Marvel's Jessica Jones Review by Henry Tran

Marvel's Jessica Jones 1.06: AKA You're a Winner!

Marvel's Jessica Jones 1.06: AKA You're a Winner!

Written By:
Edward Ricourt
Directed By:
Stephen Surjik

No one is a winner in this episode. Well, maybe Kilgrave is the only person because of what he does throughout the entire run of the episode. He runs amok, playing with his mind control powers to the point of stealing a million dollars from a bunch of high roller poker players and using it to house hunt. There's a point where I think Kilgrave elicits one little bit of sympathy, as if he perhaps was bored with his powers and getting everything that he wants. It comes around the time he sees the owner of the house in the suburbs and he's about to use the whammy on the poor unsuspecting victim, then doesn't.  

Is he bored already? Does he want to keep himself sharp by trying old-fashioned bribery to buy the house? I don't really buy his statement that he's there to make sure it's on the up-and-up, even with the presentation of the paperwork so there has to be something else going on. The poker table scene reminded me of a scene from a Simpsons episode where Homer becomes the head of a secret organization and his peons all let him win at the various games they play. He eventually becomes bored with having all of this power over his friends. I feel like Kilgrave may have gotten a hint of that feeling here, even though it's supremely creepy that it turns out he bought Jessica's childhood home for some unknown reason. 

Back to the point that began this review. The way that Hope's cellmate attacked her in the previous episode gave off the whole impression that she was under Kilgrave's orders to take her out. That's exactly what Jessica thinks when she arrives at the prison and investigates what actually happened to Hope. The truth is that Hope paid her cellmate off to beat her to the point where she will get a miscarriage. She's actually pregnant with Kilgrave's child! We've already known that with Kilgrave's mind control powers and his obsession with young women, his relationships are basically the physical manifestation of rape. Whatever sympathy or pathos Kilgrave may have earned just went out the window. 

The child that Hope has in her is the horrific end result of one of their sexual trysts while under Kilgrave's control so Hope's reaction is somewhat measured, even if her methods were rather extreme. She even says it outright: She wants to continue to live her life, she wants to have children, but she doesn't want to have this child go to full term. She takes an action that will no doubt inflame pro-life advocates in quickly aborting the fetus. Jessica Jones is there for support but she isn't able to make that action possible. It's left up to Hogarth, who provides a means to which the abortion can be done, and she makes an intriguing decision to keep the dead fetus for possible experimentation. People immediately think that Hogarth is trying to reverse-engineer Kilgrave's powers somehow, but I personally think she's trying to find out how Kilgrave's powers work on a biological level. The baby being dead doesn't make an experimentation into recreating his powers a viable prospect. 

The main thrust of the episode revolves around a case that Luke Cage brings to Jessica for the first time. It's a rather ho-hum missing persons case that doesn't have as much urgency as her cases usually have. The structure of the show is such that now, there's no real tension to Jessica's "investigations" unless she's actively pursuing Kilgrave. She doesn't get anywhere in interrogating Malcolm for any sort of information she can use to find Kilgrave and so she sends him to the Kilgrave support group. When she's around Luke, there is this simmering sort of fear that builds to the final scene between the two of them. Luke is taking his own path towards finding out the truth of who killed his wife, and that will eventually lead to his finding out that it was Jessica. Jessica spends the length of the episode trying to stay one step ahead of Luke so that he doesn't find out the truth about what happened to his wife. 

Like many secrets on superhero shows or movies, the truth will eventually come out. It feels unnecessary to just keep it a secret for as long as any of them could possibly do. That the truth eventually comes out doesn't lessen the impact of that final scene near the bus. It was a real possibility that Luke could have killed the bus driver, and if that really did happen, Luke would have had to live with the guilt of killing an innocent man. He's not that kind of person. He's the kind of person who spares dogs from death even though the dogs want to bite off his face. Not that we should let the man off for driving a bus while drunk, but he wasn't fully responsible for Reva's death. Nor was Jessica since she was under Kilgrave's control during the time.

The entire show is an exercise in taking responsibility for one's actions. That's what Kilgrave takes from all of his victims when he puts the whammy on them. Does the control excuse that driver who abandoned his crying son on a street curb? Malcolm providing the photos of Jessica to Kilgrave? Does it really excuse Jessica murdering Reva? Luke would excuse that because she couldn't control her actions, but not the ensuing lies and sex that she has with him, all the while knowing that she was responsible for the death of his wife. That wasn't done under Kilgrave's control. It was her conscious choice. While it may feel like atonement to Jessica, Luke sees it differently, and calls her out directly on it. Can their relationship recover in the wake of this? The answer to that is not so immediately clear.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Kilgrave’s psyche gets more exploration, and it’s not a pretty picture
  • The dance between Jessica and Luke is damned interesting
The Bad:
  • There’s a laundry list of plot points that will upset a lot of viewers

Henry Tran is a regular contributor of review for Critical Myth; The Critical Myth Show is heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @HenYay

Marvel's Jessica Jones by - 1/4/2016 6:48 AM144 views

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