“Your paranoia is exhausting.”
This review contains spoilers for Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 2, episode 5, titled “The Octopus.” To see where we left off, check out our review of Season 2, episode 4 and follow along with our full season binge here.
Jessica might think that she and super-powered Janet McTeer are the only monsters in town, but she should probably be keeping a closer eye on both Trish and Jeri, who are reacting to their growing sense of helplessness by taking increasingly dangerous risks.
Jeri has offered to shelter Inez Green from the mystery killer not out of the goodness of her heart (duh), but because she’s curious about IGH’s gene-editing therapy, which she’s clearly hoping might offer a cure for her ALS. As far as reckless decisions go, it’s probably not even the most questionable one Jeri has made over the past two seasons, but she’s smart enough to know, even without being privy to all the specifics of Jessica’s case, that it’s a dubious plan, otherwise she wouldn’t have hidden it from Jess.
And Trish might insist that she wants to be Griffin rather than be with him, but she’s behaving a lot more like Will Simpson this season, rebounding from her aborted engagement by juicing herself back up with her ex’s performance-enhancing inhaler, because a “recovering” addict is still an addict.
On the plus: Griffin is a good guy! His sleuthing around on Trish’s computer was all because he needed to find her contacts for a surprise proposal, aww! On the minus: That didn’t stop Trish from breaking up with him. Her career ambitions are valid (and it’s noble that she wants to end things now rather than stringing Griffin along), but she’s pursuing them in exactly the wrong way — no one’s going to take her seriously as a journalist if her investigative skills are just Hulking out and knocking people unconscious.
“The Octopus” is the first episode that really seems to buckle under the season’s glacial pace — with all of our main ensemble separated and following their own story threads (including Jessica playing therapist to gentle IGH janitor David Kawecki), it lacks both the playful character dynamics and the bursts of action that have livened up other slow episodes. With the true antagonist of the season still unclear, you can feel the series starting to meander.
In true Netflix fashion, “The Octopus” ends on a cliffhanger that necessitates a continued binge, as Jessica finally tracks down her mystery woman and another apparent IGH stooge, “Dr. Karl,” but since this is the last of the episodes given to critics in advance, let’s hope that the remaining eight episodes will heighten that sense of urgency that permeated much of Season 1, rather than once again trying to stretch out 10 episodes’ worth of plot to fill 13 installments.