Three episodes into Jessica Jones and I know one thing for sure: God, these episodes are way too long. Look, I’m not complaining about spending time with Krysten Ritter’s protagonist because Ritter is just so bloody entertaining in this role, but even I have my limits, and I found myself checking to see how much time was left multiple times in this episode. Dear Netflix, it’s okay to make shorter episodes and to, you know, do some cutting and editing. Just saying! (To be fair, this episode was two minutes shorter than the 56-minute-long second episode).
While “AKA Sole Survivor” features some major developments — namely the introduction of Janet McTeer’s superpowered mystery character — it takes way too long to get there.
The episode begins with Jessica and Trish dumping Simpson’s body in the body of water where Jessica’s family used to go on vacation, which kind of feels appropriate. Obviously, Trish wants to dwell on mourning Simpson, but Jessica just wants to get this over with so they can move on to more important things: shaking a few more IGH-related memories free. Trish suggests Jessica see a therapist/hypnotist, but in classic Jessica form, she abandons the idea midway through the session. This feels like one of those scenes that came out of a writer thinking, “Who would we like to see Jessica Jones own next?” Unfortunately, it doesn’t actually deliver because it just cuts to Trish apologizing to the doctor as he hurries out of the apartment.
While the show doesn’t give us what we all want — Jessica verbally owning a therapist — it does make up for that with Jeri’s story line. Jeri finds out that her partners are trying to push her out because of her recent ALS diagnosis (apparently, there’s a medical disclosure clause in her contract). But Jeri refuses to go without a fight. Foggy, making a low-key and logical cameo here, approaches her about fighting their attempts to fire her. But Jeri’s still trying to process her diagnosis and lashes out at the one person offering to help her. “Exercise some goddamn discretion and bury your head in the sand, because that’s where it belongs instead of up my a–,” she says. I’m not a big Foggy fan, so seeing him get owned is the best thing in the world for me. After rejecting Foggy’s help, Jeri pays Jessica a visit. She tells Jessica what’s going on and asks her to dig up dirt on the other named powers angling for her job. It’s an unusually vulnerable moment for the high-powered lawyer.
Sure, Jeri tears up Pryce’s lawsuit for Jess, but Jess still has other legal problems to deal, namely her super Oscar deciding to evict her from the building. Jessica tries to use Malcolm as a honeypot and sends him to the landlord, but that fails because the landlord has a new Cambodian boyfriend and thus doesn’t fall for Malcolm’s charms. That ends up telling Jessica all she needs to know, and she figures out that Oscar forged a green card for the landlord so that his boyfriend could enter the country. Is that enough to stop her eviction? We’ll see. (NEXT: Dead bodies love Jessica Jones)
Even though Jessica blew off her therapy session, it turns out it actually ends up helping. As she pores over Trish’s files, she comes across a photo of a door that reminds her of a door she saw when she visited the IGH building in the premiere. So, she follows her gut and discovers said door, which leads to a messy examination room that once belonged to one Dr. Janet Hansen.
A bit more P.I. work later, Jessica and Trish are entering Dr. Hansen’s “too clean” apartment, which was recently vacated. They decide to check the storage area in the basement, and Jessica Jones suddenly becomes Bones as Jessica and Trish stumble upon a human skull. Whose skull? At this point, they have no idea, but hopefully their friend Maury will be able to help them out.
Naturally, Trish starts to grow rather impatient waiting and decides to use her show to make stuff happen. She asks any friends or former patients of Dr. Hansen’s to reach out to her with stories. Obviously, the real Dr. Hansen calls in and asks to meet Trish in person and alone. Jessica refuses to let Trish go to the meeting and has Malcolm sit on her while she goes in her place.
Jessica meets Dr. Hansen at a bar and begins badgering her about what she did to Jessica. Hansen tells Jessica that what she and Trish think about IGH is wrong and they’re actually the good guys. She goes on to explain that IGH was working on “groundbreaking genetic editing technology,” which they used to save Jessica’s life when she died on the table after her parents’ accident. Apparently, the superpowers were just a side effect. However, Jessica starts to smell something fishy because Hansen keeps going on and on and on about how Jessica should be grateful for what they did for her. And Jessica’s Spidey-sense is right, because Maury calls Trish to tell her the skull belongs to Dr. Hansen. As Trish and Malcolm rush to the bar to warn Jessica, our favorite P.I. learns this isn’t Dr. Hansen when the not-good doctor reveals she has super strength and sends Jessica flying through a wall. Even though Not-Hansen manages to escape (by leaping over a building, no less), one of the paparazzi tailing Trish manages to snap a picture of her.
Speaking of the paparazzi, I guess we might as well check in with Trish and Griffin’s relationship: In the wake of what happened to Simpson, Trish pulls a move out of the TV Male Superhero Playbook and pushes Griffin away, telling him it might be dangerous to stay this close to her. Griffin, who reveals some possessive tendencies in this episode, ignores her wishes and checks in on her as she’s going through her fan mail to see if any other IGH patients reached out to her. When Trish gets up from her computer, Griffin sits down and inserts a flash-drive. Is he trying to steal her story, or is he working for IGH? I don’t know, but I’m sure we’ll find out. Anyway, in order to trap Trish in her apartment during the meeting, Jessica sent a tip to TMZ telling them that Trish and Griffin were on the rocks, hence the paparazzi and hence a lead on Not-Hansen.