Jessica Jones: ‘AKA Sin Bin’

sinbin.jpg

TW: rape

(Original post at The Boar)

This week we find Kilgrave in his very own sin bin, a high tech prison made by Simpson complete with electrified water and hermetically sealed walls (I confess I had to google what that meant – airtight, for those who were wondering).

The inference that leads to the discovery of Kilgrave’s parents, hinges on this titular phrase, though it makes Jessica’s deductive reasoning seem a little less Sherlock Holmes, and a little more Adam West era Batman. I half expected her to jump into the Jonesmobile, or whip out an unnecessarily labelled Kilgrave repellent spray.

This is not the only unlikely plot development in this week’s episode. The sudden electricity malfunction that allows Kilgrave to murder his mother, and Trish’s monumentally stupid decision to shoot the glass of the cell both seem overly convenient, and in the case of the latter, down right insulting to Trish’s character.

They facilitate Kilgrave’s escape, of course, and I realise this is necessary, but it could have been handled more subtly. Jessica Jones risks being too reliant on its admittedly excellent characterisation, and failing to construct a good story.

Responsibility is the watchword of the characters this week, echoing episode six (AKA You’re A Winner!) and its exploration of Jessica’s guilt. We’ve already seen her accept responsibility for what she did to Luke, and even what she was forced to do to Reva by extension. This bodily violation is touched on in the Kilgrave survivors’ group, albeit comically by the guy who got his jacket stolen.

Though the bodies of Kilgrave’s victims were tools in a larger scheme without their volition, feeling responsible for the crime you were forced to commit seems an inescapable part of Kilgrave’s trauma. That’s perhaps why Malcolm sets up the victim’s group, and why Jessica has to save Hope through the confession. Someone has to feel accountable if Kilgrave refuses to.

Which leads us to another key question- just who is responsible for Kilgrave? In part, of course, it’s himself, but surely the parents who abandoned him are accountable too? As much as I hate Kilgrave, there’s a little truth in what he says about never having been taught the ramifications of what his powers can do.

Kilgrave’s abilities, just like Jessica’s, do not appear to have been present at birth; he wasn’t born to be a monster, and Jessica wasn’t born to be a hero either.

Two characters that I’ve been neglecting somewhat in the past few reviews got a bigger share of this week’s episode – Jeri Hogarth and Will Simpson. I confess, I’ve been skimping on the Hogarth subplot, largely because Kilgrave has such a compelling screen presence. We’re starting to see Jeri get desperate, with Wendy after 90% of her income and likely to get it if Hogarth doesn’t figure something out soon.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Hogarth would do something truly drastic to protect her assets, making her proximity to Kilgrave all the more worrying. I think Jessica Jonesmight finally be utilising Carrie Anne Moss properly, as her divorce proceedings threaten to overwhelm her.

As for Simpson, questions about his character are beginning to emerge. Just who is Dr. Koslov, the man he insisted upon seeing whilst injured, and later receives mysterious pills from? What kind of programme has he been let back into, and why did he leave it in the first place? Most importantly, will he please get the hell away from Trish?

We’re left once more on a cliff-hanger. Having spent the entire episode trying and failing to gain control over Kilgrave, Jessica finally realises that for as of yet unknown reasons, he cannot command her like the rest of the world. Perhaps he knew this, perhaps he didn’t, but to silence Kilgrave is to castrate him. If she’s lucky, Jessica might just get her confession and Kilgrave’s balls too (albeit only metaphorically).

 

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