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REVIEW: Jessica Jones 1×03 “AKA It’s Called Whiskey”

Maybe it’s the sex, maybe it’s the brutal fight scenes, or maybe it’s just I really dig the title of the episode. I can finally see how this show can truly be such an exciting experience to watch as “AKA It’s Called Whiskey” is easily the best episode so far. It manages to show our characters being way more exciting than they were previously, created dramatic tension by having Kilgrave and Jessica reunite briefly, and oh my god so many sweet sweet fight scenes. “AKA It’s Called Whiskey” manages to bring all of these elements together in a sweet concoction of drama, romance, and rising tension. Also, you know, there was a lot of sex and it was used effectively rather than for pure exploitative factor. More than anything I enjoyed the minute to minute drama of watching Jessica track down Kilgrave, as it was way more interesting than the simple track the victims of the previous episode.

So I’m just gonna say what we are all thinking, Trish is a freaking badass and worthy of being a main in her own show. I knew she was tough but the idea of having Hope on her show and exposing Kilgrave to the world was an absolutely brass balls type of move. The scene worked great as it juxtaposed Hope and Jessica’s fear of hearing Kilgrave on the phone with the fact that with Trish’s realization about Kilgrave being back. Rachael Taylor plays these moments to perfection as from what we can infer she has never actually come face to face with Kilgrave. She now knows how afraid she should be of him seeing the strong and cocky Jessica shudder like it was nothing at the mere sound of his voice. I also really enjoyed the fact that she has been preparing for Kilgrave ever since she rescued Jessica, it shows that she is no fool and is not simply going to sit around waiting for Kilgrave.

Oh and did we mention that Trish can kick ass, like a ton of ass. We got a brief introduction to Wil Traval as Will Simpson as he was attempting to murder Trish and she fought back tooth and nail. Not only was the scene excellently choreographed, but it showed just how strong and dangerous Trish is, even when she looses a fight. Jessica is seemingly lacking Trish’s never say die spirit and endless optimism, and that makes her all the more of a weak point for Jessica. Kilgrave knows that if he can break Trish, he will in some way break down Jessica a little bit more, and that tells us even more about Kilgrave than we already know. Despite all of his big shows of force and power he has not come at Jessica directly and in the end that is doing way more damage to her and any bullet ever would.

As for Jessica, watching her and Luke get in on in basically every way imaginable was quite entertaining as it showed us an entirely new side of her character. The two of them on their date was especially cute as the bonded over how they gained their powers and just how far they are willing to push their limits. It definitely showed a softer side to her character as they went to town on each other and seemingly found some little iota of good from their abilities. What really played for me was Jessica’s hesitance as the only other powered person she has run into was Kilgrave and Luke is showing her an entirely different world of possibilities. He is giving her hope and choice, something she never had with a psychopath like Kilgrave, and that means the world to her. I also enjoyed that she has a valid reason for breaking it off with Luke as she murdered his wife, even if it was indeed under mind control that is a hard thing to get over.

This of course was all a big preamble to Jessica tracking Simpson to Kilgrave’s current location and getting to see the monster. She made a choice to save Will, thus exposing herself to Kilgrave and takes advantage of every second of their “interaction”. I love how nonchalantly David Tennant is able to order Will to just walk off the edge and kill himself as if he was asking to change the channel. It creates a sense of dread wondering just what other horrible things he has calmly told people to do that lead to their unfortunate demise. I also loved the subtle nod Kilgrave gave to Jessica as Will continued to try and kill himself. He gave her the choice, capture me or save Will and you could see for the briefest of moments that Jessica hates the fact she did not let Will die. She wants Kilgrave on a pike so badly, but not nearly as much as she wants to do the right thing.

This all lead to the big “fight” between Jessica and some random mind controlled family which was less of a fight and more of a struggle in futility for Jessica. It was pretty funny watching her beat up on some random nobodies rather than some big bruiser, and even more entertaining watching her actually have to try for the briefest of moments. It was of course all a stall for Kilgrave to escape, but Jessica did find out that Kilgrave has someone stalking her and it obviously means that no one is safe from Kilgrave’s Reach.

This was the highlight of the season so far, and I can’t wait to see what the follow up is going to be.

Final Grade A

+Trish calling out Kilgrave

+Trish vs Simpson

+Kilgrave’s debut

+Luke and Jessica’s relationship

+Jessica vs the Randos

Extra Thoughts

-“Sweet Christmas”, Luke had some really good sex.

-I loved Tennant’s performance during the phone call. He just casually put a target on Trish like it was nothing

-Hope freaking out was terrifying in a very special way, and I loved every second of it.

About the author

Scott Swartz