Marvel’s Jessica Jones episodes 11-13 review

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Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Marvel’s Jessica Jones and speculations about future seasons from Marvel comic books.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones shares a lot of common ground with last year’s Daredevil, including a spectacular overall run with an underwhelming finale. Despite coming into its final episodes strong, Jessica Jones stumbles over writing that eventually becomes predictable and convenient as well as a somewhat clumsy set-up for its second season. However, it remains a bright spot in Netflix’s exclusive titles, despite its very dark themes, for the strong cast and overall quality.

“AKA I’ve Got the Blues” is where the high from the last arc starts to die off as the show builds to its final climax. Jessica pushes herself to the breaking point as we see some of Trish and Jessica’s shared past, but more than anything else the driving force behind season two is revealed. To be honest, it took me an embarrassingly long time to realize why the name Simpson stuck out for me in the Marvel universe. Will Simpson in Jessica Jones is Jack Simpson, aka Nuke, from the comics who is far more easy to recognize with the American flag tattooed down his face. But the red and blue pills left no question that it is the same character, meaning Jessica has a tumultuous future ahead.

However, it was interesting to see a different kind of abuser in Simpson and Trish’s mother. The show focused so much on Kilgrave and his harassment; foiling him with the “violent drunk” and “exploitative parent” was a wise choice. We see Simpson be aggressive and then apologize. He truly means it when he says he’s sorry and he doesn’t want to hurt Trish, but of course, he does again. And Trish’s mother is far too eager to justify her actions by saying that it’s all really for her benefit.

Speaking of things adapted from the comics, “I’ve Got the Blues” was also the episode where we see the first real glimpse of Patsy/Trish Walker’s alter-ego from the comics, Hellcat. She was high off of the power of the red pills and there’s no promise she won’t be able to resist the urge to be the saviour again.

Sadly, “AKA Take a Bloody Number” is where the show starts to shake itself a part a little bit. The writing starts to feel woefully convenient, a cardinal sin of poor writing. Luke Cage can survive an explosion that levels his bar without so much as ringing in his ears, but a shot to the head causes potentially fatal brain damage? Kilgrave’s powers get amplified just enough to cause a twist, but still not enough to control Jessica? They all ring of event that happen simply because the plot requires that they do to move forward, not because there’s any other strong justification for them. The one exception is the inevitable battle that goes down between Jessica and Luke. Something we all knew was coming, because no superheroes can team up without coming to blows at some point, but it at least feels organic.

Finally, the series finale, “AKA Smile,” has its ups and downs. Rosario Dawson’s cameo, reprising her role from Marvel’s Daredevil as Claire, is definitely an up. My hope is honestly that she’ll appear in all of the Defenders series leading up to the eventual cross-over and maybe even make the introductions. Her and Malcom meeting? Gold. But from the moment that Kilgrave’s powers grew so that he could control people over the telephone it became clear that one of two things would have to happen; Kilgrave would either lose his powers completely or die. He was simply too powerful to continue to exist in this universe with only Jessica Jones immune to his control. With Hope gone, it was clear that death was the most likely candidate to win the race.

Although seeing Jessica snap Kilgrave’s neck is immensely satisfying on one hand, on the other it feels predictable and a bit anti-climactic. However, there is an element of truth to it; a final interaction with one’s abuser often feels a bit anti-climactic. Even when closure is given to the best of the world’s ability (because what is more final than death?) it doesn’t mean that it’s all over. There’s still the trauma and its many effects, even when distance is put between the survivor and its cause. Jessica Jones gets her closure, but it doesn’t mean that it’s actually all over. The removal of Kilgrave’s threat will not magically heal her scars.

Ultimately, Marvel’s Jessica Jones was a strong series with an occasional rough patch. It stands out among the crowd despite its flaws for its impeccable cast, rich characters, and maturity and honesty in exploring issues rarely so well handled on television. Jessica Jones was well introduced to an audience who had likely never heard her name before, but from now on won’t soon forget it. She’s not anonymous, and there is no alias; she’s just Jessica Jones.

What did you think of Marvel’s Jessica Jones? Are you excited for Marvel’s Luke Cage? Let us know in the comments!

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