The only thing worse than a supervillain arch-rival specializing in mind-control is a supervillain arch-rival specializing in mind control that’s obsessed with you.
Jessica Jones learns that important lesson in a terrifying episode that explores the numerous challenges of a foe that can make anyone a weapon against her.
Considering what’s already happened in the series, this episode felt like it could have been the penultimate chapter before the season finale. I’ll be even more impressed if the series can keep this momentum throughout the remaining 10 episodes without losing steam.
Up to this episode, we’d seen very little of Kilgrave. The few glimpses we’d seen had been in hazy flashbacks where he was shrouded in shadows and mostly his hands, befitting a super-powered puppet master.
And with Jessica’s newfound resolve and knowledge of his weakness, Kilgrave seemed to be the hunted, but by the end of the episode, he certainly came across more like the hunter. Looking to track down some of the special anesthesia to de-power Kilgrave, Jessica tries her luck with Jeri’s wife, who happens to be a doctor. Jessica is a pretty lousy people person as evidenced in this scene.
Jessica is so bad at asking for help, the doc writes her an anti-psychotic prescription instead, which Jessica naturally takes of course. I love how the show has so perfectly captured the beaten down, over it hero mentality of Hancock, but doing it in a way that makes Jessica likable and real.
For superheroes, finding a partner equally super-powered with increased levels of stamina, invulnerability and endurance without fear of breaking them in the bedroom kinda has to be like winning the mega-millions lottery.
That’s why the numerous sex scenes with Jessica and Luke were more humorous than gratuitous. There was absolutely no way I could dislike this episode after finding the perfect way to work in Cage’s signature “Sweet Christmas” catchphrase.
Ritter and Colter have a great chemistry making their sharing abilities and powers at a hot dog stand charming. It’s refreshing to see the love interest being able to relate to having powers.
Jessica’s neighbors continue to the show’s weak point. The weirdly, quirky neighbor bit is the one cliche the series happily indulges. Jessica is different enough that she should be the weird one surrounded by perfectly regular folks. At least they served some purpose as Jessica used the constantly high Malcolm as a distraction allowing her to steal the anesthesia.
Jessica got another win as she got her two closest allies, Jeri and Trish, on board with trying to speak up for Hope who was getting hammered in the media for her “devil made her do it” logic for killing her parents.
Jeri arranges an in-prison interview on Trish’s radio talk show. Trish takes up Hope’s cause and calls out Kilgrave, who dials in and subtly suggests he could have people kill her.
It doesn’t take long for him to make good on the threat as Kilgrave sends police officer Will Simpson (Wil Traval) to kill Trish. I was disappointed that Trish’s Krav Maga‘s training proved so worthless in her first life or death situation. Thankfully, Jessica was there to make the save and track the officer to Kilgrave’s new posh penthouse.
The writers are really exploring all of the ways a person with mind-controlling abilities could completely abuse their powers like an evil Professor X. Why bother staying at one place where daily you could switch your residence?
I’m hoping the series eventually explains Kilgrave’s fascination with Jessica though since monogamy would seem to be the first moral line totally obliterated with this power.
Kilgrave is initially shocked to see Jessica and now a flashback connects the dots for us. Kilgrave commanded Jessica to punch Reva Connors, whose picture was in Cage’s medicine cabinet. The force of the punch killed her just before Kilgrave’s near fatal bus crash. Further explaining things, Reva was Cage’s wife, which fills in some necessary gaps as to why Jessica had been keeping tabs on him.
Back to the present, Kilgrave commands the officer to jump from the building forcing Jessica to knock him out to stop him. Naturally, Kilgrave has vanished, but in horror movie fashion, each creak and noise is another house inhabitant Jessica has to take down.
Ritter is nailing all the small nuances of the character from being on a near constant state of annoyance to genuinely feeling remorseful after throwing Kilgrave’s zombies around.
Finally in the show’s creepiest scene yet, she comes to a room filled with nothing but pictures of her taped on the wall and stacked in piles on the desk from recent times in her life. While Jessica thought she was leading the hunt, Kilgrave has been keeping a close on her all along. Now that she’s in Kilgrave’s web, does Jessica have a chance of escaping again?
Rating: 9 out of 10
The show continues its red-hot roll with more of Jessica’s past and present colliding. It’s building to a major confrontation with Kilgrave, but can the show keep it going after this initial run-in?
Photo Credit: MYLES ARONOWITZ/NETFLIX
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