him. Trish says she left Jessica a message. (I don’t think voicemail is really Jessica’s thing.) Trish says she’ll pay for the man’s medical care so that he doesn’t charge Jessica with assault. Jessica gets upset.
Jessica: “Don’t call, don’t visit, and don’t send strange men to my apartment with power tools.”
On Trish’s end of the line, visitors arrive at her Trish Talk office, and her assistant says she may want to cover up her bruised arms. (Hmm. Wonder what happened there?) As she pulls on a sweater, she insists that Jessica’s door needs to lock.
Jessica: “I’ll handle it.”
Trish: “No, you won’t.”
Jessica: “Oh my God. You’re relentless.”
Trish: “Well, I take that as a compliment.”
Jessica: “Then you heard it wrong.”
Trish says that Jessica should thank her for fixing her door, “given that there’s a maniac on the loose.” Jessica tells Trish to back off and says she’s turning into her mother. Trish says that was a low blow, even for Jessica. Jessica hangs up.

That’s when the guy from the apartment upstairs shows up.
“A lot of guys leave your office on stretchers, huh? Sorry about the noise last night. But you sure calmed Robyn down. Not even our parents could do that.”
Jessica and I are both surprised to discover that the couple upstairs is actually a set of fraternal twins. As she looks out at the ambulance taking the injured handyman away, Jessica seems to get an idea. She pulls the hospital info out of her pocket and checks the ambulance number. The guy behind her says, “You are very strong,” but Jessica walks out.

A couple of artsy, establishing shots of Manhattan later, Jessica rides on the subway. The lights flicker in and out, and when it goes dark, Kilgrave appears over Jessica’s shoulder, yelling, “Come back here!” Jessica goes to elbow him in the face but only ends up making an impressive crack in the window behind her, much to the shock of the other passengers. She recites her street names again as they watch.

After the subway ride, Jessica goes to a house and asks for Jack Denton, the driver of the ambulance in the accident. A woman, Jack’s mom, gets irritated when Jessica says she’s from City Transit. She says they turned their backs on him. Jessica talks about how she knows Jack drove off with the ambulance and never explained why. Because of this, he was denied worker’s comp. Jessica says that she might be able to reverse the ruling (as a faux member of City Transit, of course).

When she gets inside, Jack isn’t doing well and is attached to various machines. His mom explains that he had a stroke, which happened after he donated both his kidneys. After Jack stole the ambulance, he disappeared for three weeks and was found in an alleyway, half-dead due to his “sacrifice.” Jack’s mom is grateful that God brought Jack home to her and asks Jessica to pray with them, who says she’s just getting over a cold. She asks about the dialysis machine, saying it looks expensive. Jack’s mom says an anonymous donor gave it to them. Jessica asks for a glass of water. Once Jack’s mom is gone, Jessica takes a picture of the serial number on the dialysis machine. She then turns to Jack.
Jessica: “God didn’t do this. The devil did. And I’m gonna find him.”
Jack reaches for a pen, and Jessica gives him a piece of paper. Slowly, Jack writes out “K-I-L.” Jessica thinks he’s writing Kilgrave and asks if he knows where Kilgrave is, but Jack finishes writing: “KILL ME.” He looks towards his dialysis machine, indicating that all Jessica needs to do is turn it off. Jessica shakes her head, saying she can’t. She rips off the page that says “Kill me,” so that his mom doesn’t see it. Jack’s mom says that Jessica upset Jack and comforts Jack, who looks distraught and trapped, as Jessica walks out. (It’s one of the most disturbing things I’ve seen in a while.)

Back at her apartment building, Jessica calls about the dialysis machine but hits a dead end. After she hangs up, Robyn and her brother exit the elevator (they’re the couple from upstairs), and they have a run-in.
Robyn: “Stay away from my brother, cougar. You’re all alone, so you have to pick away at other people’s happiness. You’re not all that.”
Jessica: “Lady, you’re a very… perceptive asshole!”

Once Jessica gets to her apartment, there’s a knock on the door. It’s Gina. She apparently took Luke’s advice of going home and asking her husband about the private investigator because she’s back to call Jessica’s bluff--her husband didn’t hire her. Dun dun duh! Now her husband knows about Gina’s affair since she asked him about it (He didn’t before. Oops). Gina says that now Luke’s ass is going to be kicked. Jessica presses her for more information and discovers that Gina’s husband is headed to Luke’s bar with his rugby buddies.

Jessica gets to Luke’s bar just as the men are attacking. She steps right in and helps him fight them off. It’s now that we get to see Jessica’s super-strength abilities hit another level (I had suspicions before about her being powered. Now I know she is). She breaks off the phone from a pay phone and uses that to aid her in the fight. Luke smashes bottles over the men as well, not really breaking a sweat. A man breaks a bottle over Luke’s head, which doesn’t injure Luke and only makes him irritated.

As Jessica watches, Gina’s husband smashes a jagged-edged bottle into Luke’s neck, which does nothing. And Gina’s husband knows it… and Jessica knows it… and we know it. Luke tells Gina’s husband that he’s drunk and his mind’s not right; he says they should just forget about it. Gina’s husband and his men leave in disgrace. Luke asks Jessica what the hell that was, and Jessica says it was teamwork. Luke tells her to leave since this kind of thing is bad for business. So, Jessica leaves.

The next morning, a phone call wakes Jessica up. She answers in the most relatable way: by saying “What?” in a semi-irritated tone of voice. (Same, Jessica, same.) It turns out that it’s someone calling back about the dialysis machine.
Jessica: “Um… it’s not… dialysizing.”
She gets the information of the people who’s leasing it: Dr. David Kurata. She locates him teaching a college class, and when he sees her, he seems flustered… then he runs. Jessica chases him all the way through the school to the basement. She asks him why he’s afraid and why he’s hiding. Kurata asks if “he” is here. Jessica asks if he means Kilgrave, then says that Kilgrave is dead according to the death certificate Kurata forged. Kurata asks if Kilgrave is with her, and when Jessica asks why Kilgrave would be with her, Kurata says that Kilgrave had pictures of Jessica. He was obsessed.

Once Kurata is sure that Kilgrave isn’t there, he says that Kilgrave made him perform surgery on Jack Denton. Jessica presses, asking what shape Kilgrave was in. Kurata says that one of Kilgrave’s kidneys was damaged and the other one started to break down. It’s called Crush Syndrome. (And there we have the title.) Despite the fact that Kilgrave could have lived with one kidney, he wanted to be made whole again. Any kidney can work as a transplant temporarily, so Kilgrave will have to replace his kidneys in a couple of years (which would lead to another situation like Jack Denton’s--not good). Kurata reveals that Kilgrave watched the entire ten-hour surgery and refused to be put under. Jessica realizes he didn’t want to be unconscious and that this is his weakness. Quickly, she calls Hogarth and has Kurata tell her everything.

Hogarth is apparently convinced, so she agrees to take Hope’s case. She visits Hope in jail and tells her that there’s a possibility that her claims can be corroborated by another victim (Kurata). She asks Hope to walk her through it.

At her apartment, Jessica packs up her newspaper clippings and puts them back in the folder. She leaves out a 3x5 card that has “sufentanil propofol” written on it. According to Kurata, it’s a type of anesthesia that can help remove Kilgrave’s mind-control abilities.

She puts the folder away, then finds a package. She opens it to reveal a new glass panel with “Alias Investigations” written on it. Jessica smiles a little and then calls Trish.
Jessica: “The font logo was different on the window.”
Trish: “The one I chose was better.”
Trish says she doesn’t need Jessica’s protection or for Jessica to cut her out so Trish doesn’t end up in danger. Trish insists that Jessica shouldn’t. Jessica asks if Trish wants to go out and grab a drink. As Jessica asks that, a couple drops of blood drop from Trish’s nose. Trish says she can’t because she’s with her trainer exercising. They agree to get lunch later that week, a lot more cordial than they have been in a while.
Trish: “And I’m nothing like my mother.”
Jessica: “You have her cheekbones.”
Trish: “Nope. Nothing.”
After hanging up, Trish goes back to her trainer. Except they’re not exercising. Trish is learning self-defense.

As ominous music builds, a man knocks on the door of an apartment. When another man answers it, the first man says, “You’d like to invite me in.” And it works: he gets invited in.

Ah. This is Kilgrave.

He walks in and tells the other man’s wife that he’ll be their guest indefinitely. She tells him to enjoy the view. A couple of children sit on the couch, and one of them plays with a remote control car. Kilgrave smashes it with his shoe. When the boy protests, Kilgrave says that children should be seen and not heard--or better yet, not seen and not heard. He tells both of the children to get into the closet. The girl tells him she needs to go to the bathroom, but Kilgrave says it’ll be fine and tells her to get in the closet. The girl listens, and she and her brother get into the closet. Their mom asks what he's doing, but he tells her they’ll be fine, which she repeats back to him cheerfully. As Kilgrave walks away, urine seeps out from under the closet door as the girl whimpers. Kilgrave sits down for dinner.

Elsewhere in Hell's Kitchen, Jessica is brushing her teeth. Voice-over Jessica returns.
Jessica: “My greatest weakness? Occasionally, I give a damn. And Kilgrave knows it.”

As Jessica spits after brushing her teeth, the cockroach from earlier crawls out of the drain.
Jessica: “But now I know his.”
She crushes the cockroach with her thumb and looks in the mirror.
Jessica: “Game on.”
Jessica walks back out to her apartment. Luke Cage’s voice startles her--he says that he saw her.
Jessica: “Well, that’s what happens when you break into someone’s apartment while they’re getting dressed.”
Luke says he saw her toss a guy twice her size across the bar with one hand. Jessica chalks it up to adrenaline, but Luke isn't convinced.
Luke: “I saw you. And you saw me.”
Jessica says she doesn’t know what she saw, but Luke insists she does. Jessica says she just went there to fix things. Without a word, Luke picks up a power saw from her table and puts it against his skin. Nothing happens to Luke. Sparks fly. The saw shorts out.

Jessica covers her mouth with her hands and walks over to touch his still-smoking skin.
Luke: “You can’t fix me. I’m unbreakable.”

Jessica gasps softly.

Cue credits.

What did you think of “AKA Crush Syndrome”?


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