Netflix & Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 2 Recaps by Penny; Episode 1 – “AKA Start At The Beginning”

Well folks, it’s that time again. I’m Penny and we’re back on IP for yet another Marvel Netflix series recap! This time it’s the just dropped Jessica Jones season 2, and as the original was among the better Marvel/Netflix offerings, it’s a safe bet that unless they SERIOUSLY mess up, we’ll have something far more enjoyable than Iron Fist. Also, given that it’s Jessica Jones, trigger warnings apply given some of the subject matter that comes part and parcel in our heroine’s baggage.

When we last saw Jess, she and the other Defenders had just defeated the Hand. Now? She’s back to her scuzball detective work, chasing a guy supposedly delivering pizzas to the woman he’s cheating on his wife with to get pics for said wife, who is understandably upset upon seeing them. Jess continues to not understand basic human empathy as the woman is crying in front of her and just says she takes cash or cheque, and gets uncomfortable upon said cheating husband entering the pizza place. The pizza owner offers her triple to kill him. Not being in the assassin business, Jess tells the boyfriend/husband/pizza guy, (they never do quite say), what his boss/wife/whatever just asked of her and the guy bolts after she crushes a steel chair back to show she could easily do it if she were so inclined. The Pizza boss stupidly chastizes her for being willing to kill Kilgrave like she heard on Trish’s radio show but not her man, and Jess reacts about like you’d expect, embedding a pizza tray in the wall and insisting she’s no murderer. She takes a pizza and leaves.

We switch to what appears to be a children’s birthday where Trish is stuck singing the theme to her old tv show to get a medical record from half of a gay couple. The file is incomplete and Trish is as polite as she can be about being forced to relive her sitcom days. (For those who haven’t seen season 1, When Trish was a kid her fame obsessed abusive mom forced her to go to auditions until she hit it big and got her own sitcom “Patsy”. She absolutely HATES that part of her life for obvious reasons and whatever is in that file has to be huge for her to agree to dress as “Patsy” and be a kids party singer to get it). She finds something in the file, incomplete as it is, and utters profanity to the delight of the children and the horror of the adults and immediately calls Jess.

Trish meets Jess on a rooftop watching an old black & white flick being projected onto the side of a nearby building. Jess is gorging pizza and chugging vodkas and bitching about her asshole clients. She scolds Trish for talking about the Defenders on her radio show. Trish says she finally has something worthwhile to talk about. She asks Jess why she won’t deal with her issues. Jess insists drinking and fucking her way through an emotional black hole IS dealing with it. Trish tells Jess about the file and what she had to do to get it, and about how the accident that preceded her superpowers was weird because she was admitted to emerg the day of the accident but not LISTED as admitted until 20 days after, during which Jess was comatose. Trish thinks Jess NEEDS to look into it to be able to truly heal and move on. Jess insists the past can’t be changed so there’s no point digging through it and jumps off the rooftop to go get sloshed somewhere else, inadvertently leaving Trish locked up on the rooftop.

Malcolm wakes a hungover Jess up with caffeine drinks and they meet with their prospective clients for the day, among whom of ALL potential Obscure Character Cameos (™ & ©) is the muhfuggin’ WHIZZER of all people. In the comics the Whizzer was Timely Comics’ answer to the original Jay Garrick Flash, a speedster in a grotesque yellow and powder blue costume who was killed off decades ago and has mostly been forgotten. The other clients are an elderly black woman who wants help finding the son she was, like so many inner city New York single mothers of colour, forced to give up for adoption so she can meet him just once before she dies, a kook teenage white girl who insists that basically the plot of V is real and Jay-Z is one of the dinosaur lizard people infiltrating society, and finally a smug obnoxious Asian man named Pryce Cheng who wants to buy Jess out to kill his agency’s competition. He acts kinda rapey with his refusal to accept her answer is no, which to my great delight Jess agrees with me on and says as much. After some not even slightly veiled threats Cheng leaves talking about how she just can’t help making things hard but still acting like she WILL sell to him. Jess decides to actually investigate the file Trish gave her and leaves.

As Jess is leaving she finds a fridge blocking the stairs, as the new building super Ronald Garcia and his family are moving in. Jess is in a hurry and lifts the fridge since Garcia’s family are apparently too busy taking selfies to help move furniture and storms out. Garcia’s son is totally into living in the same building as a superhero, but Garcia stares after Jess with a deeply concerned look on his face.

Jeri Hogarth is on stage at a dinner full of female lawyers accepting an award and giving a speech about how proud she is, as a woman who was often belittled and dismissed for exactly that reason, to see so many powerful women who are founders and partners and trailblazers who like her refuused to take “pretty good FOR A GIRL” as the ceiling. Afterwards she sits down with her partners Linda and Steve, who want her to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought against her by her former assistant. She refuses. Linda decides to be extra asshat and brings up Jeri’s dead wife, and she leaves the table telling Linda to choke on her food.

Trish is doing her radio show talking about the effects of trauma on powered people. During a break her producer Ian tells her her ratings are sliding because none of the heroes she talks about will even confirm publicly they exist, let alone come on her show to confirm her theories. He says if she can’t get Jess to come on then she needs to go back to doing cheap skeevy paparazzi bullshit like celebrity hairstyles. She refuses, wanting to use her show to talk about things that matter. He leaves and she’s left looking frustrated.

Jess is sitting on a very high ledge and testicles I don’t even have are shrinking up inside me at the sight of it. She’s spying on Cheng, so I guess it wasn’t Trish’s file she wanted to go look into. Instead, according to her inner monologue, she’s pegged Cheng as the ego-driven former high school jock/marine captain power tripper who needs to be in control that he clearly is. And after taking a swig of her vodka notices him waving at her from his office and smiling as he lifts his mug of coffee to her. She frustratedly flips him the bird, as she’s clearly not getting any dirt to get him to back off today.

Malcolm is doing repairs on Jess’ apartment/office while Trish waits for Jess. They talk a bit about his parents and his repair skills. Jess storms in pissed at Cheng, and she’s not amused by Trish’s presence. Trish has brought her parents’ ashes and Jess gets even more pissed. Trish pressures her hardcore to stop running and face things. Jess insists she wants to forget and threatens to cut Trish out of her life completely if she doesn’t back off and let her. Trish backs down and leaves, but someone in a hoodie puffing an inhaler watches her as she drives off.

Later Jess is going through her photos of Cheng and gets distracted by the ashes. She brings the boxes containing her family’s remains to her desk top and pours herself a bourbon, and toasts to no longer missing them someday. She passes out drunk and dreams about the accident. When she wakes up Malcolm arrives informing her of a client backing out out and a package from Cheng. Whizzer comes to her again for protection but she shuts the door in his face. She opens Cheng’s package and it’s all of his school transcripts, tax records and military service files, and a smug note claiming he’s an open book. Frustrated Jess realizes the client who backed out was poached by Cheng, so she resolves one of Cheng’s outstanding cases by retreiving his client’s stolen dog to show him up in front of said client. Cheng proves what an asshole he is by goading Jess into beating him up. He tries to taze her and she just gives him a “really?” look. He keeps goading her about her family and her drinking and she JUST manages to stop herself before she kills him. Proving he just doesn’t know when to shut up, he calls her the weakest person he’s ever met. She just leaves.

Apparently police were called, as Trish had to bail her out and Jess has probation and court ordered anger management. Jess laments almost killing Cheng and wonders if facing her family’s death will make her worse. Trish doesn’t believe that, but Jess says killing Kilgrave makes her a killer. Trish’s boyfriend shows up and tries to lighten the mood, but Jess again asks Trish to let it go and leave. Trish and her guy are at a charity event wooried they haven’t heard from Jess, and briefly discuss a story Trish is working on, when Trish catches a glimpse of the hoodie guy. We don’t get a good look at his face but Trish thinks she knew him.

Cheng visits Jeri and apparently it was her idea for him to go after Jess. Now he wants to sue her, and Jeri humours him. Meanwhile Jess arrives home and Wizzer speeds into her office with a gun. She tries to blow him off until he mentions taking pills to not be hoe “they made him” and swears something far worse than either of them is chasing him. She knocks the gun out of his hand and he starts Flashing around her office, confirming he is indeed the speedster he claims to be, panicked and throwing things at her, one of which ends up being one of the packages full of dead Jones ashes. The ashes scatter in slowmo and Whizzer bolts while she’s distracted. Once she regains her bearings she jumps through her window to intercept him. She tries to tell him she believes him and asks him if it was IGH that did this to him, but he’s still panicking and keeps trying to run away, only to run to his death when SOMETHING makes some construction scaffolding collapse on him, burying him in rubble and impaling him through the chest on some rebar. Garcia and his kid see her standing over his body in tears. She leaves.

Jeri is visiting her doctor, who insisted she come in. She has bad news, but we don’t get to hear it as they do the “no audible dialogue while we play sad music” bs. Malcolm finds Jess sitting in her brother’s ashes crying. She tells Malcolm to not step in him. Malcolm says he’ll clean him up. She tells him that Whizzer was for real and that she doesn’t believe the scaffolding accident WAS an accident. She goes through Whizzer’s bag and finds anti-psychotics at a dose that should have rendered him borderline comatose, with no prescribing doctor listed. When she sends Malcolm to investigate the address on the bottle he calls to tell her it’s a drycleaning supply store. Now she’s SURE that IGH is involved and goes to follow up. She breaks into an abandoned building to look around.

She takes a few smartphone pics while stumbling around in the dark with a flashlight. In one hallway she takes a photo and has a split second first person flashback of being strapped on a gurney being wheeled into a lab. She enters the empty room and has more flashbacks, and realizes this is where she, Whizzer, and the “something much worse” were all created, and finally accepts that she has no choice now but to dig deeper into IGH and her past for answers. It’s time to open the door wider.

End of episode. See you tomorrow for episode 2.

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