Jessica Jones

In rebuilding the Memory of Jessica’s childhood, Kilgrave of course hopes to remake his own. By his account, his parents experimented on and tortured him; by theirs, they tried to save him and those with whom he came into contact. His power compels obedience – a deep, emotional compliance – but cannot elicit love. He is addicted to Jessica Jones and all the more so when she begins to develop a resistance to his power. The affecting thing is to what degree the women are trapped by a mode of being they can only escape by presuming to ape. Kilgrave’s power is akin to that of a remarkably effective leader: it is the way to get things done. When Jessica’s adopted sister Patricia Walker takes the pills Simpson has been imbibing to keep him operational – they are red, white and blue, and like Neo in The Matrix (1999), Simpson prefers the red pill, signifying fire, transformation and danger – Walker is appalled by the trail of guilt and remorse the “make me effective” pills create. When lawyer Jeri Hogarth (Moss) attempts to use Kilgrave and his power to solve the problems of her personal life, she loses everything important to her. Characters are “jonesing” in Jessica Jones: each has a fixation on something, something that is liable to turn into an addiction should she get it, the only real difference between a superhero and a villain being that the villain gets to set his own agenda. “At her core, she still hopes she might be a hero,” sneers Kilgrave about Jessica in episode ten. When the eponymous heroine prevails three episodes later, she returns to her office to find her phone ringing off the hook. Everyone needs her help, women and men, mad or sane, sacred and profane. There is only one thing worse than not getting what you want.

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