Jessica Jones 2.05: “AKA The Octopus”
“AKA The Octopus” opens on Jessica in jail, contemplating how sloppy and emotional the killer who framed her is. Said killer burns files and evidence in a small fire, along with her bloodstained clothes. As painful as it is to watch the evidence disappear, the fire also symbolizes the theme of commitment to renewal amidst momentary setbacks that runs through the season as a whole. This is emphasized when Jeri warns Jessica about alienating everyone only for her to actually listen, trusting Malcolm with tasks while she’s being held and agreeing to talk to the cops. It’s a very nice progression for her from one interaction to the next, and points to how much she’s trying.
Trish is experiencing painful side-effects from the drug she took the night before, while her mother helps her sober up in light of an interview she’s supposed to have with ZCN on the line. Trish is surprisingly gung-ho about it, despite having told Griffin she wanted to make it on her own merits the episode before. Perhaps she want meant to think she had earned this particular call. Meanwhile, the Mystery Woman inadvertently calms a neighbor’s baby down with her music, and her soft reaction to the baby belies her normally aggressive behavior. Before we can wonder too much if there’s more to her than the bloody mess we’ve seen, his cries trigger her anger until she destroys her own piano – though thankfully her neighbor leaves before things get out of hand.
While Jessica reveals everything she knows about the Mystery Woman, Malcolm questions Inez and learns her version of events. The cops let Jessica go free given the corroborating security footage, but Officer Sunday doesn’t believe Jessica because of how “you people” like to team up. As I previously mentioned, it’s always a little awkward when Jessica Jones places their few characters of color – this time a black woman – in the position of appearing prejudiced. But at least it drives home the point that not everyone with powers deserves to be viewed in the same way, and the following scene contains Detective Costa thanking her for taking out Kilgrave in perhaps the most touching moment of the entire episode.
Jessica requests that Jeri keep Inez safe, but is still paranoid about trusting others. Pryce shows up to tear her a new one, but this time she gets the last word and leaves him quite literally speechless. Malcolm and Inez explain that the man who went away from a fellow nurse’s murder was the janitor at IGH, and pinning crimes on others appears to be her MO. He gets a promotion out of it, and his smile is infectious – but the joy doesn’t last, seeing as Inez disappears immediately after. Thankfully he tracks her down – losing his TV in the process – and takes her to Jeri for a sumptuous thread count and lots of questions about IGH.
She visits Oscar next, looking for an ID that’ll get her into the psych ward. He agrees, though he would have preferred to take her to dinner. But then she gets a call from Griffin about Trish, who thought she had an interview and instead receives some kind of… proposal? It’s a somewhat odd one, containing no real question from him and no real response from her – yet somehow she winds up with the ring anyway. Jessica watches from the sidelines and shares a strained hug with Trish, which was probably a dead giveaway that things were not at happy as they appeared.
Jessica stops by to pick up her ID and gets roped into dinner with Oscar’s family in a heartwarming sequence that brightens up an otherwise heavy hour. She then plays a surprisingly gentle therapist at the psych ward, interrogating David Kowalski about the nurse Luanne before honing in how he doesn’t remember her death because he wasn’t responsible for it. When he gets upset, she switches tactics to octopuses. Apparently no one knows where their DNA comes from, something he learned from a Dr. Karl. This sets Jessica on the path she needs to follow, and by the time she leaves the hospital she has a drawing of her next suspect.
It looks like Trish and Griffin broke up offscreen, but at least she realizes that she wants to be him and not necessarily be with him. After a big fight with her mother, she takes another hit of Simpson’s drug, which honestly feels like the plot line dragging the story down the most. Patsy Walker may be a superhero in the comics, but Trish doesn’t need to covet powers on the show.
Jessica heads to the aquarium to find Dr. Karl, waiting until the lights go dark. The visuals are lovely here, placing her against the brightly-colored fish and comparing her quite literally to the lonely octopus who run before they can sink under the weight of their injuries. When he finally does appear, Jessica has a flash of him looming over her in a hospital before he witnesses him kissing the very woman she’s after. Said woman causes a commotion upon seeing her, breaking the glass of the aquarium tank and thus creating the episode’s poetic and terrifying final shot.
Go to the next page for a review of Jessica Jones 2.06: “AKA Facetime”