Jessica Jones Episode 2: Crush Syndrome


“Crush Syndrome,” the second part of Jessica Jones, starts off very soon after the first episode, in a very dark and grim place. She’s in a police interview room with Detective Clemmons. Clemmons is suspicious of her, and also starts asking a lot of questions about Luke Cage. Jessica is not happy that the NYPD was in her office without a warrant, but he points out that her office is part of the crime scene, so no warrant was needed. 

After Cage is done talking to a lot of cops himself, he and Jessica talk. Cage is really not happy about the extra attention. He clearly has a lot to hide, and doesn’t want to share with either the police or Jessica. She explains that she was watching him because his current girlfriend is married and her husband isn’t happy about her stepping out. Luke is also not happy to hear this. Cage tells Jessica to stay away from him.

In her voice over, she tries to convince herself that it’s better to be alone, at least while Kilgrave is out there. She’s been flashing back to when she thought he died, and wonders how he managed to survive. Since Kilgrave is her proverbial white whale, Jess goes to see Hope, her only current lead.

Hope is in police custody, looking miserable, which is understandable enough. She compares notes with Jessica about being under Kilgrave’s control. She paints a horrific picture, and Jessica is clearly remembering what happened to her. Hope has something of a mean streak even without being under Kilgrave’s control, blaming Jessica for not killing Kilgrave when she could have.

Jessica takes her case to her occasional employer, Jeri Hogarth, and they argue. Jessica seems to spend a lot of time arguing with Hogarth, actually. In this case, Hogarth says it’s an open and shut case, which it would be were it not for Kilgrave. But even in a world with the Avengers running around, no one is really buying the idea of a man who can control minds. Jeri is also a bit busy with a few of her own problems, as her assistant cautions Jeri that “She knows.” Not informative, but ominous.

Out on the street, Jessica has a run-in with Trish. Trish is very worried about Jessica. Under all the irritation, you can see that Trish cares a lot for Jessica. Jessica is worried, too, telling Trish that just being around Jessica is “life threatening.” As Trish leaves, Jessica shares that her broken door used to read “Alias Investigations,” which apparently is a name that means something to Trish, as she smiles on hearing it.

While Luke has a very uncomfortable conversation with Gina, his married girlfriend, Jess keeps working everything she knows about Kilgrave. She checks all the records for the night he died, the bus accident she thought killed him, everything she can dig into. She even breaks into a hospital to try and get more leads. When she gets home, she almost kills the repairmen Trish sent to fix the door. Warning would be good, Trish. Jessica’s research is giving her more flashbacks, showing why she thought Kilgrave was dead, and the death of Reva Connors, the woman Luke has a picture of.

After sending the repairman off in an ambulance, and a run-in with her really weird neighbors Robin and Reuben, Jessica goes off to do some more research. She has another flashback in the subway, and breaks the window behind her with an elbow jab. She has a calming chant she does that is apparently a series of street names, as seen when she taught the technique to Hope. Jessica manages to find an ambulance driver from that night. What she finds is disturbing, borderline terrifying, made even worse by the note he manages to get to her.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Jessica goes home, bickers again with Robin the nutty neighbor, and then gets another visit. Gina came by to more or less be a bitch, but also warn her that her husband’s rugby team is going to Luke’s bar. Jessica takes off, getting there just in time to be part of the most one-sided bar fight in history. It does show both Jessica and Luke that they are not alone in being “Enhanced” as they seem to be calling powered people in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Some of Luke’s expressions during the fight, and their brief exchange afterwards, were among the high points of the episode.

Back on the case, Jessica tracks down a surgeon who has his own tale of horror to tell from the night of Kilgrave’s accident and Reva’s death. In a clever bit of deduction, Jessica works out what one of Kilgrave’s major weaknesses is. Jessica is a really good detective when she’s sober enough to think straight.

Jeri Hogarth finally agrees to take the case, and goes to see Hope. It’s hard to say who is more surprised- Hope that she has a new attorney, or Jeri when she learns that Jessica was one of Kilgrave’s victims. It’s eye opening for Jeri, you can see her starting to put pieces together.

Jessica finally calls Trish and thanks her for the new door. They banter a bit on the phone, which is entertaining, if a bit sad. You can see how close they used to be and the distance that’s there now. Trish then goes back to work with her trainer, which is a bit surprising when we see what they’re doing.

Kilgrave makes himself at home in a new place. He takes over the family and shows his utter indifference to them. It’s a cold and callous display of power and sociopathy. It’s a well done scene that shows the depths of his villainy. He’s every bit the menace Jessica has made him out to be, and he so very badly needs to be stopped.

Jessica muses about her own weaknesses, and Kilgrave’s. She is interrupted by Luke returning. He says he saw her, and talks about powers. She tries to dismiss it as adrenaline, which doesn’t go over well. Luke’s not stupid. He then demonstrates his power for her in a conclusive way.

What I liked: This is well-acted, well-written, and directed and filmed brilliantly. It’s dark and rough, but it works for the feel of the show. I liked the hints at Jessica and Trish’s friendship. The flashbacks are creepy and disturbing, as they should be. The bar fight was great.

What I didn’t: Jeri Hogarth seems like a throughly unlikable person. She’s like the cold attorney taken to a new level. Carrie-Anne Moss does a great job with her, but the end result is just unpleasant.

I’ll give this one a 4 out of 5. It’s dark and bleak at times, but it’s really amazingly well done. Netflix is continuing to impress me. Jessica Jones and Daredevil are different from the big movies, but every bit as good as the other corners of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


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