Episode Title: AKA Take A Bloody Number
Original Air Date: 11/20/2015
The hunt for Kilgrave reunites Jessica with Luke. Trish receives some unexpected information about Simpson and Jessica.
This episode mainly focuses on the relationship between Jessica and Luke Cage after Cage destroyed his bar in the last episode. We see the relationship between Jessica and Luke blossom more in this episode, aided by the strong chemistry that Krysten Ritter and Mike Coulter share. There’s this world weary nature that both of the characters share that adds to their mutual attraction and the scene where Luke forgives Jessica is a brilliantly handled moment. This makes the twist at the end, that Luke was being controlled by Kilgrave the entire time, showing the expansion of Kilgrave’s powers, all the more devastating. We see that virtually everything Luke said in the episode was to lower Jessica’s guard and this leads into an amazing fight scene between the two. We’ve seen in the past episodes that Jessica and Luke have been holding back, knowing that with their strength they can kill people with minimal effort. Here, all the barriers are removed and we fully see how strong the two of them are, with the direction, particularly the use of purple in the nightclub they fight in at first to denote the presence of Kilgrave, being excellently handled. It also ends with a great character moment between Jessica and Luke, Jessica grabbing a police gun to shoot Luke and her being hesitant to pull the trigger, Luke regaining control just long enough to tell Jessica to shoot him and the regret and pain that Ritter and Coulter present in that scene, their desire not to hurt the other but not having any other choice, is played brilliantly.
After his absence in the last episode this episode brings back Kilgrave and introduces some terrifying new possibilities with his powers. We find out that Kilgrave has kept his dad alive after finding out that he cannot control Jessica anymore and is using him to boost his powers, allowing him greater range with his powers both in terms of distance and the time they can operate, as seen when he orders someone to face a fence forever and we see him still there the next day. We also see his obsession with boosting his powers, forcing a lab to work non-stop, leading to some of the scientists collapsing from exhaustion, along with threatening to force his dad to put his hand in a blender for wanting to sleep. There’s also some great dark comedy at the end of the episode, mainly due to a brilliant performance from David Tennant, continuing to prove himself as the best villain in the MCU thus far.
More interesting stuff comes up in relation to how Jessica got her powers through research done by Trish and her mum (although her mum’s involvement isn’t Trish’s choice with Trish not forgiving her for what she did when Trish was younger). We find out here that Jessica was given her powers by the same organisation that created the pills Simpson took in the last few episodes, and most likely were the ones that gave Luke Cage his indestructible skin. I maintain my theory that this group is trying to replicate the Super Soldier formula that gave Captain America his powers and it’ll be interesting to see their role expanded on in the future, most likely in a second series.
We also see some more development for Malcolm and Robyn. Whilst Robyn continues to be incredibly annoying, her interactions with Malcolm open her up more, making her understand that her attitude was wrong and we also see that Malcolm is trying to better himself, probably working his way back to becoming a social worker, with Eka Darville showing a more caring side for the character. Darville has been one of the great finds of the show, going from a standard comic-relief junkie to one of the most complex characters in the show in a way that feels incredibly natural.
AKA Take A Bloody Number is a great penultimate episode for this series of Jessica Jones. The stakes regarding Kilgrave are suitably raised, showing the growth of his powers, the relationship between Jessica and Luke is brilliantly played and some great mysteries for the future regarding how Jessica and Luke got their powers are raised. Here’s hoping that the final episode can pay off the promise that the rest of the series has built up.