Jessica Jones: "AKA You're A Winner!" - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
11Jan/160

Jessica Jones: “AKA You’re A Winner!”

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Malcolm, freed from his addiction, works with Jessica to scour his memory for clues on how to trap Kilgrave.  Meanwhile, Luke approaches Jessica with an offer to join him on a case of personal importance while Kilgrave makes business deals with murky motives.  Andrew and Ryan look at the sixth episode of Jessica Jones, "AKA You're A Winner!"

We're working it out for onceThe 6th episode of Jessica Jones “AKA You’re a Winner!” really went for it where other shows might tiptoe around.  Not only do they use the word rape for what Kilgrave does to his victims but they also show what a woman would do to if she happened to get pregnant during her ordeal.

It is some really heavy topics to tackle and they don’t try to sugarcoat it or anything like that, they tackle it head on.  This was an episode that was very drama heavy minus another awesome utterance of “Sweet Christmas” and I really dug pretty much everything with it.A mad gambleI agree with you and "AKA You're A Winner!" continues along the path of strength "AKA The Sandwich Saved Me" did last week.  Director Stephen Surjik continues the positive direction in style from the last episode and turns in the most visually arresting episode since the pilot.  We're immediately thrown off by what looks like an oil painting of a match bringing some light to the darkness of a poker game Kilgrave has crashed.  The opening formed a nice synergy with last week's "AKA The Sandwich Saved Me" which delved into Jessica's past and this focus on Kilgrave shows his past is only as important as his last act of coercion.

Everything is off-kilter with visual dead-ends from Kilgrave's introduction on.  I loved the simple color palette when we're just watching Jessica and Malcolm struggle with their next step.  Then Luke returned and the show kicked into a higher echelon of style.  His hulking, blurred, and persistent frame against the glass of "Alias Investigations" was one of many touches I loved along with the return of the purple hues of the blinders and alcohol framed against Jessica and Luke's embrace.

On Hope's subplot, I am impressed they wrote her as someone immediately wanting to abort Kilgrave's child.  I don't think a lot of anti-choice viewers are going to be tuning in for Jessica Jones, but the strength Hope showed in making that decision is a side of women we rarely get to see in television.  That hope was allowed to make this choice for herself and Jessica didn't question it shouldn't have made it such a gutsy moment.  But with the rest of television content to use rape for cheap dramatics and rarely deal with the consequences Jessica Jones showed a unique sense of tact in dealing with it without hesitation.The ghost returns to lifeRyan Commentary StampI so agree with you about shows using it without thinking of what it really is and does to people.  Too many times it is written in when they don’t know what to do for an arc in a season. One show I think did it really well is, funny enough, Sons of Anarchy.  Even the comic didn’t really get into the nitty-gritty of the sex and what it means but like you said, not many anti-choice folks are probably watching a “silly comic book show”.  It is the same reason Battlestar Galactica got away with 10 years ago because no one paid attention to the themes a show about robots were talking about.

While the Hope story was a big one, it wasn’t the only giant bomb dropped in the episode.  What did you think of Mike Colter’s performance as Luke at the end of "AKA You're A Winner!"?  He is so angry when he thinks it is the bus driver and then destroyed when he learns it was Jessica who killed his wife.  The monologue he did talking about her hands that killed his wife touching him, it was a gut punch and the “You are a piece of shit” was a great way to drop the mic.  I thought it was the most powerful acting moment in a show that has had a lot of good acting.

Newer Andrew cutout commentaryColter, and Krysten Ritter, are great in those scenes.  It's everything else surrounding that performance I take issue with.  As soon as we find out the case Jessica is helping Luke on is about the death of his wife we're waiting for the other shoe to drop on information we've known for a long time.  Had the information led to a slow simmer of Jessica wondering if she really committed the crime or if Kilgrave implanted a memory inside her that would have been worth the fake-out.  As it stands all the false revelation did is delay the inevitable by literally a minute or so.

Not much was added dramatically by letting Luke "go rogue" for only a minute or so that couldn't already have been tackled there in the office.  This comes after another one of Jessica Jones' now-signature lackluster fight scenes.  Combine this with the ongoing "ARE YOU GETTING THE THEMES YET" of Jeri's assorted scenes and it led "AKA You're A Winner!" to whiff when I was expecting a direct collision.

But bless David Tennant and his continued erratic temper for ending "AKA You're A Winner!" on a high note.  I'm getting the distinct impression he's on the "I've changed I swear" part of his stalking program.  Between using his powers as sparsely as possible and acquiring a home without them at all he seemed to be on reformative kick.  Then the excellent visual of Kilgrave peeling the wallpaper back reminds us like Luke did that Jessica's open sore is easy to expose and poke at.  It was a great way after a run of missteps.Luke can't be broken but this window canRyan Commentary StampHe did go rogue too short and it ultimately led to nothing in particular but just to see his face go from rage to tragedy was worth the small misstep for me.  For Kilgrave, I think this is where the casting of Tennant is going to pay the most dividends.  I also think that Kilgrave is going to try to do this right for “love” or for a challenge and try to redeem himself.  What Tenant might be able to do is be charismatic enough that you forget for a second the TERRIBLE things he has done and root for those crazy kids to get together.

If you get a different actor in the role you never get the character to the same point.  I don’t think the creators of the show want us to root for him but I am thinking they might want to toy with us and make him lovable and then pull the curtain back again.  This episode doesn’t tell us what exactly he is doing with the house but I know that it is going to be something creepy and unsettling.  It looks like we are really getting into the meat of the Kilgrave/Jones story and I can’t wait to see everything ratchet up in the next few episodes.  If the show keeps hitting on all cylinders like it is starting to do, it's going to be a great ride.

Newer Andrew cutout commentaryI do find myself looking forward to how Ritter and Tennant are going to bounce off one another when they inevitably clash face-to-face.  Ritter is not as energetic as Tennant but plays her characters as tightly wound bundles of exposed nerves.  Even in Breaking Bad she kept her cards close before letting loose when she started openly plotting against Walt.  Tennant doesn't restrain himself as much, and it's in those moments of restraint his characters truly shine such as his real estate deals in "AKA You're A Winner!"

Jessica Jones is on a strong upswing after the disappointing third and fourth episodes but "AKA Top Shelf Perverts" will see the series at the hands of yet another director.  Considering how inconsistently Jessica Jones' style has been handled from episode-to-episode I am going to approach this new director with caution.  But if s/he is able to continue this upswing into the coming episodes we'll be in for one heck of a time.

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Next week, "AKA Top Shelf Perverts"

Posted by Andrew

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