Jessica Jones S:01 E:09

Episode Title: AKA Sin Bin

Original Air Date 11/20/2015

Just when Jessica has Kilgrave where she wants him, Hogarth’s involvement complicates the situation. Details emerge of Kilgrave’s past.

The episode mainly serves though to build up Kilgrave some more, mainly in relation to his backstory. We find out that a lot of what he said in the last episode about his upbringing was a lie. He wasn’t experimented on by his parents because of their curiosity and the powers he was given weren’t deliberate. His parents were trying to cure him of a degenerative brain disorder that would have left him braindead at 12 and the powers were just a side effect. We also see that Kilgrave treated his parents incredibly cruelly, even forcing his mum to burn her face with an iron, which led to them leaving because of how scared they were, although I think there’s part of the story that was left untold regarding that element. I also loved how the small bit of Kilgrave watching rugby in an earlier episode was brought back here, with a small line about a rugby player at the University of Manchester (incidentally, isn’t it refreshing to hear a British uni mentioned in an American piece of media that isn’t Oxford or Cambridge), which ties back in to the investigative strength Jessica has. We also see how good Kilgrave is at appealing to the cameras to make himself come off sympathetically, playing Jessica into beating him up so the video of it could not be used to convict him. At the end of the episode, we get a fully terrifying show of Kilgrave’s powers after an emotional reunion with his parents and David Tennant is incredible in this scene, equal parts weirdly sympathetic but incredibly horrifying.

The role of Jessica in the episode is brilliantly done as well. After a few episodes focusing on her strength, we get to see more of Jessica’s skill as a PI, finding out who Kilgrave’s parents are and where they are, it turning out that Kilgrave’s mum was attending the support group for Kilgrave survivors. The support that Jessica has for Hope is still on show, her desire to ensure that no-one else suffers because of Kilgrave being presented brilliant by Krysten Ritter, aided by a strong performance by Erin Moriarty showing just how broken everything she’s been through has made her in a heartbreaking performance. We also see the way in which Kilgrave can play Jessica, as stated earlier, but also how he’s losing his control, culminating in it being revealed that Jessica can resist Kilgrave’s powers.

Rachael Taylor as Trish still presents good moral support and Eka Darville has a great scene showing how he’s trying to build his life back together, using the Kilgrave survivors groups to gain support and probably return to being a social worker. Clarke Peters is fun to watch in his scenes, even if he is given the most stereotypical dialogue for an elderly police officer, even breaking out the ‘two years ‘til retirement cliche’. There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on with Simpson regarding the military programme he left and is now part of again, mainly with what the pills he’s been given are for, and Wil Traval shows the anger he feels that Kilgrave is still alive well. Carrie-Anne Moss meanwhile gets some really interesting scenes for Jeri, showing that she does have strong morality, particularly over Kilgrave’s imprisonment, along with the anger over what is happening with her divorce and the blackmail she’s facing, the stress of everything getting to her. This all culminates in some really intriguing scenes with Kilgrave, showing the charm he can present to people which gets people to listen to him before he controls them, and with everything we’ve seen of the character so far, it makes sense that Jeri would try and get Kilgrave to help her, culminating in Jeri sabotaging the device in place to keep Kilgrave in check (a mild electric current in a pool of water in the hermetically sealed prison he’s in, which also brings up more interesting stuff for Simpson, most likely that he used it to torture people for information when he was in the special forces).

AKA Sin Bin is another excellent episode. We’ve spent so long only seeing the mindset of Kilgrave from the outside that to finally get some understanding of what has motivated Kilgrave is incredibly interesting. All the scenes between Jessica and Kilgrave are excellently handled, mainly due to the strong writing and the excellent performances from Krysten Ritter and David Tennant and the ending of this episode is one of the most terrifying yet hopeful that we’ve seen in the show so far, raising a lot of interesting possibilities for future episodes.

 

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