Marvel's Jessica Jones / Screen

Jessica Jones: “AKA Top Shelf Perverts”

After telling Luke the truth in the last episode, Jessica Jones is feeling particularly down on herself. You guys know I’ve had some problems getting on board with Jessica more than once in my viewing of this first season, but she’s pretty close to spiraling in “AKA Top Shelf Perverts”. Jessica gets on my nerves sometimes, but I like her enough not to want to see her destroying herself to cope with her intensifying self-loathing. Finally doing Jeri that favor and convincing Wendy to sign divorce papers, Jessica goes a bit too far and shoves Wendy onto the tracks, and into the path of an oncoming train. She saves her, but that doesn’t change the fact that Jessica’s doing more harm than good.

It’s impossible not to see Kilgrave’s effect on her. We didn’t get to see a whole lot of Jessica before she found out Kilgrave was alive and back to torment her, but we can kind of assume her life was in something of an upswing. Or at least, in as much of an upswing as it can be after you’ve been held captive and had both your mind and body violated repeatedly. Kilgrave being “dead” wasn’t going to solve all of Jessica’s problems, but it was a start. Him being back, and Jessica’s attempts at stopping him being failures thus far, are undoubtedly taking their toll. Throw in Luke confirming her suspicions that she’s a “piece of shit” (which she reiterates again in the episode’s start just in case we forgot), and Jessica’s determined to wallow in her self-hatred. She lingers uncomfortably long in the path of an approaching subway before leaping out of its way, and when she and Malcolm discover Ruben murdered and left by Kilgrave in her apartment, Jessica comes up with a more conclusive plan to ensure her life’s ruin.

Jessica’s plan makes little to no sense, but you can tell it makes sense to her. She’ll take the fall for Ruben’s death and orchestrate events so that she’s put in supermax prison. Kilgrave, being as gross and obsessive as he is, will come to free her and be caught on video using his abilities, thereby proving his existence and powers. Conspicuously absent from this plan is any method of getting Jessica out or proving her innocence, but that’s because Jessica has no plans of coming out of prison.

If anything proves it, it’s Jessica’s visit to Dorothy Walker (Rebecca de Mornay), Trish’s mom. With Jessica, and her threats, out of the picture, Dorothy may reappear in her daughter’s life. It’s an astute way of relaying the definitive nature of Jessica’s plans. She hasn’t made room for a contingency plan or any plan that will allow her freedom. Even if her plan were to succeed, and Kilgrave be caught, Jessica’s going to stay in jail because she thinks she deserves it.

We’re officially more than halfway through Jessica Jones’s first season, and we’ve also reached that part of the storyline where things begin to pick up. Also where people begin to make less sense. Unfortunately that’s now Trish who is so determined to prove that she’s not useless that she’s hiding the lead she has on Kilgrave from Jessica and ignoring her calls. Trish is almost in danger of missing her bestie’s plans to imprison herself until Malcolm calls to inform her. Unfortunately, I don’t buy that Jessica was able to convince Trish of the complexity of her plan or its ability to succeed, certainly not enough for Trish to step aside and let her go. Jessica maintains that she no longer wants to be the cause of anymore death,  and Trish goes from telling Jessica that she’s not going to let her go to jail, where she won’t be able to save anyone or stop Kilgrave at all, to stepping aside and telling Jessica where to find Ruben’s body.

Jessica goes to Clemons, with Ruben’s head in tow, to beg him to put her in supermax. I’m not sure why he doesn’t believe her, with Jessica not being obvious at all about something shady going on. Her effort is nil, her “complex plan” seeming to be her just making a bunch of declarative statements and hoping people buy what she’s saying. It’s a better turn when she just starts showing Clemons her powers, which seems a pretty surefire way of scaring him into putting her away. We’ll never know if it would have worked or not, with Kilgrave moving more quickly than Jessica anticipated, his arrival at the precinct allowing Jessica to be released.

I said before there’s too much KIlgrave onscreen, and I stand by the statement. He actually gets to make a speech in this one. I can’t tell you how much I do not need to hear Kilgrave going on and on about his gross, abusive love for Jessica. Everything he says is right out of an abuser’s playbook, down to him being the only person who could ever love Jessica. He’s literally obsessed with her because of her ability to reject him, and thinks that piling on the misery is just going to make her love him, and she’ll come back to him willingly.

But even “willingly” isn’t that. Kilgrave manages to get Jessica to come back to her childhood home, which he’s creating in an exact replica of the one she lived in before her family died. The thing about the show is it completely ignores any possibility of episodic plots so every episode is about Kilgrave which makes every episode loaded with Kilgrave’s violations of Jessica’s space and safety. He makes a mockery of his abuse of her, and in the precinct transforms her grievances against him into a joke. He and Jessica stand in room filled with police officers, all helpless and under his control, and when Kilgrave leaves all they can do is follow his orders and laugh.  Him drawing her back to her home, and invading a place that once housed fond memories for her, is disgusting.

Stray Observations
Can Robyn please go somewhere?  I assume she’s supposed to be interesting or at least funny in how wild she is, but she’s neither. Ruben (RIP) wasn’t much better, though at least he could have been called pleasant.

Malcolm bounced back from addiction very quickly, didn’t he?

This is the first time I’ve realized Jessica never told Trish about Luke. She knows about Reva but when is she going to tell her the whole story?

Will is still being useless and shady. He claims to be working with Trish to find Kilgrave, but he’s more into the idea of just killing him. Even if we do just look past the selfishness of him allowing Hope Schlottman to rot for what Kilgrave did, how does he plan on killing him without being told to do otherwise?

I hate to see what Kilgrave will do when he finds out about Luke.

Jeri and her drama still isn’t that fun to me, but good for Wendy for deciding she’s going to blackmail her now.

 

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