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TV Review: Marvel's Jessica Jones - Season 1 Episode 4 "AKA 99 Friends"

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EPISODE 4: "AKA 99 Friends"

SYNOPSIS: A new case demands attention as Jessica tries to find out who’s spying on her for Kilgrave. Trish’s radio show yields unexpected consequences.

BREAKDOWN: In the last episode, Jessica came face to face with her tormentor, Kilgrave, after officer Will Simpson was sent to kill Patsy Walker. Jessica was not able to catch Kilgrave, but she was able to save the cop from killing himself after completing his task for the villain. Now, Will Simpson is back to try and make amends for the awful act he commited. But, that is only a side plot as Jessica is now on the hunt for whoever has been spying on her and taking photographs on behalf of The Purple Man. Still, she needs to help fix Patsy's situation as well as deal with a pair of new cases.

Similar to how things worked on Daredevil, the cases that come across Jessica's desk are integral to the season-long plot and not just filler material to help pad the thirteen episodes for this series run. First up, Jessica takes a case from Audrey Eastman, referred by a divorce attorney at Jeri Hogarth's firm. Eastman claims her husband is cheating and wants photographs to use in court. Jessica is obviously hesitant because of what happened with the Schlottmans so she follows Eastman to a warehouse where she sees her shooting at mannequins, presumably practice to kill her cheating husband. But, Jessica is confident that she is not under Kilgrave's infuence.

But, before she can do anything, Trish calls Jessica because Will Simpson is back and trying to break down her apartment door. Trish thinks he is back to kill her but Jessica knows Kilgrave's spell is broken. Simpson is truly sorry for what he did and wants to make amends. Jessica enlists him to gather NYPD security footage so she can try and track down who is watching her. Simpson has a bit of a temper and accosts Jessica's drug addict neighbor, Malcolm. Simpson is based on the Marvel Comics character Nuke, an enemy of Daredevil, who has an American flag tattooed on his face. This version is a bit more subtle and it remains to be seen if he will be friend or foe. Jessica does convince Trish to make an on-air apology to Kilgrave which brings the whackos out of the woodwork but also affords some bonding time between Simpson and Trish. At her apartment, the two chat through her door after Will gives Trish a handgun to protect herself. I am not sure if there is a budding romance here but the two definitely hit it off.

Jessica interviews the people claiming to have been influenced by Kilgrave and weeds out everyone from a stoner thief to a pregnant teen. The remaining people are put into a support group so they can try and cope with the violation that Kilgrave caused them. One woman was forced to play her cello until her fingers bled and another woman had to smile for hours. Another man even had to give his expensive coat to KIlgrave when he asked. Jessica refuses to attend the group and instead tracks Eastman's husband. She follows him to his home and Jessica is able to show off her jumping ability and strength. But, when she is called by Audrey, she realizes she is in the room with her husband. She pulls her gun on Jessica and reveals that it was all a plan to try and kill her for having powers. Audrey's mother was killed during the Battle of New York and she blames all of the gifted superheroes. She shoots Jessica, who does bleed, but Jessica loses her temper. Jessica says her parents died when she was young but she doesn't blame others. She says the Battle of New York was not her fault and threatens the Eastmans. She says there are 99 gifted people just in Hell's Kitchen and she will send them after them if they don't leave town.

Jessica pores over the footage and is confronted by Jeri on the phone after she had lost her temper at the firm when Jeri suggested Kilgrave could have used his powers for good. Jessica feels guilty for losing it with Jeri as well as relating to how Luke Cage must have felt when she surveiled him. She attends the support group and listens to one man talk about how Kilgrave made him abandon his child on the side of the road just to drive him around. Jessica asks if Kilgrave ever picked up photos and the man says he did, from someone in a blue scarf. Jessica returns home and realizes that it was none other than Malcolm, her neighbor. She breaks into his apartment and finds more photos, realizing that the poor guy was the spy the entire time.

The only "appearance" from Kilgrave this episode comes in the form of an eight year old girl who stops Jessica on the street and taunts her and Trish. Jessica tries to get more details from the fouth-mouthed child but her mother arrives and takes her away. Overall, this was another great episode that managed to build more backstory and showcase Jessica's day to day work as a private investigator while also building Will Simpson as a supporting character. I saw the reveal that Malcolm was the spy a mile away, but that didn't make the impact on Jessica any less gut-wrenching. I am still not sure why Jeri Hogarth's marriage is vital to the story, but I trust there is a reason for it to keep coming up. Definitely another solid outing for all involved. I am tempted to start cataloging all of Jessica's great one-liners and zingers.

MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES: The Battle of New York is referenced along with "The Big Green Guy" and "The Flag Waver".

Final Verdict:

NEXT ON JESSICA JONES: Episode 5 "AKA The Sandwich Saved Me" - Despite Jessica’s objections, Trish’s new friend Simpson gets involved in the hunt for Kilgrave. Jessica recalls a pivotal moment in her life.

Source: JoBlo.com

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