Jessica Jones: AKA Sin Bin

Hogarth: "The real world is not about happy endings. It's about taking the life you have, and fighting like hell to keep it."

When it comes to Kilgrave, Jessica is almost always right.

This was the second attempt to capture Kilgrave and get him to confess to compelling Hope to kill her parents. They were so close too, until of course, everything went to shit. I also wasn't quite sure whether Kilgrave could be reasoned with or convinced to do something remotely close to the right thing. Using his parents seemed like a good idea, but I knew as soon as they went into the hermetically sealed room that something bad was going to happen. I just didn't realize it was going to go that wrong.

Was it Simpson's fault for not building a better system? Was it Jessica's for not letting go of the possibility of helping Hope? Was it Hogarth? Trish? No, it was all Kilgrave and his horrible parents. While I can understand why they ran from him, since he was basically a version of the kid sending people to the cornfield, it was also one of the worst things a parent could do.

Watching that video of them performing experiments on him, I was convinced they were monsters. Then for a moment after Jessica found them, I was convinced they were mostly innocent of those crimes. After the events of this episode, I'm not sure. They had obviously convinced themselves that they did nothing wrong, enough that Jessica bought into their delusion. In the end, though, it wasn't why they did what they did, but how they did it. Kevin might have been a horrible human being no matter what, but the way his parents treated him brought out the monster.

The actual action in the episode was incredibly intense. It was all a test of wills between Kilgrave and Jessica: who was stronger, who could push the other over the line. Turns out that, even without his powers, Kilgrave was always in control. Jessica lives very close to the surface, emotionally speaking; she is severely damaged and furious. Even when her rational mind was telling her to hold back, she nearly killed him. Add into the mix Trish and Jeri, who come with totally unrelated baggage, and things got really weird. Jeri nearly let Kilgrave go, and Trish almost lost her life because she brought that gun. It was all very human.

Kilgrave managed to escape, but only after being stabbed and shot in the same shoulder (in real life he would be in a hospital for months recovering). There is a very interesting dynamic going on between casting and character. David Tennant very likable, to the point where I occasionally forget that he is the monster in this story. He is so clearly evil, unrepentant evil, but he plays with the idea of being innocent and good. Like a fun mask to put on at a party, he knows how to pretend to be a good guy. He just isn't that person. So when he wears that mask, it is easy to forget who he is.

The biggest take away, though, was the reveal that Kilgrave can no longer control Jessica. It has something to do with her killing Reva, but it is clear that she is somehow immune. From his expression though, I'm not sure if he knew until that moment. That could be why he was playing that game with her, saying that he wouldn't control her. Or maybe he was genuine, but now that they both know, she represents a very real threat to him for the first time. I wonder how he will handle that?


I had no idea what they were doing with Simpson, so I looked. If you are interested, here is a link to his wiki page, but it is spoilerific. All I can say is that drug regimes are never a good thing, especially in a comic book universe.

Is anyone else getting a little frustrated with the Wendy plot? It feels a bit like the situation is forcing Hogarth into making a deal with Kilgrave.

I tend to like fast food (unfortunately), but that burger Jessica brought Kilgrave looked awful. It had to taste pretty bad too, after sitting on that cold damp bench for hours.

Malcolm is recovering pretty well, and it seems like he is starting to become the good person Jessica hoped he would become. I'd call that a tentative win against Kilgrave.


Jessica: "Don't look at him, don't talk to him, and don't listen to him."
Hogarth: "Or he'll mind control me."
Jessica: "No, because he's an asshole."

Hogarth: "What if he kills you?"
Jessica: "Well, then we'll have proof, won't we?"

4 out of 4 Cold burgers.

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.


Billie Doux said...

This episode was a wow. I knew he'd get out, but was still shocked when he did. And she's not susceptible to his voice any more, and he knows it!

David Tennant very likable, to the point where I occasionally forget that he is the monster in this story. Yes, yes, yes. It was excellent casting. I love David Tennant and I keep wanting there to be something good inside of Kilgrave when logically, I know there can't be.

Jeri is so like Kilgrave. Has to be in control.

Terrific review, J.D.

percysowner said...

I have more sympathy for the parents than you do. Kevin was abusing them and they had no way to stop it since he mind controlled them. They couldn't set limits because he would mind control them into setting no limits. When they displeased him, he made his mother BURN HERSELF with an iron.

I do think they left the world defenseless against Kevin/Kilgrave. They should have gotten far enough away and then warned everyone what he could do. But leaving him was an act of self preservation and the fact that he murdered his mother was the ultimate proof. The sad fact is that Kilgrave was given his powers before he had a moral compass to govern himself. Psychologically he is a child who can never be denied. He is also a child who suffered from an illness (I too believe the parents' story) and who didn't comprehend that what was being done to him was to keep him alive. That made him end up as an angry child with no boundaries.

Sol said...

I had an idea why he couldn't control Jessica - it has something to do with blood....

Simpson is very annoying!

Josie Kafka said...

The biggest take away, though, was the reveal that Kilgrave can no longer control Jessica. It has something to do with her killing Reva, but it is clear that she is somehow immune.

I figured this out! I figured this out a few episodes ago!

Do I get a prize?

Billie Doux said...

Virtual lollipops?


Josie Kafka said...

Binary lollipops!

migmit said...

I've said that two episodes ago everybody was acting stupid, except for Jeri and this aging cop, whose name I constantly forget. Well, it's their chance now.

Jeri is a lawyer. The best in the city. I thought that lawyers are generally smart. And used to be dealing with liars and criminals. So... what exactly was she hoping to achieve by opening that door? Is it just that she believed Kilgrave would be true to his word? Really?

Now, I try to imagine myself in this cop's shoes. I have a reason to believe that a dangerous person (Jessica) holds someone as a prisoner, and I think I know where it is. My actions? Well... first of all, call for backup. Would I just go their by my own? Maybe (to try and save the prisoner), but certainly not before I make sure SWAT team is on it's way.

And I had no idea we weren't supposed to notice that Jessica is able to resist Kilgrave. From the flashback it was absolutely clear; I guess they should've told us not to look closely.

Laure Mack said...

How interesting that the trauma that turned Kevin into Kilgrave was a removal of his choices, in a way. His parents held him down to remove his brain juice (or something) even though he repeatedly begged them to stop. Being forced to partake in puzzle time does not a homicidal sociopath with an obsession for power make. Feeling powerless, helpless and alone might, though. While I'm at it, I know from experience that there is a way that his parents could have gotten those samples without physically holding him down.

Are we saying now that Kilgrave knows that he never loved Jessica and was just trying to persuade her into staying with him because he couldn't force her with his voice?? Or am I reading too much into that he already knew. (I already knew too. I'll be waiting for my binary lollipops.)

Billie Doux said...

Laure, you can have binary lollipops, too. :)


Honestly, I did sort of guess that Kilgrave couldn't Kilgrave Jessica any more, but I wasn't certain.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above commenter who said everybody is acting really stupid. In order to move the story to the next step and hit the intended emotional notes, some incredibly stupid choices are sold as rational:
first and foremost, in what way is a video, with a potential witness in England, and scientists (and probably a paper trail, other children etc.) worse evidence than a detective watching someone pick up a pair of scissors??
... that being said, am really enjoying the season on the whole Helen

Marianna said...

Really fun episode. I think we were supposed to suspect that Jessica was immune, but now we have confirmation. I agree with others that Jeri is annoying. They do still have the video of the scissor incident right? That's seems like pretty good evidence for Hope's case to me.