Jessica meets her mother. Trish proves she’s done this all before. Another kind of death defines Jessica. A horrible pop song ruins eardrums.
On Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 2 Episode 7, “AKA I Want Your Cray Cray,” the episode remains in a flashback, filling in the blanks of Jessica and Trish’s past in a way that further accentuates and fleshes out their present, and simultaneously filling in the actual blanks of Jessica’s mother slow recovery in the safety net of IGH and Dr. Karl. When a second tragedy befalls Jessica and helps to further define her life, it becomes the catalyst for her hostile meeting with her mother in the present. Past Trish proves that present her is on the same dangerous and deadly path.
A new narrator! Jessica’s mother recounts the car accident and the initiation of IGH into her life. Her mother is indeed the monster, but perhaps not quite the one that was originally surmised. The idea of preconceived notions and misunderstandings is a strong undercurrent in the series anyway, but it manifests perfectly in the idea of Jessica’s mother as the monster, and how she figures out how to properly toe the line between the two. Rather than identifying as one or the other, and because of the procedure, she is forced to reconcile the two in order to identify herself.
Alternatively, Jessica and Trish are in almost the same places in the past the audience left them in the present, Trish attempting to find her own sense of control but finding herself in a rut of drugs and party frivolity. Her very obnoxious hit song indicates that she wants someone’s “cray cray”, though she has certainly adopted some of her own, a social commentary on the child stars and young icons whose lack of a clear path results in the dizzying party mentality. As Trish’s mother declares that “she’s fine”, it seems to be in a different way than how Karl describes Jessica being “fine”; the word is used in two different ways but both to assuage two mothers’ nerves.
Meanwhile, the adopted sisters remain at odds, and Jessica’s mother continues the fight against Karl to see her daughter. Simultaneously, reminders of her mother creep up in Jessica’s life, causing a wall to build around her. And turns out the Jessica Jones signature jacket is a stolen one, which seems very on brand. Jessica’s wall-building is a clear defense mechanism, a clear indicator of future behavior, the reason for that behavior seemingly being this experience. When the sisters are reunited, both are upset that the other isn’t doing what she’s meant to do; they are quintessential sisters, wanting the best for each other, even if it means having to be hurtful to get the other to realize when a mistake is being made. Despite the downfall the audience knows is coming, seeing Jessica momentarily relieved and happy is the kind of characterization that an audience could get used to.
A Mother’s Choice
Inez arrives in the flashback, taking care of Jessica’s mother, and that inevitable downfall is shown, and, despite it being horrific, the urgency of a mother to see her child casts a different light on the scene. Seemingly, most of Jessica’s life has been dictated by her relationship with Stirling, down to the name of her business. As Jessica’s mother and Trish’s mother bond, the different veins of motherhood are highlighted, but yet both wishing to connect with their daughters in some way, to protect and prepare them for the ugliness of the world. Stirling’s willingness to pawn her off ignites a mother’s protective spirit, and the spiraling of who Jessica is and who she becomes begins, and it is a direct result of her mother.
You Need Family
The protective spirit transcends from mother to daughter, as Jessica takes her anger out on someone who is abusing Trish, reminiscent of a similar scene a few episodes prior. Both realizing that they need one another, and discovering the projected movie at the same time, which has become their meeting place, Trish and Jessica become their fully formed selves, the recognizable characters, despite where their current situations have landed them. In her own way, Jessica’s mother realizes that she has to listen to Karl, and that she can’t be around Jessica, bringing us back to the present, where Jessica refuses her mother’s attempt at an olive branch. And then that syringe-wielding Karl that has dictated her mother’s life now dictates Jessica’s.
What did you think of Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 2 Episode 7? Was Jessica’s mother protecting her from Stirling, or creating a pit that Jessica may never climb out of? Is Trish bound for the same cyclical path? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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