Jessica Jones 2.04: “AKA God Help the Hobo”
Summer in New York City leads to heat, humidity and a lot of anger. Jessica (Krysten Ritter) is trying to manage said anger at a group therapy session, but it seems like bouncing a rubber ball isn’t doing the trick for her. She tells the shortened version of her life story before finally leaving a hole in the wall and thus gets to leave early. It’s a strong start to the episode, reminding us just how much she’s gone through and hinting at the Herculean effort it takes for her to keep it together as much as she does.
She returns to her office and throws the Trish rumors in Malcolm’s (Eka Darville) face before firing him for the thirtieth time, then she focuses her attention on the killer’s apparent wig. Trish (Rachael Taylor) takes time away from her busy schedule of convincing the press she still loves Griffin (Hal Ozsan) to point out that there are only 3 places in the city that make wigs out of human hair, but before Jessica can follow up she’s interrupted by little Vido, who practically throws himself out the window to get her attention. Despite saving the day, she’s once again blamed for something outside her control, which seems to be the recurring theme this season.
Jeri (Carrie-Anne Moss) is dealing with her ALS when Pryce (Terry Chen) appears to demand an explanation for dropping the lawsuit. It’s a little strange that she’s talking to an Asian man about “othering” a white woman to feel superior, but Jessica Jones has yet to master the intersectional dimension of its feminism. Sisterhood is something the show does very well, though, and it’s on full display when Jessica apologizes to Trish for putting her on blast and promises not to sell her out again. After all, both women have a somewhat scarred history, and Jessica can’t use her past as an excuse to treat Trish poorly.
Now the real investigation begins: an old acquaintance of ‘Patsy’s’ runs the wig shop, and begrudgingly informs them that the woman they’re after comes alone and has gone through chemotherapy. Trish is ready to go public with her past abuse as part of her blackmail deal with producer Max Tatum, but Jessica has a better idea. Her somewhat violent method plays out exactly as one would expect, but it’s rather poignant in light of all the #TimesUp and #MeToo stories we’ve been hearing. There are hundreds of young women like Trish who have been through similar ordeals, but they don’t have a Jessica in their lives to stand up for them.
Jeri sees a vision of her future as she walks down the street, as powerless to help the falling lady as she is to keep herself from heading down the same path. As slow as “AKA God Help the Hobo” is at times, writer Jack Kenny has done an excellent job of weaving the same motifs throughout different plots. Jeri asks Jessica to look into her partners in order to prevent the buyout, and the tentative camaraderie they’ve built feels very real. Meanwhile, Trish thanks Griffin for not being like the parade of losers in her life and actually sticking around. Too bad he takes a mysterious call as soon as she’s asleep, leading us to question whether his intentions are as pure as they seem.
Thankfully one thing goes right, and Oscar ( J.R. Ramirez) comes by to thank Jessica for saving Vido’s life. She’s no longer being evicted, and now she has an extra bottle to drink. And someone to drink it with? Oscar and Jess have a little heart-to-heart about judging and being judged. They make a few digs at one another, but overall the vibe is hopeful and the sexual tension is thick. Words soon become deeds, but she moves a little too fast for him. Maybe it’s good for our heroine to have someone who says no every once in awhile. Speaking of which, Malcolm finally stands up to Jessica and lets her know that Pryce is trying to recruit him. If she wants to keep him around, he needs 25% of every case that walks through the door. They settle on 20%, but with a newfound respect between them – about time, considering Malcolm has been there for her since day one.
Trish and Jess do some investigative work once Max’s hospital files come through, going out in search of a homeless woman named Inez Green with a sturdy taser in hand. Jessica is a primarily concerned with the thought that she could end up like this if she doesn’t clean up her act, and once again the atmosphere of the episode is more poignant than the specific plot. The two ladies wait for Inez outside her usual spot, and the only thing detracting from the suspense of the moment is the utter darkness of the screen. It wouldn’t kill the budget to invest in better lighting, seeing as I nearly missed Trish taking some of Simpson’s enhancement drug to her her sister out. Jessica and Trish question Inez when she comes to, and she’s just as afraid of the mysterious woman as they are. Turns out Inez was an IGH nurse and the woman was her patient, when she attacked and almost killed them.
In the meantime, Malcolm enters Jessica’s office only to find it’s been cleaned out. Pryce is behind the robbery, of course, but his man Nick gets attacked by the mysterious “killer.” Malcolm tries to warn Jessica to run, but it’s too late and she’s arrested for murder. The episode ends with Jessica’s fateful words, “That’s not me,” which really drive home the theme of the hour and the season.
Go to the next page for a review of Jessica Jones 2.05: “AKA The Octopus”