Marvel's Jessica Jones Review by Henry Tran

Marvel's Jessica Jones 1.09: AKA Sin Bin

Marvel's Jessica Jones 1.09: AKA Sin Bin

Written By:
Jamie King and Dana Barrata
Directed By:
John Dahl

What was Jessica going to do with Kilgrave now that she has him in her clutches? Turns out, the answer to that question has many layers. Those answers had to benefit a bunch of different interested parties. That it circles back to the self-satisfaction of Jessica herself is probably the most unexpected answer. There are a bunch of twists and turns in this episode that lead from one thing (the torture of Kilgrave inside the hermetically sealed room) to the other (Kilgrave's inevitable escape). But then, it becomes hard to see what happened in the meat of the episode as nothing more than a stalemate between protagonist (Jessica) and antagonist (Kilgrave). It's a stall tactic that lurches the story from one point to the next.  

Starting at the beginning, Jessica finally gets Kilgrave inside that room and it acts out just the way one might expect. It's the revenge fantasy that Jessica has always imagined, probably since she recovered from leaving Kilgrave behind. This becomes really intricate too, as she leaves a large amount of water on the floor of the room with an electrical conduit connected to a button she can push to shock him if he acts out of turn. She gets to also continually play out the video of Kilgrave's parents experimenting on him as a form of psychological torture and taunting. Her most principal purpose in pummeling him nearly to death is to manipulate him into using his powers on camera so that it can somehow exonerate Hope of capital murder charges. That goal in itself is wrought with complications and challenges.

A verbal confession from Kilgrave would be given under (extreme) duress and, according to Hogarth, would be inadmissible in court. One of the better things this show does is acknowledge the legal complications and stumbling blocks that get in the way of the justice that Jessica seeks. Hogarth has her own agenda to attend to, and given that she wants to keep her job as a defense attorney, she would be wont to not do anything with even a hint of criminal intent to it. The situation gets worse when Jessica forces Detective Clemons to be her witness to legitimize the evidence against Kilgrave. The smart play for him would be to walk away from all of this and wait two years for his full pension to kick in. Desperation from Jessica is forcing her to go to extreme measures to put Kilgrave down. Only, Kilgrave is guaranteed to keep his life because Hope can't be saved if he's dead.

Which is the primary reason why Jessica's entire plan doesn't stand a chance at even remotely working. Even when Trish or Hogarth enter the equation and both women are left alone with Kilgrave. Even behind a bulletproof and soundproof glass prison, there's still the slight feeling that Kilgrave's powers extend beyond that and can have a cumulative effect on both women. But the one thing the episode wants to prove without an ounce of subtlety is that Kilgrave doesn't even have to use his powers to exert the kind of control he uses. 

Jessica totally hates the man, and that hatred and desire for revenge (along with basically telling Kilgrave) influences her actions. She tells him outright that her goal is to manipulate him into using his mind control, which then has him turning the tables on her and everyone in that space so that it makes him look like a victim or a hero depending on who's watching. He doesn't take one iota of responsibility for any of his actions, and that makes everything he says and does all the more dangerous. He shouldn't be left alive, and the one man willing to take that last step, Simpson, lays incapacitated in a hospital due to a booby trap set by Kilgrave himself. 

The last desperate plan Jessica has comes about too quickly and conveniently. She and Trish spend the back half of the episode searching for Kilgrave's parents, and it just so happens that his mother is a part of the victims support group that Jessica and Malcolm set up. Jessica not only lays the blame of Kilgrave's reprehensible actions on Kilgrave himself but also on his parents, who created the monster (by accident out of a desire to save the boy from a terminal disease, which buys Kilgrave a sliver of sympathy) and then abandoned him when he got to be too much. There's plenty of blame to be spread around, and that's what plays out when both of his parents make the foolish decision to go into the room with the very real possibility that Kilgrave will put the whammy on them. 

Kilgrave unloads his pain and anguish on the both of them, then Jessica's plan goes to hell. Kilgrave's mother stabs him in the shoulder with a pair of scissors, which Kilgrave then fatally turns onto his mother. Everyone in the room can't be electrocuted by the button because Kilgrave somehow convinced Hogarth to cut off the connection to the electrical conduit. Kilgrave is once again in the wind, and all seems to be now a lost cause. The lone victory, and the one aspect that brings this story of power and control full circle, is that Jessica realizes that she's immune to Kilgrave's spell. She was ordered to let go of his arm... and she held on tight until Clemons tackled her to the ground. That little smile at the end speaks volumes. I only wish that it didn't take a whole confluence of small events for that to come to pass.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Jessica’s newfound immunity to Kilgrave is an interesting twist
  • At the same time, Jessica’s desperation is palpable
The Bad:
  • Finding Kilgrave’s parents was too easy

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 - 1/20/2016 8:52 AM139 views

Your Responses


Grade: B-
Things went from nuts to just crazy in this episode. At times I felt the roles were reversed where Jessica was the lunatic and Kilgrave was the victim. Like you said, the only thing I really didn't like in this episode is that Kilgraves parents just happened to be in NY and easy to find during this episode. I liked the idea of them hiding out in the support group but just seemed far too convenient.

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