Marvel’s Jessica Jones
It doesn’t frighten a gifted person like Jessica Jones to face down the barrel of a gun. At least she can feel it when a bullet invades her body. A camera lens, however, is another matter altogether.
After learning that Kilgrave has a spy (or spies) photographing her movements, Jessica begins to question everyone around her. The crowded New York streets that usually fade into the background suddenly become unknown threats. Jessica explains that Kilgrave only needs to say one word to control a person’s mind. Also, we learn this episode that his power lasts only for 12 hours. After that, he needs to reassert his control.
Although Jessica’s mind is Kilgrave-free, she’s still paranoid. When a new potential client named Audrey Eastman visits her office, Jessica gives her the third degree, even after learning that a partner at Jeri’s firm referred her. Audrey’s fairly certain her husband, Carlo, is having an affair, and she wants the money shot to prove it. Jessica warns Audrey that seeing those kinds of photos can do more harm than good, but, according to Audrey, it’s nothing therapy can’t fix. “Circle of life,” Jessica deadpans.
Officer Simpson is circling back around as well. He and another cop appear at Trish’s security-enhanced door, planning to open it with a ram. Trish calls Jessica in a panic. Jessica jumps up to Trish’s place and watches Simpson’s desperate attempt to smash open the door. She tells Trish that Kilgrave is not controlling Simpson’s mind. Rather, Simpson is trying to process his role in Trish’s supposed death. Having been under Kilgrave’s control before, Jessica understands Simpson’s guilt. When Jessica opens the door, with Trish by his side, he can’t understand how she survived. Jessica tells Simpson that it’s okay to let himself off the hook, but he insists there must be a way he can help. Later, when Jessica realizes she can track down her Kilgrave photographer with the city’s police security videos, Simpson agrees to swipe the footage for her.
Jessica also figures out how to get Trish back in Kilgrave’s good graces. Trish broadcasts a mea culpa about her mistreatment of the very “fascinating and powerful” Kilgrave. (Jessica seems to know his mind almost as well as he knows hers.) Trish hates what she’s doing, but she sells it. It’s revealed that she used to be an actress; Patsy Walker, the comic-book title from the last episode, was her most famous role.
Jessica is still concerned that Audrey Eastman is putting on an act. She trails Audrey to make sure she’s not reporting back to Kilgrave. She follows her to a shady-looking abandoned factory, where Audrey puts on loud rock music and pulls out a gun from her purse. Gunshots ensue, but to Jessica’s surprise, Audrey is shooting at a mannequin target with protective earphones. It’s an impromptu shooting range. Is the training meant for Jessica, or for Audrey’s philandering husband?
Jeri later summons Jessica to the firm, where potential Kilgrave victims have come forward to record statements. Jeri wants Jessica to dig up dirt on Jeri’s estranged wife, Wendy. Specifically, she wants Jessica to find out what dirt Wendy has on Jeri. Jessica’s priority, however, is talking with the Kilgrave victims. A rather tired montage of people who obviously have never dealt with Kilgrave follows. (One mother is there because her teenage daughter would never have had sex without mind control.) Interspersed with these unbelievable narratives, though, are a few witnesses with nonchalant-but-chilling details that scream Kilgrave. A white dress shirt. A “limey” accent. A command to “smile.” Jeri rounds up the people with credible tales and forms a support group. She suggests Jessica join as well. The idea doesn’t bother Jessica as much as Jeri’s aside that she wishes Kilgrave would use his “gift” for good. Enraged, she condemns Jeri’s characterization of Kilgrave’s invasion and torture as a gift.
Meanwhile, Simpson and his guilt can’t seem to leave Trish alone. He’s back at her door, holding a gift in a box. Through her securely bolted door, Trish tells Simpson to set the box down and walk to the end of the hallway. She swiftly opens her door, grabs the box, and closes the door again. It’s a gun for her protection. After he tells her he wants her to feel safe, the camera pans to Trish, as she points the gun angrily at the door, unbeknownst to Simpson. Eventually, she drops her guard. Later in the episode, the two of them lean on their respective sides of the door and share stories from their pasts. It’s a sweet scene. After some time, Trish lets him in for coffee, but keeps her hand on the gun. (Is this supposed to be a romance? “Almost killing you because of mind control” has got to be one of the strangest meet-cute premises.)
Trish is safe for now. At least that’s what a random 8-year-old girl tells Jessica on the street. (I guess Kilgrave doesn’t discriminate based on age.) The girl’s creepy message then takes a nasty turn: “You’re a bitch. You could have stopped that bus … You turned everything to shit. It’s Friday. Don’t you have a job to do?” Jessica thinks this is a reference to her client, Audrey. The girl snaps out of it, and her worried mother arrives before Jessica can learn anything else.
The girl is right. Jessica does have a job to do. Based on a tip from Audrey, Jessica follows her husband, Carlo, to an apartment building. To get the money shot, Jessica jumps up to the apartment. As she’s standing outside a bedroom door, watching Carlo canoodle with some unseen woman, Jessica gets a call from Audrey. Audrey wants to know if Jessica followed Carlo. She wants to know exactly where Jessica is. Jessica’s no dope. She puts the phone down and Jessica hears Audrey’s voice. She’s the woman in the room with Carlo. Jessica bursts through the door. It was a setup after all, but not because of Kilgrave.
Turns out, Audrey is anti-“gift” and, through an associate, she learned that Jessica had powers. She fires a gun at her shoulder, discovering that Jessica isn’t bulletproof. It’s only a flesh wound, and Jessica is not happy. Audrey says she disdains “freaks” like Jessica because her mother was killed during one of the Avengers’ battles in New York City. This excuse sets Jessica off. “I lost [my parents] in some random accident. Do you see me trying to kill every shitty driver?” she yells, destroying a mirror and furniture during her tirade. Jessica smash! She warns Audrey that, in this borough alone, she knows of 99 “freaks” who wouldn’t like her crusade. Audrey had better disappear.
So, maybe a little therapy would do Jessica some good. At a coffee shop, she eavesdrops on the Kilgrave group’s first meeting. One man tells a harrowing story of leaving his child on the side of the road because Kilgrave ordered him to do it. He acted as Kilgrave’s chauffeur for a week, leading to child-abandonment charges and, eventually, divorce. Jessica leaps from the counter and interrogates the man further. Where did he drive Kilgrave? Did anyone give Kilgrave photos? The man replies that Kilgrave met a man with photos everyday at ten o’clock. That man, he says, wore a white-and-blue scarf.
Having narrowed Kilgrave’s “spies” to one spy in particular, Jessica returns to the video surveillance Simpson provided. In one particular video, she spies a man with a blue-and-white scarf. It’s her druggie neighbor, Malcolm.
- Jessica to Jeri’s girlfriend, who’s wearing a floral-patterned dress: “I couldn’t hear you over that loud print.” Krysten Ritter delivers snark so well.
- Jeri is coooold. I like it.
- During one of the interviews, Jessica seemed to be able to tell Kilgrave had been in a guy’s mind, so it seems that Kilgrave can leave a trail. Wouldn’t this make it easier for her to tell who’s been Kilgraved?
- Did the accident that killed Jessica’s parents also give Jessica her powers?