I just finished up a whole mess of grade reports for the end of the school year over here in jolly Japan. There were a few students who I really wanted to achieve more than they did. But, at the end of the day, they have to rest on their own merits. That is the same for this show. It has to rest on its own merits, not on how much I want it to be good.
Jessica Jones s02e03 AKA Sole Survivor
writer: Lisa Randolph
Compared to last episode, which felt like 95% filler with little to no forward momentum of value, this one is an improvement. Probably only about 85% filler. And some terrific performances actual fill in some of the hollower spots. I still wouldn’t call it a “good” episode, but at least it didn’t feel like a complete waste of time. Okay, that was a little harsh. It at least contained some elements of rising action.
Spoilers Lurk Below
The show begins with boring self-introspection that doesn’t really go anywhere. Okay, maybe it goes somewhere. We have little of actual interesting matter going on and instead we have the show thinly slicing off surface aspects of JJ’s psyche. Slices thin enough so that they can likely be stretched over the remaining ten episodes. The result is making JJ feel rather whiny. Not morose, or edge, just whiny. And, because it is just a slice nothing really gets examined, just dropped off and left there. If reminds me of those friends on Facebook we all have who leave either vaguely downtrodden messages or one-off posts of doomsaying about their lives, but never respond to any comments asking if they are okay.
This episode is as empty and annoying as those vague-booking friends.
And again, because there isn’t enough plot there are way too many false roadblocks just to take up time and prevent any actual progress. The shrink. The landlord. All those false starts add up and rather than feeling like searching for progress it just feels like delaying progress.
But don’t worry, it swings the other way with overly on the nose (and artificial sounding) dialogue such as “That boy means the world to me… Do you have anyone like that in your life?” Ouch. The feels. The clumsily handled character dig.
Despite all that, I feel I need to make sure I praise the performances. I’ve enjoyed our three leads (Jessica, Trish and Hogarth) enough that I wish they had better material perform. Particularly, in this episode, Carrie-Anne Moss shone. I’m on record for not really caring about her story arc yet. A few more scenes like her big speech in this episode and I might actually start to care.
I’ve heard from a few friends that the season has a decent improvement around episode 6. I might put the regular reviews on hold until then. It gets hard trying not to repeat myself when the show keeps repeating the same material I disagree with.
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