Episode Title: AKA 99 Friends
Original Air Date: 11/20/2015
A new case demands attention as Jessica tries to find out who’s spying on her for Kilgrave. Trish’s radio show yields unexpected consequences.
This episode we get another case for the first time since the opening and here we get to see more of the skills Jessica has as a PI, the physical strength that she has and how her trust of people has been seriously undermined by Kilgrave. The scenes of the investigation are interesting but it’s the culmination of it all that’s the highlight of the episode. At the end, it’s revealed that the person who hired Jessica wants to kill her as a proxy for the Avengers due to the damage done in the Battle of New York. This raises a lot of really compelling ideas regarding the collective blame that a group is getting because of the actions of a few, along with people feeling distrustful of people with powers. This also raises the spectre of collateral damage in the MCU, something that hasn’t been addressed to this level before and this whole idea feels like a good set up for the potential conflict in Captain America: Civil War. Krysten Ritter also does a sterling performance here, showing her anger over how she’s been made a proxy and how people are quick to blame without even considering the possibility that the people they’re blaming have gone through the exact same stuff that they have, something that feels especially timely considering the way that Muslim refugees have been portrayed in the media and by politicians in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attack.
We also see the consequences and guilt that people feel over what Kilgrave has made them do, particularly in relation to Trish and Officer Simpson, with Simpson feeling so much remorse for his actions and trying to do everything to make it right and the paranoia that has set in for Trish, continuing to make her personality more in line with Jessica’s. We find out a bit more about the acting past of Trish as well, something that I’m sure will be explored more in later episodes and we get the blossoming of a relationship between Trish and Simpson, the shared trauma over what has happened, along with the personalities, uniting them together. These scenes all work brilliantly, mainly due to the strong performances of Rachael Taylor and Wil Traval, along with strong writing.
We also get more time with Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth. As a lawyer, we see her prickly, cynical side more clearly, mainly in relation to the Kilgrave case but we also see her personal life more clearly. We see the difficulties she has with her marriage and her distrust, hiring Jessica to find dirt on her wife to make the divorce go through easier. We also see that she is really insensitive, taking her new girlfriend to the same restaurant where Hogarth proposed to her wife and Moss plays all of these scenes brilliantly.
This is also the first episode in which we don’t see Kilgrave but we feel his presence throughout the episode. From the people relating their stories of how they were controlled by Kilgrave to the general paranoia over who Kilgrave has got to follow Jessica, there’s this air of threat throughout the episode. We also see that Kilgrave is willing to use anyone for his goals, sending an 8 year old girl to deliver a message to Jessica and this implication raises terrifying possibilities for the future of the show. As I stated in my previous review, the possibility that anyone, even a main character, can be controlled by Kilgrave adds to the paranoia and here it pays off as it’s revealed that Malcolm is the person that’s been taking pictures of Jessica for Kilgrave and throughout everything we’ve seen, it makes a lot of sense that it is Malcolm and it’ll be really interesting to explore how it all happened.
AKA 99 Friends is once again another great episode of the show. Whilst we don’t see Kilgrave, his presence is felt throughout adding to the feeling of paranoia that permeates the show, the performances from Krysten Ritter, Carrie-Anne Moss, Rachael Taylor and Wil Traval are top notch and it raises interesting ideas about the MCU that haven’t really been explored before.