Jessica Jones Season 2 Episode 5 Review: AKA The Octopus

Jessica Jones shows all kinds of personal growth in an episode full of surprises.

This Jessica Jones review contains spoilers.

Jessica Jones Season 2 Episode 5

I can’t imagine the Jessica we met in season 1 choosing to do any number of things that happened in this episode, a sign of the way she has grown. Sharing so much information with the police is a big shock, to Malcolm as well, it turns out, because he asks if she’s on sedatives. Jessica’s time in prison isn’t a bust, for her or for us, as it introduces a new character. The presence of a detective who had to grapple with Kilgrave is a great touch of in-world realism. The rapport Jessica seems to be building with the detective is reminiscent of her relationship with Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich, and I hope it continues. The last detective Jessica hung out with was dispatched far too quickly.

One of the more awesome things to happen in this show is Jessica’s line about a poodle showing its belly to a pitbull, which was immediately bested by Jeri’s quizzical reaction, wondering if Jessica was the poodle in this metaphor. That was then topped yet again by Jeri’s delusional belief that she’s the Giving Tree.

The dynamic between these two women is endlessly fascinating. Just two emotionally damaged women, sniping at each other and everyone else with varying degrees of selfishness. When it comes down to brass tacks, they’re mostly there for each other, with some rather serious exceptions from the end of last season. Yet almost everything one says about the other could just as easily come from the other woman, like Jeri chastising Jess for alienating everyone around her.

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Everything about Trish being with her mom while her inhaler drug-induced haze wore off reminded me of the disturbing episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend this season when Rebecca’s mother slipped her anti-depressants while doting on her and holding her low-key hostage. Born out of love, but still completely inappropriate and, ultimately, detrimental to their mental health. And both mothers are similarly driven more by their own narcissism than any genuine concern for their daughters.

Jessica thought an awful lot about taking a step forward when she almost stayed for dinner at Oscar’s house. It really seemed like it could go either way, like she wanted to be the kind of person who would stay. Wanting that, and not hiding it behind some terse retort, are both huge steps for Jessica after everything she’s been through.

Not-Leslie turns out to be just as terrifying in this episode as she was when she ripped Pryce’s henchman to shreds in the back of a van. Her creepy grin and the way she looks at her neighbor’s baby are sickening, and it’s not surprise when she destroys the piano with her bare hands, leading to backyard evidence bonfire number two of the episode. So far our glimpses of this woman have been quite brief, and generally devoid of real information about her, either as an individual or how she connects to Jessica and IGH. In the coming episodes, we’re due a lot more information about her, and fast. Keeping almost everything about her a mystery is wearing thin.

Also wearing thin? Griffin and Dorothy, who had world’s worst team-up. A surprise, public engagement while you have the world’s worst hangover is no one’s idea of fun, except for these two. Griffin’s joke about wanting Trish to feel pressured to say yes to his proposal is gross and way too real. The joke’s on him though, because the gambit showed Trish what she really wanted, and it wasn’t Griffin. I am 100% here for Trish’s career, and deciding to be Griffin instead of being with him. Trish telling Griffin what she really wanted and standing up to her mother are great things, but they’re immediately followed by another hit of Simpson’s evil inhaler, which spells serious trouble.

Jess is gentle with Dave, the low-IQ man who took the fall for Luanne’s death. But every time she mentions the concept that her interrogation is supposedly therapy, an LICSW loses its wings and I almost vomit. I know Jess has always pushed boundaries, but there’s a potential to do real and lasting damage to someone who is clearly an innocent.

Regardless, Dave’s tip plays out and Jess finds our wigged mystery woman with Dr. Karl, just in time for them to recognize her and send everything to shit. What is the connection between Dr. Karl and the woman? Is Jeri hoping to get the IGH process to cure her ALS? What is Pryce going to get up to?

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Another reminder of the Kilgrave days came in the form of hearing Inez talk about her fear of IGH and the woman. That intensity of fear is reminiscent of how the Kilgrave survivors talked about him. And of course there was the sly reference in the form of Oscar telling Jessica not to smile. Perhaps a sign of good things to come.


4 out of 5