'Jessica Jones' recap: 'AKA Top Shelf Perverts'
Jessica finds a rather destructive way of coping.
Who doesn’t love a love triangle? Answer: Kilgrave. In the opening moments of the seventh episode of Jessica Jones, the psychopath makes sure to remove any possible romantic rival, and sadly that happens to be poor, defenseless baking enthusiast Ruben.
The two briefly met while Kilgrave stalked around Jessica’s office for reasons that remain unknown until the end of the episode, but his mere presence is creepy enough.
Meanwhile, Jessica is busy getting thrown out of a bar, drunk. “I’m a piece of sh–, and sh– stinks,” she tells a very rude homeless man. Instead of sobering up, Jessica decides to run some errands and prove that she’s becoming the very worst version of herself. Hogarth’s wife, Wendy, exits the clinic across the street, and we see what Jessica’s real purpose of the night is. She’s drunk and violent, as we see in the subway when Jessica directly approaches Wendy and grabs her. “Do you know what shame feels like, Wendy?” she asks, holding her over tracks. This is all a part of Jessica “doing anything not to feel it,” but it’s a destructive way of coping. Especially after she accidentally drops Wendy onto the tracks and the train barely misses her.
Malcolm finds Jessica the next day in a manner she used to find him: passed out in the elevator. He’s turned a new leaf, dressed for “Jazzercise.” In reality, he’s running to help beat the addiction. While he can help Jessica, but what he can’t fix is Ruben, who’s dead in her bed after Kilgrave slit his throat. Jessica knows immediately what happened, and it’s too much. “I can’t do this,” she says. It’s the third death she’s connected to in a short period of time, so the cops are out of the question. No, she needs to end it herself, and she has a plan.
She’s going to get herself locked up in supermax. There’s no way that Kilgrave could come after her without his powers being caught on film. Her ticket to the jailhouse is
Lester Detective Clemons, the investigator on the Schlottman case who already had some suspicions about her. But she has some things to take care of before heading behind bars.
And if you were wondering whether Trish and Simpson were still having sex, I have some good news for you. They are, and it’s “intense.” Too intense to take calls from Jessica. Anyway, she’s not ready to talk to Jessica yet. Patricia Walker is working on a Kilgrave lead of her own, which will hopefully make up for her perceived failings during the heist. She’s found the psycho’s new security team. The plan is to use them to get to him and then get him into the hermetically sealed room. Simpson sees a simpler option: kill him. But they can’t do that. Killers do that. “I want Kilgrave to live long and alone and despised until he wants to die but can’t.”
Jessica needs a lawyer, but her fetus-seeking friend is a little busy with another case. Hogarth’s schedule opens up, however, once she hears that Wendy is likely to sign the divorce papers. Her new client has a novel question—How do I get locked in supermax by the end of the day?—and the answer isn’t great. It’s going to take something truly heinous.
I know that Robyn just lost her twin brother, but she is absolutely the worst. She catches Malcolm coming out of Jessica’s apartment and just won’t let it go. He wiggles out of the line of questioning by telling her that he was looking for booze and that the reason Ruben has been coming around so often is the he and Jessica are an item. Robyn is (of course) annoyingly furious about the fake revelation, but thanks Malcolm for telling her the truth.
NEXT: To swim or fly…
The next stop on Jessica’s “I’m Going to Prison Tonight” world tour is Luke’s bar, but he’s gone. He’s taken some time off, robbing Jessica of her healing moment. She tells the barman to tell Luke that the people who deserve to be punished will be and that she doesn’t expect his forgiveness. “You know what happens when you burn a bridge?” the barman asks. “You’ve got to learn to swim or fly.” Funny he should say that! Because Jessica can kinda-sorta do at least one of those things. Maybe means that she needs to embrace the hero inside her.
Nah! He’s just a barkeep.
Anyone out there thinking that there won’t be ramifications for using your superhero friend to intimidate your ex into signing divorce papers, think again. Because as Wendy proves, there are other ways to get back. In her case, she offers up some old emails that prove Hogarth bribes jury members. Her demands are simple: 75 percent of Hogarth’s assets. I said “simple,” not “generous.”
A minor mystery that’s been chilling in the background of Trish’s story is “What’s the deal with her mom?” The answer to that question is less over-the-top than we might have imagined, but nonetheless evil. Next is a trip to Stars & Tykes Talent Agency, the kind of place that spits out Patsy Walkers as a business model, to meet the notorious Mrs. Walker, who turns out to be just a really terrible parent. Jessica wants to make sure that even when she’s locked behind bars, Mrs. Walker stays away—at least 500 feet—from her daughter. “Taking you in was the worst decision of my life,” Mrs. Walker tells Jessica as she’s leaving. Man, I almost miss Robyn at this point.
The final stop is the tip-top of the Manhattan Bridge. Considering that this is meant to be the last major goodbye of Jessica’s life before getting herself thrown into supermax, it’s actually a pretty nice ode to the city. There hasn’t been the overt “this is my neighborhood” stumping as Daredevil, and I appreciate that. Jessica’s love of New York City is more realistic, even in its small moments.
When Jessica returns to the office, she finds her plan lovingly foiled. Her two best buds, Malcolm and Trish, have moved Ruben’s body, convinced that there has to be another way to get Kilgrave. They’re not ready to sacrifice Jessica, even if she sees it as the only way to get innocent people away from Kilgrave’s path of destruction. “No one else will die because of me,” Jessica says, before telling Trish that she was never the hero her adoptive sister wanted her to be. But are you sure, Jessica? Because heroes say that “No one else will die” bit a lot.
While Trish and Jessica are catching up and talking about hiding bodies, Malcolm is out disposing Ruben’s. “A beautiful funeral doesn’t guarantee heaven,” he says to his body. The line is a Haitian proverb, a nice and quick character touch for someone in desperate need of one. Malcolm is mostly successful in dumping the body into the river, but he doesn’t count on Jessica showing up, diving in, and ripping off the head with her bare hands.
Yeah, she’s hardcore like that.
“I’ve done something terrible,” Jessica announces to the police precinct, before presenting Ruben’s head to Detective Clemons. Even with Jessica’s guilt being overtly apparent, the investigator is suspicious of how badly she wants to skip jail and go straight to supermax. Mostly, because that’s not how it works. Hogarth isn’t making things any easier for her. The lawyer says that she’s going to plead insanity, which would keep her client out of supermax and more likely place her into a psych, so Jessica dismisses Hogarth and begins showing Clemons the kind of damage she’s capable of. Lock up your desk chairs, everyone. Jessica Jones is coming for them! It was actually a cool scene, but it’s interrupted by a cop, who tells Jessica that she’s free to go.
Jessica’s assumption is that Hogarth pulled some strings, but stepping out into the main part of the precinct, she sees that Kilgrave is playing puppet master once again. In what might be the most striking visual of the season, everyone in the department is holding a gun on someone, either themselves or another person.
Kilgrave has come to Jessica out of desperation and much sooner than he had intended. He has some things to explain to her. The first is that he has no intention of using his powers on her anymore. This possibly ties back to his recent home purchase, which he conducted almost entirely above board. Controlling her and then losing her taught him something: He loves her. More importantly, he yearns for her, a sensation he never knew before he had something taken away from him. I use “something” because, despite Kilgrave’s own praising, Jessica is still an object to him, albeit an object that can get up and walk away from him.
He believes that they are “inevitable,” but Kilgrave needs Jessica to come to him on her own accord, not to protect others. He hasn’t won if it isn’t Jessica’s decision. What he doesn’t realize is that “Jessica’s choice” is still an illusion. He might not be using his mind control, but he’s wielding a different kind of power, one much more common. It’s the kind of power that we see in abuse cycles. With Kilgrave still in her life, Jessica has no choice to make.