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A serial killer makes fun of Snapchat in Jessica Jones



Screen capture: Netflix
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If you start an episode with a serial killer that sends clues via Snapchat (sorry, InstaYap), it's very difficult to stop the brutal murder of one of your main characters. "A.K.A Camera Friendly" is an absolute sound mess that goes from clumsily involuntary to inconceivable in its gruesome melodramatics. The overwhelming emotion that I felt throughout this episode was a frustration, whether it was minor technical inconvenience or exasperation to a more ridiculous than shocking end. Maybe I'm just projecting, but it even seemed to me that the actors could not manage to put all their heart into this dull material.

While the previous episode portrayed Trish and Jessica's cool and heroic advertising embrace, he ended up turning against him in this episode. The police are distracted by exposing the mysterious militant woman, slowing down Costa's efforts to gain jurisdiction over Nathan's body. (I'm not sure that makes sense, of course.) Meanwhile, Jessica realizes that it was probably not a good idea to let Sallinger know that she had reconstructed her first murder. Named, approaching Nathan during their big wrestling match, informed Sallinger that the cops might actually be able to collect hard evidence against him. This encourages Sallinger to take risks that he might not have taken otherwise.

Drive

Enter InstaYap. Sallinger sends Jessica a disturbing video of customers at the Hudson Street market, threatening to end her life at 7 pm because of her. Jessica and Trish set off in pursuit of a wild goose towards a red herring victim, who dominates the majority of the plot of this episode. In the end, however, Sallinger's true victim is Dorothy. Trish arrives at Dorothy's apartment and finds her mother's body tied to a chair and covered in blood. It is a deeply moving scene, but also totally ignored. The same goes for the end of the cliffhanger, in which Trish, bent on revenge, holds a knife in Sallinger's throat while Jessica jumps idly to stop him.

For "A.K.A Camera Friendly" to work, I have to feel totally in sync with Jessica's sense of unfairness and fear. A serial killer is on the run, the police will not stop him, he has promised to kill again and she and Trish must save the situation without any reservations. However, instead of feeling compassion for Jessica's frustrations, I spent most of this episode feeling frustrated with her. To quote Jessica's favorite terminology, she is rather boring in this episode.

Jessica's petulance is usually one of her character's strengths, but she is totally misinterpreted in this episode. In previous seasons, we have seen Jessica effectively modulate her character to get what she needs, such as capturing sympathy as an overwhelmed assistant. However, in "A.K.A Camera Friendly", she is in a way totally unable to adjust her behavior, even in the least. Dorothy is organizing a live television interview so Jessica can make a public service announcement to the potential victim of Sallinger. Rather than focusing on spreading her message clearly, Jessica launches what amounts to a teenage temper tantrum. His perverse attitude and his penchant for cursing take over.

Screen capture: Netflix

It's a win for Dorothy, who seems to have put in place a master plan from the beginning. She asked for the interview to be live so Jessica's inevitable misbehavior could not be removed, which would provide her with a viral message. But as Jessica was not aware of this plan, her inability to keep her fucking shit together for a fucking second makes her just stupid, which we know she is not. I may not pay enough attention to this episode to explain what it is supposed to be an intentional criticism of Jessica's carelessness (and there is certainly at least some of this in this episode as well). But I also think that we are supposed to find Jessica's inability to keep her at least a little charming, which I do not have at all.

It's hard to say exactly what Jessica's behavior was so annoying about this episode, because I can think of dozens of examples in which she acted the same way and I'm delighted. But the context is everything. Watching Jessica brutally attacking a group of security guards at the factory where Sallinger's supposed victim is working does not seem to be the most effective way of getting contact with the victim as quickly as possible. And if Jessica Jones is a person, it's effective.

All this is part of the tonal inconsistencies and misinterpretations that make this episode so disastrous. "A.K.A Camera Friendly" can not decide if he wants to interpret Jessica's attitude in the field of comedy or drama. She therefore has no success. This episode also fails to make me feel Jessica's deep sense of injustice following Sallinger's escape. Maybe it's just because Sallinger is not that interesting of a villain. We're supposed to be terrified by the fact that her brain is stronger than Jessica's strength, but since this episode must make her dumb to get that message out, it just sounds hollow. At this point, I'm kind of asking Trish to kill him so we can move on.


Observations lost

  • I have never seen the film criticized The Snowman, but I could not help thinking of his ridiculous slogan: "Mr. Police. You could have saved her, I gave you all the clues.
  • This makes sense in context (and it's a much bigger problem with the US television obsession for heroic cops), but given the actual state of the criminal justice system, it's a little annoying to watch a show where I'm supposed to root for the police to harass and arrest a man on the basis of zero evidence.
  • Costa and her husband Russell are adopting a child. It's part of his plan to find a life outside of his job and he encourages Jessica to do the same.
  • Given all that we are supposed to be investing in the relationship between Malcolm and Zaya (she is willing to risk her job by altering her conversation with Trish from the security footage she's showing Hogarth), I think it was a mistake for the first episodes of this season. focus so exclusively on their loaded sex chemistry. They met more like buddies than a deeply connected couple.
  • Hogarth's screenplay began as an interesting, character-centric drama, but has now become a much more monotonous 'war on the superheroes'. I'm just not sure if an activist allowing theft of some of his files would lead to such a massive crusade against Jessica and her ilk.
  • I was really moved by the roller coaster amazed by the intelligence of Jessica, who was using another phone to record her last viewing of an InstaYap video and was screaming at my television while she and her Trish was preparing to TALK REGISTER. By the time we got to the scene where Jessica reviewed the video and he did not include their voices, I was too broken by this episode to even worry about it.

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