Jessica defines who she is. Oscar tells her not to smile. Trish becomes delusional in her dependence. Jeri investigates IGH for selfish reasons.
On Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 2 Episode 5, “AKA The Octopus,” Jessica is forced to revisit her past’s demons, redefining herself in her new world, as well as forcing herself to let go of past practices in order to move forward. Despite not having Trish, as she usually does, she has Jeri’s tough love and Oscar’s newfound appreciation, as well as Malcolm, who is still attempting to figure out how he fits into all of this himself. Trish is digging herself into a deeper hole, refusing to admit dependency even as she craves it. The monster has to leave something behind like the octopus.
Jessica and Trish Need Help
Locked away and diagnosing the terribly done frame job that the monster has created in her wake, Jessica recognizes their startling similarities, the emotional aspect of themselves overpowering their objectivity. Jessica has to enlist Jeri, who seems to be indicting her with a self-fulfilling prophecy for them both, that they cannot exist without the help of someone else, despite existing in different stages of that understanding. Trish’s mother has to come to the rescue of a scene that seems reminiscent of Trish’s past, the beginning stages of a drug-addled Trish resurgence and a disassociation from Jessica, something that seems to always present issues for both women, as they act as a balance to one another; being swept up in her mother’s world seems doomed from the start, and yet Trish steps into the world, a little bleary-eyed and unsure.
The villain, the monster, has a moment of true monstrosity, igniting fear in the viewers, who know who she truly is and recognize she should not, above all things, hold a baby. In her own way, the destruction of the piano plays an important role in the reveal of the monster’s inner nature; the rage-addled moment of destroying the piano, something that had previously given her comfort in the same scene, showcases the monster’s rage as the true issue. The toeing of that line is comparative to Jessica, who seems to believe she could technically become like the monster, if her rage were to overwhelm her.
Malcolm Is Actually A Good PI
As Malcolm discusses with Inez, the nurse at IGH, he connects with her over the similar theme of desperation. He understands wanting a new life, wanting a better life, and he understands being owned by something or someone outside of their control. His unique background has given him an aptitude for talking with clientele, for initiating conversation and for recognizing when someone needs help and how they can best achieve it. As this is happening, the cop questioning Jessica reveals why he believes her, that their trauma over Kilgrave’s control is what connects them. They are both recognizing that someone like Kilgrave is a truer evil, and that there are a myriad of ways to stop them. The show’s analysis of circling abuse indicates that trauma survivors have the potentiality of being stronger by being together, and that their shared trauma, despite it being from different angles, offers a new way to examine how best to heal.
As Malcolm and Jessica’s friendship takes a nice turn for once, appreciating one another, Jessica is forced to take her newfound friendship with Oscar to a different level, asking him to do something that would jeopardize everything he has worked so hard for, which he is obviously willing to risk for her. There is dramatic growth for Jessica, in multiple respects, with her friendship and appreciation of Malcolm, as well as with her willingness to ask Oscar for help. Oscar tells her not to smile, offering quick jab at Kilgrave and men in general who tell women to smile, the idea that Oscar holds no dictation on who Jessica, or perhaps women in general, should be. Rather than remaining an island, which she has always excelled at, Jessica is quickly learning to not alienate herself, in the way Jeri accused her of doing in the beginning of the episode.
Trish’s meeting is quite different from she expected, and she gives a “thank you” in response to Griffin’s million-dollar question, which explains away his sneakiness in a previous episode. Despite the furthering of their relationship, Jessica cannot allow herself to stay and enjoy a familial meal with Oscar, and, despite wanting to help her, he doesn’t try to force the issue; rather than him trying to infringe on her life, he recognizes who she is and appreciates that about her, despite her clearly wanting to stay. As Jessica tries to figure out how exactly to rebuild her life, the monster burns hers down, the piano becoming tinder for the fire, as she has to continuously change her life in order to keep it. Because of her ideal candidacy, Jeri’s fascination with IGH is understandable, as well as becoming the clear reason why she used her own house as the safe house for Inez, who immediately notices something is awry with the situation.
“Out of Nowhere” Gene
Oscar’s work is put to the test when Jessica goes to see the man who is doing time for the monster’s murder, Dave Kawecki. By repeating his story, in the same way Jessica used to repeat her mantra to ward off Kilgrave, Dave has come to believe that this is what will save him. In describing octopuses, Dave is beginning to describe the way the monster lives, alone and without any explanation as to why she is the way she is. The “out of nowhere” gene that octopuses have could easily be applied to Jessica or the monster’s powers; that gene was supplied to them by the outside source of IGH and, despite it not being something innate like with octopuses, it has become how they have had to live and learn how to exist.
Trish, You Aren’t Independent
Her life thrown for a loop, Trish attempts to convince her mother that this is the life she is choosing, for the first time. Despite her attempt at independence, she has always been reliant on outside sources that can control her and decide things for her, like her mother or the new drug she is taking. Her search for independence has ironically and consistently lead her back to where she has always been, dependent on something or someone. She has never been her own person, sans someone else, even as she attempts to revitalize herself. Her dependency will, undoubtedly, land her with Malcolm, whose recovering story is a successful one, and who might be able to set her on the right path, the only one who truly understands her anymore. The hint of a romance grows ever stronger, even without them being onscreen together.
Despite believing that she and the monster are separate, truly believing that they are “out of nowhere”, circling one another, Jessica pursues Dr. Karl and finds him in the aquarium, admiring the octopuses, who seem to personify the experiments he’s done, including the one he is with, the monster. Jessica comments that octopuses abandon their parts when attacked, which is how Jessica has survived mostly, leaving behind what she can in order to move forward, not realizing that the parts she has abandoned have come back to haunt her, including IGH and the past that has been buried.
What did you think of Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 2 Episode 5? Will Jessica be able to leave her past behind permanently? Will Trish be able to overcome her newfound addiction and her return to her old ways? What will happen to the aquarium after all that?
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