“AKA The Sandwich Saved Me,” is episode five of Jessica Jones. The beginning shows some of Jessica’s earlier attempts to make a living. She’s a good private investigator, but before that she was bad at a lot of things. She had an interesting approach to office work, among her other jobs. Her stint as a restaurant mascot gives the episode its title. Jessica also doesn’t do well on the bar scene. We also see a night out with her and Trish, and it goes about as badly as you’d think when someone hits on them.
In the present, after the shocking revelation about who Kilgrave’s spy is last episode, Jessica and Trish are trying to find a way to use this. It’s their only lead. Jessica manages to track the unwilling spy to Kilgrave, which sends her back into borderline flashback territory when she actually sees him. Jessica also works out that Kilgrave is being very careful, using a network of random victims to be his messengers.
This is a really good illustration of how terrifying Kilgrave’s powers are. I mean, really think about what he’s doing there. With a casual, minimal use of his power, he gets someone to carry messages for him. How easy would it be for someone on the subway, in the coffee shop, to talk to you? That’s all it takes, him talking in person. It’s one of those things that’s more terrifying the more you think about it.
Jessica goes home and tries to process all this. Kilgrave is still using his power to cause major harm to people who even casually annoy him. Jessica is using her mantra of street names to try and get control of herself. Reuben, her creepy neighbor, drops by with banana bread. Finally, Jessica reaches out to Trish, and, when her best friend doesn’t answer, goes to see her.
Trish has gone a step or two beyond forgiving Sgt. Simpson, the cop Kilgrave sent to kill her. Let’s just say that she’s busy when Jessica stops by. The three of them talk, and Simpson keeps trying to interject ways to help. He seems to have adopted Jessica’s attitude that Kilgrave needs to die. They compare notes on Kilgrave’s compulsion network, and Simpson reveals that he, like many cops, is a military veteran.
Simpson has some special ops connections, and arranges a unique set up. Jessica doesn’t want to kill Kilgrave right off anymore- she wants to take him alive and clear Hope’s name. Simpson has come up with a former CDC facility that has a room that should be able to hold Kilgrave if they can get him in there. He also says they need time to set something up, where Jessica wants to just charge ahead and do this now. Simpson’s caution wins out.
They skip around with a few scenes. Simpson is curious about Jessica’s powers, and asks Trish for more information about them. Jessica finds Malcolm passed out in the elevator and helps him home, over Reuben’s suggestions about taking him to the hospital. And, in flashback, they show Jessica and Trish talking about what Jessica should do in terms of being a superhero. This scene also has a brief appearance of Jessica’s Jewel costume, which she wore briefly in the comics.
Back in the present, Jessica and company get their plan set up. Jessica follows Malcolm again, and once again manages to find Kilgrave. There’s a major fight as Kilgrave suddenly proves to have allies who jump in and keep fighting even after Kilgrave is out cold and his powers shouldn’t be working anymore. They manage to find out why, after Kilgrave gets away. You have to give him credit- Kilgrave is a despicable person, but he’s smart and thorough. Jessica and friends had a great plan, it just didn’t work out due to things they didn’t know about and couldn’t control.
In another flashback, we see a few first meetings, and the connections between some of the characters. Jessica saw guys beating Malcolm in the street, and intervened. This, in turn, drew Kilgrave’s attention, which is how they met. No good deed goes unpunished.
As if Jessica didn’t have enough on her plate, she also gets a call from Hope. Hope needs money, but is very evasive about why. She finally hints to Jessica that she’s getting hassled by one of the other prisoners. It’s a bad spot for Jessica to be in.
Jessica has several fairly intense scenes to round out the episode. She tries to help Malcolm, urging him to fight both Kilgrave’s control and the hold the drugs have on him. It’s an emotional scene, and it’s really interesting to watch Jessica fight to be inspirational through her normal cynicism.
After that, she has a phone conversation with Kilgrave. He’s just as menacing over the phone as he is in person. They have a series of tense exchanges. It’s a nicely done scene, layered with distrust and dislike on Jessica’s part and the utterly baffled sociopathy Kilgrave keeps displaying when anything involving morals is brought up. They finally come to an agreement that should keep Malcolm safe from Kilgrave… for now.
What I liked: The writing and acting here are great. Ritter and Tennant continue to impress me, but then, so does everyone else in the cast. Jessica and Simpson’s plan to capture Kilgrave was good, and it not working wasn’t their fault. Kilgrave is a clever foe. Simpson’s idea about a cage for Kilgrave is a good one.
What I didn’t: Jessica uses the same vantage point several times on different days to stalk her quarry through the park. That’s bad tactics and she should know better. I like her and Cage together, and I keep hoping to see more of him.
The series continues to impress me. I’ll give this episode a 4 out of 5. The Netflix shows so far have been great addition to the Cinematic Marvel Universe.