(Original post at The Boar)
So much has happened this week that I can barely fit it in one review. To my immense relief, in AKA I’ve Got The Blues, Jessica and Trish finally found out quite how off the rails Simpson is. Even before he murdered Clemons, Simpson’s behaviour was menacing with Kozlov’s drugs intensifying his hero complex into full-blown homicidal vigilantism.
Turning up at Trish’s studio and her apartment was pretty creepy, right? After years of abuse from her mother – we know after this week’s flashbacks that Mrs Walker enforced bulimia on her daughter, and was often physically violent – Trish is likely better than most at assessing Simpson’s aggressive body language.
She was very clearly trying to shut him out of her life after last week’s outburst, something which Simpson chose to ignore. No-one should have their boundaries violated like that, especially not a victim of abuse. After all he’s done, I want Simpson nowhere near Trish from now on – thank god there was a whole scene dedicated to beating the hell out of him this week.
The fight sequence in AKA I’ve Got The Blues was potentially my favourite yet. It had a lot of fantastic elements, not least the great parallel with Hogarth’s assault – Trish bludgeoned Simpson in much the same way as Pam hit Wendy.
The fight choreography is clearly designed to differentiate the series from Daredevil; the violence is scrappy and desperate, much more of a brawl than a martial arts movie.
Simpson’s fate remains unclear after Kozlov and his men picked him up, which suggests they’re setting him up as the villain for season two. This is all wild speculation, however; we’ve got The Defenders to look forward to first. The only thing we know for certain after all that wanton destruction is that Jessica’s not getting her deposit back on the apartment.
In such a dark episode, there were few chances for levity. On the brighter side, we also got to see some of Trish’s old TV show, a sugary sweet musical comedy show in the vein of Hannah Montana, complete with a horrifyingly catchy theme song.
It’s the most memorable musical moment in an episode that features a jazz flute solo, which says a lot. I’ve had that jingle stuck in my head ever since I watched the episode, and I think my ears are starting to bleed. Please leave me be, Patsy.
In all seriousness, I am so grateful for Trish’s presence in the show – lesser writers would have considered a central female character enough, and focused entirely on Jessica’s relationships with men.
However you interpret their relationship (I’m inclined to see it romantically), there’s no doubting how important Trish is to Jessica. It’s Trish that makes her look after herself, forces her to sleep, and stops her mistaking urban hipsters for dangerous criminals. In a very real sense, Trish is Jessica’s heart, and this week we saw what might happen if Jessica loses her.
Trish has clearly been feeling inadequate since they first tried to kidnap Kilgrave – she’s been training, sure, but when your best friend has superhuman strength, you’re never going to be the muscle of the group. She seems to have a perception (a suspiciously Jessica shaped one) of what a hero has to be, and feels she can’t live up to that.
Watching Trish take Simpson’s pills and ask Jessica if that’s how she feels all the time was borderline tragic, especially considering the abuse she’s suffered at the hands of her mother. The very first person Jessica saved with her powers was Trish, and when she tries to return the favour, she nearly ends up dead.
The only other major figure in Jessica’s life made an explosive return this week. I was wondering when we’d see Luke Cage again – it’s just a shame that this reunion isn’t under nicer circumstances. At the episode’s close, Jessica arrives at Luke’s bar just in time to see him engulfed in flames.
Luke survives the explosion by the grace of his concealed powers, something Kilgrave doesn’t seem to have deduced yet. How Luke will respond to Jessica now they’ve been reunited, and what Kilgrave will do if he finds out about Luke’s survival, are questions to ponder for next week.