David Giesbrecht/Netflix
Chancellor Agard
March 11, 2018 at 03:07 PM EDT

Marvel's Jessica Jones

type
TV Show
Current Status
In Season
seasons
1
run date
11/20/15
performer
Krysten Ritter, David Tennant, Mike Colter
broadcaster
Netflix
genre
Action, Crime, Drama
We gave it a B+

He’s baaaaaack …. Well, kind of.

David Tennant made his long-awaited return to Jessica Jones in episode 11. However, this isn’t silly fan service or proof that the show, like so many other superhero properties, can’t let go of a great villain. Nor does his appearance undercut season 1’s fantastic conclusion. No, it’s a powerful and very necessary tool that’s used to explore just how much Jessica’s latest, albeit unintentional, kill is adding to fuel to her internal struggle. As Jessica is tormented by this hallucinatory Kilgrave, a manifestation of her subconscious, she’s force to face her demons and realize that she ultimately has the power to decide whether or not she’s a hero or monster.

PREVIOUSLY: Jessica Jones recap: ‘AKA Pork Chop’

Picking up in the immediate aftermath episode 10, we find Jessica curled up in a ball on the ground, unable to process what just happened. Krysten Ritter makes you feel Jessica’s guilt and internal torment throughout the entire opening scene, from Jessica pacing Dale’s apartment to her making Dale’s death look like a suicide.

Kilgrave’s presence in the episode starts out small, as a purple light and a frighteningly seductive voice inside Jessica’s head. However, it’s not long before Jessica starts seeing him. One of the most unsettling moments of the entire episode is when a naked Kilgrave briefly appears behind Jessica while she’s taking a shower. Soon enough, Jessica is exchanging banter with this imaginary Kilgrave, who functions mainly as a little devil on her shoulder that’s trying to pull her to the dark side and accept that she’s a killer.

Fake Kilgrave isn’t the only one who is proud of Jessica for killing Dale. Alisa figures out what happened when she gets a new, nicer female guard name Marilyn, with whom she bonds over being a mother, among other things. Alisa convinces Marilyn to let her call Jessica, and Alisa lets her know how proud she is of what Jessica does. Needless to say, that doesn’t make Jessica feel any better.

It doesn’t take long for Jessica to learn that Karl has gone missing, and that Malcolm and Trish are responsible. So Jessica goes into super-P.I. mode and uses the women Malcolm has been sleeping with on a dating app to triangulate his location. This clever bit of private investigating is yet another sign of how much stronger this show would be if it was even a bit more episodic and featured some standalone cases. While I love the season’s rich thematic material and character exploration, I also just want to see Jessica be an awesome investigator — which wouldn’t stop the show from giving us the former. (Next: Trish is the worst)

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