Jessica Jones AKA WWJD recap – Episode 8

I’ll say this for Kilgrave. No dude has ever done as much as he did in this episode to impress a woman. Of course, being an obsessed mind-controlling psycho, this wasn’t going to end well.

This was a complicated episode tackling themes of redemption, violation and reconciliation? Ultimately, this episode best benefited from the binge viewing option as it was a slower paced outing that saved all the important moments for the final 15 minutes.

Hoping to limit the collateral damage, Jessica returned to her childhood home and try and play nice with Kilgrave until he confesses to making Hope kill her parents.

The writers have portrayed Kilgrave as a smarter than average villain and unlikely to make such a casual mistake. Jessica’s smart enough to realize that so in a lot of ways this episode felt more like an drawn out game of cat and mouse to simply give Jessica and Kilgrave extended face time.

Between Krysten Ritter’s constant sneering and utter looks of contempt and David Tennant’s enjoyably showy, but never over the top performance, this featured some of the better character interaction of the series.

jessica-jones-wwjd-kilgrave-jessica-breakfastKilgrave never fails to be the creepiest villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe going to great lengths to accurately restore Jessica’s house right down to her Nirvana posters and CDs. Beyond adding to the creep factor, I didn’t understand how he was able to recover/reproduce the family pictures along the hallways.

Figuring Kilgrave got control of her again, Simpson sneaks into the house and tells Jessica he’s planted a bomb in the basement. Although there’s three innocents under Kilgrave’s sway, Simpson’s plan seems the more sensible option. The season is closing in on the point where killing Kilgrave to permanently stop him saves far more lives than getting Hope acquitted accomplishes beyond Jessica’s peace of mind.

For storytelling purposes, I suppose the secret origin of Kilgrave was necessary to a point, but the reveal that his parents experimented on him leading to the traumatic discovery of his powers undercut his character somewhat.

Kilgrave has been a unique villain in the MCU in that he fully embraced his evil attitude without a shred of remorse or consideration for anything beyond his selfish whims. He was a perfect villain in the sense he was just evil. Blaming it on mommy and daddy felt like a bit of a cop out.

Kilgrave admitting his powers are a burden as he has to carefully select his words steered him too close to sympathetic for my liking. And Jessica having him help end a hostage standoff had me worried the show was attempting some twisted redemption storyline. The scene where the nosy neighbor tries to guilt Jessica for the car crash that left her family dead only for Kilgrave to humiliate her had me on Team Kilgrave far longer than was comfortable.

Fortunately, underneath it all, Kilgrave remained a despicable villain making his servants/employees put knives to their throats and giving Jessica a timeline to return home under threat of having them kill each other.

jessica-jones-pam-hogarthWe only got a few diversions from the happy home with Hogarth’s divorce proceedings slowly playing out. As she unknowingly has a text conversation with Kilgrave on Jessica’s phone about finding dirt on Wendy, it appears that boring subplot will have finally have some significance.

In the end, what would Jessica do? Fake like she’s coming around with a meal with Kilgrave’s favorite dishes, which she drugged to knock him and the servants out. Given Kilgrave’s obsession with her, it certainly felt like Jessica could have done that much sooner and didn’t simply for the sake of letting it play out for a full episode.

Simpson and two of his military pals try and stop Jessica from leaving, but she blows them off by leaping/flying away to presumably the soundproof chamber. I still don’t see how this endgame plays out since Kilgrave can just as easily change a verdict as he can make police officers have a standoff, but I’m curious to see how it plays out.

The nosy neighbor returns with a bag and a present from Kilgrave — the bomb from the basement.  We definitely know the neighbor is dead, but Simpson’s fate is left somewhat vague. Thankfully, unlike The Walking Dead, we won’t have to wait three weeks to learn if he survived.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

This episode was all Jessica and Kilgrave, which kept teetering on making the depraved villain relatable and likable made even easier with Tennant’s great performance. Considering the end result, WWJD felt a bit padded and stretched out, but it had a satisfying enough conclusion to be another winner.

 

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