Jessica Jones: 1.09 AKA Sin Bin/1.10 AKA 1000 Cuts
"I’m impressed. I never knew you were such a bitch.”
Following the last moments of episode eight, Jessica finally has ‘Kevin’ right where she wants him, in that underground hermetically-sealed room Simpson showed her. Although barefoot, in four inches of water and attached to an electric switch, he is still under the impression that she loves him. Honestly, hamsters catch on faster.
Wendy continues to play hard ball with assets and threatens to leak information which could get Jeri disbarred. The ruthless lawyer reluctantly helps JJ in her quest to keep Kilgrave locked up, mainly because she believes Jessica will reciprocate and help her gain leverage, but the bastard just attempts to manipulate her too: “There are two sides to everything, truth lies in the middle.” Apparently, during the damp footed mansplain, it’s all Jessica’s fault – she doesn’t let anyone in [eye roll]. Jessica’s response is to literally mute him and play the video footage of him as a child being ‘tortured’. His snivelling repugnance makes it extremely difficult to believe that his parents would do that to him but more of that later. The footage is reminiscent of another Marvel supervillain who was experimented on as a child and the name Eric is even mentioned (we later learn an allusion to Kilgrave’s childhood Rugby-playing hero and the reasoning behind the title).
The episode, as a whole, plays on the nature Vs nurture debate and parental culpability. How responsible, exactly, are Kevin’s parentals in creating Kilgrave? There is also a tremendous example of regional xenophobia when Jessica contacts the University of Manchester who laud their superiority over the University of Liverpool “They’ll pick your pocket.” Er, NO, they will not. As an employee of that institution and a Scouser, I take great exception to such trite tripe. Thankfully, the last third ratcheted the tension and I was able to (temporarily) forget the slight.
I believe I experienced what the kids call ‘all the feels’ as new characters are introduced and disposed of brutally (along with a couple of established ones) and we see the true capable horror of Kilgrave. Yes, we’ve been party to some darkness but…well, just watch. [Sigh] Jeri, what did you do?
AKA 1000 Cuts commences seconds after Sin Bin as Kilgrave continues his pandemic of control and destruction. Poor Trish attempting to fulfil his last demand of her is devastating and brings to mind domestic abuse victims and the desperation and fear they must experience. This episode title refers to the torturous form of execution some cultures have deployed throughout history and it becomes quite apparent how and who will introduce/receive the punishment early on.
Kilgrave’s lack of control over Jessica is joyous; finally she is (almost) free of her abuser but in the company of Jeri, who knows what he will do. She takes him to a Doctor she trusts who also just so happens to be her soon-to-be ex-wife. Wendy and Kevin’s discussion and disdain for their respective victimising ex-partners is almost disturbing to watch. He, unbelievably, still maintains he’s the victim; toxic masculinity like his is a disease, a virus. Oh wait…
The violence in this episode is amped up and there are lots of long, almost, lingering shots of the brutality. It’s explicit for a purpose and never feels unnecessarily gratuitous. Its graphic nature needs to be seen, specifically to show the destruction and terror one character is able to reign on the world he inhabits. What I find most interesting, however, is the fact that all characters are capable of committing ‘bad’ things and do, on multiple occasions, throughout the series. While the first couple of episodes may have been a bit of a slog for me, I’m completely on board with the psychological and slightly effed-up journey of, let’s face it, all characters in Jessica Jones’ world. Plus, I’m now at a place where I want to see the smug expression wiped off of Kevin’s punam by any means necessary and only have three short episodes before it will, hopefully, happen. Onto numero...11.