Jessica Jones: Review: Series 1 Episode 13: AKA Smile

Jessica 1.13The final showdown…

There’s an unexpectedly large role for Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple in this final slice of Netflix Marvel action for this year, with the first mention of Daredevil and his activities, and the first murmurings of the possibility of strength in numbers between those who are gifted (signposting the road to The Defenders, unsurprisingly). It’s a good counterpoint to the concluding battle between Jessica and Kilgrave, in which – not before time – Kilgrave uses Trish as a pawn.

Oddly, until the very last scene in which he appears, David Tennant seems less engaged with the role than he has in most of the story to date – reflecting the slightly rushed way in which Kilgrave seems to be making his escape. If he’s increased his powers to the extent that he has, surely he’d use them more? It’s a minor point, and doesn’t in any way make the episode feel anticlimactic, but you do wonder why it’s taken him so long to reach the conclusions he does here…

There’s a good wrap-up to some plotlines, with Hogarth not necessarily turning to the side of the angels, but certainly lightening her shades of grey to an extent, and Malcolm ending at Jessica’s side. As for Simpson and the IGH super-soldiers, that clearly is a problem for…someone else – Luke Cage? Iron Fist? The Defenders? – to deal with, if not Jessica herself in what has to be an inevitable second series.

Jessica Jones has often been uncomfortable watching, but it’s achieved with its darkness and adult take on the material what DC’s turn to the noir with Man of Steel didn’t – it kept the audience engaged with believable characters with unbelievable abilities, through their self-doubt and sometimes self-destructive behaviour. Melissa Rosenberg and her team deserve the many plaudits that have come their way.

Verdict: A fitting and epic finale. 9/10

Paul Simpson

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