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TV Review: Marvel's Jessica Jones - Season 1 Finale "AKA Smile"

12.08.2015

Click here to read our previous reviews for Marvel's Jessica Jones

EPISODE 13: "AKA Smile"

SYNOPSIS: Jessica and Luke get help from someone else in the neighborhood. Kilgrave gears up for a major test of powers against Jessica.

BREAKDOWN: In the end, Jessica Jones doesn't feature a battle encompassing New York or a showdown with any artificial intelligence. There is not massive fight on another planet or helicarriers swarming the skies. When it comes down to it, Jessica Jones completes it's first season with a conclusion worthy of the stellar twelve episodes that led up to it. We get the conclusion of Jessica's relationship with Kilgrave and we are not disappointed. Wrapping up the major loose ends and plot points set up this season, the thirteenth episode of Jessica Jones leaves up feeling excited for what comes next for the superhero but also for what this series has done for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Rushing Luke Cage to the hospital following the shotgun blast she delivered to his head, Jessica runs into Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson), the lone medical specialist who isn't freaked out by Luke's unbreakable skin. Claire agrees to help Jessica save Luke as she deals with the enhanced powers of Kilgrave siccing the entire hospital on her. Jessica barely makes it out and heads home to assist Claire in draining cerebral fluid from Luke's ocular cavity. Claire confides she has a gifted friend who could help her fight Kilgrave, but Jessica once again says she has to do it on her own. Enlisting Trish, Jessica tracks Kilgrave to a penthouse he has been holed up in as his father tests a stronger serum to enhance his mind control. For a split second, we see Kilgrave turn purple, a nod to his comics namesake, The Purple Man.

Jessica finds the penthouse's occupents dead, one of whom is trying to shove Kilgrave's father's severed arm down the garbage disposal. Jessica hears Albert's final words as he warns her of Kilgrave's powers. Jessica has Trish come up using their code phrase "I love you" to confirm she is not under mind control. They call Jeri Hogarth who reveals her partners are forcing her out of the firm. Jessica gives Jeri a hard time because it is the fetal tissue from Hope's aborted pregnancy that helped Albert formulate the new serum, but she calms quickly. Jessica tells her to fight back as she is an asset as an attorney before heading to the dock where Kilgrave is preparing to disembark but not before a final showdown with Jessica. Jessica also asks Trish to tell her what she had learned before and is told about IGH and their potential role in Jessica's powers, but this is quickly tabled and will probably not be revisted until season two.

Using a cliche switcharoo, Trish buys time to try and get the drop on Kilgrave at the dock terminal, but the cops open fire nonetheless. Jessica makes a massive leap across the terminal and locks the gate as she heads to face Kilgrave. At the dock, the pier is full of civilians whom Kilgrave orders to start killing each other. As they fight, Trish's headphones are knocked free. Jessica approaches Kilgrave who screams for everyone to stop. Jessica complies and Kilgrave assumes she is faking. He brings Trish and threatens to take her with him as a slave. When Jessica lets them go, Kilgrave believes she is under his spell and she complies with his requests for her to smile. When he asks her to say she loves him, Jessica knowingly looks at Trish and says their safe phrase. She grabs Kilgrave, asks him to smile, and snaps his neck, instantly breaking his control over the crowd.

Jessica is arrested but Jeri is able to negotiate her release after the countless cops, civilians, and even her own experience with Kilgrave. Jessica is shocked to have gotten freed so quickly, and the bond formed between the lawyer and P.I. will likely have crossover potential in both the next season and on Daredevil. Luke awakens and meets Claire who tries to tell him his relationship with Jessica is worth fighting for, but when she turns her back, Luke bolts. Their brief interaction likely teases Rosario Dawson's appearance on Luke's solo series next year. Trish returns home and finds multiple boxes of IGH documents from her mother and begins to sift through the paperwork. Jessica returns home to find Malcolm cleaning her kitchen. On her cell, Jessica has a dozen voicemails from potential clients. She deletes each one and pours a drink. As the phone rings, Malcolm answers it and says "Alias Investigations. How can we help?"

After the massive mind games between Kilgrave and Jessica this season, it was great to see their battle not come down to a superpower showdown but rather a fitting conclusion to their story. Jessica, never quite comfortable being a hero, still retains her anti-hero nature and becomes one of the few Marvel characters to kill even when she could choose to let the bad guy live and be imprisoned. Jessica Jones has a lot of potential going forward and now that her first tale has been told to completion, it still feels like there is a lot of plot to be mined in her saga. We still do not know where her powers came from or what IGH has to do in the grand scheme of things. But, giving her entire first season to such an intimate fight really delivers on a series that stayed unique in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and delivered on all fronts.

MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES: Claire Temple references having met someone else with super-powers, a reference to Matt Murdock.

Episode Final Verdict:

Of the four members of The Defenders, Jessica Jones was the least known to general audiences. Hell, even comic book fans likely never expected this character to get her own series over the countless other Marvel Comics creations out there. Plus, making a female-centric superhero that isn't Wonder Woman was a daunting task in any regard. With the success of Daredevil earlier this year, Netflix and Marvel Studios could have easily copied that series and delivered an adequate comic book show. Instead, they flipped the script entirely and created a series that is not only unique to the Marvel Cinematic Universe but also to American television. Jessica Jones is a solidly entertaining serial drama that deals with heavy concepts like rape, sexual predators, PTSD, child abuse, and more. With a calculating and evil villain in Kilgrave and a strong supporting cast, Krysten Ritter headlines a series that ranks as one of the best of 2015 and will most definitely be getting a second run of episodes. If you haven't already binged this series, you owe it to yourself to watch something pretty damn special that will prove that female superheroes can kick ass with the boys each and every time.

Season Final Verdict:

NEXT ON JESSICA JONES: While Jessica Jones has not been renewed for a second season (yet), Daredevil returns in 2016

Source: JoBlo.com

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2:33AM on 12/09/2015

Overall positive but some flaws

Overall I enjoyed this show. It was a huge departure from every other super hero movie/show that have been launched in this era of superheroes. This is a personal story of PTSD and a victim surviving, even if that victim had superpowers. In fact you could take the Marvel moniker off this and it you'd still have a very good story character study, with some gifted people. Now as positive as I feel about this show, it isn't without its flaws. Daredevil was a better show, for a few reasons. Not
Overall I enjoyed this show. It was a huge departure from every other super hero movie/show that have been launched in this era of superheroes. This is a personal story of PTSD and a victim surviving, even if that victim had superpowers. In fact you could take the Marvel moniker off this and it you'd still have a very good story character study, with some gifted people. Now as positive as I feel about this show, it isn't without its flaws. Daredevil was a better show, for a few reasons. Not hugely better, but still better. I'd give JJ a 7, and DD an 8. The Netflix shows have show a different, and refreshing side of the Marvel world, one that is more than just flashy powers and one liners.

JJ is an overwhelmingly positoive female character. This, like Ripley and Sarah Connor, is what a female hero should be played like. Like a badass that doesn't have to remind you she is a woman every two seconds because the writers assume you're too stupid to realize you're actually watching a woman on screen. Contrast this to Supergirl, which is almost offensive in the way it puts down men, to the point if a man said half the shit that comes out of the mouths of women on Supergirl women's groups would be calling for it cancellation. There is never a doubt in JJ that she can throw down and kick the shit out of man or woman alike. There is also never a doubt that despite her being a flawed and broken character, she has more heart than just about any of the heroes you see on screen. I also like, for the most part, her developing relationship with Luke Cage. Same with Wildcat though I expected them to show a little more of her super side development instead of just being a victim. Lastly Killgrave, what isn't there to say about him. Not that he had no flaws, but these Netflix shows have rectified the one major complaint about the MCU, other than Loki their villains are cardboard cutout generic. Fisk and now Killgrave are deep, and menacing villains withg some rich backstory. And The Purple Man is terrifying. The fact they made this so small and personal of a story is probably a good thing, because if Killgrave decided to have world domination dreams he could probably accomplish it quite easily. Bravo Tennant.

Now onto the downsides. It definitely wasn't flawless. The show was incredibly uneven, way more so than DD. DD masked the unevenness by having multiple stories. It was DD vs's the Russians, DD vs Gao's crew, DD vs the Japanese, DD versus Fisk, with side story of Foggy and Karen and Eurich. By having multiple "villains" it allowed for some dynamic change, a change of threat to an extant. JJ was singularly minded in its villain. There was one and only one badguy. And so therefor when JJ wasn't after him or fighting him there was a real void and the down moments felt too slow. I actually think given the singular villain, that this series might have been better off with 10 episodes instead of 13 to tighten it up. Also I HATED the fact that no one could decide what power level a character had and make them consistent. JJ at one point can lift a car with ease, and another looks like she struggles to throw a 2lbs folding chair 5 feet. Luke Cage one minute gets blown up in an explosion and walks out no problem, yet a shotgun blast nearly kills him. The story overall was great, but the writers didn't spend much time reading the backstory of the character powers and applying them to fight scenes (which were lame to be honest). Killgrave in my opinion also deserved a better finish, it was the epitome of anticlimactic, and it was a little lame that by the end he came off as little more than a jilted stalker with superpowers. Compared to Supergirl the show dialed the feminism overtones down from an 11 to a 2 or 3. But it was a little heavy handed in portraying EVERY woman in it as a victim. Hope by the hands of Killgrave, then we find out JJ by Killgrave, Tricia by her mom, then Simpson tried to murder Tricia, then Simpson again tried to kill Tricia and JJ, then Hogarth (who was a man in the comics) by Killgrave by proxy of her wife. Really not every woman on this planet is a victim. Finally, with as well as tennant played him, I hate they killed Killgrave at the end. I was hoping he'd be locked up in the Raft or some super prison, and potentially return as a Defenders or some other series villain.

This series was great. The acting was impressive, especially Tennant. This was the best portrayal of a female superhero to date imo. She was flawed, damaged, caring...in other words human. She belongs in the same conversations as Ripley and Sarah Connor when it comes to female badasses. Kudos Netflix and Marvel. JJ and DD, while not without their flaws, have been absolutely successes and breathes of fresh air in the MCU. Bring on Luke Cage and, hopefully Iron Fist if its still happening lol.
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10:19PM on 12/08/2015

I'm sorry......

I liked this show (very much in some episodes), the season finale was a train-wreck. The ending was anti-climactic (come on, Killgrave literally whines so much I thought he was going to start crying), the sudden starring role of Claire was just weird, you had an unconscious Luke on screen for at least 10 minutes, and they missed the greatest crossover opportunity ever (with JJ needing a lawyer in Hell's kitchen to represent her). On top of that they STILL are saying that the lesbian
I liked this show (very much in some episodes), the season finale was a train-wreck. The ending was anti-climactic (come on, Killgrave literally whines so much I thought he was going to start crying), the sudden starring role of Claire was just weird, you had an unconscious Luke on screen for at least 10 minutes, and they missed the greatest crossover opportunity ever (with JJ needing a lawyer in Hell's kitchen to represent her). On top of that they STILL are saying that the lesbian girlfriend is being prosecuted for killing the woman STABBING HER WIFE TO DEATH!!!! So stupid......
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1:40PM on 12/08/2015
Whilst overall, I thought Daredevil was better (more entertaining), I was left somewhat disappointed by, what I still feel, was a rushed finale. Kingpin's demise just happened too quickly (admittedly, I did enjoy the way he came to the realisation that he's a big bad). I only refer to Daredevil because I thought JJ had the far better season finale. I've definitely enjoyed the last few episodes of this series though I don't think it's advisable to binge watch the series as a whole given how
Whilst overall, I thought Daredevil was better (more entertaining), I was left somewhat disappointed by, what I still feel, was a rushed finale. Kingpin's demise just happened too quickly (admittedly, I did enjoy the way he came to the realisation that he's a big bad). I only refer to Daredevil because I thought JJ had the far better season finale. I've definitely enjoyed the last few episodes of this series though I don't think it's advisable to binge watch the series as a whole given how slow the first 7-8 episodes are. Sure, it took me sometime getting over Kilgrave's motives but when he finally came out of the shadows and was a more in your face threat for JJ, it made for some great entertainment.

As for Claire, may be I missed an announcement about her being in this...but if not...great surprise. I'd given up there being a direct connection to Daredevil...but Marvel didn't fail to deliver - much appreciated... even if you have to question exactly what JJ thought taking Luke to a normal hospital was going to achieve.

All in all, the last 5 episodes was good stuff and I'm all for a second season.
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