Jessica Jones Binge-Watch: "AKA 1000 Cuts"

Tuesday, 08 December 2015 - 1:29PM
Marvel
Jessica Jones
Reviews
Tuesday, 08 December 2015 - 1:29PM
Jessica Jones Binge-Watch: "AKA 1000 Cuts"
< >
Like many of you, I binge-watched the entirety of Jessica Jones last weekend, and it was amazing. It boasts a compelling central character, played perfectly by Krysten Ritter, the scariest villain Marvel has to offer, strong supporting characters, and sharp writing all the way through. Now that the binge-watch is over (boo-hoo), I'll be reviewing one episode per day, but for those of you who are better at this whole self-control thing, I'll be staying away from significant spoilers for future episodes (but obviously, spoiler alert for this one).

More Gore




Poor Hope. This is probably the logical culmination of her plotline, since she's, as Kilgrave says, "the ultimate innocent victim," but that didn't make this scene any less tragic. I have a few problems with the big picture of Hope's arc, as she was really never anything but a victim, but this scene was harrowing, and showed just how dark Jessica Jones is willing to go. And that's pretty damn dark. If you thought last episode's death-by-scissors scene was hard to watch, that was a cakewalk compared to this one. Between Hope's suicide, the therapy group's almost-mass suicide, Wendy slashing Jeri all over her body, and that shot of Wendy's head grossly bisected by a glass coffee table, this episode was the most unflinchingly gory by far. Some thought it got a little excessive, but considering how much everyone has been underestimating Kilgrave's power and his capacity for evil, we needed an episode like this to drive it home.

Killing Kilgrave


My problem wasn't with the excessive gore, but with the terrible decisions leading up to it. As I said last episode, at this point there's really no reason not to kill Kilgrave, even before Hope kills herself. Jessica could have testified at her trial, which would have been difficult, but I'll bet it would have been a hell of a lot less difficult than finding Ruben's body in her bed, or convincing Trish not to put a bullet in her brain through her ear. Hope herself is telling Jessica that she should kill Kilgrave, and still she doesn't, even when she has a clear opportunity. In the climactic scene of this episode, she could have quickly killed Kilgrave, and then pulled the beam down from the ceiling, just as she ultimately does when Kilgrave makes his escape. She literally accomplishes nothing by not killing him except for indirectly causing Hope's death. And why? According to Kilgrave, it's because she hopes deep down that she's a hero, but it hasn't been heroic to let Kilgrave live for at least a few episodes now. It would be a clear case of self-defense, or "defense of others," so it just feels like a contrivance so we get to keep watching David Tennant be creepy.

Standout moment of the episode


The ending was, of course, the most memorable part of the episode, but my favorite scene was the one between Jessica and Kilgrave, in which she confronts him about holding her hostage. This episode once again played with the "be careful what you wish for" aspect of Kilgrave's mind control when he tells Wendy to kill Jeri in a manner that she herself brought up, but when Kilgrave assumes that Jessica secretly wanted to be with him, she quickly disabuses him of that notion. Just like in a real-life relationship, there are two sides to every story, but just like a real abuser, Kilgrave is much more ignorant of the other side than most. He deludes himself into thinking that because he didn't have control over her for less than a minute, that she was tacitly consenting to his abuse, but she points out that getting rid of his brainwashing was "like prying fungus from a window." When she reveals the scar on her ear, that's the ultimate revision to his rose-colored romanticization of an unequivocally abusive situation.

Marvel Madness


Simpson officially establishes himself as a supervillain this episode, killing Clemons in a cold-blooded execution and taking those little red pills that tell us he's Marvel villain Nuke. I preferred his character arc when it was simply his wounded male ego that was making him turn evil, because that's a little more true to life, but I suppose the red pills that increase aggression can be also be seen as a stand-in for toxic masculinity, so I can get on board.

The show generally delved more into the sci-fi genre this episode, particularly in the attempts to create a vaccine to Kilgrave's powers. But- and this is a recurring problem I have with the show- why would Jessica be able to shake off his mind control through the power of her will if his mind control is the result of a virus? Did she will herself to develop spontaneous immunity to a virus? It makes no sense.

Pet peeve


Aside from the aforementioned logical issues, the "abandon all hope" pun was really excessive. At best, it was a little hamfisted, and at worst, it underscored that Hope is the only character on this show who fits a somewhat sexist female stereotype. She's pure and innocent, she's symbolic of everything that's beautiful and hopeful in the world, etc. Unlike every other woman on Jessica Jones, she doesn't get to be an actual person, but a blank slate that everyone else gets to project their own feelings onto. I won't call it "fridging," because her awful death is in service of a woman's plotline rather than a man's, but the "fresh-faced ingenue" trope is somewhat sexist in itself, regardless of how many other women are in the frame.

And then there's Robyn. Everyone hates Robyn, so not much needs to be said here, except that she's literally the worst. I feel worse about Ruben's death than I expected, but I hardly even feel bad for her when she starts getting creepy about his "little toes." Yuck. Who thought this quasi-incest plotline was a good idea? There's absolutely no point to it. And the fact that her big reveal at the bar was laughably melodramatic, not to mention that it's completely unbelievable that she would ever get the drop on Jessica, is just icing on the cake.
Science Fiction
Comic Book TV Shows
Marvel
Jessica Jones
Reviews