Jessica Jones season 2 episode 12 recap and review: AKA Pray for My Patsy


Jessica Jones continues to kill time before the second season finale, but at least Jeri’s masterful revenge scheme is satisfying.

My main takeaway from “AKA Pray for My Patsy” is that Jessica Jones season 2 should have been fewer than 13 episodes. As I’ve mentioned before, the show has been going in circles these past few episodes: Jess worries that she’s just like her mother; Alisa freaks out and goes on a rampage that only Jessica can stop; Jessica must choose between her mother and the welfare of everyone else. These are interesting plotlines, but as Jessica Jones explores them and then explores them some more, the less I care.

They are enough for an eight-episode season, possibly even 10. But with 13 episodes to fill they are, frankly, getting pretty boring.

The generous side of me wants to believe the show is treading water as a stylistic choice. Anyone with a family knows there are certain conflicts that are never fully resolved. Loved ones have the same fights over and over — even though they’re aware of the cycle, they can’t quite seem to break it. Jess will probably always wonder if Alisa’s life is her destiny; Dorothy will likely continue to blame Jessica for Trish’s problems; and Trish might feel inadequate next to Jessica forever. If that repetition is annoying, well, that’s family life, baby! It doesn’t always make narrative sense.

I want so badly to believe this is what Jessica Jones is going for this season. But I don’t.

Most of the non-Jeri developments in “AKA Pray for My Patsy” are stuff we’ve seen before, but the episode frames them as if they are the highest of stakes. Trish has already told Jess her mother needs to be stopped. Jessica has broken through her mother’s dissociative rages at least a couple of times before. And it’s not exactly a revelation that Alisa kills first and thinks later. Yet Jessica Jones keeps presenting these well-tread moments as if they are game-changers.

They’re not. In this episode, Jess manages to prevent her mother from murdering Trish, but Alisa still evades arrest and kills an officer in the process. After having a fight with Trish about how she should use her powers, Jess decides to give her mother a Raft-or-death ultimatum. Alisa pounces at Jessica’s millisecond of hesitation, and the episode ends with both Joneses in a stolen RV, presumably driving to Playland.

As irritating as I find Trish, I do appreciate the series giving her and Jess a chance to clear the air. Being family and all, the two have a lot of mutual resentment built up. Trish thinks Jessica is wasting her powers, squandering her chance to make the world a better place. Jess believes Trish is channeling all her doubts and frustrations into the possibility of having powers, which she doesn’t fully understand. By doing so, Trish places Jessica on a pedestal that she can’t help but fall from.

Their airing of the grievances might be the most satisfying part of “AKA Pray for My Patsy,” aside from Jeri’s story, of course. I felt awful for Jeri when Inez and Shane robbed her, but thanks to this episode I’m now impressed and terrified. You do not mess with Jeri Hogarth — she will destroy your life.

Jeri bounces back and then some from her meltdown in “AKA Pork Chop.” She tracks down the items Inez and Shane took (“You’re too stupid to own a pawn shop!”) and gets her hands on an off-the-books pistol by making a trade with a jolly associate named Turk. If you think Jeri’s too cool to shoot someone, then you’re right. Instead, Jeri confronts Inez outside of her and Shane’s home and does what she does best: plays some serious mind games.

A contrite Inez tells Jeri she did what she did because she loves Shane and vice versa. Jeri calmly accepts this but warns Inez that Shane has made a fool of her, too. While in prison Shane wrote letters to multiple women and scammed them for thousands of dollars. Inez, who managed to send Shane cash even when she was living on the streets, is understandably incensed. Jeri hands her the gun and waits. Within a scene or two Inez has shot Shane and Jeri has called the police.

After a perfectly calibrated act of revenge like that, Jessica would be wise to enlist Jeri’s help in stopping Alisa. She’d probably get much better results.

Next: Jessica Jones S2E11 recap: AKA Three Lives and Counting


  • Rachael Taylor’s performance in Trish’s last scene is phenomenal. Her soft, scared plea to Dorothy to hold her hand broke my heart.
  • It’s also moving when Alisa clutches Karl’s Doors T-shirt in the motel room. I confess I laughed a little, too, because Karl was a 57-year-old man who exclusively wore beat-up band tees.
  • Is Dorothy being genuine when she tells Jessica she doesn’t blame her for Trish’s issues? Or is she just acting like the saintly, bereaved mother because that will play better in the press?
  • “My mother is brain-damaged. What’s your excuse?”
  • I hope we see more of Turk next season. His one scene made more of an impression than Malcolm’s two seasons. (Sorry, but it’s true.)
  • The callback to Maury Tuttlebaum from the morgue’s connection with Trish is perfect: “I told her to stick with her lifestyle format.”