For this post, I analyzed the theme presented in Jessica Jones Episode 4 “AKA 99 Friends”.
Multiple arguments were made in this episode that bolstered the theme of the episode. First, the show played around the necessity of therapy in the episode. In this episode as well as the previous episode, Jessica is shown having a dismissive attitude towards therapy. Due to her PTSD, she often recites a series of words that remind her of her happiest moments. Even though Jessica always seem to dislike the idea of therapy, the show shows how the support group she is apart of helps her face Kilgrave, the main antagonist of the story. She even recommends that support group to Malcolm, Jessica’s neighbor. The show clearly argues the need of therapy or support to those in troubled situations.
The second argument the show makes during this episode surrounds the idea of personal responsibility. Jessica Jones is clearly portrayed as an abnormal hero. Throughout the show, Jessica struggles with what she is really responsible for. In other words, should she help anyone who asks for it? This question is asked multiple times, and in this episode particularly, the morality of personal responsibility is questioned when (*spoiler warning*) Jessica finds out Malcolm is actually working for Kilgrave as Jessica’s stalker. In addition to this twist, Jessica originally met Malcolm when she first encountered Kilgrave all those years ago and tried to save Malcolm from Kilgrave. Interestingly, Jessica continues to help Malcolm despite being betrayed completing the argument of personal responsibility. The show ultimately argues that help should be given without condition. This is clearly shown when Malcolm asks Jessica if humanity is worth saving, and this goes well with Jessica’s struggle with personal responsibility.
At the end, both these arguments support the one of the main overarching themes of the show: seeking community and help. Both these arguments show the importance of having a community or a friend who will help unconditionally. In the example with Malcolm, Jessica has no reason to help him especially with his betrayal. However, Jessica continues to help him even though she always acts like she doesn’t care about Malcolm. I believe this theme applies to the real-world very well. Often, mental illness and suicide often arise from the lack of community and the lack of help from others. The theme shown goes to show how important community and help is to our society today.
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