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Jane Campbell


  1. Matt M
    November 25, 2015 @ 7:04 am

    He’s the cop who assaults Jessica’s best friend and sister, Trish Walker. It’s very distressing that she ends up continuing a relationship with him after he demonstrates a contrite and apologetic manner. Like, no, don’t do that!

    I’d take issue with this. That first time he was controlled by Kilgrave, and was as responsible for his actions there as Jessica was for killing Luke’s wife, ie not, and blaming him for that is victim blaming. If we can forgive Jessica for murdering Luke’s wife, we have to forgive Simpson that. (Of course later he reveals himself to be a terrible and weak person on his own grounds).

    Unless I’ve skipped over it, you seem to have missed talking about Tricia’s mother/Jessica’s foster mother here as well, who I saw as very much a continuation of Kilgrave, violently abusing helpless people who can’t fight back, though unfortunately in this case she’s come out of it well-off even with everyone knowing what she’s done, and still profiting off her daughter to boot. The existing system couldn’t stop Kilgrave, but clearly it can’t stop more mundane abusers such as her.


    • Jane Campbell
      November 25, 2015 @ 10:33 am

      It’s one thing to forgive Simpson for his Kilgrave-induced actions. It’s quite another to actually develop a relationship with someone who literally abused you, regardless of the “cause.” But, you know, this is something that happens in real life. And, like you mention, there’s a history in Trish’s upbringing (controlling parent) that makes this not unlikely. I certainly don’t blame Trish, or the show, for how this plays out. I was certainly satisfied, though, that in the end she (and the show) ends up rejecting this relationship.

      The relationship goes south, we should note, when Simpson starts taking macho pills. Again, this makes sense — Simpson’s a cop. And cops are deeply intertwined with toxic masculinity. So I really appreciated that they didn’t just default to his character being “good” or “noble” on account of being a cop. He likes being macho. And this is a problem.

      I really, deeply appreciated that final climax includes an affirmation of the relationship between Jessica and Trish — the whole “I love you” bit. Not that their relationship doesn’t have power dynamics to it, but every relationship must navigate issues of power, and they eventually do, and it makes them stronger for it.


      • Matt M
        November 25, 2015 @ 12:12 pm

        It’s one thing to forgive Simpson for his Kilgrave-induced actions. It’s quite another to actually develop a relationship with someone who literally abused you, regardless of the “cause.”

        I think this is really the theme of the show. Pretty much every character is an abuser or manipulator of others in some way.

        But with the above statement, again the comparison is between Jessica and Luke. While Jessica didn’t abuse Luke directly, she did murder his wife (against her volition) and then stalk him (of her own volition). Though we’re not meant to be 100% on Jessica’s side throughout. A lot of what she does is downright despicable (her drunken attack on Hogarth’s estranged wife, for example)

        One thing you didn’t pick up on (and can be easily missed by a non-comic reader) is the nature of Simpson’s pills. He’s based on a ‘patriotic’ soldier called Nuke. His pills are red, white and blue. They are America. (in the comics he had a flag painted/tattoed on his face, in the show it’s just a lighter)


        • Roderick T. Long
          November 28, 2015 @ 11:47 pm

          “again the comparison is between Jessica and Luke.”

          And it works both ways: not only does Luke have to decide whether to resume a relationship with someone who killed his wife, but Jessica has to decide whether to resume a relationship with someone who tried to kill her. Presumably they both will.

          “It’s quite another to actually develop a relationship with someone who literally abused you, regardless of the ’cause.'”

          But in these three cases, one could argue it literally is more like A grabbing B’s arm and using it to hit C. Luke’s coming to see it that way, from having first seen it the other way, is part of his forgiveness of her — except that we won’t know for a while how much of that was scripted by Kilgrave and how much is a real change of mind on Luke’s part.


      • Woodrow
        November 26, 2015 @ 8:53 pm

        To me, the Walker/Simpson thing goes bad the 1st time he presses her for info on Jessica, while she’s sitting in the car. His “I have to help!” urge becomes downright problematic at that point, and in retrospect signals his eventual actions


  2. UrsulaL
    November 25, 2015 @ 11:12 am

    Jane, I hope you don’t mind, I started a “Mirror” thread at GB for “Face the Raven” as you seemed to be otherwise occupied.

    So if anyone is missing “mirror” discussions of the episodes, it is there.


  3. Lord Riven
    November 25, 2015 @ 12:14 pm

    For the last time: ‘plethora’ is a pejorative!

    It means “too many.” Please stop mis-using plethora as a fancy way of saying ‘multiple,’ because it makes you look, well, uniformed. And this article has too many valuable, insightful, and emotionally painful moments to be brought low in the first paragraph by language misuse.


    • alliterator
      November 25, 2015 @ 12:25 pm

      “Uninformed” not “uniformed.” If someone is “uniformed,” that means they are wearing a uniform.

      Hey, you were just hit by Muphry’s Law!

      (Also, “plethora” means “abundance” as well as “too many,” so you’re wrong in that case, too.)


  4. Artur
    November 25, 2015 @ 12:27 pm

    I’m afraid I don’t have anything substantial to add. Like you say, there’s lot more to talk about – but I think you captured the core of what “Jessica Jones” is about SO well, I’m going to recommend this essay to all my friends who are watching it.


  5. Jarl
    November 25, 2015 @ 1:50 pm

    That Will Simpson looks and acts so much like Steve Rogers makes it even more… I wanna say perverse, but that’s the wrong word to use. It feels like a deconstruction, like they decided to show what would happen if you gave the actual sort of person who wanted to be a soldier some super-drugs. And to drive it home, they dress him up like “the flag waver”.

    Speaking of, Jessica and Luke both directly compare themselves to the Hulk, which speaks a lot about them both out of universe (we know who the Hulk is and how he works, unlike them) and in universe (the Hulk has a particularly bad relationship with New York, having destroyed both Harlem and Hell’s Kitchen). In their view, they’re broken, scared, and just trying to do their best, because whenever they try to help they just hurt innocent New Yorkers. Which, well…

    my captcha is “KNEX” which is amusing because I always preferred them to lego growing up


  6. John
    November 28, 2015 @ 3:45 pm

    Interesting to me also that the love triangle is so tied up with the capitalist imperative to estrange your labour to survive. It’s Jeri’s assets they’re fighting over, it’s her ability to work as a lawyer that Wendy threatens, it’s the need to succeed that motivated Jeri’s actions in the first place, and Jeri’s relationship with Pam started as an employment relationship. In the penultimate conversation on the phone between Jeri & Wendy, they both argue over their work and productivity.


  7. Roderick T. Long
    November 28, 2015 @ 11:43 pm

    Tthere are interesting parallels between Simpson and Jessica: both pursue relationships with someone they harmed while under Kilgrave’s influence, and they both risk causing further harm by pursuing their quest. (Jessica’s risk iis that she’ll be controlled by Kilgrave again; Simpson’s risk is his pills, which simultaneously empower him and rob him of control.) All the same, Simpson’s insistence on forcing his help on his terms into other people’s lives — a tendency that is heightened, but not created, by the pills — makes him a weaker person than Jessica. Malcolm’s worry that being controlled simply released in him a weakness that was always there applies more to Simpson than to himself.

    There are also some interesting parallels between Hogarth and Kilgrave — even if Hogarth is despite her many many flaws, much more sympathetic than Kilgrave. But they’re both power freaks (of course so is Simpson, but his is more of a hot muscular-rage sort, while Hogarth and Kilgrave are — usually — cold and calculating). They both wear dark, smartly tailored, badass outfits, and both run roughshod over other people to get what they want; and they both harbor some sort of feelings for the person they’re abusing the most.


  8. SFL
    December 6, 2015 @ 5:35 am

    Ps: the workers are Portuguese (or Brazilian), not Russian: they speak Portuguese…


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