Sunday, March 18, 2018

REVIEW: Netflix's 'Jessica Jones' - Season 2

Netflix dropped the entire 13-episode second season of Jessica Jones on Thursday, March 8. This post will feature brief reviews of each specific episode of the season.

The new season stars Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor, Eka Darville, J.R. Ramirez, Terry Chen, Leah Gibson, Carrie-Anne Moss and Janet McTeer.

201. "AKA Start at the Beginning"
Written by Melissa Rosenberg and directed by Anna Foerster

It's been nearly two and half years since the first season of Jessica Jones debuted on Netflix. It's been a really long wait for new episodes. Since then, the Netflix-Marvel partnership has cranked out a number of shows. A pattern has definitely emerged as well. Story and plotting is never the best qualities of these shows. There is never enough plot to cover the amount of episodes in the season. The most successful seasons are largely determined on the lead performance and the central themes of the story. As such, Jessica Jones has always stood above the rest because it's interested in exploring the trauma and fears of its lead character. Luke Cage was pretty strong as well in its first season - until it drove off a cliff with the craziness in its second half. This premiere does a nice job in just bringing the audience back into this world. It basically just disregards everything that happened in The Defenders too. That's not completely surprising either. Jessica Jones was the best part of that miniseries while being the most inconsequential character. Her story wouldn't be informed by what happened there - unlike Daredevil, Iron Fist and Luke Cage. And so, this premiere is allowed to linger on the idea of Jessica's perception and reputation following the murder of Kilgrave. That happened on the public stage. She exists in this world openly as a super-powered vigilante who works as a private investigator. People hire her for the conventional cases but don't mind asking her to use her powers to hurt the people who betray them either. But Jessica is battling against the idea that she's a murderer. She is feeling the pressure to accept that as who she is because she had to kill Kilgrave. It was the only way to close that chapter of her traumatic story. But the trauma has still endured. She's still treating it by drinking heavily. And now, the show is trying to focus on a new trauma from Jessica's past - the incident and experimentation that gave her powers. Now, an origin story may not be the best use of everyone's time. Here, it's being played as a big conspiracy mystery with another individual from the experiments being hunted and eventually killed before Jessica can help him. But the most moving and traumatizing moment of this premiere is when Jessica's brother's ashes are sprayed throughout her office. That's the moment that fuels her drive moving forward. That's the moment that inspires her to action. This can be a compelling story with Jessica at the forefront. But it's obvious the premiere is straining itself to get to that inevitable outcome as well. B

202. "AKA Freak Accident"
Written by Aida Mashaka Croal and directed by Minkie Spiro

The structure of Jessica Jones lends itself to standalone episodes much better than any of the other Netflix-Marvel shows. It would be completely possible for Jessica to focus just on solving a self-contained case in one episode. And yet, this creative team once again shows no real interest in that. Instead, it's all about slowly revealing the new conspiracy at a leisurely pace. Both Jessica and Trish are investigating IGH here. It's a conspiracy that has already become complicated and boring. This episode feels like the show is already padding the story out to fit the plot into thirteen episodes. That's potentially troublesome. Neither Jessica nor Trish make all that much progress either. Jessica is investigating things her own way before realizing that Trish is the connective tissue for this case and might be targeted by the mysterious individuals very soon. Meanwhile, Trish's story is nothing more than interesting wheel-spinning. It seems particularly absurd that she tries accessing secret hospital records by exploiting a connection she made in her past as a child performer. It mostly feels like an excuse for the show to further delve into that world and how traumatizing and abusive it was to her. Last season's story was so potent because of the sinister nature of Kilgrave getting anyone to do anything he wanted. And now, this director presents a different way that men casually abuse their power and get away with it. It's only in hindsight that Trish has the full scope of what actually happened and how non-consensual that sexual relationship actually was. It's certainly a timely story given everything currently happening in Hollywood. But again, it's a lead that doesn't produce anything meaningful. It just proves that emotions are running high for these characters. The most exciting moments of this episode come at the very end with the death of Simpson. Now, that was an annoying character last season. The show bringing him back wasn't all that necessary. Nor does it further illuminate what this new mystery is that Jessica and Trish have gotten tangled up in. It just proves that perhaps Trish isn't in as much danger as she thought - even though she and Jessica will be should they continue to press forward which they ultimately will. B-

203. "AKA Sole Survivor"
Written by Lisa Randolph and directed by Mairzee Almas

The rise of binge viewing means that shows that produce content knowing that it's released in such a way typically just leave all the excitement for the end of the episode to ensure that the viewer is enticed to continue moving forward as quickly as possible. The majority of this episode continues moving at a leisurely pace with red herrings and side characters who are only tangentially connected to the rest of the narrative. But things immediately become exciting the moment that Janet McTeer appears on the screen. She makes her debut as the obvious new big bad for the season. These Netflix-Marvel shows have ultimately been good or bad based on the relationship between hero and villain. In the first season, Kilgrave was such a compelling villain that brought out interesting things in Jessica. This season hasn't had that focus yet. But it does come alive in those final moments where this mysterious woman says that IGH is the misunderstood good guys right before exhibiting the same exact powers that Jessica has. She appears to be a mirror image of Jessica where she thinks with her fists and is a little horrified by the aftermath. She doesn't quite think her actions though. And now, Jessica has a picture of her. That's compelling and presents a new focus for a season that has desperately needed it. And yet, the majority of the episode struggles because Jessica and Trish are caught up in a story that is just suppose to fool them and the audience heading into that meeting with the mystery woman. Seeing them get the skull into the morgue is a fun sequence. But the rest of the hour plays as filler. Yes, it's appreciated to get confirmation on the illness that Hogarth was diagnosed with. It's thrilling to see her reach out to Jessica now knowing that they are exactly the same as well in that their jobs are all that they really have in this world that makes them feel fulfilled. And yet, Foggy also pops up in one scene that feels more like fan service than something of actual merit. Meanwhile, it seems inevitable that either Oscar or Griffin will be revealed as shady and operating against Jessica and Trish's investigation. It's just too predictable without really adding anything all that exciting to the narrative. B

204: "AKA God Help the Hobo"
Written by Jack Kenny and directed by Deborah Chow

This has been a consistent season so far but not an extremely interesting one. Each episode meanders through the plot for a large chunk of the running time only to end on an exciting tease of what will happen next in the story. In hindsight, all of this world-building could be important and necessary. But right now, it just feels like the show trying to stretch things out for as long as possible. And yet, it's also interesting to see Jessica's world from the perspective that she keeps running into mirrors of herself that could outline the life that's awaiting her. Janet McTeer's killer is the harsh extreme of the violence Jessica is prone to but she doesn't enjoy because she still aspires to be heroic and moral. Leah Gibson's new addition, Inez Green, is the castaway who is forever paranoid about whatever trauma could be facing her next. And then, there's Hogarth who accumulated power the way she wanted but is left powerless in the wake of something she can't control. It's all rich thematic stuff. Jessica wants to be seen for the flawed individual she is. Everyone judges her based on the powers she has or the reputation of killing Kilgrave. The world looks at her as a murderer even though she desperately doesn't want to be that. It's an isolating life that she confesses to Oscar about. She's battling against these preconceived notions about herself. Whenever a seemingly impossible crime is committed, the police are right there to arrest her for it. The audience knows what happened to this employee of Pryce Cheng's as he tried stealing from Jessica's office. As such, we'll have very little patience for how this story actually resolves. But it's also an engaging story because we still don't know the precise motivations for this mysterious character. Is she trying to protect Jessica from this rival P.I. who is attacking her business? Or is she trying to frame her for murder so that she stops looking into IGH? Both seem like distinct possibilities. Jessica is struggling to be understood. She's trying to control her rage and anger. But it still slips out because of the tragic life she has lived. Learning more about the mystery villain will truly shape just how effective all of this is. B

205. "AKA The Octopus"
Written by Jamie King and directed by Millicent Shelton

Jessica was never going to spend an extended period of time in prison because she was innocent and The Killer did a bad job with the cover-up. Her arrest was more a comment on the bias the police have against her. Jessica has powers and could be the only person capable of such a heinous crime because of her past behavior. It's the kind of bias that can be infuriating to Jessica because she's trying so hard not to repeat past mistakes and let her anger dictate her actions. And now, she is only freed because she's honest about what she knows. She forms a new connection at the police precinct with an officer who remembers the horror that Kilgrave committed there last season. But this is also a very scattered episode with a vast collection of scenes that don't always go together. Jessica's story features her going to Oscar for help forging a new identity, visiting a patient in a mental institution, looking for the villainous Dr. Karl at an aquarium and The Killer smashing the display glass which eventually threatens everyone inside. It's very eclectic and strange. As such, it's hard to take any piece of the story all that seriously. Elsewhere, Trish's story is the most heartbreaking of the subplots because it's her spiraling in her addiction once more. She took the drugs from Simpson. And now, she is already hooked on them once more. They seemingly got her to admit that she would rather be Griffin (as is, have his career and respect) than marry him. But this relationship falling apart right now could also be rationalized because of the drug use affecting her judgment. Right now, it's just crucial that she is desperate to maintain some control over her life. As such, she is returning to her old vices and feeding her addiction. Meanwhile, the show is carefully constructing a story where Hogarth gets entangled in the IGH conspiracy because she's desperate to find a cure for her ALS. That's a potentially interesting story and makes her a complicated ally for Jessica. Here, she needs her legal expertise and to provide a safe house for Inez. But it's clear that everyone on the show at the moment has their own agenda that they are willing to go to any lengths in order to assure that it succeeds. Again, that can be entertaining and exciting. This episode is just too messy and scattered. B-

206. "AKA Facetime"
Written by Raelle Tucker and directed by Jet Wilkinson

The story arc of this season has been a mess. A lot of things are happening. And yet, they all basically remain in a holding pattern of "wait and see" to determine whether they are good or bad. They are certainly interesting. But the show still seems like it lacks consistency, a strong sense of morals and a clear direction this season. Perhaps the episode-closing reveal that The Killer is actually Jessica's mother will snap the season into place. It will certainly make that connection much more personal. Jessica thought her mother died in the car crash. She has her ashes to prove it. But that final sequence is so strong because of the work Krysten Ritter does leading up to the reveal. This entire place is eerily familiar. She is coming to the realization and grappling with the truth long before she sees a picture of her younger self. Then, her mom comes into the room to confirm it. That's very compelling. But it also comes after an episode where Jessica worries about how far she is willing to go with her powers. It's definitely played as a joke that she throws around security guards on the golf course and kidnaps a college student to get information from his rich father. Those aren't exactly moral actions. The show tries to tie them together to Jessica's larger story of worrying that she is blurring the line too much. But the tone is just off with these specific actions. As such, it still feels like a bunch of plot complications ultimately building up to a grand reveal instead of something that is genuine happening for this character at this moment in time. The other big developments are Trish and Malcolm having sex and Inez telling Hogarth about another man from IGH who has the power to heal people. It's a little frustrating that Jessica and Malcolm don't see the signs that Trish is spiraling in her addiction once more. But it's also clear that Trish knows all of the tricks to hide it well - with it also being a solid showcase for Rachael Taylor. Meanwhile, Hogarth wanting to find IGH for different reasons than Jessica is still bound to cause complications at some point despite the glacial pace it is currently moving at. Finally, it's odd that the show suggested a huge accident at the aquarium only to pick up here with the aftermath so that it seems like Jessica didn't do anything - despite her phone somehow getting wet. C+

207. "AKA I Want Your Cray Cray"
Written by Hilly Hicks Jr. and directed by Jennifer Getzinger

This is a fantastic episode for breaking up the monotony of this season. That's what these episodes desperately needed at this point. They needed a jolt of energy from something different. And now, the show gives that through a flashback episode that focuses on character instead of plot. It also just tells a really engaging and exciting story. Of course, there is the major problem of the show never previously mentioning Stirling when he is obviously a huge influence on Jessica's life - her willingness for petty crime, buying her iconic jacket, naming her business after him, etc. As such, it seems like the show just now came up with him as a way to deliver fan service. That's not all that great. However, the moment where Jessica sees what has happened to Stirling is one of Krysten Ritter's best acting moments on the show to date. This is a really powerful showcase for her as a younger Jessica who is lighter but not completely bubbly. And yet, it's also the show doubling down on the idea that everyone who gets close to Jessica eventually dies except for Trish. After awhile, that just seems like way too much trauma and abuse for one character to have realistically endured. But it still strangely works over the course of this hour. It's still easy to get swept up in the emotion of the moment. Jessica is completely unaware of her mother, Alisa Jones, influence in these events. She blames herself for Stirling's death. She needs a clear and sober Trish in order to remain strong. She needs her in her life and is willing to admit that now even though Trish isn't in a position to give it. It's also important for the audience to see this destructive past that Trish has always wanted to avoid but is no longer succeeding at doing. And finally, this is the hour that gives more dimension to Alisa and her role in the show. It shows the immediate aftermath of the Jones family car crash. It shows just how vicious and destructive she can be as it lines up with all the information the season has already gathered on IGH. It presents things in a human context which allows the ongoing conspiracy to have more personal weight to it. She's a mother desperately trying to reunite with her daughter. She believes Jessica needs her. It's only through escaping that she realizes Jessica is better off without a mother right now. She returns to Dr. Karl. He continues to run his experiments on her. This hour doesn't fully explain the romantic angle of their dynamic or how their relationship is really just an abuse of power. But it shows that even now Alisa is not the mother that Jessica needs in her life. She is still prone to violence and over-reacting. Jessica can't forgive her mother for all that she has done and that's such a heartbreaking note to end on. B+

208. "AKA Ain't We Got Fun"
Written by Gabe Fonseca and directed by Zetna Fuentes

This season is really starting to make a strong pivot with a fascinating and nuanced main story. The show delving into the complicated relationship between Jessica and Alisa has given the season a strong focus. The first half of the year meandered a lot of the time as it lived in the secrets of the characters and the unknown of what was going on in the conspiracy. And now that so many of those plot contrivances have been dealt with, the show can just tell a story focused on its characters. This episode still makes some progress on the overall story of the season. Alisa is wanted for murder and Jessica does tell the police where to find her. Hogarth meets the man who can heal her if she gets him out of prison. Malcolm decides to investigate Hogarth's partners for Jessica. And Trish is offscreen for a large chuck of time still high on her new drugs and convincing Malcolm he should take a hit too. But there is so much power in this episode because of the conversations the characters have. Jessica doesn't let her guard or wit down for a second when Dr. Karl is trying to share his side of the story. He wants to be seen as a romantic hero who saved Alisa and is constantly terrified of her. The truth is so much more complicated than that. Alisa never gave her consent for this life. So much has spiraled out of control because of these experiments. But in the end, Jessica has still been reunited with her mother. She has had to carry the burden of her family's memories for so long. And now, she has someone she can talk to about that. Of course, Alisa feels the constant need to correct Jessica about how it wasn't all that great. It's the show carefully building a connection of similarities between the two of them. It does a phenomenal job of shading in their dynamic so that it isn't just a reluctant hero battling a sociopathic killer. Alisa loses control of herself. That explains why she is so violent in her rages. But she still has to deal with those consequences. Jessica feels the constant urge to have her mother arrested. And yet, she can't. She's still willing to take a bullet for her mom. That shows just how deep and personal this relationship becomes in such a short amount of time. Of course, it's still an inciting incident to get Alisa to rage out before this dynamic becomes too comfortable for Jessica. But it's a thrilling conclusion as well that proves this is about to get a whole lot worse before Jessica finds any peace and resolution. B+

209. "AKA Shark in the Bathtub, Monster in the Bed"
Written by Jenny Klein and directed by Rosemary Rodriguez

The debate of "to kill or not to kill" has become a huge cliche in the superhero genre. It almost always comes down to the hero having a moral code that the villain does not. But here, Jessica Jones manages to find a new spin on that conversation. Jessica and Alisa both have the perception of being killers. They have both killed. That has informed a lot of Jessica's story this season. She wants people to believe she killed Kilgrave because she didn't have any other choices. It's not who she fundamentally is. Meanwhile, Alisa could always blame her fits of rage for why she killed so many people without being all that concerned with the coverups. But here, the show digs deeper to prove that Alisa really is okay with being a killer. It's an aspect of her personality that she has accepted. She thinks everything would be a whole lot easier if she just killed Cheng. Jessica refuses because she doesn't want to be a fugitive with her mother for the rest of their lives. She believes she can reason with the person trying to kill them. It's still building to the inevitable outcome of Jessica needing to turn Alisa into the police for the crimes she has committed. But it's such a difficult thing for her to do because she is finally reconnecting with the mother she thought was long gone. A weight lifts off her shoulders when Alisa tells her the car accident wasn't her fault. That same kind of relief happens when Jessica tells Alisa that she understands why she had to cut her out of her life. This is such a remarkable episode of personal growth. It brings Jessica and Alisa together so that they can feel like a family that belongs together. They are able to be heroes together. They are able to stop a moving bus in order to reunite Oscar with his son. That moment gives Alisa the realization that she could be doing more with her powers so that she isn't just a monster. There's a hopefulness to that statement. And yet, paranoia controls this entire episode. Jessica is afraid to fall asleep because she doesn't know what to do with her mother. Keeping her eyes on her is the only way to ensure that nothing more dangerous and lethal occurs. But Cheng serves as a reminder for the personal cost of such action. He's the one who lost a close friend because of Alisa. He's the one who has to remind Jessica that her mother is a killer. She feels no remorse about that. It's simply the woman she has become. So even though it's difficult, it's still the right to turn her into the police. That devastates Jessica in a very understandable and real way. Of course, it's hard to believe Alisa will spend the rest of the season in prison. It seems inevitable that something else will occur to compromise all of this. Jessica worries about losing her mother. She sees this action as the most destructive choice. It happening now ensures that it won't be the end of the story though. B+

210. "AKA Pork Chop"
Written by Aida Mashaka Croal and directed by Neasa Hardiman

This episode is a little all over the map. It feels like a weak spot in an overall strong section of the season. It just feels like the show is doing some wheel-spinning in order to keep things interesting for thirteen episodes. Not everything is bad or awkward. In fact, the Hogarth story is really strong. That entire subplot this season has been carried by Carrie-Anne Moss. Without her, it would be so agonizing to sit through. But now, we can appreciate the evolution Hogarth has been on this season. This disease has changed her fundamentally. It forced her to reach out to Jessica again. It made her willing to take in Inez. It made her believe in miracles. That change is what makes it so heartbreaking when she finally learns that she has been scammed and still has ALS. That moment features some remarkable acting. Meanwhile, it feels like the show is rushing through a conflict in order to create a compromising ending for Jessica. Her refusal to kill has been a huge component of this season. And now, she accidentally kills the prison guard abusing Alisa. Now, it seems like this story is introduced and quickly complicated in the span of one episode. This is the only hour Dale Holiday has appeared in. The show quickly flung Alisa into this prison and this story of abuse. Instead of completely focusing on her making a deal to turn on Dr. Karl with Jessica trying to help her, it makes this pivot in order to compromise Jessica. She's doing everything right now for her mother. She's doing it to ensure a sense of stability in this environment. She is ready to go back to her life as a P.I. Everything has gotten so complicated so quickly. She has found her mother again and wants to maintain that relationship despite turning her in. And now, this death mostly ensures that she won't be feeling very stable or secure as soon as more things start to go wrong. That new threat will mostly come from Trish. She has been on such a roller coaster this season. She's gone to some really extreme places that have made her seem more like a plot device than a genuine connection for Jessica. She's been fueled by the inhaler and her pursuit of the truth. She has no personal connection to this case beyond Jessica. She forced her sister to look into her origins. And now, she needs to ensure that the man responsible pays for his crimes. But there isn't a whole lot of investment in that story. The idea that Trish is potentially dying because of the drugs and wants Dr. Karl to give her powers is interesting. But it's very clumsily introduced here. C+

211: "AKA Three Lives and Counting"
Written by Jack Kenny & Lisa Randolph and directed by Jennifer Lynch

It could easily come across as a stunt to bring back David Tennant as Kilgrave for an episode this season. The first season was so powerful because of that performance but also because of how that story ended. Jessica was forced to do something she didn't want to do in order to finally get her abuser to stop. This season has fundamentally been about the trauma of killing Kilgrave. As such, it makes sense that he would be on her mind the moment she kills someone else. Again, Dale's death felt like a stunted plot device to force this new story to happen. And yet, it's so compelling to see Tennant step back into this role through a new way to torment Jessica. It's the show recognizing that the psychological ramifications of the abuse linger for a long time. It extends far beyond the act of violence. Jessica's entire life has been defined by trauma. And now, it's manifesting itself in a way that is potentially isolating her from everyone she cares about while also putting her on the edge of a breakdown. She is trying so desperately not to become a villain. She doesn't want to be like Kilgrave or her mother. She doesn't want to be a killer. She is able to resist temptation when faced with the option of killing the man who did experiments on her that gave her powers. Dr. Karl still ultimately dies. That's a somewhat rushed emotional climax as well. The show never really wanted to invest in Dr. Karl and Alisa's relationship. So one scene at the beach here is basically too little too late. His death mostly motivates Alisa to break out of jail because the final two episodes need her rampaging through the city with Jessica being the only one who can stop her. That's rich thematic work. Jessica is only able to silence her Kilgrave thoughts by proclaiming that she is stronger than both Kilgrave and her mother. She has control over her actions. She accepts that she is enough just the way that she is. That's a bold statement to make that is so empowering for the character. It still comes at a time where she has lost all of her potential allies. She pushes Malcolm away because he doesn't seem to have her back anymore. And Trish is responsible for causing this entire mess. Now, her character arc over the last few episodes has been very rushed as well. She is trying desperately to become a hero so that she can stop feeling powerless. She wants to help people in a world filled with injustices. But she's also annoyingly being driven by withdrawal. At least, that's the simple explanation the show gives here to explain why the audience shouldn't suddenly turn on the character because of how stupid and annoying she has become as of late. It's a little complexity to make the plot more interesting. But it's also inevitable that she'll survive this procedure and have powers. The only question is if she'll be a hero like Jessica or a villain like Kilgrave and Alisa? A-

212. "AKA Pray for My Patsy"
Written by Raelle Tucker & Hilly Hick Jr. and directed by Liz Friedlander

This season of Jessica Jones has explored female rage and anger. It's told a story about how trauma infuses one's behavior in that regard with another one exploring just how random and inexplicable it can be. Jessica and Hogarth's stories have been the most effective of the season because it's easy to understand why those characters are angry. Their actions reflect the traumas inflicted on them in a way that feels completely in keeping with who they are. And so, it's entirely believable and fitting that Hogarth has Inez kill Shane and go to prison for that crime. That's the kind of justice she's looking for in this case. Just like it's so completely agonizing for Jessica that her mother was returned to her as this deeply broken woman with seemingly no control over her actions and who is becoming more and more violent. Alisa's dissociative episodes don't really have a rhyme or reason to them. There's no huge difference between who she is as Jessica's mother and who she is as a monster. As such, it's easy for Jessica to come to the conclusion that she needs Alisa out of her life - either by killing her or sending her to the Raft. But it's still a little difficult to get invested in this story because the season hasn't done a great job at showing the power Jessica has over her mother. Jessica can calm Alisa in a way that Dr. Karl never could. Alisa understands that and wants to mine that to their advantage. She could finally live the life she has always wanted. But that's also a life of abuse and trauma for Jessica because she'll always be worrying about every single action Alisa does and having to talk her off the edge before killing again. Too many innocent people have died this season for Jessica to continue propping up this behavior. She can no longer support the addicts in her life. It's just made more complicated by the addicts being her family. She needs their love and support. Right now, they can't give it. Alisa is too broken while Trish is on the verge of death. Again, Trish's story has been really forced all season long. And now, the show is manipulatively teasing us with the idea that she'll die. That's not going to happen which is a little lame. But it also sets up a future where Jessica will still be the one having to deal with this threat. She can't pull the trigger here. Alisa still overpowers her. But that just sets things up for one final lethal twist in the finale through a family road trip. B+

213. "AKA Playland"
Directed by Uta Briesewitz with story by Jesse Harris and teleplay by Melissa Rosenberg

This season may be the first of the Netflix-Marvel shows that actually gets better as it goes along. That doesn't make it the best season of these shows to date. That first half still meanders quite a bit and features a number of side stories that never ultimately went anywhere - remember Griffin? But the introduction of Alisa gave this season a strong focus because it wasn't just repeating the structure of a big bad from the first season. The story was just as complicated for Jessica this time around. But now, she was morally and personally compromised because her mother was the one causing all of the chaos in the city. Jessica knew from the get-go that Alisa would be arrested for her crimes and spend the rest of her life in prison. Alisa lived that life for a little while. But all of the twists and turns regarding Jessica's feelings towards Alisa were real and genuine. Sure, there are moments that seem like pure wheel-spinning. This finale especially seems like Jessica and Alisa are just roaming the countryside not really set on a clear path forward. But it's a journey that highlights hope. Alisa came back into Jessica's life and gave her a new perspective on being a hero. She has found her strength to control her powers and see her own worth. It's just been complicated because Alisa is the target of the police. This season was inevitably going to end with her death. The only question was who would ultimately commit the deed. There would be so much narrative irony and poetry should Jessica have to do it after being incapable of doing so in the previous episode. But instead, the honor falls onto Trish. She runs into danger knowing exactly where Jessica and Alisa are. She does so to have her own hero moment. She wants to be the one saving families from car accidents. Jessica and Alisa do that here and it proves how they could possibly be a good team even though that's just a complete fantasy. Alisa accepts that long before Jessica. Jessica isn't ready to say goodbye to her mother even though she fundamentally knows it's over. Trish being the one to pull the trigger creates a tense dynamic between her and Jessica. Jessica notes that Trish didn't need to be the one to kill her mother. And now, that will forever be what Jessica associates with her. Their bond as sisters has withstood so much. Jessica has needed Trish this season and Trish was spiraling in her addiction and obsession with getting powers - which it seems like she is successful with as the closing moments tease. But it's a pretty bleak moment to note that Jessica wants nothing to do with Trish while Jeri Hogarth gets her leverage from Malcolm and then relies on Chen as her primary investigator at her new firm. It seems like Jessica is isolated. She returns to a normal life as an investigator. But things are different as well. They are hopeful and Jessica is more willing to talk about her heroics. It's all portrayed in that simple family dinner with Oscar and Vido. It's a small moment but it proves that she can still have normal relationships despite how much she has pushed people away this season with her actions. A-