Jessica Jones continues to trudge along, dragging its heels towards that light at the end of the tunnel; refusing to accept not only its own death but that of the greater Netflix Marvel Universe. If SDCC told us anything we didn’t already know, it is that this pocket of Marvel’s cinematic output is dead, and Jessica Jones is just a walking corpse, refusing to accept its own inevitable conclusion.
This season has been a chore to review thus far, and though these last few episodes have picked up, that bar is set quite low, all things considered. The writing is on the walls, and not from the serial killer antagonist–one of the only interesting plot points these entries have to present.
Begrudgingly, by which I mean being held at knife-point by one Scott Buck, for reasons I don’t quite understand–as he was not involved in the production of this show–I am here to talk to you about Jessica Jones. For anyone reading this, please tell my family I love them. As always, beware of spoilers and here are five thoughts on “A.K.A. Sorry Face.”
Let’s knock the best out first before he knocks me out. Sallinger is easily the most interesting character this season, second only to his hostage in this episode, Erik the burger guy. Sallinger is no Purple Man, but he is cunning, frightening, and compelling. This season would do well to focus more on him, and perhaps they do as the episodes continue to roll out. For the time being though, he is the shining light in a dull pile of wasted opportunities.
2. That’s What Mom Wanted
Krysten Ritter has been as stellar a performer as ever in the third season of Jessica Jones but her character direction has been jarringly out-of-step. Following the discovery of her mother and her subsequent death in season two Jess has been obsessed with being a “hero.” This is presented as character development but runs so contrast to the human being we’ve come to know that it makes the production unenjoyable, and runs counter to Ritter’s abilities as an actor, leaving the audience scratching their heads and wondering why we loved her in the first place.
3. Out the Window
Dorothy has been one of the more enjoyable elements of this season and one very in-character moment for Jess sees her throwing Trish out of her window. Dorothy feigns surprise and shock–or maybe is genuine–before seeing Trish standing perpendicular to the concrete below. The evolution of Trish into Hellcat has been a low-point for all of Jessica Jones but this bit at least provides some amusement.
4. Not Very Photogenic
Sallinger’s abduction of Erik plays across most of this episode and provides some of the more palatable beats, but there are a few issues within. A cliched line of “do you see” is delivered by the antagonist and we find Jess and Trish busting in at just the right moment as “A.K.A. Sorry Face” climaxes.
It is a shame to see such a good villain be wasted in the way that Jeremy Bobb’s character is so far, as his performance has been so engaging. Perhaps this photo-enthusiast will get the shot he is looking for; but, for now, these shots are out-of-focus. The ending salvo for Sallinger saps all his salacious and sinister sensibilities in “A.K.A. Sorry Face.”
5. Praying for Better Days, but Not Finding the Faith
We know this is the end, as none of these series are up for renewal and by all accounts, they will not be folded into the plans across the MCU and the output of Disney+. That said, it is deeply disappointing to see this season feel so phoned in. The performances are not lacking–Krysten Ritter still gives it her all and is supported by a cast turning in the best work they can–but the creative direction they have been given leaves a lot to be desired. Jessica Jones is getting better, but “better than what?” is the ultimate question this week. Maybe we’ll continue to see improvement but we won’t know until next week when my review of the third season of Jessica Jones and the end of Marvel’s Netflix output continues.