“I’m the only one who matches you… who challenges you… who’ll do anything for you.”

The new Jessica Jones tv show from Netflix is not only a GU story but very reminiscent of several other prominent GU examples. (I have not read the comic books on which it is based, so do not know if this extends to them as well.)

Jessica Jones is an orphan who, after an accident as a teenager, developed super strength. As an adult, she has become a hard-drinking, pessimistic mess – in fact, she really reminds me of the grim, alternate-world Buffy on Buffy the Vampire Slayer had she lived to grow up and become a PI in the big city. Especially because both of them have experienced extreme trauma at the hands of an adversary – in Jessica’s case, a man named Kilgrave with the power to control people’s minds. Jessica must rescue various companions/friends as Kilgrave plays a drawn out cat-and-mouse game with her. There is a betrayal by a companion more than once (although not really their fault, due to the mind control issue). There is also a really creepy and elaborate “return to home” in the middle of the story, when Kilgrave meticulously reconstructs her childhood home and brings her there to live with him.

Her relationship to her adversary very much reminds me of Sarah and Jareth in Labyrinth – especially from Kilgrave’s perspective. His speech to her in the police station, where he finally reveals his feelings and intentions, echoes Jareth’s statement that “everything I’ve done, I’ve done for you.” They both express desire in a way that seems like torment to the object of that desire. And when Jessica temporarily manages to isolate him and his abilities, she is expressing that he has no power over her.

She does eventually defeat him, through cleverness, in the final showdown. By then it was necessary, but I kind of wish she had made a different choice back around episode 7 or 8. Of course, I have a soft spot for certain kinds of adversaries.

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