Jessica Jones: AKA 1,000 Cuts
November 23, 2015 7:16 AM - Season 1, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Kilgrave's on the loose again and the body count rises.

The Idiot Ball continues, with Jeri (who cut the electrocution wire, WHY) being told to take Kilgrave to a doctor she trusts. WHO'S HER FUTURE EX-WIFE, SO THAT WENT WELL. Kilgrave asks Jeri what Jessica wants from him--to pay for what he did--and Jeri mentions her little fetus salvage operation so she could replicate his power. However, that didn't work and now it's in cold storage. After Wendy gripes to Kilgrave about how their relationship drama is all death by a thousand cuts, naturally Kilgrave tells Wendy to do just that. The tiny slasher death is interrupted by girlfriend Pam coming in, hitting Wendy on the head, and killing her. Sure, it took THAT for Pam to figure out that Jeri's bad. God, I hate that storyline, let's hope it's over.

Jessica figures out how to get Trish out of the "put a bullet in my head" command by sticking a bullet in her mouth briefly. Smart. This is not so easily gotten around with Arnold and the "cutting out my heart" thing, so they handcuff him and take him back to his hotel room so he can finish working on a vaccine. Because somehow all of this is Kilgrave being a virus...which makes no sense.

Simpson has turned into quite an asshole now that he's got red, white, and blue upper-downer pills. He goes back to the torture chamber, is all friendly with the detective (who claims they have enough evidence finally), then shoots him in the head and burns down the joint after finding out where Trish is with Kilgrave's dad. Trish smells a rat when he mentions pills and gets a little attack-y and throws him out, which is surprising.

Kilgrave visits Jessica after having made arrangements (in his usual way) to get Hope out of jail tomorrow morning. He admits he figured out she no longer obeyed him awhile back, but thought that there was a whopping 18 seconds after his power wore off where she wanted to stay with him, way back when, so there's a chance. Jessica was all, no, I was pondering jumping off a roof (and riding away on a white horse?!), but my brain was too scrambled to go through with it before you called me back and told me to cut off my ears. (Then he stopped that.) Anyway, he wants an exchange: his dad for Hope.

Malcolm continues to hang around Ruben's sister, which is a bad idea on so many levels. Especially when she follows him to support group and he confesses to the whole group what he did with Ruben's body. Sister is basically all, "This is all Jessica's fault, let's go get her!" Unfortunately, she picks a time when Jessica somehow had Kilgrave bound and tied, and knocks out Jessica and frees Kilgrave GRRRRRRRRRRRRR NOT AGAIN MORE IDIOT BALL.

Jessica wakes up the next morning and finds out that Kilgrave picked Hope up from prison and leaves her a message to go to that restaurant with his dad. Where all of his previous victims in the little mob, including Malcolm and the sister, are all set to hang themselves. Apparently the vaccine doesn't work, or at least Arnold sprays himself with it and it does no good. Hope reasonably figures out that Jessica won't kill Kilgrave as long as she's still alive, so she stabs herself in the neck*. Kilgrave sets off the people to hang themselves and runs out with his dad, Jessica disables the bar so that they don't. Hope tells Jessica to kill him as she dies.

* erasing herself from the narrative....

Yeah, I need to take a break from this show for awhile, jesus.
posted by jenfullmoon (32 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So, when Jeri goes into the airlock outside Killgrave's cell, we see her stand in front of the inner door, and we see her put her hand on the wheel, then there are cuts and some shots of their faces, and then we see Jeri step away.

I am not seeing a motive for Jeri to cut the wire, but I don't actually see any evidence that he put the Killgrave mojo on her. So... Uh... What the fuck, show?
posted by rmd1023 at 8:28 AM on November 23, 2015

It was my understanding -- along with the whole aborted fetus thing -- Jeri thinks Kilgrave's power is something she can use for her own end. He was manipulating her (not using his powers on her, just saying his powers could help her) into releasing him.

And I think she would've done it, except she heard people coming back, so she abandoned her plan.

At least, that's how I interpreted the scene. The episodes are blurring together a bit for me now.
posted by darksong at 8:47 AM on November 23, 2015 [5 favorites]

The Idiot Ball continues, with Jeri (who cut the electrocution wire, WHY) being told to take Kilgrave to a doctor she trusts.

She's compelled by Killgrave to take him to a doctor she trusts. Clearly the only doctor she trusts is her ex, so I don't see a problem with that. Cutting the wire is idiotic, I agree.
posted by Pendragon at 9:58 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

What was the white horse all about? Some comic backstory? With the quite reasonable depth of some of the writing I'd have expected a tiny bit of foreshadowing for that fairly important plot point.
posted by sammyo at 10:55 AM on November 23, 2015

I think the white horse was Jessica's escape fantasy, not anything that actually happened. (It seemed an awful lot like the end of The Princess Bride, and I'm glad they didn't have her actually jump directly onto the horse.)

And then she blinked, realized she really did have an escape opportunity, but wasn't able to get it together to jump before Kilgrave brought her back under control (after the "eighteen seconds" of supposed freedom.)
posted by asperity at 12:25 PM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]

This episode was really the low point of the series for me. So much stupid. Hogarth is the dumbest smart person ever. Support group is the dumbest bunch of idiots. Hope kills herself so that we can all feel like everything done to save her was a waste of time and simply murdering Kilgrave was the prudent thing to do from the very beginning (which, considering his body count since Hope shot her parents, let's face it, it was). I also don't believe for a second that the support group for morons can overcome Jessica in a fight.
posted by axiom at 1:58 PM on November 23, 2015 [5 favorites]

I am mostly down with the show, but the whole support group thing deciding to storm Jessica's office made no sense at all. I don't buy that Domineering Twin would have been able to hit Jessica hard enough to knock her out, and it introduces something weird into the narrative, like, "these people were sheep for Kilgrave once, and now they're sheep for following Domineering Twin's muddled incitement to a riot."
posted by PussKillian at 2:42 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is the point where the editorial team just started arranging the characters for the final showdown and winnowing out some of the inconvenient supporting cast. Many of the other characters need to be reduced to simple behaviours in order to get things to function. I suspect it is an inherent problem in constructing this kind of genre narrative (similar thing happened to Daredevil, though slightly later, I think, and I'm often aware of a shaky few minutes between the middle of a movie and the bit at the end where everything explodes, it's just that here that's stretched out to fifty or so minutes). To be honest, I don't usually care about whether things make intellectual sense as much as that I enjoyed them, but I didn't enjoy this like previous episodes.

With the reduction of so many of the characters to cardboard cut-outs, David Tennant's lively reading of the only character who seems actually alive means that that character becomes - if not sympathetic exactly, then certainly more enjoyable. I suspect they gave him a huge body count in order to try to counteract that effect, but I'm not sure that was completely successful.

I think the point at which the change happened was the production of the parentis ex machina in the last episode.

The other thing is that it seems as though the story will be more about fantasies of committing violence rather than a story with violence in it. It's interesting that in a narrative like this - whatever the progressive intentions of the maker - it must come down to violence in the end, and it's assumed that killing is the only thing that can resolve the situation. I still haven't seen the other episodes yet, but don't really expect any challenge to the status quo from either of them.

Ironic, given that the fundamental assumption of toxic masculinity (from which so many ills stem) is the notion that a man is defined by his capacity to inflict and receive violence, that that assumption is accepted unquestioned, albeit embodied in a female character.
posted by Grangousier at 4:50 PM on November 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

That looked like a terribly inefficient, if not even indifferent, way to take a vaccine.
If he'd used it at least as a breath spray or something...
posted by bigendian at 5:02 PM on November 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Kilgrave: Take me to a doctor that you trust.

My girlfriend: Oh David Tennant! You're the Doctor that I trust!
posted by Parasite Unseen at 6:31 PM on November 28, 2015 [26 favorites]

I watched this and all I could think was "I don't think the writers know how hanging works."
posted by entropicamericana at 7:19 AM on November 29, 2015 [3 favorites]

That American flag zippo!
posted by sweetmarie at 11:59 AM on November 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

That American flag zippo!

It always bugs me when TV arsonists throw their zippos into a puddle of accelerant to start the fire. Why? It's so unnecessary. Just light a piece of paper or something! What a waste of a good zippo!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:45 PM on November 29, 2015 [6 favorites]

I watched this and all I could think was "I don't think the writers know how hanging works."

Why? Kilgrave didn't want them to die immediately - he needed a distraction to slow Jessica down. He needed a short drop so that they would slowly strangle rather than die from a quick neck snap.

The drop needed to snap a neck is between 5 and 8 feet, depending on weight.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:50 PM on November 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

I enjoyed the first half of this show, but all of the stupid has just piled up and now it seems too long by half.
How, for instance, will people be compelled to kill themselves when he dies if they haven't been around him for all of this time, he's had no opportunity to just randomly set that up in the hours since he escaped from the vault.
And how, if it's a virus, does he compel anyone from a distance as quickly as he does.
I know it's comic book science but jeez.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:30 PM on November 29, 2015

For some reason I thought the season was only 10 episodes long and was looking forward to the end with this one... 3 more episodes seems more like a chore now. Maybe that's my own fault.
But I agree with the sentiments above that there were some pretty weak moments in this episode.
posted by starman at 4:59 AM on December 1, 2015

Somewhere around Episode 8 I realized I really missed Luke and Jessica private detecting. Detecting with a little Kilgrave around the edges was the best. Now that it's full on Kilgrave and all the other characters running around the edge, it's more frantic and slightly less interesting but it's a hurdle to get through so Luke and Jessica can get back to private detecting.

Anyway, the spray vaccine. I am hoping that the father was pretending to be under Kilgrave's thrall to mislead him. I didn't like that he was holding the vaccine in his hand though, Jessica should've kept the bottle.

How, for instance, will people be compelled to kill themselves when he dies...

I think he just said that to mess with Jessica. Even if he had the time to program random people, would he then have to send a dying mental message to them? How long is his reach anyway?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:49 AM on December 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

I can accept Hogarth doing something really stupid. Her whole MO is being in control, and she wasn't in control of either of the women in her life.

I can accept the virus thing. It's comic book science and there seems to be some precedent in the comic book character.

Both Malcolm's confession and the idiot support group mob is pretty implausible, also can Robyn please not talk any more, but whatever.

As mentioned, the whole, "Kill me and a bunch of people will commit suicide," makes no sense even if he's bluffing. Jessica knows how his power works and that ain't it.

My biggest problem is that the whole issue of whether Jessica should kill Killgrave is muddled. First, they're trying to prevent Simpson (Nuke! Who I'm quite enjoying as an evolving patriot-psycho) from doing so then, while Hope is still alive, the whole dying-causing-suicides thing happens which assumes that Jessica is willing to kill Killgrave. Then Hope offs herself, and how exactly does that change anything as far as Killgrave's death goes? It was a mess. It felt like 4AM and a script deadline looming.

I was way on board until this episode. I'm going to need at least one costume (Hellcat??), Luke going ham on somebody (Nuke!), AND an appearance by Daredevil to even this out.
posted by cmoj at 7:29 AM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Tansy Rayner Roberts reviews this and the previous episode on
posted by Coaticass at 5:00 PM on December 2, 2015

As mentioned, the whole, "Kill me and a bunch of people will commit suicide," makes no sense even if he's bluffing. Jessica knows how his power works and that ain't it.

It's easy to come up with a suitable order. For example, "Wait here. Kill yourself if you don't see me by 8:00pm".
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:39 PM on December 2, 2015 [4 favorites]

In that case, her detaining him would have the same effect.

Though, having thought about my larger motivation problem, it wouldn't be unfair for Killgrave to assume at this point the she might intend to simply kill him even though we know she's not there yet.
posted by cmoj at 9:30 AM on December 3, 2015

Ugh. So much cutting and blood. I was starting to get sad about binge watching this because soon I wouldn't have any more to watch but the last two episodes have made me okay with that. Still watching though.
posted by artychoke at 9:43 AM on December 3, 2015

In that case, her detaining him would have the same effect.

Sure, and Jessica figures he's bluffing and detains him until she can make sure Hope is safe. The contingency thing has worked for Kilgrave before, but Jessica saw the order ("If I'm not back in 2 hours, take each other's faces off." was it?). I don't know if I'd believe Kilgrave would take the time to make sure someone didn't kill themselves if he was still alive later anyway.

Hogarth is so full of shit it would be funny if it weren't so tragic. "How could I have known?" my ass. So your plan is to free Kilgrave to get your ex to sign the papers, but if he does has the power that you need, then how exactly do you get him to do it safely?

This episode and the last have been pretty damn brutal.
posted by ODiV at 7:58 PM on December 5, 2015

If he does has?

It was Kilgrave.
posted by ODiV at 8:12 PM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Hogarth getting cut to pieces was one of the more gruesome things I've ever watched on my television. So brutal.

I loved the way Hope went out and found it very plausible. She was showing she's not helpless. She understood her role in keeping Jessica from killing Kilgrave, and offing herself was her way of doing something it was within her power to do to stop him. Again and again, so many with agency in this show. I keep pointing it out, because it is so incredibly rare.
posted by dry white toast at 6:07 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

TWinbrook8: "I really missed Luke and Jessica private detecting."

Is that what the kids are calling it these days?
posted by RobotHero at 7:46 PM on December 11, 2015

"chill and detecting"
posted by rmd1023 at 5:11 AM on December 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

So much happened in this episode. I'm sorry for the detective's demise. We finally got him on Jessica's side and then Simpson had to go and be a dumbass. (Although the American flag zippo and walking away from fire was nicely amusing. I see how you see yourself, buddy.) When he finally caught up with Trish I was expecting the usual "oops, I hurt the woman I love, oh no, she's dead, ARGH" and I'm so glad that didn't happen. Trish was actually able to dissuade him! That almost looked too easy. When she chained the door and leaned against it, I was cringing in anticipation that he's bash her head in or shoot her through the door. But no. The next visitor is Jessica!

The spraying of the vaccine was weird to me. It seemed very un-science-y, especially for a scientist. Isn't a vaccine supposed to be a dead version of the virus so our bodies can build up a defense against the real stuff? And doesn't that usually take time (and some kind of ingestion?).

That being said, I am HOPING that Kevin's dad was just playing along with being controlled. But probably not.

I'm glad that Hope showed some agency, but I wish it hadn't happened by killing herself. Although I understand it removes that shackle from Jessica. But not really, because Hope was already freed from jail. So, I guess it just didn't fix anything really.

I expected a different reaction from the Kilgrave support group than what we saw with regards to Malcolm telling his story. "I helped clean up a murder scene" -> "Thank you for your story"? Really?

As irritating as Robyn is, I was glad to see her with her posters. It was showing that people still live on after horrible things happen. They don't disappear conveniently. The repercussions of Kilgrave's actions keep on going.

The death by 1000 cuts was a great scene. I liked how they showed Kilgrave empathizing with Wendy and hr even gave her the choice. His command was " IF you want death by 1000 cuts, then do it", which, to me, gave her the opening to refuse. Which she didn't.

And Pam. I like how she didn't just eat up Jeri's BS and called her out on the lying.

So, is the fetus going to reappear in the next few episodes? Kilgrave seemed interested in it, and I don't expect that to be a dead plot point.
posted by jillithd at 9:08 AM on December 28, 2015

AND TRISH NOW HAS THE RED PILLS. I know you want to be powerful and invincible, but DON'T DO IT, TRISH.
posted by jillithd at 9:22 AM on December 28, 2015

I didn't hate this episode but it does seem like they're padding this show out a bit. Ten episode would have worked better than 13.
posted by octothorpe at 9:19 AM on January 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

His command was " IF you want death by 1000 cuts, then do it", which, to me, gave her the opening to refuse. Which she didn't.

People WANT to do lots of things. I WANT to eat 15 chocolate doughnuts in a single sitting. I don't do it, because it's an awful idea. There's a lot of people I want to punch in the face, but since I don't want to go to jail, I don't do it.

Wendy would never have attacked Jeri unless Kilgrave ordered her to follow her id.

But it did very effectively highlight how much anger Wendy was holding in.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:02 PM on January 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Greetings from the Future! Finally getting around to watching this 6 years late!

This episode was so all-over-the-place in terms of the quality of its story beats, and had a lot of very effective moments that in combination were mostly numbing by the end. (Kinda true to its title? In a funhouse mirror kind of way?)

Most effective/"Best" for me is the Jeri/Wendy/Pam stuff. My only real complaint about this is really a complaint about the previous episode's Jeri/Pam scene, where Pam was acting out of character from what we've seen of her so far. Yes, Pam wants this handled already and behind them, and is hot for Competence!Jeri, sure. But she's also notably been shown to have sympathy for Wendy in everything. If I can mentally replace the "Pam uses sex to give Jeri an ultimatum" scene with one where she's being a little more realistically just somewhat freaked out about the mess this has all turned into, then everything in this episode (w/r/t that storyline, I mean) works gangbusters. Jeri being certain that she can make a deal with the devil here and come out free of consequences is a great, necessary storyline, and the fact that the show veers into straight-up horror as a result of her choices feels appropriate. So does Jeri's continued instinct for deflecting all blame and responsibility away from herself, and Pam finally seeing Jeri's true self. Horrifying and well-executed payoff for that story (with three episodes left to go somehow!)

Nuke/Simpson, meanwhile, is a hot mess. I only know the name "Nuke" from the A.V. Club review which explains that he's a character not connected to Alias/JJ in the comics, and it feels like the show is expecting more from the viewer in recognizing him than it really should. It's one thing for Simpson to go from "more or less sympathetic and kinda helpful" to "raging roided cannonball being helpful to no one" but he seems to have an agenda that goes beyond his previous one of just taking out Kilgrave before the body count reaches even higher. Killing Det. Clemmons and burning down the facility felt like less a part of any real plan than just a function of the story needing those pieces to be wiped off the table, which is especially frustrating considering how much time and energy was spent on all of that. Finding Trish and ultimately getting violent with her made more sense (and fuck yeah Trish for taking control of the situation and getting him the fuck away from her!) but his actions around Kilgrave's dad made less sense, etc. Just frustrating.

Robyn's shit made perfect sense for her being Robyn. Malcolm's support group confession needed better writing, something I've rarely every thought about this show before now. That just felt like the placeholder, first-draft version of the scene. And it made me wonder why Zegna Jacket Dude is even still coming to these group meetings, let alone why he'd go along with the "let's go beat up JJ" plan. Chauffeur dude at least actually lost everything meaningful to him. I don't get how Robyn of all people could incapacitate Jessica, though.

Side note: Kilgrave bought the house without using his powers because he needed there to be no changed minds about it after 12 hours. It bugs me that the bureaucracy would take longer than that to release Hope but that nobody in the system would throw up any hurdles about it. I guess Kilgrave was there to pick her up, and there was, as he said, a paper trail, but before that happens somebody should be considering that aspect of things.

Finally, Hope. Fucking Hope. It's not that her suicide makes zero sense, but in addition to it being a horrific plot development, it takes a lot of the wind out of things. Taking Kilgrave alive and proving his powers and exonerating Hope has been a fascinating and thorny problem and a good one for Jessica to have to deal with. But we've seen time and again that simply killing him would be relatively straightforward. I'm sure the show will make things harder than that, but Hope's death doesn't just hurt - it hurts narrative momentum. ALSO it's frustrating to watch because JJ is obviously trying to get a lay of the land and figure out how to navigate the standoff they're in, and the stuff between Kilgrave and Dad is still playing out there. ALSO she has to know that she's not just killing herself there, but presumably four other people (who seem to survive, but only because of Jessica's heroics in the moment.) So where I should feel righteous fury at Kilgrave, I mostly just feel nihilistic emptiness and the weight of three episodes left to go.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:58 AM on April 6, 2022

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