Woof. That’s all I have to start with in regards to this week’s episode of Jessica Jones. Actually, that’s not true. “Help” is something else I have to say. I’m trapped in this apartment with a close friend of the showrunner who has not been terribly pleased with these reviews and possesses an intense and intimidating stare as well as what may be one of the largest knives I have ever seen. Beware of spoilers and beware the Buck. Here’s five thoughts on “A.K.A. Hero Pants.”
1. Costa They Ain’t
“A.K.A. Hero Pants” opens right where we left off last week, with police searching Jessica’s home and office in search of clues of the death of officer Nussbaumer. They make it clear that Jess no longer has the relationship with the police department she was afforded with Costa and that she is their primary suspect. This feels more reminiscent of how the series began but something about it was gnawing away at me throughout the entire episode. The cops this Jess killed Nussbaumer, she suspects Erik may have but they know nothing about his involvement as he wasn’t seen on the bodycam footage. It was almost as though a bigger swerve was being built towards, and it was. But we’ll get to that.
2. Blurred Lines
This is small but the use of blurs in this episode was more jarring than usual, taking me out of the experience. Perhaps it is due to “A.K.A. Hero Pants” being Sanford Bookstaver’s only directorial credit on Jessica Jones that it is only in this episode the blur makes everything feel unnatural. I felt it again during the scene with Malcolm and Zaya but it is most prevalent in an establishing shot of the city and Edgecombe Funeral Home. The effect leaves the two shots looking like they’re of models rather than actual locations. It’s almost an uncanny valley moment and given that we see an exterior shot of the funeral home directly following it would seem that it is merely a trick of the eyes caused by the visual effects.
“You’re nit-picking again” I hear from the corner. Light flashes across steel as it bounces from hand to hand.
3. An Outstanding Choice
Dorothy’s ego is on full display even in death. Jess quips “did Dorothy write that?” to Gene as he remarks that she was “a devoted mother, a loyal friend, and a style icon who improved every life she touched. Even post-mortem this character is treated with more care and attention than the rest of the cast. I know that a plot device was necessary to carry the story forward but I can’t help but continue to question the decision of killing off Dorothy. She even takes the opportunity to talk “shit in her will” as she leaves Jessica the remaining contents of her liquor cabinet. Though, personally, I feel like that is a really nice gesture.
4. Regular People Aren’t This Good
Berry is back for no other reason than to disrupt the plot in “A.K.A. Hero Pants.” This season has seen a dissection of Malcolm, his motivations, and his willingness to commit morally bankrupt acts, all of which is especially highlighted in his conversation with Zaya. So when Brianna returns to his door looking for a place to stay and a chance to get her shit together it seems like a small act of redemption as he gives her a hand and a couch to crash on. The audience is beaten over the head with this as she asks him why he is helping her and remarks “regular people aren’t this good.” Then, just to increase the groan factor, they have sex. I’ve talked a lot this season about how these characters seem to be written against their established archetypes but this moment extends further than Reed Richards possibly could. Human beings are often problematic and prone to working against their own best interests but the idea that Malcolm would suddenly ditch Dorothy’s funeral to take Berry to bed is Berry absurd.Continued below
5. WHAT A TWIST
The biggest insult comes with that final reveal. We’re shown earlier in the episode that Erik did not kill officer Nussbaumer but still left with a feeling that he is hiding something. The final scene of “A.K.A. Hero Pants” gives us a DUN DUN DUN moment as a gopher dramatically turns to the camera and we find Trish brutally assaulting Jace Montero in his office trailer. I haven’t seen a dumber plot twist since that village turned out to be in the middle of a state park.
“I rather like M. Night Shyamalan” my house-guest states in a gravelly tone. “Maybe you just don’t get his work, or Melissa’s for that matter.” My god, he’s like a Zack Snyder fan, but terrifying.
We have three more episodes Jessica Jones and I am increasingly feeling as though they may be my last three weeks on this earth but I’ll be back next week to review “A.K.A. Hellcat.” Whatever happens, tell my mother I love her.