Jessica and Trish dive deeper into Kilgrave's past, and Simpson shows his true colors
Credit: Myles Aronowitz/Netflix

Things were easier when we could just hate Kilgrave. Now there’s Kevin, and he seems at least a little deserving of some empathy. The problem is that there’s no telling what the complete truth of Kilgrave’s past is. He’s got his own version. His parents tell another. And the videos of their experimentations only complicate the matter.

Nothing is as black-and-white as it seemed before after Jessica locks Kilgrave up in the hermetically sealed room. Or at least, that’s how she sees it. Simpson — and Trish by extension — would have Jessica execute Kilgrave and be done with it. There’s still the matter of Hope, who will spend the rest of her life in prison unless concrete proof of Kilgrave’s powers and her innocence is presented to the courts.

Jessica’s plan is to keep a video camera fixed on Kilgrave and put him through the ringer until he either confesses or is forced to use his powers. This involves partly flooding the room, keeping Kilgrave up to his ankles in water, and rigging the pool to electrocute him if he goes out of line. “Well, this bitch is in control of you now asshole,” she tells him. It’s a cold-blooded set-up, but if it’s what it takes, so be it.

Hogarth is less understanding. She’s come at Jessica’s request to figure out how they can turn the caged animal into Hope’s Get Out of Jail Free card. The lawyer, instead, tells Jessica to let Kilgrave go. The imprisonment has already made any evidence that he might give inadmissible, and anyway, the district attorney wants to offer Hope a plea deal. They’re tired of all the controversy around the case and are willing to settle on giving Hope about 20 years in prison if the public argument goes away. The only way that Jessica frees the Kilgraved murderer is to have a legal authority witness the evidence.

Jessica gets the bright idea of asking Clemons, who is still reeling from the near-mass suicide that he witness inside the precinct, but he’s walking away. The detective doesn’t want anything to do with Jessica, and I kind of have to agree with him. The whole manually removed head thing has to leave some mark on him, even if he can’t remember it.

Further complicating matters is Hogarth’s rapidly deteriorating divorce case. Wendy’s demands are now up to 90 percent, and I’m beginning to wonder why Hogarth, being the crafty lawyer she no doubt is, doesn’t spin this around into an open-and-shut extortion case. Sure, there’s the risk that Wendy will reveal the jury tampering, but I trust Hogarth’s lawyering.

All of the divorce proceedings seem irrelevant to the main story line until Hogarth is left alone with Kilgrave. The maniac, who can read lips and making knocking noises through sound-proof glass, begins to ask about Hogarth’s ex issues. His skill set is such that he could make all of the lawyer’s problems go away with a single breath, and it begins to look like Hogarth is catching his drift.

Remember Simpson? Blond guy, kind of dumb, has sex with Trish a lot. Well, he’s still alive, but in rough shape. After Mrs. Deluca exploded all over Simpson and took out his buddies, Trish manages to pick him up in her car and race him to the hospital. He insists that there is only one doctor who can see him, a Dr. Kozlov. The name doesn’t appear on the hospital registry, but Simpson is persistent. Eventually, the doc arrives, and he’s able to nurse Simpson back to health suspiciously quickly with a little help from three pills, colored red, white, and blue.

Will Simpson is based on the character Frank Simpson, known more commonly as “Nuke.” Created by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli during their classic Daredevil run, Nuke was a crazy Vietnam vet, who thanks to various cybernetic upgrades to his body and rounds of intense psychological conditioning is totally and completely insane. The three pill types work just as they’re described in the episode, but in the comics, they fuel his second heart. Red boosts his adrenaline before a mission. White keeps him balanced. Blue brings him back down.

The problem is that Simpson, both in the comics and on the show, really likes red pills. Like a lot. The episode leaves Will’s future a question mark, but with Kilgrave on the loose, I can imagine the supersoldier taking matters into his own drugged-up hands.

NEXT: Ready to meet Kilgrave’s parents?

Back at the hermetically sealed room, Jessica has hit a snag. Kilgrave understands what she is trying to do, and he’s not going to give her what she wants, even if that means taking a beating or two. So for Jessica, the issue becomes not only getting the evidence, but convincing Kilgrave to show his true self to the camera.

A solution comes in the form of those two scientists from the Kevin tapes, Kilgrave’s parents. If they’re alive, they could be the key to stopping him. He’s sought revenge on them for abandoning him since he was young, so they’re the one thing that could make him lose grip on his restraint.

The scientists never show their faces on the tape, so Trish and Jessica have to rely on other details, like a sign on the wall that references a university. There’s also something that Kilgrave’s father says. “You don’t see Eric crying when he goes into the Sin Bin.” Sin bin is a rugby term. She figures that Eric is the name of an athlete. Combining those two facts with the year in the timestamp, Jessica finds Eric Brantford, a member of the University of Manchester rugby club. From there, Jessica is able to get the names of the two disgraced researchers: Albert and Louise Thompson. Even better: the woman looks familiar. Everything clicks after Jessica accidentally steps on her photo and recreates facial scars that she recognizes from the Kilgrave support group. A woman in the group is actually Louise Thompson. She and her husband are staying in Brooklyn.

Is it just me or was that way too easy?

Anyway, Jessica follows Louise back to her place, where she and Albert are packing. They came to the city after hearing about Hope. And the experiments weren’t massively sadistic. Kevin was born with a degenerative neurological condition. He would have lost all brain function if his parents hadn’t intervened. They hadn’t just abandoned Kevin back in the day. They were forced to flea after his powers became too much to deal with. But now it’s time to face their son.

When Jessica returns to the holding cell with Louise and Albert, Hogarth is on the verge of opening up the door. The plan is to send the parents into their son’s cell and let his years of trauma do the work.

Things are going smoothly… until everything falls apart. First of all, Clemons arrives, ready to shut the whole thing down. Luckily, Trish is ready with her gun. Now face-to-face, parents and child are able to air some grievances. Kilgrave didn’t see the great harm in making his mother burn her own face with that iron, and his parents try to make him understand why they had to run. After successfully fixing all of their family problems, mom seals the new bond with a quick stab to Kilgrave shoulder with a pair of scissors.

It isn’t the smartest move ever, but it’s what Jessica needs. Kilgrave is pissed and orders his mom to stab herself once for every year that he was alone. Under his control, she obeys and picks up the scissors. With the evidence of Kilgrave’s powers secured, Jessica is ready to hit the kill button.

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Except, there’s something wrong with the wires. Did Hogarth sabotage the box? We’ll have to wait and see, because things only get worse from there. Louise begins stabbing herself. Trish pulls out her gun to try to kill Kilgrave. All that does is set him free. He then orders his dad to cut out his own heart, and it’s up to Jessica to stop him. Meanwhile, Kilgrave makes his way out of the room, orders Trish to shoot herself, and beckons Clemons to tag along. Luckily, Trish’s gun is empty. Once Albert is safe, Jessica goes after Kilgrave, who tries to use his powers to make her let go of him, but it doesn’t work.

Kilgrave escapes with an assist from a mind-controlled Clemons, a major loss for Team Good Guys, but they are not down for the count. Jessica knows now that she has broken Kilgrave’s control, the biggest victory yet for a woman in need of a W.

Episode Recaps

Marvel's Jessica Jones
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