Jessica Jones: 2.11 AKA Three Lives and Counting
As Jessica Jones season two draws closer to the end, episode 11 AKA Three Lives and Counting brings back the series most formidable character. Yes, Kilgrave is back.
Let’s be clear - Jessica is in a very fragile mental state. She’s standing over the body of a man she’s just killed, whispering to herself ‘I am not a murderer’. The scene in front of her begs to differ. Just as we are wondering how on earth Jessica is going to get through this without ending up as mother’s cell mate, a disembodied voice offers a suggestion. ‘Make it look like a suicide’. It’s none other than Jessica’s former arch-nemesis, kidnapper, abuser and torturer, Kilgrave.
This sequence, Jessica swallowing her guilt and emotions whilst simultaneously trying to ignore the mental manifestation of a long-dead man, sets the tone for this episode. David Tennant is on top form as Jessica’s mind deteriorates, often playing multiple Kilgraves - all of whom are there to offer sarcastic remarks, unwarranted advice and to remind Jessica that she is, and always will be, a killer. Of course, it’s not ideal for Jessica to be seeing Kilgrave again but for the audience, it’s a hugely welcome return.
The dynamic between Ritter and Tennant as Jessica and Kilgrave is one that this season has been severely lacking. The two characters engage in a way that is terrifying (Kilgrave is the walking definition of an inner demon) but also prompts uneasy laughter. His quips about Malcolm, Trish and Jessica herself are injected with the black humour that Kilgrave was infamous for in season one. The dialogue between the two of them also reiterates the guilt that Jessica has been carrying around since her time with Kilgrave and even the guilt over killing him. There’s also an insight into Jessica’s recent rejections of Trish - Kilgrave notes that ‘Patsy’ has been acting very cray-cray recently. As Kilgrave is a projection of Jessica’s mind, we can only infer that Jessica is very well aware that Trish has been acting out recently and hasn’t been able to do anything about it. Not that I blame her, she’s got enough on her plate with her murderous mother, the hippy doctor and Kilgrave hallucinations.
Elsewhere, Alisa begins to bond with her new prison officer - a friendly black woman, who is also a mother. This affords Alisa some new freedoms within prison (specifically a one-on-one conversation with Jessica with no guards listening in). Unfortunately, it’s quite clear where this is headed and there aren’t any surprises when the new prison officer ends up dead at the hands of Alisa, as she attempts to break out of prison. Why is she trying to break out, you ask? Oh that would be thanks to Trish’s brilliant plan to have Dr Karl give her superhuman powers.
Yes, Trish is still determined to become superhuman (or at least have superhuman strength). She explains to Dr Karl that ‘growing up with an abusive mother and a superhero sister’ clinched her desire to want to have super strength - but I’m not totally buying that. It seems a bit flimsy that Trish would go to all this effort (lying, drug use, knocking Malcolm out etc) due to jealousy. Then again, she was prompted to investigate IGH in an attempt to match Griffin’s career so perhaps it is possible that Trish is really motivated by a sort of FOMO. Yet again, I am going to ask - where is Griffin? I sort of miss that dude…
Jessica eventually tracks down Trish and Malcolm (thanks to Malcolm’s not-Tinder profile), a fight ensues where Trish shoots at Malcolm, and then then everyone races to IGH. As Dr Karl is operating on Trish (with way too many needles for my liking), Jessica breaks in and tries to stop them. Simultaneously, Trish begins to react badly to the drugs. Jessica, egged on by Kilgrave almost kills Dr Karl but stops just short - proving to both herself and Kilgrave that she has got control, she has the power and she isn’t going to give in to her base instincts in the same way as her mother. Dr Karl also has an epiphany, which results in him destroying IGH (with himself inside) as Jessica runs from the explosion, Trish draped over her shoulders.
Aka Three Lives and Counting ends with an almost dead Trish in a hospital bed, a dead Dr Karl, the death of Malcolm’s career as a PI and the (hopeful) death of Jessica’s Kilgrave projection. His final words are ominous though - ‘I’ll be here if you need me’. Let’s hope not.