Tor.com content by

Tansy Rayner Roberts

Jessica Jones is Uniquely Qualified

Hot off her Alias reread, Tansy Rayner Roberts reviews Netflix’s Jessica Jones. In this post: “AKA Take a Bloody Number” and“AKA Smile.” Spoilers for season 1.

Episode 12 AKA Take a Bloody Number

Written By: Hilly Hicks Jr
Directed By: Billy Gierhart

Luke and Jessica run from the police after his bar blew up—correction, after Luke blew up his bar at Kilgrave’s behest. Jessica is suspicious about whether Kilgrave has left any other orders in his head, and keeps him under observation until the requisite twelve hours is past.

[Read more]

Patsy’s Gonna Save You, Jessica Jones

Hot off her Alias reread, Tansy Rayner Roberts reviews Netflix’s Jessica Jones. In this post: “AKA I’ve Got the Blues” Spoilers for season 1.

Episode 11: AKA I’ve Got The Blues

Written By: Scott Reynolds & Liz Friedman
Directed By: Uta Briesewitz

Here’s a thing about Liz Friedman: many years ago, there was a Hercules: the Legendary Journeys episode set in the present day, in which the regular and recurring cast played the directors and writers of the show. This means that whenever I see Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman credited on anything, I imagine that they are really Salmoneus and Joxer; likewise, Liz Friedman is and always will be, in my head canon, a particularly homicidal Callisto in a business suit and a Hope Van Dyne wig.

Ahem. Also, she writes good stuff. I’m always excited to see Liz Friedman’s byline.

This episode revolves around the friendship between Trish Walker and Jessica Jones, from its origins to the present day. In particular, the theme of the girls saving each other, failing to save each other and promising not to save each other.

[They’re always gonna save each other.]

Jessica Jones Takes Control…

Hot off her Alias reread, Tansy Rayner Roberts reviews Netflix’s Jessica Jones. In this post: “AKA Sin Bin” and “AKA 1,000 Cuts.” Spoilers for season 1.

Episode 9 AKA Sin Bin

Written By: Jamie King & Dana Baratta
Directed By: John Dahl

This is the closest thing we get to a bottle episode! In a reversal of last week, Kilgrave is now Jessica’s prisoner in the hermetically sealed room that Simpson’s old special ops department had lying around unused. Kilgrave awakes to a nightmare scenario—his cell is ankle deep in water, there’s a live wire rigged up to a big red button that Jessica can press to electrocute him any time she likes, and the video of his childhood trauma as a lab rat is being projected against the wall.

Oh, and his powers don’t work via microphone. Jessica can even choose whether or not she wants to listen to what he has to say.

[Jessica thinks she has Kilgrave exactly where she wants him…]

Jessica Jones Wants You To Do The Hero Thing

Hot off her Alias reread, Tansy Rayner Roberts reviews Netflix’s Jessica Jones. In this post: “AKA Top Shelf Perverts” and “AKA WWJD.” Spoilers for season 1.

Episode 7: AKA Top Shelf Perverts

Written By: Jenna Reback & Micah Shrift
Directed By: Simon Cellan Jones

Not content with invading her childhood home, Kilgrave spends some personal time in Jessica’s apartment office, spraying his territory by peeing in her toilet.

Enter Ruben the soppy neighbour boy from upstairs, who blurts out to the stranger in the lovely suit that he has brought banana bread for Jessica “because he loves her.” Aw, Ruben, no.

[Read more]

Jessica Jones is Her Own Worst Enemy

Hot off her Alias reread, Tansy Rayner Roberts reviews Netflix’s Jessica Jones. In this post: “Episode 6—AKA You’re a Winner.” Spoilers for season 1.

AKA You’re A Winner!

Written By: Edward Ricourt
Directed By: Stephen Surjik

Malcolm is now in recovery from drug addiction, and he’s being a model patient. He’s attending group therapy far more often than Jessica, and after some soul searching he is all aboard the Anti-Kilgrave Committee with an unprecedented amount of enthusiasm.

[“I preferred your brain on drugs.”]

The Jessica Jones Paranoid Conspiracy Support Group

Hot off her Alias reread, Tansy Rayner Roberts reviews Netflix’s Jessica Jones. In this post: “AKA 99 Friends” and “AKA The Sandwich Saved Me.” Spoilers for season 1.

“AKA 99 Friends”

Written by Hilly Hicks Jr
Directed by David Petrarca

“Nothing plays like pictures in court.”

Jessica gets a new client, and her paranoia—already off the rails thanks to the mystery photographer who has been stalking her on Kilgrave’s behalf—hits previously untapped levels. Audrey Eastman seems on the level, an angry woman looking for pictures of her philandering husband Carlo to support her divorce, but Jessica can’t be sure that this isn’t another Kilgrave trap.

Trish, meanwhile, calls in a panic because Sergeant Will the murderous cop is back with a bemused friend, banging on her reinforced security door. Jessica realises that the poor guy is acting out because he thinks there’s a dead body in the apartment.

JESSICA: He thinks he killed you. I recognise that look.

[Read more]

Jessica Jones Can’t Have Nice Things

Hot off her Alias reread, Tansy Rayner Roberts reviews Netflix’s Jessica Jones. In this post: “AKA It’s Called Whiskey.” Spoilers for season 1.

“AKA It’s Called Whiskey”

Written by Liz Friedman & Scott Reynolds
Directed by David Petrarca

Upon discovering that they are both superhuman—Jessica superstrong, Luke unbreakable—the logical conclusion is for them to have a lot of sex. Loud, neighbour-annoying, wall-shaking, bed-breaking sex.

In between, they talk. Luke has never met another “gifted” (it’s adorable that they don’t have the vocabulary for this) and is genuinely pleased to get to know Jessica’s take on the weird world around them.

Jessica is reluctant to discuss the others out there—she knows more than she is letting on.

Their night becomes awkward when Jessica (for the second time) spots the photo in Luke’s bathroom cabinet, of Reva Connors, a woman we’ve also seen listed as one of the official fatalities from the bus crash that failed to kill Kilgrave.

Once again, their night together ends with Jessica saying sorry—this time, however, it’s a very heartfelt statement, and feels like something she’s been waiting to say for a long time.

[Read more]

Jessica Jones Does Not Respect Doors

Hot off her Alias reread, Tansy Rayner Roberts reviews Netflix’s Jessica Jones. In this post: “AKA Ladies Night” and “AKA Crush Syndrome.” Spoilers for season 1.

“AKA Ladies Night”

Written by Melissa Rosenberg
Directed by S.J. Clarkson

“New York may be the city that never sleeps, but it sure does sleep around.”

Meet Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter): a weary noir voiceover attached to a sarcastic private detective with a drinking problem and a mean left hook. She also has superpowers, but be cool, we’re being subtle here. Jessica describes her job as being about “finding dirt” AKA catching out cheaters, and then having to break it to their significant others.

After throwing an angry client through the glass pane in her own office door, we watch Jessica making her way through her seedy life in a seedy part of the city, pointedly not looking at posters of a certain happy blonde talk show host (though the camera lingers).

Jessica juggles several cases during this episode, in great Chandleresque tradition of the multi-tasking detective. She hustles corporate lawyer Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Ann Moss) into giving her work despite having turned down a more permanent position, and the two of them analyse Jessica’s highly erratic (but effective methods.

Jessica also spends some time taking shots of local bartender Luke Cage (Mike Colter) indulging in an illicit hookup, because it’s that or admit her own insomnia.

[Read more]

Jessica Jones is My Hero

This post originally appeared on my blog in July 2015 when I first started getting excited about the upcoming Jessica Jones TV series, but it also works as a coda to the Alias Reread posts, covering Jessica’s appearances in comics after the original run on Alias ended. This post contains spoilers for Alias, and therefore might spoil the upcoming Jessica Jones TV show if it follows any of the same storylines. Who can say?

So, I’m pretty excited about the upcoming Netflix series of Jessica Jones. Everything I hear about it suggests that it’s a solid adaptation of the brilliant, highly original Alias comic that allows Jessica to be the angry, flawed character that she is. And they’re doing a scene where Luke Cage is on fire (actually showing off his powers!), so that’s pretty great. I’m cranky that so much of the publicity is pairing images of Krysten Ritter with comic-art-Jessica-as-Jewel rather than comic-art-Jessica-as-Humphrey-Bogart but I have confidence that doesn’t reflect the priorities of the show.

Jessica Jones is a hard drinking, chain-smoking, angry private detective who delves into the darker, murkier side of the Marvel Universe. She’s a classic noir hero with a 21st century edge, and it’s amazingly empowering to see a female character who’s just—so—well, flawed and mean and grumpy.

Grumpy female characters are my favourite thing.

[Read more]

Jessica Jones: The Alias Reread Part 4

Welcome back to the Alias re-read!

Previously in Alias, superhero-turned-private-detective Jessica Jones scammed Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson out of several months of charity donations, then rescued his teenage superhero foster daughter from a mutant growth hormone drugs ring, with help from the original Spider-Woman Jessica Drew. Jessica also acquired, then lost, then regained, official boyfriend-girlfriend status with Scott Lang AKA Ant-Man.

We’re on the final run of Alias now with the issues collected in the fourth trade. Given the casting of David Tennant as Killgrave/the Purple Man, this is very likely to be the most important story arc to viewers of next month’s Netflix release, Jessica Jones.

[Read more]

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Mistress of the Empire, Epilogue

Welcome back to the reread of Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts. This is it, last post, we’re done!

This was totally not going to be a separate post to the last chapter, but turned out I had a LOT to say about both the final chapter and this epilogue. I know, right? Last week, everything was tied up with a big imperial ribbon—every single plot thread was made shiny and perfect and happy (or happysad) and resolved.

So what’s left?

Oh look, it’s a time jump!

[Read more]

Series: Rereading The Empire Trilogy

Jessica Jones: The Alias Reread, Part 2

Welcome back to the Alias re-read! Previously in Alias, we met Jessica Jones, former third-rate superhero, now private detective.

Last time, we followed Jessica as she saved Captain America from a potential sex scandal/political conspiracy, was taken for a ride by a dodgy Rick Jones impersonator (seriously, if you’re going to impersonate someone famous, why would you pick Rick Jones?), repaired her rocky friendship with Carol Danvers AKA Ms Marvel, and had a one night stand with Luke Cage before discovering he’s a total cape chaser.

[Read more]

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Mistress of the Empire, Part 33

Welcome back to the reread of Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts.

So Mara won the war and the argument and just about everything else—to the victor, the spoils. Or rather, to the victor, the exciting rewards you get to present to your friends. Surprises for everyone, especially Hokanu (poor, sweet Hokanu).

[Chapter 33: Imperial Council]

Series: Rereading The Empire Trilogy