And I thought the pilot was dark.
In its tenth episode, “AKA 1,000 Cuts,” Jessica Jones turned the macabre meter all the way up. There were stabbings, hangings, lots of cuts, and the image of a woman with her head smashed against a glass tabletop. Why did they have to show that so many times? I was reminded who we’re dealing with here as a showrunner. Melissa Rosenberg wrote on the early seasons of Dexter — so, the good ones — and we see a bit of her sick side on display here.
But really, this is all Hogarth’s fault. If she hadn’t been so terrible to Wendy, her ex wouldn’t have demanded so much money in the divorce. If the settlement hadn’t been so large, Hogarth never would have turned to Kilgrave in order to convince Wendy to sign the papers. If Kilgrave hadn’t been involved, it’s likely that Wendy’s skull would still be intact. See, it’s all cause and effect.
Be nice to your significant others, lest they get brainwashed into killing you via 1,000 cuts and your lover is forced to smash their head. Lesson learned.
As the chaos of Kilgrave’s escape settles, we learn something about the nature of Kilgrave’s abilities that could be the key to defeating him. His mind-control power is technically a virus, spread through microparticles that he emits. Because the powers come out of something biological and not magical, they are inherently vulnerable, and we saw such a weakness in the previous episode. Jessica is immune to Kilgrave’s virus, and her DNA could contain the secrets to beating him. Or that’s what Kilgrave’s dad, Albert, says. The doctor is still trying to cut out his heart, so Trish has to accompany him back to his hotel, where he has his equipment and can get to work on a vaccine.
Jessica has another task to see to. Somebody cut the fail-safe cable on the shock box that was connected to the Sin Bin. (This is beginning to sound like a really bleak Dr. Seuss book.) There’s really only one suspect: Hogarth, because of course she did it. The two meet up outside and drive away. He needs a doctor. She needs a divorce. It sounds like the basis of a sitcom.
The solution to both problems is a stop by Wendy’s place. As a doctor, she’ll be able to patch up the part of Kilgrave’s arm that Trish shot up, and if she has time, maybe she can be forced to sign the divorce papers. Except doctor and patient get to talking, and they both agree that the women in their lives have done them dirty. So as repayment for the sentiment, Kilgrave orders Wendy to take some very literal revenge out on her ex by killing her by way of a thousand tiny cuts.
Small but numerous, the slashes are absolutely brutal. The show did a really good job making the cuts feel real. I mean, they kind of had to, right? It would have taken a lot for us to care about Hogarth dying. Someone who has no problem doing that, though, is Pam, who shows up in the nick of time to smash Wendy over the head with a vase. But that’s not the bad part. Wendy’s head then ricochets into the edge of a glass-top table. It was really gross.
Jessica arrives just in time to see how everything shook out and tell Hogarth that she knows the truth. And Pam isn’t logically very far behind. At the police station, as Pam is held in custody, she connects the dots. There’s no other reason that Hogarth would have been where she was, doing what she was, if it didn’t involve Kilgrave. She must have been the one to set him free. Good job, Pam.
NEXT: Jessica’s promise…