Jessica Jones recap: 'AKA The Octopus'
Jessica Jones is trying to turn over a new leaf now that she’s been arrested. As is to be expected, Jeri comes to Jessica’s aid and quickly advises her alienating client to, you know, stop alienating the people closest to her. It’s one of those “do as I say, not as I do” types of situations since Jeri was just talking in episode 3 about how she’s pushed away everyone close to her. Nevertheless, Jessica takes these words to heart, beginning with Malcolm, whom she trusts with questioning Inez about her former employer and Luanne, the nurse Janet McTeer killed, and moving on to the cops.
PREVIOUSLY: Jessica Jones recap: ‘AKA God Help the Hobo’
When the cops finally pull her into the interrogation room, Jessica decides to come clean with them about, well, everything. It’s actually a major step for this hero, who tends to keep things oh so very close to the vest. Detective Costa ends up finding evidence that Jessica is telling the truth, so he releases her. But before he does, he gives her his card in case she needs some help because he was there when Kilgrave took over the precinct in one of the first season’s most harrowing scenes and appreciates the fact that Jessica put an end to him.
Jessica returns home to find a Alias Investigation cleaned and armed with a new bar area, because a desk drawer is no place to keep brown liquor. The quick clean job was courtesy of Malcolm, who actually got some information out of Inez. It turns out that Luanne’s murder was pinned on IGH janitor David Kawecki, who had a super low IQ and couldn’t possibly have done it because he wasn’t at IGH that day anyway. Pleased with his work, Jessica thanks Malcolm by giving him a promotion and asks him to take Inez to Jeri’s foe protection. (It turns out that Jeri agreed to babysit Inez because she wants to learn more about IGH, most likely because she thinks it might save her life).
After Malcolm leaves with Inez, Jessica pays Oscar a visit and asks him to make her a fake ID so she can gain access to Kawecki’s psych ward. At first, I found Oscar rather annoying and didn’t understand why we needed this new character, but I’m starting to come around to him now that both he and Jessica have warmed up to each other. I especially liked the moment when he said, “Don’t smile,” as he took her photo for the fake ID, which elicited a smile from Jessica, who hates being told to smile. It was a cute moment.
In the not-cute/somewhat unsettling area, we have McTeer’s character, with whom we spend some time in this episode. “AKA The Octopus” opens the door on McTeer’s life, and we discover that she lives a quiet suburban life and practices the piano in her free time. You get the sense that she, like the Hulk, is desperately trying to keep her chill because she has quite the explosive temper. Unfortunately, her chill is disturbed when a new mom drops by the home and asks if she and her newborn can sit in on McTeer’s practicing since it seems to be the only thing that calms the baby down. McTeer, who seems at least somewhat interested in connecting with the baby, says yes. But the baby’s crying soon sets her off and she starts to lose her cool as she plays. It’s a very uncomfortable scene to watch because you honestly have no idea what’s going to happen. Luckily, the mother and daughter rush out of there before McTeer lets her anger lose and smashes her piano to pieces. (Next: An unexpected pool party)
With her new fake ID in hand, Jessica infiltrates the psych ward and meets with Kawecki. We’ve all seen this kind of scene before — protagonist tries to a coax answers out of mentally disabled patient — and Jessica Jones doesn’t do anything new with it here. Nevertheless, Jessica gets some answers and learns that Kawecki used to get lunch at the aquarium with someone named Dr. Karl.
So, Jessica heads to the aquarium and stakes it out all day. Eventually, she spots a bespectacled man and suddenly remembers seeing his face when she woke up at some point during the action. She assumes that must be Dr. Karl and starts snapping photos. The real shocker, however, comes when McTeer shows up by his side and we see that Dr. Karl and McTeer are in a romantic relationship, which is another unsettling detail. Dr. Karl spots Jessica, and McTeer responds by striking the glass tank, causing it burst to open as everyone tries to flee the area.
Meanwhile, Trish wakes up in her mother’s home and discovers that she’s been asleep for 26 hours. During that time, her mother received a call saying that ZCN wanted to interview her. Even though Trish has a major hangover from taking Simpson’s drugs, she immediately starts preparing for her interview, for which she is very excited. Unfortunately, there isn’t an interview. Her mother carries her to a sleek rooftop restaurant where all of her family and friends are waiting for her because Griffin intends on proposing. The disappointment Trish feels about this not being a ZCN interview helps her realize something important: She doesn’t want to be with Griffin, she wants to be him, a.k.a. have his job. So she breaks it off, although we never actually see their break-up.
Alas, Dorothy is extremely disappointed in Trish’s decision and dials up the toxicity of their relationship to 100, going as far as to accusing Trish of wanting to reconnect with Max so she could sleep with him again. That triggers Trish, and she smacks her mother. After Dorothy leaves, a still strung-out Trish, desperate to take control of her life, takes a hit off Simpson’s inhaler, which is a predictable and unwelcome development.
Overall, you get the sense that Jessica Jones is stalling with this episode. The characters are all isolated in their own stories here, which makes the show’s slow pace even more apparent because there’s very little collective forward movement. Hopefully, McTeer breaking open the tank and letting the water flow is a sign that the season is about to pick up, too.
- Griffin’s proposal seems to confirm that Griffin might be a good guy after all. It turns out he hacked Trish’s computer in order to get all of her contacts for the proposal party invite. Part of me wants to believe him, but I still think Griffin may be working for IGH.
- “You paranoia is exhausting,” — Jeri, to Jessica
- There’s honestly nothing better than watching Jessica own Pryce. “Today, I’m free. You know why? No, ’cause you’re a s—ty investigator. So go talk to the cops, go steal someone else’s cases. You know what? Go beat off in the corner because I don’t give a dead moose’s last s—. I’m gonna find the actual killer.”