(Spoilers ahead, but this series was spoiled before it was even launched.)
When we left Jessica Jones she was planting a syringe full of the only substance able to knock Kilgrave unconscious into his neck. Let me repeat that- the only substance that can knock him unconscious. As in all the other substances, from Ketamine to Chloroform, won’t work on Kilgrave. *sigh* Would a baseball bat upside the head work? Either way, the back half of Jessica Jones is all downhill from there.
Of course, Jones puts Kilgrave in the hermetically sealed room we’ve heard so much about. Now this is where things get a special sort of bad. We’ve been subjected to really bad Law and Order scenes over the course of this series (usually, with Jones storming into Hogarth’s office demanding something). In Law and Order though we never see anything as outlandish as trapping someone in a room, torturing them, and hoping they’ll confess to a crime. Adding insult to injury is Jones telling us, after she’s beaten the tar out of Kilgrave, that she is “making his case for him” or some nonsense like that. *sigh* Let’s be clear, none of this would be admissible in any court in America. The writers should have done just a little bit of research before writing this garbage.
(As a side note: The hermetically sealed torture chamber was set up by Super Cop. Jones tells Kilgrave Super Cop knows what he’s doing when it comes to torture rooms because he was spec-ops. Uh, huh. That’s why, if you pay close enough attention, you will see that all the torture equipment, computers, and video cameras are protected with a $4.99 Wal-Mart surge protector! If the director didn’t feel the need to show us the cut fail safe wires we would have never known about the cheap surge protector. Thank you for some comedy gold.)
We also learn through these scenes the writers never really knew what they were going to do with Kilgrave’s powers. Jones tells Hogarth his powers don’t work through microphones. Huh? Wha? Why? Oh, because his powers are the result of a virus. What? We see Kilgrave command Luke Cage…through a microphone! We see Kilgrave command people through televisions because…reasons. Wow! That’s some virus that can be transmitted and caught through a television. *sigh* Series writers can’t even get their own plot devices straight.
Not all is lost, true believers, because there may be a cure, or a serum, that will inoculate those around Kilgrave. But how? Because his mum and dad were working on a cure the whole time! Duh. Plus, it’s only going to take 24 hours to complete. Viewers get a treat of seeing how a plot device dead ends while eating up screen time.
Yes, after making a big deal out of this serum and hearing some bad dialog from Ritter/Jones about how she’s only giving Dad and Super Hot Talk Show Host 24 hours to concoct the cure, the serum doesn’t work. *sigh* Of course it doesn’t work. This is a comic book series where a lot of time is dedicated to bad plot threads that don’t develop the story, but try to be cute and mislead the viewer.
If you’re Jessica Jones, it doesn’t matter if there’s a cure or not because Jones is immune to Kilgrave’s magic pipes. Why? It’s a virus, right? The odds are someone somewhere will be immune to a virus, even a killer virus. So, Jones must have some sort of natural immunity to this magic voice virus (The one that can be caught while watching television). Right? Nope.
The showrunners and writers went with another comic book, television trope. Jones is immune because of some intangible reason that can be used to write yourself out of any corner you get yourself into…will power. Yes, wonderful will power.
She tells Cage she didn’t want to do the things Kilgrave was commanding her to do and that made all the difference. Well, everyone else Kilgrave commanded didn’t want to do those things either. So…will power. It’s a lame device and very convenient, but it was the only way the writers were going to get themselves out of the mess they had written themselves into over the course of 12 episodes.
The writers should have just said Kilgrave was a mutant and be done with it. Thanks to the Marvel movies, we’ve already bought into the fact mutants can do anything. If he were a mutant things could be explained away in more believable ways than what the writers came up with during the series. However, the writers tried their hand and being gritty and real.
Jessica Jones can’t get the main story arch together let alone the side stories it was trying to develop. How the hell did Super Hot Talk Show Host and Super Cop hook up again? Oh yeah, that’s right. They bonded through a reinforced-steel apartment door. I’ll buy the reason Super Hot Talk Show Host remodeled her apartment into one big panic room is because she was hurt (I think. We’re never really told the reason) by a stalker when she was Super Hot Child Actor (Hey, what do I know about stalkers. Maybe whatever happened lasted into adulthood). But I won’t buy what they bonded over.
Super Cop charms Super Hot Talk Show Host with a story about burning Barbie dolls into a big plastic heap. She learns catmando (or whatever martial art she supposedly learned in one scene) because of unstable males. However, she misses the part where psychologists have said a fascination with fire and burning things is one of the indicators that a kid may have real problems in the future. That’s okay, they have a good laugh about it. Later, Super Cop will end up going down on Super Hot Talk Show Host.
Their relationship ends up being a really bad soap opera. It has to because it’s the only reason to have Super Hot Radio Talk Show Host in the series and to inject Super Cop into the series so he can become Nuke ( A long time ago Nuke was dropped into Hell’s Kitchen to kill Daredevil. Since then the Marvel powers-that-be has made Nuke everything from Captain America to a Captain America clone.Who knows what they’ve done in the past few years, but he’s definitely Nuke).
There’s also the false tension created by the couple. Writers got to create great scenes like: Super Hot Talk Show Host telling Super Cop he’s the only one getting in the way of Jones stopping Kilgrave. Hey, Super Hot Radio Talk Show Host, Super Cop at this point wasn’t in more than one scene since episode seven. The biggest obstacle in stopping Kilgrave was Jones.
The Super Cop character serves to further illustrate the ridiculousness of Jessica Jones and Jessica Jones. We saw Jones get knocked out with a two-by-four wielded by her upstairs neighbor, but Super Cop throws Jones through a wall and nada? The guy can also throw a plastic pill bottle through a window! Throw a plastic bottle against a glass window, no matter how strong you are, and the only thing that’s going to happen is….nothing. Well, maybe a broken plastic bottle.
Overall, here are the problems that make Jessica Jones unwatchable: From the first episode, Jessica Jones couldn’t decide what kind of show it wanted to be. Was it going to be a neo-noir series with voice overs and gritty shots? Was it going to have some comedic elements with its half-baked lines? Was it going to be a superhero series? The series also tried, and failed miserably, to be a psychological drama. The series was going in too many directions for the showrunners to keep a reign on and it showed.
The series writers also wrote themselves into too many corners. The only way they were going to get out of these corners was to use cliches and tropes. Flashbacks helped Jones remember things she shouldn’t have remembered so she could get out of a jam or solve a problem. The writers used flashbacks (like the one of Luke Cage following Jones only to be virused by Kilgrave) too many times to be effective. Ultimately, flashbacks became another crutch to help bad writers limp through the series.
I’d like to say Jessica Jones is only for the die-hard Marvel fans. Maybe it is. Maybe it’s only for die-hard Marvel fans who don’t care about story, character development, dialog, acting, plot, direction, or anything else that goes into making a decent series. I know there are folks out there who think Marvel can do no wrong, but Jessica Jones isn’t anywhere near being right.