Just as I was starting to question if the show could maintain its amazing momentum, Top Shelf Perverts delivers another sensational episode featuring one of the series’ best — and creepiest — moments.
Jessica is on a tremendous self-destruction kick and trying to embrace Cage’s final statement to her that she is a P.O.S. It shouldn’t seem so novel to see a female character such a wreck, but this kind of destructive character arc feels so realistic.
Jessica’s spiral feels completely justified and watching her pull herself back up is going to prove one of the more fascinating redemption arcs I’ve seen in years. With this role, Krysten Ritter is consistently turning in career-defining work.
Jessica attempts to make good on her task from Jeri to get her wife, Wendy, to sign the divorce papers so she can marry Pam by dangling her over a train platform. Wendy responds by delivering emails linking Jeri to jury blackmail schemes. This subplot never fails to bore me as it feels so detached from the overarching story featuring uninteresting characters.
Kilgrave wandered into Jessica’s apartment/office presumably not for the first time when Reuben came knocking to drop off some more bread so poor Reuben gets killed. Not for being a weirdo, but Kilgrave’s romantic rival.
Reuben and Robyn never clicked on this show as they clashed with the otherwise grounded dark tone so his death didn’t have the impact it needed. To stop Kilgrave, Jessica tells Malcolm she’ll cop to the murder and get sent to Supermax where somehow she’ll be able to take down Kilgrave.
This plan made no sense and had a terrible chance of succeeding. Thankfully everyone called Jessica out on it. The bond between Trish and Jessica continues to be one of my favorite aspects of the series. We have two strong fully developed characters with a long history unwavering in their love for one another. Trish is literally the friend that helps clean up the dead body at their friend’s place with no questions asked.
And she’s not sitting idly by waiting on Jessica either as she’s managed to track down Kilgrave’s new security detail in hopes of catching him off guard. Simpson finds Kilgrave at Jessica’s childhood home, but keeps that tidbit to himself.
Simpson considers Kilgrave too dangerous to be put to trial and there’s nothing we’ve seen so far to suggest he’s wrong. He’s got the right idea, but he’s certainly not going to be the one who gets to pull the trigger. After all, this show isn’t called Will Simpson.
Jessica meanwhile is saying her farewells as she prepares for a possible remainder of her life in prison. Cage isn’t at the bar — maybe hanging with Danny Rand? — so Jessica has to leave a message.
She visits Trish’s mother Dorothy (Rebecca De Mornay), who’s still working to develop the next child star. Jessica threatens her to keep her distance from Trish or she’ll come after her even if she’s behind bars. It was telling that in her final hours as a free woman Jessica didn’t have any other friends or connections to make amends with or settle accounts.
In the series’ darkest moment so far, Jessica goes to the police station toting Reuben’s head in a bag to assure she gets sent to Supermax.
The bit with Jeri was a rare misstep. Jessica made a fuss of making sure Jeri would defend her only to immediately send her away once she arrives at the police station to start defending her.
It didn’t matter though as Kilgrave came to the station forcing the officers to hold each other at gunpoint while he professes his love for him. He wants her love willingly since Jessica was the only one able to break his control. This proves playing hard to get even works in the world of superheroes. There have been some excellent moments in the series, but this one with the terrific visual of the police standoff, is my favorite so far.
Jessica returns to her office and finds the gift Kilgrave left, her journal telling her to come where it all began. Jessica arrives in her old driveway as Kilgrave greets her dressed like a regular suburban soccer dad and not a mind-controlling psychopath as Simpson watches on.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
The standoff scene was tremendous and continually failing to stop Kilgrave has seemingly broken Jessica leaving little hope and plenty of reasons to despair. Just when you think it can’t get any worse for Jessica it does, but the show keeps delivering amazing moments to keep pulling you in.
Photo Credit: MYLES ARONOWITZ/NETFLIX
Check out these Marvel products from Lyles Movie Files’ affiliate partner Sideshow Collectibles: