Marvel's Jessica Jones Review by Henry Tran

Marvel's Jessica Jones 1.12: AKA Take a Bloody Number

Marvel's Jessica Jones 1.12: AKA Take a Bloody Number

Written By:
Hilly Hicks, Jr.
Directed By:
Billy Gierhart

Maybe it's the fact that this is the penultimate episode of the season. Maybe it's the fact that constraints in my life forced me to forego binge-watching this season. Maybe it's that I didn't adjust my expectations. But I found this episode to be more subdued than expected. Yes, it's going to deal with the fallout of Luke Cage being ordered by Kilgrave to blow up his own bar. It's going to have Kilgrave's dad follow Kilgrave around to do whatever evil shenanigans the latter thinks up during their time together. 

There are many factors in play for every situation that the episode shows. For a brief time, there was the thought that Luke Cage was always under the control of Kilgrave. Cage does a fairly good job of convincing Jessica that he can beat Kilgrave's whammy. Since we don't know the extent of his "powers", it's a real mystery as to whether or not he can withstand Kilgrave's influence. That mystery plays into the interaction between him and Jessica, which has been missing for some time now. It's plainly clear to everyone else but Jessica and Luke (even Trish gets in on the opinion) that they both exude sexual chemistry and seemingly belong together.

Indeed, the couple is really the center of the episode in more ways than one. I could certainly devote the entirety of this review to the fight between the two of them that dominates the end of the episode, but part of the joy in viewing this series is seeing the emotional trials and tribulations that they go through in the space before the fight. It definitely looked like Cage had sincerely forgiven Jessica for killing his wife under the influence of Kilgrave, then having sex with him and lying to him at the same time. That a part of him had spent that time away from Jessica sorting everything out and ultimately deciding that Jessica was not the horrible name that he left her with the last time they saw each other.

The absolution carries the episode through its more slow parts, which do include a look at another fractured relationship that works its way towards reconciliation in Trish and Dorothy. They don't get all the way there, but Dorothy does provide a key piece of Jessica's past that had been left out of knowledge beforehand. Somehow, IGH is involved in possibly giving Jessica her powers along with being the organization behind Simpson, Kozlov, and the combat pills. It's all connected there. 

We spend some time with Kilgrave shepherding his father through the city in order to experiment with a way to amplify his influencing powers (which still have a dented mystique now that we know it's a virus). There's the question of whether Albert is still immune to his son due to the vaccine and that he's just playing along with nearly getting his hand chopped off by the blades of a blender. Robyn and Malcolm have their own philosophical musings, which all feels completely outside of what the story should really be focused on. 

That's circling back to Kilgrave and Luke and Jessica's mission to either kill him or severely injure him. They figure out where Kilgrave is hiding out, and that's the point where the episode drops the bombshell: Luke Cage has been under the control of Kilgrave the entire time he was with Jessica. He'd been ordered to keep Kilgrave apprised of Jessica's actions throughout the episode and when the opportunity struck, he'd kill Jessica any way he knew how. It's a true shock because the episode's writing of the relationship had been so convincing as to Luke's forgiving of Jessica. Kilgrave used the chemistry between the two of them against Jessica, which is absolutely diabolical on top of what he's done before. 

Of course, that means the end of the episode and so they proceed to have a literal knock-down, drag-out fight in the theater. It's largely an even match since they have super strength, but the larger question is how Jessica would be able to find a weakness in a man who has unbreakable skin along with super strength. Jessica even gets a couple of instances where her leaping ability comes into play. The episode ends with a brutally agonizing choice to be made by Jessica. She has a shotgun to Cage's mouth, and again, since even he doesn't know the extent of his unbreakable skin, there's the possibility that a lone bullet at close range could kill him. At the very least incapacitate him. He seems to have broken Kilgrave's control for a few seconds, which is enough time to allow Jessica to pull the trigger. And we're left to wonder what will happen next. It's a tragedy that will lead into the finale and possibly have enormous consequences on what happens there.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Kilgrave‚Äôs gambit with Luke is perfectly executed
  • Tons of plot threads are coming together in unexpected ways
The Bad:
  • Knowing there is a Luke Cage series coming soon takes a little away from the potential tragedy

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 - 2/8/2016 6:21 AM132 views

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