Shit gets real this episode as Jessica, Trish, and Simpson devise a plan to capture Kilgrave and force him to confess and save Hope from life in prison. But wait! It’s only Episode 5. Something must go wrong. I’ll be honest. I thought it was a good plan. Risky, but solid. Not sure about the endgame, though and how they plan on forcing Kilgrave to confess, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Knowing that Malcolm (Eka Darville) has been selling photos of her for drugs and/or money, Jessica (Krysten Ritter) follows him a few days in a row to figure out the schedule and to see if she might have an opening to drug Kilgrave (David Tennant) and hold him hostage until he confesses. Or something like that. The original plan wasn’t great, but with Simpson’s (Wil Traval) help, there actually seems to be a shot at success. You see, he’s ex-military and has buddies who can provide a non-descript black van with stolen plates along with a CDC safehouse used for the storage and containment of various mysterious “Patient Zeroes.” Personally, I would have found all this a little more than believable, but Trish (Rachael Taylor) trusts him, so Jessica goes along. Knowing that Simpson is Nuke in the comics makes this sudden help kind of dubious. And why isn’t he back working his beat? Did he take some personal time? But, lo and behold, it’s not a trap! Simpson really is on their side. Or on Trish’s side, anyway. He and Jessica still don’t get along. So when their plan to nab Kilgrave goes to shit, it’s not really a surprise (just by the logic of the episode placement) but how it goes sideways is interesting. Paid thugs. Who’d a thunk it? Not thugs exactly, but a private security firm that Kilgrave has on reserve for just such an occasion. Remember, Malcolm was in on Jessica’s big drug heist, so Kilgrave knows that she could be coming for him this way. It’s actually a pretty sweet twist. Overall, the plotting of this episode is almost perfect, giving us both emotional touchpoints and surprising amounts of character development. Plus we get a nice action sequence that really highlights the fact that Jessica relies on her powers more than any skills. Simpson is a fighting machine and while the fight coordinating isn’t up to the standard of Daredevil, it makes sense. Simpson’s not a ninja, after all. Meanwhile Jessica just lumbers through the fight, bashing, kicking, and tossing people around until finally they have the numbers to overpower her with a shit ton of Tasers. Which is a good indicator that these guys aren’t evil, but are just doing a job. They’re not under his control, they’re on his payroll. And as I predicted, it turns out Malcolm wasn’t actually under Kilgrave’s control all the time either, but was taking pictures of Jessica for the drugs. There’s a message lodged in here about taking control of one’s life and making choices that rings just a little hollow, given the emphasis that’s been placed on forgiving oneself for the things one does while under the influence, but it’s a hopeful message in the middle of a sea of shit so I’ll let that fly. Jessica could use a victory. Even if it does mean having to agree to text Kilgrave a selfie every day at 10:00 AM in order to keep him away from Malcolm. Kilgrave is nothing if not odd. And obsessive. Interestingly enough, when he calls Jessica, he doesn’t use his powers on her. He gives her a choice (sort of) to save Malcolm. It’s manipulative and cruel and really makes me want to know what he’s planning. With his powers, he should be able to easily do whatever he wanted, or have they clarified just how his powers work yet? We’ll find out soon enough, I guess. He could have used his powers on her when she crashed his party at the penthouse. Instead, he’s letting her dangle while he seems to be simply dicking around amusing himself however it is he amuses himself. That’s still in the dark, too. Honestly, if this were a weekly show, I might be a little less forgiving here, too. But since the series is designed for binge-watching, the creators feel free to take a little time with the narrative, allowing it to breathe and develop casually. It’s frustrating for sure, but understandable. Hopefully there will be a method to the madness and we’re not just spinning our wheels to make the 13 episode commitment. Meanwhile, Trish takes another step towards becoming a vigilante this episode as we discover that she and her mom took Jessica in after the car crash that killed Jessica’s parents and somehow gave her powers. Since then, Jessica’s been her protector, but Trish is the one with fantasies about saving the world. It’s her prodding that eventually pushed Jessica into trying to be a hero (she even designed an awful costume and came up with the name Jewel to go by – both of which are nixed by Jessica – by the way, if there are any pics of Kristen Ritter in the Jewel costume, I NEED TO SEE THEM). And thus we discover how she came under Kilgrave’s influence. Dumb luck, really. Wrong place, wrong time. It’s a nice parallel that it was while saving a pre-junkie Malcolm from a mugging that she catches Kilgrave’s attention. He immediately takes control of her and the two head off for a life of slavery and humiliation. It also provides the impetus for Kilgrave to use Malcolm as his tool now, finding him, getting him hooked on heroin, and then using him to keep eyes on Jessica while formulating his revenge. Trish fails miserably when the hired goons attack and seems to slowly edging toward a breakdown of her own. Given that all her training didn’t save her from a mind-controlled Simpson and in this big moment, she’s zapped with a Tazer once and is out for the duration, it’s perfectly reasonable that she’d start thinking more and more about that gun Simpson gave her. I just hope nothing too terrible happens. I forgot to mention that Hope is needing money to pay off a scary-looking woman named Sissy (Charleigh E. Parker) in prison. Not sure where that’s heading, but it can’t be good. When we get to Episode 6, “AKA You’re a Winner!” some time has passed and Jessica is still functioning, Kilgrave hasn’t sprung any surprises, and Malcolm has kicked heroin. How long does that take? Depending on which TV show you watch it seems like it could be anywhere from 24 hours to weeks. A quick google search reveals that withdrawal symptoms usually kick in at around 12 hours after the last dose and tend to peak around one to three days, subsiding between five and seven days. So when Jessica sends Kilgrave another selfie, and he flips through his phone’s catalog of five or six other pics, it seems we may have one of the more accurate portrayals of a heroin withdrawal timeframe I’ve seen on TV in a while. Of course we don’t really see the rough and tumble of it, but that’s the charm of television, I suppose. Instead we open on Malcolm talking to Jessica about Killgrave and cut to a wonderful little scene of Kilgrave playing cards with a table full of Rich Dudes©. Being Kilgrave, he commands them to go all in on the next hand, creating a pot worth over a million dollars, then he orders them to fold and he walks out a rich man. Now when this happened is an interesting question. By the end of the episode, we can safely assume it’s one of the things he’s been working on during Jessica’s down time. And when the episode closes with him buying Jessica’s childhood home (!!!) it’s more than a little creepy. Especially as he doesn’t use his powers to get it. He buys it outright with a million plus dollars in cash and a legally binding contract. That means it’s his. For real. Legally and shit. This is all happening in the background, though. The main story involves Luke Cage hiring Jessica for an actual missing person’s case he needs handled quickly and quietly. Despite her best intentions, however, the two of them end up in bed. Again. Mainly this seems to be because of a combination of poor impulse control, addictive personalities, and the fact that he refuses to believe that she’s the “piece of shit” she claims to be. Which means that she’s not telling him any time soon that she’s the one who killed his wife (for reasons unknown at this point, although we can safely assume it’s because Kilgrave ordered it). When it turns out that the reason Luke is looking for a pothead who owes a loanshark money is because her sister has information about the night of his wife’s death, both Jessica and the audience fears the worst. Because, dammit, we like Jessica and Luke together. It’s so rare to have an adult relationship portrayed in superhero cinema that the fact they’re so passionate and comfortable around each other is refreshing. We want them to get together (despite the fact that his wife died just six months ago and he’s been working through his emotions by having sex as much as possible). Jessica fears the information being offered is going to expose her secret. So she tags along to “help.” Unfortunately, the info doesn’t actually incriminate her, but the bus driver – who was drunk at the time of the accident. This wasn’t made public for “reasons,” etc, but it sends Luke off in a cold rage, intent on murdering the man who killed his wife. Which turns out to be the motivation Jessica needs to come clean, and instead of turning into a cliché fight scene or worse, a maudlin exercise in forgiveness, it turns into emotional devastation. Luke is not just angry, he’s disgusted with her. In his eyes, it turns out she really is a piece of shit. If there was ever any indication that this was a series created by women, I think this might be it. The way Jessica Jones subverts what we’ve been trained to expect from a confrontation like this helps to establish a more powerful and mature psychological playing field. There’s some brutal emotional commitment in this scene and both Ritter and Colter do great work putting the viewer through the wringer right along with the characters. If there was any moment that set this series apart from other Marvel productions, this might be it. The violence is internalized and neither character comes out of it unscathed. Although, now that I think about it, the plot point that might actually set this apart from the rest of the Marvel Universe (and pretty much any comic book movie universe) is the fact that Hope didn’t want money from Jessica last episode to pay off Sissy. She wanted it to pay her to beat her into the miscarriage of KILGRAVE’S UNBORN BABY. Fuck! Not only that, Jessica and Hogarth conspire to get Hope a pill that will induce an abortion, no questions asked, no moralizing, and no judgement. Fuck! Is it a gender bias on my part that this feels natural and real and I want to give credit to this being a show created by women? Anyway, when Hogarth then pays the nurse to gather up the remains of the fetus and send it off to a secret lab for testing, we suddenly have an incredibly fucked up twist to the proceedings that I don’t think anyone would have seen coming. If you say you did, I don’t believe you. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Shawn EH It’s just that Trinity should never be this evil, that’s why Jeri keeps surprising me!