Marvel's Jessica Jones Review by Henry Tran

Marvel's Jessica Jones 1.10: AKA 1000 Cuts

Marvel's Jessica Jones 1.10: AKA 1000 Cuts

Written By:
Dana Barrata and Micah Schraft
Directed By:
Rosemary Rodriguez



At the end of this episode, I had to wonder what the point of all this was. What was the point of introducing a plot element where Jeri killed Hope's baby and kept it for herself to experiment on? Hogarth herself said that nothing came of trying to replicate Kilgrave's powers from his offspring. What was the point of putting Detective Clemons in the narrative if the endgame was to kill him off.  






The bigger question is how the show is going to recover from killing nearly every one of its supporting characters, most of whom give the show its distinct flavor. That's just one of this episode's problems. There's also the fact that the show's narrative has now basically deconstructed Kilgrave's character to the point of eliminating his mystique. The source of his powers is not something within his genetic makeup (which does explain why his dead offspring was of no use to Hogarth), but a microvirus that he spreads into the air every time he speaks. Apparently, this is very close to what Kilgrave's powers are like in the comic book, but I won't deny feeling a bit of disappointment in how easily Kilgrave's "powers" can be explained here.


The series, much like Daredevil, starts to amp up the violence in order to raise the stakes and present the obvious fact that Kilgrave is much more dangerous out in the open rather than being sealed in a room. But we already know this through the course of ten episodes so all of the death feels hollow. It makes this episode really difficult to watch without cringing through it all.






Hogarth, in particular, doesn't come out at the end of it looking too great. At one point, I wondered if she had somehow looked worse than Kilgrave. Where Kilgrave could elicit the tiniest bit of sympathy because he was the result of his parents' uncontrolled experimentation, Hogarth feels like a wholly cold and remorseless character. Kilgrave forced her to take him to a doctor she could trust in order for him to get patched up following his escape from the sealed room and she takes him to see Wendy. As a result, Wendy is an innocent bystander unwittingly pulled into Kilgrave's orbit, the result of which leads to a scene where a mind-controlled Wendy repeatedly stabs Hogarth almost thirty times before Pam comes in and bashes her over the head. She doesn't hit her to knock her unconscious, but Wendy's fall lands her head on the edge of a glass table, killing her instantly. So we'll never see the resolution of the divorce battle between the two lovers. 


There's no nuance here. Hogarth has lost all hold of whatever morals she had left. Hope was right to just abandon her as her attorney once she figured out that what Hogarth was doing was not in the best interest of her client. The statement that Hope "does not know who this woman is" is brutal and direct, but illuminates the simple truth that Hogarth has fallen from grace. All of the characters in this episode are way too direct with their desires or actions. Simpson has to take this series of pills in order to recover from his myriad of wounds sustained in the bomb blast. The drugs make him a terrifying, remorseless killing machine, intent on just outright murdering Kilgrave. 






It is plainly obvious that Jessica made a mistake in keeping Kilgrave alive so that she could free Hope from her predicament, yet it takes until the very end of the episode, when Hope is sacrificed, in order for her to realize this. They had to go through so many bodies, delay the confrontation so many times (now throwing in members of the victim support group with the egging on of Robyn), that the story's impact has now dulled. Robyn is such an over-the-top character that it became painful just to see her on the screen here. It's part the writing and part the choices made by the actress, but it's so extremely abrasive that I almost wished she would be the lone person to hang herself in the final scene.


The show still retains much of its power when the scenes are limited to just Jessica and Kilgrave interacting. The best scene in the episode is the flashback to when Jessica had gotten herself freed from Kilgrave's control for a mere eighteen seconds. She sees herself taking action of her own volition, jumping down to a waiting horse in order to escape Kilgrave forever. Kilgrave remembers the scene differently, with those eighteen seconds the point where Jessica gave in to her love for him freely. That viewpoint simply shows how massive his ego was at the time, and that it has only increased with time passing. If only the rest of the episode had that kind of subtlety present. It seems to be losing its tight grip on the narrative as the end of the season approaches.

Our Grade:
C
The Good:
  • The Jessica/Kilgrave dynamic is still the most powerful part of the show
The Bad:
  • Hogarth is reduced to something of a parody of herself
  • Has Kilgrave‚Äôs terrifying mystique been blunted by too much explanation?

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 - 1/26/2016 8:41 AM147 views

Your Responses

ssj100matt
ssj100matt
CONCURRING OPINION

Grade: D+
This was probably one of my least favorite episodes in the series. In a ways I felt that the episodes formula was copy/pasted from Daredevil where major characters were killed off effortlessly. I was happy that Hogarth/Wendy plot had finally ended, because it had gotten just obnoxious seeing the back and forth. In it's wake though veered Simpsons story in a ridiculous direction that bothered me moving forward. Not many good take aways from this episode

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