Heroism takes many forms. Sometimes it’s putting on a costume (whether spandex, sandwich-based, or otherwise) and saving lives. Sometimes it’s taking in an orphan whose parents were killed in an accident. On more rare occasions, a hero has to chain her neighbor to a bathroom pipe.
In “AKA The Sandwich Saved Me,” Jessica catches on to Malcolm and his daily morning meet-ups with Kilgrave. She follows Malcolm into a city park and watches as he stands still in a crowd of people, before starting off in a new direction toward a park table. Kilgrave is sitting there with a chessboard. (Everyone is his pawn! Get it?) Although Jessica tails Malcolm specifically to find Kilgrave, she can’t stomach the sight of him for more than a few seconds. She’s only calmed down by her “street name” mantra and the syringe of anesthesia in her hand. While following Malcolm again the next morning, she figures out how Kilgrave sends his meeting instructions: Every day, he compels a random person to tell Malcolm where to go.
This gives Jessica a leg up on her plan to inject Kilgrave with the anesthesia. She’s excited to tell Trish about this development, but Trish is busy under the sheets with Simpson. Well, technically, Simpson is the one under the sheets. (It’s a good thing Jessica didn’t do one of her balcony entrances in this scene.). A flushed Trish answers the door and Jessica begins to update her on the Kilgrave plan. Simpson appears in his underwear, then mansplains why it’d be better to shoot Kilgrave “up close and personal” with a pistol. Unfortunately, that plan won’t work because Jessica has to capture Kilgrave alive to prove Hope’s innocence. Simpson wants in on whatever Jessica plans to do to get him. At Trish’s suggestion, Jessica reluctantly brings him into the fold. She’s understandably dubious of the development between Trish and Simpson — what with the attempted murder and all — but at times, the barbs Krysten Ritter trades with Wil Traval feel forced.
Thankfully, Jessica and Simpson share one standout moment together. They drive out to a former CDC facility, hoping to learn if one of the facility’s soundproof, hermetically sealed containment rooms would be strong enough to hold Kilgrave. (It feels like something right out of STARLABs.) When Simpson steps in to test the room, I thought Jessica would leave him in there, ditching him from her plan. Instead, they spit insults at each other through the soundproof window, both oblivious to what the other is saying. It’s a great scene. Jessica thinks Simpson is a “G.I. Joe” with a “screw loose,” and Simpson thinks Jessica isn’t even close to heroic, all while they trade fake smiles and thumbs-up gestures through the glass.
Jessica did try being a hero once, but it didn’t work out. “AKA The Sandwich Saved Me” uses a series of flashbacks to reveal what Jessica was like pre-Kilgrave. Flashback Jess has an attitude, but there’s a lightness to her step and snark that’s noticeably absent in the present day. She has no real job prospects, so Trish encourages her to use her gift for good and become a hero. Afterward, Jessica literally becomes a hero — as in the sandwich. She’s dressed up as a hoagie, passing out flyers for a restaurant when she sees a little girl almost get hit by a cab. Jessica stops the cab before it hits the girl, who tells her dad, “The sandwich saved me.” This inspires Jessica as well as Trish, who’s been working on a costume (a white jumpsuit) and a superhero name (“Jewel”). “Jewel is a stripper’s name,” Jessica says. “And if I wear that, you’re going to have to call me Camel Toe.”
Back to the present day, Jessica, Trish, and Simpson are ready to be heroes. The plan is fairly simple: Simpson will shoot Kilgrave with a dart gun full of anesthesia, then Jessica will grab him and throw him into a getaway van driven by Trish, who will take him to the CDC facility. Of course, things don’t go according to that plan. Malcolm meets Kilgrave at an outdoor restaurant. Just as Simpson approaches with his dart gun, a nearby balloon pops, putting Kilgrave on edge. He eyes Simpson. Jessica’s afraid that Simpson’s going to be mad, so she steps into the street and calls out to Kilgrave. He stares at her for a few seconds, stunned, until Simpson’s dart hits him in the neck. Jessica grabs him, but he’s not alone. A handful of security guards rush out from the restaurant, chasing after them.
In the van, Jessica gives Kilgrave’s knocked-out face a much-deserved punch. The van makes it to the CDC facility, but so do Kilgrave’s security guards. (There’s a tracker on his phone.) The guards take out Trish pretty easily with a Taser. Jessica and Simpson get in a decent share of blows, but Kilgrave’s henchmen don’t stay down for long. (Where is Luke when you need him?) A group of them surround Jessica and hit her with multiple Tasers at once, giving the other guards just enough time to grab Kilgrave and escape.
Luckily, Jessica and Simpson capture one of the goons. When they interrogate him, he reveals that they’re just hired guns, not mind-control victims. Jessica deduces that Kilgrave was prepared for this kind of attack because Malcolm saw her steal the anesthesia. (Doesn’t this seem like a bit of stretch? It’s not like Malcolm was really keeping tabs on her, aside from the photos.)
When Jessica returns to her apartment building, she overhears a drug dealer arguing with Malcolm. Jessica steps in, but Malcolm says he doesn’t need her to save him “again.” A flashback jumps to Jessica stopping two criminals from beating up on a man. At that exact moment, Kilgrave happens upon the scene; it’s the first time he sees her. He’s immediately intoxicated by her power and beauty. He’s less impressed that she wants to use her gifts for good, but compels her to have dinner with him anyway. When Jessica leaves behind the victim she saved, we see it was Malcolm.
Malcolm still needs saving. Jessica handcuffs him to a pipe in her bathroom. She’s not letting him go until he gets sober. An angry Malcolm confesses that he wasn’t under Kilgrave’s control each time he took photos of her. Sometimes he was choosing to trade the snapshots for drug money. Jessica tells Malcolm that Kilgrave used him to make her more isolated and distrusting. She refuses to let that happen. “Save me for once,” she pleads. She throws drugs and a syringe at him in frustration.
Later, Jessica’s in her apartment when her phone rings. It’s Kilgrave, who just woke up from his medically induced nap. He seems turned on by the idea that Jessica almost captured him, but doesn’t understand why she wants him alive. When she doesn’t speak, he wonders if she’s mad about what he did to Malcolm. “Come on, Jessica, don’t play the hero with me,” he insists. Kilgrave tells her that he’ll leave Malcolm alone — if she’ll deliver the pictures herself each day. “Tell me we have a deal. Let me hear your voice,” he pleads. She hangs up. He immediately texts: “I’m waiting, Jessica.” She goes to the bathroom to check on Malcolm, who’s asleep. The syringe is untouched, and the drugs have been thrown in the toilet.
Then Jessica responds to Kilgrave’s text message. She sends him a selfie.
- More Luke, please!
- I love that Trish immediately backed up Jessica by saying she didn’t “need” Simpson’s help.
- Poor Hope.
- Wacky Neighbor Male Twin gets a name: Ruben. More important, he asks Jessica out to the movies while standing next to a passed-out Malcolm in the elevator because why not?
- David Tennant’s turn as Kilgrave strikes a nice balance between creepy and charismatic.
- Who will be on the receiving end of Trish’s bullets?