Phil shares a glass of cheap booze with Jessica Jones 2.4 “AKA God Help the Hobo”
For what it’s worth, I love Jessica Jones. Her callous attitude and non-compliant lifestyle makes for the perfect anti-hero which is always a welcome trait when executed well. And for all intents and purposes, Jessica Jones Season One and The Defenders mini-series achieved it perfectly. Unfortunately, the events of both series’ have cast a long shadow and until now, Season Two has struggled to reach the same heights of expectation.
Katarina Schultz and I have shared responsibility for the review of season two and our appraisals of episodes one, two and three have all demonstrated an underwhelming response to the narratives at play. So, I was hoping for something more positive for episode four.
God Help the Hobo:
Summer has arrived, and Jessica is enduring her court appointment anger management therapy. She is desperate to end the suffering early and listening to the problems of her peers isn’t helping her mood. The bouncing of the “therapeutic ball” is repetitive, monotonous and irritating which has made her tetchy and short-tempered. As usual, Jessica is determined to bottle up her emotions. The notion of talking about her problems is nothing more than a bitter, unwelcome nuisance. When forced to share with the group, she pounds the ball against the wall, her aggression getting the better of her and the ball is swiftly broken into pieces.
Jessica’s relationship with Malcolm takes a turn for the worse and his sudden involvement in Trish’s problems cause a rift between them. Meanwhile, Trish is dodging the paparazzi as rumours about her relationship with Malcolm threaten to derail her public image and life with current lover, Griffin.
A chance meeting with the superintendents’ son almost results in his death, but Jessica rushes to his aid and saves his life. However, instead of being thanked for her heroics, she is berated by his alarmed mother and father for her involvement and she is firmly reminded of her looming eviction. But after a brief respite, the apologetic Oscar (J.R Ramirez), after learning the truth of the incident from his son overlooks the eviction notice and gifts her a bottle of whisky which she promptly invites him to share. The first sign of her warming to him.
A brief, heartfelt conversation about each other’s values leads to Jessica throwing herself at him, but he rejects her ovations citing her sudden change in tact as “not normal” for the average couple.
Meanwhile, still reeling from her diagnosis, Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) has an altercation with Pryce who is desperate for recompense in the aftermath of his mistreatment and battery at the hands of Jessica. Unsatisfied with her response, Pryce rescinds her employment and leaves with his unsavoury remarks hanging in the air like a bad smell. Upon leaving the office, Hogarth encounters a crippled woman collapsed in the street…and despite her best efforts, she simply cannot bring herself to come to her aid.
With Trish and Jessica combining their efforts to unravel the identity of their mystery attacker, the duo set off to locate a wig maker who may have crafted their attackers’ hair piece. By chance, the wig maker recognises Trish from her days as Patsy and agrees, reluctantly to spill the beans.
In need of the hospital access that Max can provide, and the blackmail ploy all but a failure, Jessica and Trish set off to confront him and when he refuses to cooperate, Jessica coerces him with her raw physical strength. Max, scared out of his mind makes the call and gains them access to hospital records which sends them off in search of a mystery homeless woman. The prime suspect in the string of recent murders.
Back with Hogarth, and a confrontation with her doctor in a desperate search for an alternative treatment for her condition proves fruitless. With her options limited, she forwards the idea of assisted suicide as a last resort which is met with a less than hospitable response and she leaves with the weight of the world on her shoulders.
With Trish and Jessica tracking down the lead to a nearby abandoned warehouse, the duo gain access and sneak up on the suspect who swiftly attacks Jessica. Confronted with the prospect of confronting a powered opponent, Trish uses the performance enhancing inhaler taken from Simpson. With her senses heightened and influenced by the drug, she charges into battle and incapacities the attacker but soon discovers she is not the person they had expected to find.
When the incapacitated suspect emerges from her comatose state, she reveals that the woman they are looking for was a patient at IGH and had brutally attacked her whilst under their employ, breaking her back in the process.
All the while, Alias Investigations is ransacked by one of Pryce’s men and the entire catalogue of evidence Jessica had amassed about IGH and her parents’ death is stolen. But before the thief can make his getaway, he is set upon by the superpowered murderer who swiftly rips him to shreds in the back of his own vehicle. Pryce, listening in on his employees’ communications is forced to hear every grizzly blow, and as the attack unfolds he quickly summons the police.
By the time Jessica returns to Alias, the police are swarming the area and they swiftly arrest her on suspicion of the murder leaving her to plead her innocence as the episode comes to a close.
With the previous episodes all being a below par return for the character, episode four finally started to build the anticipation. With the revelations of previous episodes weighing on her mind, Jessica’s frustrations are intensifying by the day and the court appointed anger management program is the last thing she needs. However, with the character under such intense pressure, it was only a matter of time before her attitude caught up with her and it is refreshing to see her held account for her transgressions as a powered individual. All too often we see superheroes practically “doing whatever they want” and not subject to the same laws as the rest of us, and having Jessica pay for her crimes helps to humanise her and reiterates her stance as the wounded anti-hero.
The same can be said of the decline of Jeri Hogarth. Carrie-Anne Moss has been superb in these introductory episodes with her diagnosis weighing on her soul and influencing her every move. Her emotions, are understandably frayed and continue to compel her desperation throughout episode four.
With regards to Jessica’s prolific sex life, and it is refreshing to see a male suitor stand up and be counted by rejecting her cheap ovations which under ordinary circumstances would amount to little more than a cheap one-night stand. Oscar’s rejection serves to remind us that not every “normal guy” seeks cheap and meaningless sexual liaisons, and that many of us aspire to meet that one perfect partner. This is a reminder that this behaviour, whilst not frowned upon is not reflective of us all and that Oscar may be the one partner to value and respect her more than the rest.
Even Luke Cage.
The relationship between Jessica and Malcolm is an intriguing one and betrays his eagerness to become more than just her part-time assistant. But with Jessica conflicted and her relationships with the people around her showing signs of degradation, things may not end well between them.
Without a doubt, the plot has thickened in episode four and has teased a deeper, darker narrative at play in the episodes to come. The motives of the murderer are finally becoming clear and I cannot wait to see the plot unfold before my very eyes. “God Help the Hobo” is by far the best episode of season two so far but is still way below the standards set by The Defenders and Jessica Jones season one.
Onwards and upwards Ms Jones.
Bring your A-Game!