Jessica Jones: AKA God Help The Hobo

Jessica

Jessica in anger management. What could go wrong?

Jessica Jones continues her second season with “AKA God Help The Hobo.” She starts off with another voice-over reflecting on how the heat of summer is affecting everyone. Maybe that’s part of why she’s always in such a rotten mood— we keep hearing about how hot it is out and she’s running around in a leather jacket. Certainly not helping her mood any, Jessica is in her court-ordered anger management class. The others go through some awful but, for lack of a better term, “normal” stuff. When she gets prodded into sharing, she recounts her litany of horrors, making the others wince, until she builds to a crescendo and breaks one of their rituals, but it does get her out of the class.

Going home with more musing about the heat, Jessica goes home and has a run-in with an obnoxious woman at the door of her building. Getting to her office, she and Malcolm have some bitter banter about her class before he shows her the next problem she has to deal with: a gossip magazine cover about Trish and her “new man.” She snaps at Malcolm and fires him yet again, then tries to work on her computer and ignore the yelling coming through her wall. Jessica studies the pictures she got of the mystery woman she fought last time, and notices something. Knowing someone who is an expert in what she needs, Jessica has to apologize to Trish about what she did last episode. For Jessica, it’s a decent apology. Trying to deal with all this, the last thing she needs is another distraction. Of course, that’s what she gets when Oscar’s kid Vido wanders in and hurls questions at her. Things go from bad to worse, there’s an almost fatal accident, and the annoying woman from earlier proves to be Vido’s mom. The chaos doesn’t exactly endear Jessica any further to Oscar, who threatens her with the promised eviction.

Trish and Griffin take a stab at defusing the mess Jessica made, and neither one of them is happy about it. Some of the cracks I’ve been waiting for start showing with Griffin, who isn’t really happy about Trish’s friendship with Jessica at this point. He then makes up for some of this by trying to help her on the job front, and Trish is grateful but determined to make her own way. In general, I actually kind of like Trish more than I do Jessica at most points.

Jeri Hogarth has her own bad day as she researches possible treatments for her ALS. Pryce Cheng wanders in and is not happy with how Jeri is handling his business. Cheng expresses some more anti-super sentiment, which seems to be more a part of Jessica’s world than anywhere else in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They part on not the best of terms.

Jessica and Trish follow up on her new lead, and it involves confronting more of Trish’s past. Trish has some apologizing of her own to do from her days as what sounds like the stereotypical child star. Finally, after some money changing hands, they get some minimal information that points them back at Metro General Hospital. This leads them back to Trish’s other blast from the past, Max, and Trish shares some of what she did. They increase pressure on him by an ugly but effective method that he wholly deserves.

Malcolm gets his own scene with Pryce, who just seems bound and determined to screw with Jessica’s world. Not the best of ideas, that. Malcolm tells Pryce to go away, and isn’t impressed by his offers or background research. We also get some hints about Malcolm’s family that I don’t think we knew anything about before.

Jeri gets an omen of her future which shakes her, badly. Trish and Jessica drop in on Max to push him again for his help. They find out something they didn’t know about Malcolm, which gets somewhat lost in the shuffle when Max is a jerk and, well, we know how well Jessica responds to that. Jessica seems to startle even herself with her reaction to this stereotype of a man.

Jessica is sort of doing the anger management class’ ritual while lying on her couch when she gets a call from Jeri. Jeri is pushing for answers about her partners, and mentions she is very much running out of time. Jessica has found a few things that apparently won’t help, and promises to keep digging. As this call ends, Oscar comes in with a major attitude change that should make parts of Jessica’s life easier.

Trish and Griffin get their own hot scene before slipping into relationship talk. They talk about her past, and his reasons for never going to therapy. Trish goes off to the shower, missing a phone call that makes it seem like Griffin has a dark secret or two of his own. No matter what the call means, it doesn’t sound good at all. Oscar and Jessica have a chat that covers a lot of ground. Jessica, never one for subtlety, pushes things far enough, fast enough, that Oscar ends up leaving. I can understand why, and he says something to her a lot of people have probably wanted to and not dared to.

Speaking of daring, Malcolm catches Jessica on her way out the next morning and makes some overdue demands. His moral stance is a tiny bit undercut when Jessica sees what he was up to last night, and falls a lot further after Jessica leaves and we hear him screw something up. Jeri continues to be the embodiment of the antithesis of acceptance as she goes to see her doctor and tries pushy, guilt trip, and bribery to get what she wants.

Jessica meets up with Trish at her place and they go over the newly acquired information from MGH. The pool of people that may have been experimented on seems to be smaller than they first thought, so there’s that plus. They also get a likely lead on Jessica’s mystery woman. There are some similarities in Jessica’s background to this woman’s, and Trish gets a bit worried. Trish surprises Jessica with a collection that Frank Castle would be proud (and maybe envious) of, and they work out a test for something to try in case they find who they’re looking for. Discussing the person’s past, we get the episode title in passing. The two head out, do some old-fashioned legwork, and finally get pointed in what might be the right direction.

Things build up quickly from here. Jessica and Trish go looking for trouble, and Trish makes a really questionable decision that I suspect will come back to haunt her. They don’t quite find what they wanted, but get more information. Meanwhile, Jessica becomes the victim of a crime herself, which Malcolm discovers at a drunken friend’s insistence. We find out who is behind what gets done to Jessica, but that gets even worse as someone else steps in and does something ugly. Trish and Jessica and a new friend get back to Jessica’s place just in time for Jessica to get blamed for something she wasn’t even around for, and Trish to do something dumb. At least Jessica manages to get Malcolm to do something important. As she learns more about what happened, Jessica looks rattled, worried, and doubtful. I don’t blame her at all.

What I liked: The mystery swirling around IGH and their subjects is getting me really curious to find out what’s going on. Jeri is desperate, and I completely understand why. The anger management class was mostly just comic relief, but it was well done. I like the bits and pieces we’re learning about Malcolm, and Oscar became a lot more real of a character. I suspect something he mentioned to Jessica is going to become very important later.

What I didn’t: Trish is supposed to be the sane one, but she’s making a lot of dumb mistakes here. Pryce is more and more slimy as we see more about him. The criminal near the end was no prize, but even he didn’t deserve what happened to him, which should make some trouble for Pryce (that part I’m ok with). I really think Jessica’s superpower is actually attracting people who are as damaged as she is, or at least in the running. Jessica’s going to have some trouble she didn’t really earn for once from the end of this one.

I keep enjoying this series, no matter how much I may yell at the characters as I watch it. I’ll give this a solid 3.5 out of 5.

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