Jessica Jones: AKA Sin Bin
November 23, 2015 6:14 AM - Season 1, Episode 9 - Subscribe

Kilgrave's locked up, and everyone passes the Idiot Ball around trying to figure out how to get evidence on him.

Ugh, I just hated this. Stupid moves all around. I'm with Simpson: someone just shoot him in the head already, because apparently it's impossible to come up with good enough legal proof of his manipulation on video and Hope might as well take the plea of 20 years.

Anyway, even though Jessica has a nice little hermetically sealed, noise proof, water-filled electrocution chamber set up for Kilgrave, that doesn't mean that people don't get sent in there, Jeri hangs around listening to Kilgrave make offers about what he can do for her, etc. Luther is eventually persuaded to go down there, but that doesn't help. Jessica figures out that little Kevin's mother was hanging out at support group meetings and tracks his parents down--Arnold and Louise Thompson, who were trying to cure him of some disease and then ended up dancing to his tune/ironing her own face before running away. Somehow she talks them into going into the cage, where of course Kilgrave orders his mother to stab herself and everything goes to shit. Kilgrave gets out, but Jessica is able to resist his "let go, Jessica" command even though he still gets away.

In other news, Simpson is injured but somehow is the only survivor of the bomb, and he insists on getting help from a "Dr. Koslov," who he gets some upper and downer(?) pills from, and I guess he's rejoined whatever "classified" team he's on. Oh, and Wendy attempted to send a bad e-mail that Pam intercepted, Wendy wants 90%, and Pam gives Jeri a sexy ultimatum--OH PLEASE.

Though on the good news side, Jessica realizes that after she came into contact with blood--Rhea's at the bus crash and just now--she was able to resist Kilgrave's orders. Hmmmmm.
posted by jenfullmoon (28 comments total)
 
I don't think the blood has anything to do with it.
posted by Pendragon at 6:37 AM on November 23, 2015


Hey, welcome back to the super-seekrit super soldier club! We're not curious at all about how you got blown up. Here are some dangerous pills, but I'm just going to leave a few bottles of them with you and trust that you'll follow my vague instructions. See, I'm just like a real doctor!
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:49 AM on November 23, 2015 [10 favorites]


I was so excited about the plan working before I realized that it was only a kind of partial plan with one really, really big missing piece.

So I said earlier that I kind of liked Trish and Simpson's relationship earlier and was hoping that his arc was going to be "my masculinity and sense of self took a big hit, but I'm learning and getting better about listening to others" to perhaps be a foil to Kilgrave, but at this point it becomes clear that his arc is actually going to be more of the kind where he doubles down on taking his own path and not listening. On the other hand, he's kind of totally right about Kilgrave needing to be put down as quickly as possible.
posted by PussKillian at 7:15 AM on November 23, 2015


Can we change the episode description above the fold to something less spoilery?
posted by Uncle Ira at 7:16 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Given how Nuke back in the day was portrayed, I can see the "make a replacement Captain America" program being exactly that badly managed. And looming back, we had a number of hints about him.

And yes, the "madman in a box" idea was really bad. Worse even than Jessica's Supermax idea. And it was shown as being just that bad. Also, this is one of the few portrayals on TV of torture that doesn't work, and just makes things worse.

I wish that somebody in Flash would realize that extrajudicial imprisonment is evil as well.
posted by happyroach at 7:18 AM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


So, Simpson is basically Riley under the influence of Dr. Walsh's meds.

(I promise I'll stop, really.)
posted by Superplin at 1:03 PM on November 23, 2015 [13 favorites]


Nuke back in the day

Oh my god, the whole red/white/blue thing triggered an almost painful burst of memory as I recalled a comic book arc from almost thirty years ago. They should signpost those moments or something.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:17 PM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


The issue is that Jessica wants to save Hope from doing 20 years for what Kilgrave ordered her to do. That makes perfect sense, IMO, why the crazy plan is being tried.

Which is fascinating to me. How can they prove Kilgrave has this power, that it exists? Does that even excuse the people, on some level?

The problem is that Jessica is in way over her head again him. So shit goes sideways.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:45 PM on November 24, 2015


I love that doing dumb shit has consequences on this show! I looooove horrible, horrible Jeri, she pushes all my Admiral Cain buttons thank you very much, and I love the sheer number of women interacting in this sho in general. In fact I am tempted to try reverse-Bedsechel it and see if there are any scenes where two named male characters discuss a topic that isn't a woman. I think Luke and Malcom talked about Kilgrave, but they might have just talked about Jessica.
posted by Iteki at 1:23 AM on November 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


So, she's going to straight up torture the dude? That is way not cool, Jessica. Is she really trying to lose the moral highground on a serial rapist/kidnapper/torturer/murderer?
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:42 AM on November 25, 2015


I think that's part of the problem- Jessica really doesn't know what the moral high ground is, outside of somehow getting a confession out of Killgrave and getting Hope out of prison. I mean, this is a really horrible stupid plan- the sort of thing somebody drunk and dealing with PTSD and massive guilt would come up with.
posted by happyroach at 12:51 PM on November 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yes, she's going to torture the guy who had a huge negative on her life, to try and save someone else.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:06 PM on November 25, 2015


Though on the good news side, Jessica realizes that after she came into contact with blood--Rhea's at the bus crash and just now--she was able to resist Kilgrave's orders. Hmmmmm.

What the what? I don't think it had anything to do with coming into contact with blood, or at least I didn't get that.

Yes, she's going to torture the guy who had a huge negative on her life, to try and save someone else.

I get that it's understandable and a very human response, but that doesn't make it right.
posted by Saxon Kane at 3:50 PM on November 25, 2015


Unlike nearly every other series on the damned planet, I don't think torture IS portrayed as right. Or effective.
posted by happyroach at 4:14 PM on November 25, 2015


Yeah, I don't think it's being portrayed as right at all. But it's very human, the desire to go to almost any limit to "beat up" on Kilgrave to save Hope. That it all goes horribly, badly, predictiably wrong (in the sense that it was never going to work) shows just how wrong the decision and torture was.

But what else could she have done to save Hope?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:30 PM on November 25, 2015


I wanted to see her try (and fail) to rehabilitate Kilgrave as his superhero partner, but that probably wouldn't have made as much narrative sense.
posted by Saxon Kane at 7:12 PM on November 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, no. I was so grateful we didn't go down that road. They could easily have done several episodes of odd-couple-fights-crime hijinks with Jessica gradually teaching Kilgrave that, "No you don't just casually make people hurt themselves even if you think they deserve it." "But why not?" Even if maybe they could have subverted that into commenting on the idea of battered women staying with abusive men hoping to reform them. I thought the previous episode went plenty far enough with that. (I'm reminded of how pleased I was that Orphan Black turned away from a setup early on that could easily have generated a bunch of (good!) formulaic episodes).

I'm impressed with how consistently the show portrays Kilgrave's victims as having zero patience with any excuses he tries to make or claims that what he did wasn't so bad. His mind control is universally seen as an intolerable violation. Even his own mother can't resist trying to kill him at her first opportunity (or was the stabbing part of Jessica's plan?)

I don't think anyone in this episode is carrying an idiot ball. Jessica's plan is terrible and everyone tells her so. Jeri's temptation is well set up and believable, especially since she hasn't had any first-hand knowledge of how dangerous Kilgrave is. The show isn't asking us to pretend anyone's stupid plans aren't stupid.

And Jessica's plan isn't as stupid as I initially thought. She'd like a confession (even though it seems obvious a confession in these circumstances would be thrown out), but all she really needs is proof that he has mind control powers at all for Hope's story and the testimony of all the other people he's controlled to be taken seriously. And while she's obviously playing with fire, her plan is really only a disaster because of the stupid coincidence of the shock button failing at exactly the wrong moment. (And also that a one-handed old man was somehow able to stop her from grabbing Kilgrave).

It's also not clear why Kilgrave would run away once he has the upper hand. Him being tortured and traumatized is probably sufficient reason. But maybe he figured out long before Jessica that she can resist his control (which would explain his early pretence of "letting" her make free choices). Still, I'd think his first instinct in any situation getting out of control would be to shout "Everybody, don't move!"
posted by straight at 12:24 PM on November 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


The shock button didn't fail, jeri had cut the wire. Because she wanted to try and use Kilgrave
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:56 PM on November 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hmm. I guess that makes sense. She couldn't count on the button failing at a moment that would allow Kilgrave to escape (Jessica was using it rather liberally to shock him when he was alone) but it's not much risk to her if it doesn't work. I need to look back and see if Kilgrave shows any signs of knowing it wouldn't work. (Although if your theory is correct, I'm sure it will be referenced in the next episode or so).

And arguably Kilgrave escapes Jessica's clutches more because of her shock at discovering he can't control her than because of the old, maimed cop grabbing her.
posted by straight at 3:00 PM on November 26, 2015


It's also not clear why Kilgrave would run away once he has the upper hand. Him being tortured and traumatized is probably sufficient reason. But maybe he figured out long before Jessica that she can resist his control (which would explain his early pretence of "letting" her make free choices).

He damn well knew he could resist his control. If you look at his early appearance, in the apartment episode? His expression, the way he ran away when Jessica showed up? He knew from the beginning that Jessica could resist him.

In fact, the entire series really makes the most sense when you assume that he knew from the beginning that he could't control Jessica. That's the real reason for the cat-and-mouse games and attacking people around Jessica.

In fact the whole metaphor about "I will make you love me like I love you" take an interesting new depth when one realizes that it's fundamentally bluster and bluff. He can't control her directly, not unless she agrees to be controlled.
posted by happyroach at 10:48 PM on November 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


The shock button didn't fail, jeri had cut the wire. Because she wanted to try and use Kilgrave.

The Jeri scene that unsettled me the most was her arrival at chamber and telling Trish "Why don't go outside and get some fresh air?" and she going immediately "Yeah! I guess I could use a break." - At that moment I thought "ok great, now we have a second Kilgrave [through harvesting Hope's foetus somehow]" and she wanted Kilgrave to give her a quick 101 on her new abilities.

It's a lot of interpreting for such a tiny scene. I certainly wouldn't want the show to go into that direction with the last four episodes.
posted by bigendian at 12:12 PM on November 27, 2015


What I didn't understand AT ALL was continuing to manufacture "evidence" once Kilgrave's parents are on the scene. If the entire purpose of catching him alive instead of killing him is to find a source of reasonable doubt for a jury, wouldn't his parents, the scientists who made him this way, and who lived with him for years and mutilated themselves on his orders be enough testimony in court!? No torture or coerced confession necessary?

What am I missing?

All I could think of was the scene from Jumanji when the boy needs to get the axe from the woodshed to save someone. He finds it locked, so picks up a nearby axe and starts hacking at the lock. There's a beat where they break the fourth wall as he realizes the stupidity of this, then runs off with the axe.

Why on earth didn't Jessica run off with the parents directly to the detective and say "HERE YOU GO!"?
posted by brism at 7:52 AM on November 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Because evidence of mind control would be much stronger than two parents saying "Oh yeah, he can totally control minds." Put them on the stand and the prosecutor completely demolish any sort of testimony.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:15 AM on November 30, 2015


The policeman was a witness, Jessica knocked him out so he wasn't able to follow Kilgrave. Can he testify for Hope?

Sadly, the mother's death spoils my theory that once the mind control wears off, you're immune to another go 'round.

If Hogarth is in the running to follow in Kilgrave's footsteps, will Pam be her evil sidekick?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:20 AM on November 30, 2015


The Jeri scene that unsettled me the most was her arrival at chamber and telling Trish "Why don't go outside and get some fresh air?" and she going immediately "Yeah! I guess I could use a break." - At that moment I thought "ok great, now we have a second Kilgrave

One of the clear themes of this episode is the parallel between Jeri and Kilgrave:

-the ex-wife using the same language to describe how she reshaped herself around Jeri during their marriage as JJ (I think) uses in an earlier scene about her time with Kilgrave
-Jeri and Kilgrave pacing in unison in the "lab" when they're alone
-their reactions to not being able to control their situations
-the scene mentioned above with Trish

In fact, an overarching theme the show returns to again and again is that people can 100% be controlled without superpowers.
posted by dry white toast at 6:06 AM on December 4, 2015 [7 favorites]


Also, of course Jessica was going to fuck this up royally and we were going to watch it happen. She can't think rationally about this situation. She wants too many things here.

The moment where Trish shoots herself with the empty gun was the most terrifying of the series for me. Beautifully done.
posted by dry white toast at 6:10 AM on December 4, 2015


I like how Pam is becoming more multi-dimensional. She isn't just the cute secretary. She really likes Jeri's powerful personality.

I'm glad they didn't give me a second extra to panic about Trish and the gun, otherwise I would've. SO THANKFUL that the gun was empty. SO THANKFUL.

Simpson and the Cap'n haircut and the Cap'n aspirations. And a Cap'n sized addiction, too, it seems. *shaking head*

The video of the parents interacting with Kevin makes it harder for me to sympathize with them. Sure, they were only trying to cure him. But there are definitely kinder ways to cure YOUR YOUNG CHILD than strapping him in and giving him no comfort after the injections. Seriously.

Oh, Jeri definitely cut off the power button herself. No doubts here. I'm not entirely certain why when it looked like she was going to let him out. Unless it was the first step in Kilgrave trusting her.

I ... really don't want Jeri to have Kilgrave's power. That is just not the ideal for anyone involved. (Not even Pam, although she might enjoy part of the ride.)
posted by jillithd at 2:55 PM on December 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pam's statement about witnessing Jeri in court further cements my certainty that she's a paralegal or associate. Her earlier acting as gatekeeper for access to Jeri makes paralegal more probable, I suppose.
posted by phearlez at 11:33 AM on January 10, 2016


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