Jessica Jones: AKA Shark in the Bathtub, Monster in the Bed
March 11, 2018 8:20 AM - Season 2, Episode 9 - Subscribe

The shooting forces Jessica to rethink her plans. Meanwhile, Oscar asks for help with a family crisis, and Trish's frustrations finally boil over.

*AV Club - Jessica Jones puts its unique spin on the superhero morality debate
*Den of Geek - Jessica Jones faces a devastating choice in another top notch episode.

*The sniper is revealed to be Pryce Cheng. He tries to make a run for it after seeing that he missed Alisa and she's seen him, but she catches him in the stairwell, and a brief fight ensues before Jessica steps in and tranquilizes him. She puts a tied-up Cheng in her bathtub; Alisa wants to kill him, but Jessica refuses to allow it, and says she'll use the threat of an attempted murder charge to get him to leave them alone when he wakes up. She accepts Alisa's first aid help (I know they're supers, but, duct tape directly on an open wound? Gah.), and then helps Alisa chain down for bed.

*Trish shows up at Jessica's, partly to see if Malcolm told on her (but apparently he just told Jessica he was going to his parents' place for a bit), and to harangue her about giving up on the IGH investigation, and Jessica finally notices that she's using. She leaves and Jessica can't follow, because Alisa's night terrors have kicked in and proved stronger than Jessica's bed, and it turns out that her nightmare has always been "Where's Jessica?"

*Taking out the trash, Oscar notices the broken window glass on the street and goes to check on Jessica, making him late for his ex, Sonia, who came to drop off Vido, and storms off at the sight of Jessica, saying she'll demand full custody.

*At home, Trish eats a burger and starts coming down from the high, but the sight of Griffin reporting news from war-torn Syria drives her to another dose. She storms over to Hogarth's to insist that Inez let her put her live on Trish Talk for an IGH tell-all interview to lure out the Killer, but Hogarth tells her no way. Later, Hogarth picks up Shane at the prison and convinces him (with the threat of getting some forgotten assault charges refiled) to heal her. Back at her place, with Inez, Shane makes the attempt, and by Hogarth's tears seems to have succeeded.

*A still-high Trish tries to get through a Trish Talk segment with a woman promoting her gluten-free diet book, and has an on-air meltdown about how there are so many more serious problems in the world than the lifestyle bullshit she is covering, and quits. Later, taking her frustrations out on a punching bag, she gets a call from the head of ZCN wanting to bring her in for a screen test in the morning. She agrees, goes for another hit of the inhaler, but it is finally empty.

*Alisa makes breakfast spaghetti (butter and jam? is that really a thing?) and is horrified to learn that Jessica has always blamed herself for the car accident. She insists that her father was a terrible driver, and if anyone but him is to blame it's Alisa for letting him drive just to placate his ego. Oscar calls to say that Sonia has disappeared with Vido and he's afraid she's taking him back to Peru. Jessica gives Cheng another dose of the tranquilizer and takes Alisa with her to go help Oscar. They catch up with Sonia at a bus station (Stan Lee cameo moment on a poster), and Jessica and Alisa drag the bus to a halt. Sonia cries that Vido is all she has, and Jessica tells her she'll always be his mother.

*At the elevator, Oscar thanks Jessica and offers whatever forgery help she needs for her mother. Cheng revives at last, and Jessica tries to convince him to leave them alone, but he reminds her of what he heard Alisa do to his buddy Nick, and Jessica ends up calling Detective Costa to tell him that the Killer is in her apartment. Cheng makes a run for it as Alisa flips out, and Jessica tries to slow her down. Alisa finds herself surrounded by cops in front of the building, and, at Jessica's pleas, surrenders to them.
posted by oh yeah! (11 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Alisa makes breakfast spaghetti (butter and jam? is that really a thing?)

So that bit really stuck out to me and I did a little casual Googling. I couldn't find anything in the top hits about just putting butter and jam on pasta noodles, thank goodness - every breakfast pasta recipe I turned up was savory, typically involving eggs, ham or both.
posted by mordax at 10:11 AM on March 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I thought they meant regular butter butter, not peanut butter.
posted by oh yeah! at 10:12 AM on March 11, 2018

I thought so too. Oh man, now I'm picturing PB&J noodles. Gah.

Truly, Alisa is a monster.
posted by mordax at 10:17 AM on March 11, 2018 [6 favorites]

I don't think there's anything they could have done with Malcolm that would have been more horrible than him not being in this episode at all.
posted by straight at 10:50 PM on March 16, 2018 [4 favorites]

The Alisa storyline is breaking my heart. And it casts a reflection on Jessica, who also has her issues with anger and impulse control - but so far doesn't cross the line of willingly taking a human life. I wonder if we're meant to question whether, as she ages, this could become more challenging. Or maybe her mom is there to show us that Jessica just can't get a happy ending.
posted by bunderful at 4:09 PM on March 30, 2018

And I just now noticed that Alisa is an anagram for Alias.
posted by bunderful at 4:24 PM on March 30, 2018

This is the episode that jumped the shark for me. Granted, the show had been getting increasingly incoherent. Between Trish's roid rages, Hogarth's breakneck vacillation between icy & clingy, Alisa's murder hobby, Pryce suddenly deciding to cosplay Lee Harvey Oswald, the neighbor family drama . . . just. It's a lot. They set up a lot of interesting premises about the power and limits of women's anger only to have it start getting absurd.

I think there is a valid premise behind, for example, Trish's envy of Griffin, and her desire to be taken seriously as easily as he is, but girrrrrrl. Like, how does yelling at Gluten Lady do anything about these issues that are burning a hole in your conscience. Her insistence on following this IGH case has started to look really bad on her. She's using Jessica's trauma to fulfill her ambitions. She doesn't care about Important Global Problems any more than Gluten Lady does, but she wants the gravitas that appearing to care would lend her. How does ranting like a newly woke freshman back home for Thanksgiving dinner impress a major news network? I'm waiting for them to give her some sort of undermining Ann Coulter troll position.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 7:53 AM on April 10, 2018

They should have called this episode "AKA Shark Jumping Over the Bathtub . . ."
posted by Kitty Stardust at 8:21 AM on April 10, 2018

Trish wants you to get mad.
posted by yonega at 7:28 PM on April 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Well, the whole point of that Trish thing is that she's not actually thinking clearly. She's just raging because that's a side effect of her drugs. She obviously doesn't have a plan for what to do with her rage, she's just letting it out into the world at random because that feels good.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:56 PM on April 23, 2018 [3 favorites]

Hi from the Future again! Something that's been becoming clearer to me about this show in comparison to other Marvel properties, or action properties at large, is that it's not just much, much darker, but it's also the one that's most about mercy and forgiveness. With Kilgrave in S1, and how much time was spent not killing him because of how valuable it would have been, in the show's morality, to prove that his victims weren't resposible for their actions under his control. And then, when it came down to killing him anyway, doing it in such a way as to make him shout "stop" first at all of his current victims on the docks. So many action premises, be they superhero or sci-fi or fantasy or horror or whatever, find a way to say "it's alright to mow down all these mooks in your path, don't worry about it" and this show knows deep in its bones that that is not okay even a little bit.

And as such, it runs into a bit of the quandary of "eventually isn't Batman really to blame if the Joker keeps breaking out of Arkham?" And JJ knows it, too. Because her true superpower is guilt and self-loathing.

All this to say that where another superhero might have leveled a city block trying to take down Alisa, and have Alisa be dead at the end of it but hey That's The Hero Biz, Jessica Jones spends a night and a day with her, and brings her in about as peacefully as possible with no new casualties, even taking time to avert some major strife in Oscar's family along the way. And she hates herself for it.

Anyway, that's everything with Alisa wrapped up now! I guess she's just gonna use these last four episodes to get some much-needed rest!
posted by Navelgazer at 4:06 PM on April 7, 2022

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