Jessica Jones Episode 8: AKA WWJD?

kilgrave-the-hero

Jessica’s least favorite person

I recently realized how far behind I was posting some Netflix reviews. I’m going to get caught up before Cage premiers.

Things take a turn for the seriously weird on Episode 8 of Jessica Jones, “WWJD?” They revealed what Kilgrave had been up to at the end of last episode, and now he shows off Jessica’s restored childhood home. Jessica gets a few flashbacks to her childhood as she sees what he’s done. There’s a truly obsessive level of detail in Kilgrave’s project, and while it could be sweet, it’s really disturbing.

Trish calls, worried about her friend. Jessica manages to reassure her in a way that is really funny and annoys Kilgrave, who’s looking on. Jessica may be staying with him for now, but she’s not playing nice. Trish isn’t just worried about Jessica. Simpson the cop has disappeared, too. Kilgrave mimes his innocence when Jessica glances at him. These scenes in the house give some insight into what Kilgrave’s like. He genuinely doesn’t understand what it’s like to be normal, since his powers came to him when he was so young. It’s no excuse for what he’s done, but it helps make us understand him a little more. He and Jessica have an argument over dinner, and we see what precautions Kilgrave has taken against being attacked. They’re effective, if also sick and manipulative. They also show how well he understands Jessica.

We find out what’s become of Simpson, and Jessica makes a decision that is fitting for a hero, but frustrating for those who believe in simple solutions. I get why she did it, but I certainly see Simpson’s point of view on this one. She and Kilgrave spar some more about what Kilgrave is responsible for. I really think he just doesn’t grasp that concept, responsibility. I was amused by his claim that he has a conscience, it’s just selective.

We get a look at how Jeri’s divorce process is going. It’s not pretty, but I didn’t expect it would be. Mercifully, it’s a short scene. Trish finally finds Simpson and they have an awkward conversation. Simpson quickly realizes he knows more about what’s going on with Jessica than Trish does, and tries to keep Jessica’s secrets. Neither one of them are happy with the conversation.

The writers very skillfully tease us with revealing bit by bit what happened to Jessica’s family. We keep getting small hints through dreams and flashbacks, and it’s a really nicely done, drawn-out reveal. Jessica ends up meeting one of her neighbors who still lives next door, and Kilgrave acts very charming with her… for a while. His usual self shines through, although I admit the neighbor had it coming. There is more back and forth between Kilgrave and Jessica, and it shows some of the downsides to his powers. I admit, as a lifelong hero-geek, I’d like to have most powers, but the more I see how Kilgrave’s work, the more I wouldn’t want them

Jessica takes Kilgrave on a field trip. There are some amusing lines, including a Star Wars joke. Jessica is trying to show him a better way to use his powers, but he just plain lacks the capacity to understand what she’s telling him. It’s almost sad, really. It’s a great job by the writers and actors involved. Kilgrave demonstrates that he is not remotely hero material, and Jessica seems to finally realize this. I think she was being either way too optimistic or even naive.

Lost and confused at this point, Jessica leaves to think. Kilgrave isn’t happy, but reluctantly agrees after making sure she understands the consequences of disappointing him. It’s not subtle, but then, neither is Kilgrave. Jessica goes to talk to Trish about the possibilities of Kilgrave’s power if used correctly. It’s an interesting moral dilemma that Trish helps her thrash out.

There’s another short scene of Jeri’s miserable divorce issues and her texting Jessica about it. Jessica, however, left her phone with Kilgrave. Later, Jessica gives Kilgrave a surprise at dinner. Simpson and his men try to move in, but Jessica argues with them over their plan and uses her least reliable power. Simpson and company in turn get a surprise from Jessica’s nosy neighbor.

What I liked: The writing on this show is consistently brilliant. They manage to put some nuance and depth into a psycho like Kilgrave, which is hard to do. The other characters in the show are actually doing things, not waiting around for Jessica, which is a nice touch. Trish is a good and supportive friend. Jeri’s divorce is ugly, but believable. I loved Jessica’s attempt to make Kilgrave act like a hero. Ritter and Tennant’s performances are brilliant.

What I didn’t: Not a whole lot. This show really impresses me on a regular basis.

I’ll give this a 4 out of 5. They are building nicely to a conclusion.

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