Warning: Spoilers below! (Also contains mild spoilers & discussion for the Jessica Jones comic, Alias. Ye be warned!)
Episode 7: AKA Top Shelf Perverts
Okay, what is Simpson doing? He didn’t tell Trish that he found Kilgrave, and he’s just been chilling in front of Jessica’s childhood home for days on end waiting for what exactly? I mean, sure, it’s probably for the best now that someone knows that Jessica is there with Kilgrave. But what was/is Simpson’s plan?? I don’t really trust him. He isn’t being honest with Trish and seems more focused on revenge than bringing Kilgrave in for justice. Should be interesting to see where they go with him.
I went on a whole spiel about the differences between show Kilgrave and comic Killgrave in the Episode 6 recap in Part Two, so I won’t go into it more here. But I find Kilgrave’s motivations fascinating. Does he truly love Jessica and believe that they, as two powerful gifted people, are “inevitable?” Or is this just another part of his twisted mind games?
Poor Reuben. Poor creepily awkward Reuben. He was just a smitten kid. His sister Robin is still pretty strange, but she doesn’t deserve the pain of not knowing what happened to her brother either.
I really like the new-and-improved, clean Malcolm. He makes a good sidekick/supporting character for Jessica, and did well in bringing Trish into the mix. Yeah, Jessica’s plan was totally stupid. But you can hardly blame her for being at her wits’ end. I’m glad Trish and Malcolm did what they could to save her, even though it was all for naught. Ironic that the one to save Jessica was Kilgrave himself. That said, I hope that Trish in particular gets more of a chance to shine by her own right instead of needing to be saved all the time (by Jessica, Simpson, or otherwise.) Especially now that we’ve gotten more of a glimpse into her childhood with her controlling, abusive mother.
The thing about being “the strong one,” is that Jessica Jones keeps putting herself in harm’s way to be the shield, the sacrificial lamb for others. To be fair, this has worked for her so far because she used to keep people at a distance. But now with Trish, Malcolm, and Luke, she feels like she has to take the bullet to save everyone else. It’s great to see the other characters stepping up and trying to convince her not to do this (even Hogarth got her moment, although she may be doing it solely for her own purposes. “You still owe me a favor…”).
Again, I think “strength” is a big theme for this series and for the Jessica Jones character in general — apropos given her special abilities. The show has now set things up for some of the other characters to show their strength and courage in helping Jessica while she’s at her lowest. But who am I kidding? It’s only episode 7 of 13. There’s probably plenty lower our poor heroine will fall in the episodes to come… Hopefully the others can help pull her back up and soon.
Episode 8: AKA WWJD?
Wow. Okay. Well, Daredevil had slamming a Russians head in a car door; Jessica Jones has an old lady literally exploding on a suburban sidewalk. O_O
Alas, poor Simpson. He wasn’t a bad guy; just dumb and impulsive. I hope he isn’t dead, but the giant glass shard in his side is making me think he is no longer of this world. Shame.
Now, I hate that I keep harping on about the difference between comic Killgrave and show Kilgrave, but it’s really striking, particularly in this episode. It’s interesting how the show plays with the line between him as a sympathetic character and just an evil sociopath.
I’m glad that Jessica was able to see past her initial plan and come up with a better solution. We saw with the whole supermax prison plan that she may not be the best at coming up with these things, but luckily this time she came to her senses before sacrificing herself up again. Especially since she was the one who gave Hogarth a big speech about not being able to use Kilgrave’s powers for “the good side.”
(Trigger warning for this paragraph) While this was a really interesting episode, but I have to say, I’m not really a fan of constantly using rape as backstory for women characters. We already learned that Hope had been raped while with Kilgrave, and here we hear that Jessica was as well. An interesting development given that in the comics, Jessica explicitly says that she was not raped by Killgrave. Rather, she was forced to watch him with other girls and beg him to take her too. I think, once again, that this highlights the difference between the “in love,” obsessive Kilgrave of the show and the detached, sadistic Killgrave of the comics. Which, when you think about it, is kind of strange. The show seems to want to paint Kilgrave as a sympathetic character, even going so far as to show is sad origin story. But then they temper that with saying outright that he raped Jessica along with the other victims. I don’t know. It’s a sensitive topic, so I don’t want to compare mind-rape to physical rape, but on the other hand, I’m interested to hear the showrunners’ rationalization on why they changed that particular aspect of Jessica Jones’ backstory.
Episode 9: AKA Sin Bin
Jeeeeeez. Well, I spoke too soon about the Jessica Jones scene that could potentially rival the brutal intensity of Daredevil. That whole last scene was incredibly tense and hard to watch.
To be honest, I was unsure of how I felt throughout this whole episode. Sure, Jessica Jones falls more on the anti-hero side of the scale, but watching our protagonists torture a man with recordings of his childhood trauma was hard. All of the characters were at a different level of comfort with what they were doing vs. the end results. And this is made even complicated when the show kept painting Kilgrave in a sad, sympathetic state. Which, I suppose, makes for good discussion and interesting television.
Besides “strength,” another core theme of this show has been “heroism.” Were Jessica, Trish, and Hogarth heroic in their actions? I would say no. Do they have heroic intentions? Sure. I guess the main point of this episode was to explore whether the ends justify the means. Several of the characters asked Jessica to end it at various points during Kilgrave’s imprisonment, but no one actually put a stop to anything; there was always a twinge of doubt whether their actions were in the right or wrong.
All in all, I was on the fence this whole episode. I didn’t know how to feel towards our protagonists nor to our antagonist. Jessica Jones is definitely set in a world of gray and the characters reflect that.
That being said, after all the moral ambiguity and then the harsh physical violence, I gave a small cheer as Jessica Jones realized that she is, in fact, stronger than Kilgrave’s power over her. She smiled; I smiled. Things are definitely going down in these next episodes!
Thanks for joining me for Part Three of the Jessica Jones Binge-Watch & Blog-Along! Coming soon: reviews and reactions to Episodes 10-12…
‘Til then — “Obi-Wan Kenobi?” “But cooler!”
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