I know I say this a lot, but damn this show is disturbing. Each episode of Jessica Jones keeps pushing the boundaries more and more, and anybody who says that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is “just popcorn movies for kids” is sorely mistaken. We’ve seen some intense, disturbing shit over the past couple of episodes of Jessica Jones, and “AKA 1000 Cuts” is no exception. (spoilers ahead!)
As we saw in the last episode, Kilgrave has escaped his confinement thanks to Jeri Hogarth cutting the fail-safe wire to his cell. Kilgrave orders her to take him to a doctor to patch him up, so Jeri leads him to her ex-wife Wendy. You can pretty much guess what happens next. Sure, it’s a bit of a slow scene as we watch Wendy and Jeri throw dirty looks at each other while Kilgrave provides commentary, but it immediately turns into a haunting scenario when Wendy lets it slip that Jeri has taken Hope’s aborted fetus in order to study it for Kilgrave’s DNA. Before he leaves, Kilgrave orders Wendy to give 1,000 cuts to her ex-wife, reflecting her earlier notion of how Jeri left 1,000 emotional cuts to her over the years. For the next few minutes, we watch as Wendy slowly, maliciously counts down the 1,000 cuts on Jeri’s body, until Pam bursts into the department and kills her in self-defense.
This whole scene was so creepy, mainly because you’re left questioning about whether Wendy is performing the heinous act under Kilgrave’s influence, or if she’s acting on her own accord. You also wonder about who you’re supposed to be rooting for. On one hand, you can sympathize with Wendy since she’s the one who was cheated on and screwed over by her wife, but on the other hand… that doesn’t necessarily warrant a death by 1000 cuts. You also feel bad for Jeri even though what she did with the fetus and what she did to Wendy was messed up. Again, that doesn’t mean she deserves to die by 1000 cuts, does it? It’s a big play on the morality card, and it shows that even if you’re not a villain, that doesn’t mean you’re automatically a hero. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Back on the homefront, Jessica is once again fighting to capture Kilgrave. She works with his father, Albert, who states that Kilgrave’s powers are essentially a virus, and in order to defeat a virus, you need a vaccine. Since Jessica is one of the only people who can resist his powers, her blood is used to create the vaccine. But will it work?
Remember Simpson and those weird pills he was taking? Looks like they’re messing with his head a bit – enough to turn him into a psychopath. While Simpson is hell-bent on taking out Kilgrave once and for all, he’s adopting a very “get out of my way or I’ll kill the Hell out of you” stance on everything. In fact, he even kills Detective Clemons and torches his body. I get what Simpson is doing, and normally I would agree with his drive to take out Kilgrave, but Clemons wasn’t a bad guy, and he didn’t deserve to die. Now, it appears that Simpson is turning from a hero into an anti-hero, much like a more brutal version of the Punisher.
Jessica manages to subdue Kilgrave when he tries to confront her at her apartment. You’d think “Okay, Kilgrave is restrained – all is well”. Nope. Guess who messes it up this time?
Robyn overhears Malcolm telling the Kilgrave therapy group about how he was inadvertently responsible for Ruben’s death. Robyn rallies the group into a mob and leads them to Jessica’s apartment, believing her responsible for everything negative that has happened to them. While they’re there, Robyn sees a tied up and restrained Kilgrave, SO SHE LETS HIM GO! Jesus Christ. I know why Jessica drinks so much. I would too if I had to deal with these kinds of people.
Jessica is lured to an abandoned restaurant where Kilgrave has Hope, Malcolm, Robyn, and part of the support group held hostage. Hope is sitting at a small dinner table with him while everyone else is standing on the edge of the bar with nooses around their necks. Jessica can’t so much as take a step unless she wants Kilgrave to order everyone to kill themselves. It’s amazing how Kilgrave has this control over Jessica even if his persuasive powers don’t work on her. It’s very clever on his part, not to mention that it further demonstrates how evil he is (but do I really need to keep emphasizing that point?).
Hope steps up to the plate and decides to lighten Kilgrave’s leverage over Jessica – by stabbing herself with a broken wine glass. A brave move on Hope’s part, but I feel so bad for this tragic hero. She was raped and impregnated by a psychopath, suffered through an abortion, killed her own parents, and now had to leave behind her young brother with no family. Hope deserves just as much recognition in this series as Jessica.
The last thing we see in this episode is Kilgrave ordering everyone to hang themselves while he escapes the restaurant with his dad in tow (I guess the vaccine didn’t work?). Jessica saves everyone except for Hope. But even though Hope is gone, Jessica won’t let her death be in vain.
Another fantastic episode of Jessica Jones in the books, and as we get closer to the finale, I’m getting more and more anxious to see what other surprises the show has in store.
Final Grade: B +
+ The actual “1000 cuts” scene was haunting – as was the final restaurant scene.
+ I liked the twist on how Kilgrave’s powers are classified as a virus.
+ As usual, most of the performances were great.
– Some clunky-sounding lines here and there.
– The Kilgrave therapy group bogs down the episode.
– Goddammit Robyn!
– Simpson could end up becoming an antagonist for The Defenders mini-series.
Were you chilled to the bone by this episode of Jessica Jones? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!