Jessica tracks down Dr. Karl and grows closer to Oscar, while Trish spirals into a new addiction
Following that run-in at the aquarium, Jessica is determined to pursue Dr. Karl and the mystery woman outside. But the glass-break did its job; Jessica’s phone is too wet to take any photos of their fleeing car. A nearby shop may have captured footage on its security camera, but it’s closed for now. So Jessica does what so many of us have done after being caught in the rain: She puts her phone in rice. Despite her super strength and the whole nefarious conspiracy, Jessica still acts like a normal human. That’s a rare characteristic for a superhero show, even among the Defenders-verse; never at any point in Iron Fist does Danny Rand do anything that could be considered normal or relatable.
PREVIOUSLY: Jessica Jones recap: ‘AKA The Octopus’
Jessica then does something else that’s very relatable: She gets lonely. Once the rice heals her phone and she’s able to look at the photos she took of the strange couple, she notices they’re wearing wedding rings. Even these creepy maniacs can find happiness with each other, but she can’t even let herself eat dinner with Oscar and his family? Considering she’s also out of booze, she knocks on her super’s door with the pretense of asking him to turn his music down. But soon that leads to drinking together, and eventually that leads to sex — fully consensual and comfortable this time. Apparently Jessica’s not the only one who fills her home with her work; while kissing, she accidentally knocks over one of Oscar’s paint cans. But the two of them roll with it (literally), lying down in the spilled purple paint and even painting each other with it while they kiss, which makes for a pretty fun and hot scene. Gotta love the purple paint, too — three cheers for consistent aesthetics!
Oscar is certainly a man who appreciates aesthetics. When Jessica wakes up the next morning, she finds him painting her in bed. As much fun as she seemed to have last night, she’s still having trouble with the whole intimacy thing, and finding herself starring in the album cover of Melodrama is a little too much for the moment. She checks in with Malcolm, who roasts her for her walk of shame and also points out that Dr. Karl’s ring is not a wedding band at all but rather a class ring — Malcolm recognized it because he also went to Columbia University before dropping out under the influence of Kilgrave and drugs.
While he goes to look into that, Jessica and Trish check with that store that caught Dr. Karl and the woman on his cameras. The store owner is very nervous about helping them; he’s an undocumented immigrant, and he knows full well that any run-in with the cops could lead to ICE deporting him and harassing his family. Jessica assures him that they know what it’s like to be caught between a rock and a hard place, and eventually he shows them the footage. It shows Karl drugging the woman in order to get her into his car. Their first thought is that he must be controlling her and using her as a weapon, which is way too similar to Kilgrave’s M.O. for Jessica’s comfort. (Recap continues on page 2)
After investigating Dr. Karl, Jessica and Trish find that all his bills for years have been paid by Ambyhose, a pantyhose company run by Justis Ambrose, a fellow Columbia graduate. In order to find out what’s going on, Jessica and Trish decide to look up Ambrose at his favorite country club. They are immediately greeted by the unpleasant fact that the club only admits male members. While Trish argues with the doorman about this sexist policy, Jessica sneaks into the club to find Ambrose. It’s almost like a rerun of her previous experience at Kozlov’s funeral — she’s looking for a doctor she claims is an evil experimenter, while others insist that the doctor in question is an unimpeachably good man. In Ambrose’s case, Dr. Karl saved his son, so he wants to help him however he can. He refuses to give Jessica any leads to Karl’s whereabouts, and indeed even calls Karl to let him know what happened. While gassing the mystery woman, Karl lets her know that Jessica’s coming and that “it’s time.”
Trish, meanwhile, is spiraling. She tweaks out at the country club, so Jessica takes her home. She wants to play nurse, but Trish is an addict who knows how to divert attention; the moment Jessica leaves, she starts tearing apart the apartment looking for Simpson’s gas mask. She finds it when Malcolm shows up with the gas mask she dropped apparently. She gleefully huffs it, then takes advantage of Malcolm’s crush on her to start making out with him.
Meanwhile, Jessica finds Ambrose’s son and uses him to get the information she needs out of Ambrose: an address for Karl’s house. But when she gets there, she’s hit with the biggest revelation of this season so far: The mystery woman with the wig is none other than her mother.
-This story is moving along nicely! The first season of Jessica Jones had some pacing problems, starting and finishing well but dragging in the middle. By contrast, this season started a little slower but has been progressively layering on new plot twists and developing each character’s arc in interesting ways. Let’s hope it keeps up!
-Oscar’s finished painting of Jessica does indeed look a lot like the cover to Lorde’s Melodrama. But even more interestingly, it appears to be illustrated by none other than Jessica Jones co-creator Michael Gaydos — or at least directly inspired by Gaydos’ art.