Jessica Jones Episode 2 Recap “AKA Crush Syndrome”

Presenting the top 6 most awesome moments from Jessica Jones episode 2.

Jessica Jones Episode 2 Recap Jessica Jones

Well, one of my lingering questions from my Jessica Jones episode 1 recap has already been answered. When are Jessica and Luke Cage going to figure out they’re both superpowered? by the end of episode 2, that’s when.

Overall, episode 2 wasn’t quite as well put together as episode 1, but that’s approaching a pretty high bar set by the premiere episode. Plus, episode 2, “AKA Crush Syndrom,” has a much tougher job than episode 1. The premiere got to be an origins story of sorts; certainly, it got to set up big picture plot and character questions for the entire season. Episode 2 gets tasked with starting to answer those questions.

But really, it does so pretty well. Here’s the top 6 most awesome moments from the episode.

6) Luke Cage Takes a Buzzsaw to His Stomach

Jessica Jones Episode 2 Recap Luke Cage saw

We’ll get to the bar fight and the broken glass later, but let’s start where the episode ends. Jessica’s still trying to play off that she doesn’t have superpowers, and Luke Cage is just like, “Nope. You got powers and I know because I got ’em, too.” And then bits of circular saw start flying off because his skin is harder than steel.

And to cap it all off? “You can’t fix me. I’m unbreakable.” Drop the mic.

The other reason I loved this was it’s the second time in two episodes that Jessica Jones has made reference to another superhero property. This one, of course, was to M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable, after episode 1 had Jessica threatening a mark with her “laser eyes,” an allusion either to Superman (since she’s already talking about her super strength) or maybe Cyclopse (to stay in universe, notwithstanding the fact that Marvel doesn’t have screen rights to the X-Men right now). I’m going to be on the lookout for more through the rest of the show.

5) Jessica and Trish Reconcile

Jessica Jones Episode 2 Recap Jessica Glass

Another one of my lingering questions from the premiere was about the past that Jessica and Trish so clearly share. We still don’t know what brought them together, but this episode gives us a lot more clues. We know they lived together at some point. We know that Jessica is very familiar with Trish’s family, or at least Trish’s mom.

Even though for the most part I’m not going to pull any knowledge from the comics into this recap, this is one spot where I’m going to break the rule. So, fair warning, if you don’t to know anything that’s not explicitly in the show, skip the next paragraph.

I have to wonder if Jessica actually grew up with Trish, not that they lived together, but that they lived very near one another. There haven’t really been hints yet in the show about how Jessica got her powers, but in the comics, we know that it happened in an accident that also killed her family. Trish’s mother, although we’ve only had hints in the show about Trish not liking her mom, is said to have been abusive. Maybe the little orphan girl and the girl who wishes her mother left her alone became fast friends at an early age.

Trish has been trying her hardest to look out for Jessica, which is a pretty forgiving thing to do when Jessica’s been trying her hardest to chase Trish away. So it’s a really heartfelt, beautiful moment when Jessica’s happy about the new glass for her door. This show is already really heavy, what with Killgrave causing pain and terror everywhere he goes, so little human, relatable moments like this are really nice to have, and the show earned this one well.

4) Hogarth Learns About Jessica’s Past

Jessica Jones Episode 2 Recap attorney

Ok, this is a small, subtle moment, but it was AWESOME.

Hogarth is a business-first lawyer who thrives on knowing more than anyone she’s facing off against. And make no mistake, Hogarth is facing off against Jessica. They definitely have a mutually beneficial working relationship, but don’t think that means friendship. Or did you forget what Hogarth said when Jessica wanted to borrow money in the first episode?

So it takes a lot for Jessica to get Hogarth to agree to represent Hope, the girl Kilgrave made shoot her own parents. But Hogarth didn’t know about Jessica’s personal stake in the story, not until hope said, “There are others? You mean besides Jessica?” And suddenly, you can see all the pieces click into place and the wheels start turning in Hogarth’s mind.

3) Jessica Poses as a Nurse

Jessica Jones Episode 2 Recap Nurse

I’m a sucker for the real detective work Jessica has had to do through the first couple episodes. It’s a common complaint against Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy that, for all its brilliance, it makes very little of the “World’s Greatest Detective” label for Batman. Jessica Jones isn’t going to make that…well, I won’t call it a mistake, because The Dark Knight trilogy was angling for something else entirely. But Jessica Jones means to be a thriller about a private eye, and so far it’s getting that just right.

Jessica did a lot of detective work this episode – tracking down the driver of the ambulance that transported an injured Kilgrave (and oh yeah, we found out why Jessica thought he was dead AND how he survived), running back the dialysis machine serial number, tracking down the doctor Kilgrave used – but the hands-down best moment was Jessica tricking a nurse to put off cleaning up poop and help her with the hospital computer system. Sort of like her reconciling with Trish, it was a moment that fit within the show, but offered a lighthearted moment to counterbalance the heavy stakes.

2) The Bar Fight

Jessica Jones Episode 2 Recap Bar Fight

“How is this not #1?” you ask. Well, we’ll get there, but I agree. This was just awesome.

Specifically, watching Luke Cage thrash a half-dozen rugby players (they didn’t really look like rugby players, but I’ll take the show’s word for it) while he looks like he’s bored is hilarious, coming in just behind his slow realization that Jessica is WAY stronger than she ought to be.

But the top moment of the scene? Without a doubt it’s when the guy tries to stab Luke in the carotid artery with a broken beer bottle, but fails to even prick Luke.

Lesson learned: Don’t bring a knife to a Luke Cage fight.

1) Kilgrave Takes Control

Jessica Jones Episode 2 Recap Kilgrave

As incredible as the bar fight was, it’s nothing compared to the chilling, uncaring, inhuman efficiency with which Kilgrave makes a family of four his slaves. There’s a special kind of cruelty that makes someone lock kids in a closet and force them to choose a pee corner, like dogs in a crate.

Jessica may have found a weakness this episode, but how is anyone ever going to get close enough to inject Kilgrave with anesthesia? The guy is psychopathic and nearly godlike. I love that the show is only revealing little bits at a time about Kilgrave (we still haven’t seen his whole face), it just keeps the suspense rolling…along with a foreboding sense of dread.

Final Thoughts and Lingering Questions

Jessica Jones Episode 2 Recap Trish Krav Maga

Did you notice the cinematography in this episode? The camera cuts from high angle to low angle and back again, giving the impression that Jessica’s world is constantly turning on its head, that she’s always struggling to find which way is up. And then there’s the moments when the camera seems to shy from her gaze, as though she’s being watched even when there’s no one there.

I can’t decide whether I love or hate Jessica’s weird upstairs neighbors. The guy is definitely off, but his sister is kind of funny in an odd way. It definitely reminds you where this show is set, as Jessica turns full New Yorker when trading barbs with her screaming ginger antagonist.

Trish’s bruised arms came out of nowhere in the middle of the episode. I started wondering if somehow she was part of Kilgrave’s plot against Jessica. But the late revelation that she’s training Krav Maga was pretty cool, since it sets up her eventual transformation into/reveal as Hellcat. On a related note, I wonder if her inclusion is why Iron Fist might get cancelled? The Defenders could run Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Hellcat.

Also, who is Trish’s Krav Maga instructor?

What’s Kilgrave’s next move? He was obviously trying to draw Jessica out by sending her Hope’s parents, and now it looks like he’s moving in closer, but why not just walk up to Jessica and subdue her again? Is he not confident in his own powers?

Reva Connors showed up again this episode. In the comics, she’s an old friend of Luke Cage’s, and so I can’t believe her only role is as a guilt trip for Jessica. She’s responsible for Reva’s death, or at least feels that way, but I’m betting there’s something more going on.