It’s episode 9 of Jessica Jones and our hero finally, finally has Kilgrave right where she wants him- in Simpson’s hermetically sealed room complete with a microphone, camera, and trip wire to electrocute him if he gets out of control. What could possibly go wrong?
A lot actually. Jessica thinks that by going into Kilgrave’s cell and confronting him that he will be forced to use his powers to stop her. She is using Hogarth as a witness, as well as the video camera in hopes of finally getting the evidence she needs to free Hope from prison. But once again Kilgrave outsmarts her. Instead of controlling her to make her stop, he lets Jessica physically and verbally attack him. Hogarth is outraged, Kilgrave looks like the victim, and Jessica doesn’t have the proof she needs.
Even without saying a word, Kilgrave is still in control, Jessica points out to Trish later. She’s dejected and rightly so because she has let Kilgrave get to her. Again.
Jessica isn’t done there. Being the private eye that she is, she tracks down Kilgrave’s parents for a family reunion. David Tennant, who has been superb throughout the series, gives his best performance yet as Kilgrave finally confronts his creators after years of abandonment. He plays the scene with a variety emotions from self pity to rage, showing that Kilgrave is still that confused child who doesn’t know why his parents left him.
Or is he? With Tennant’s performance you can never quite be sure. The brilliance of casting Tennant in the role is that he is (pretty much) universally loved. We feel conflicted sympathy towards his character because it is David Tennant playing this villain despite the knowledge of all of the terrible things he has done.
From Kilgrave’s parents were learn his parents did in fact create him, in order to protect him from a neurological disease that would have made him brain dead. They didn’t realize the side effects of their “cure” until it was too late. They never explained to their young son the consequences of their actions and Kilgrave was a child who started using his powers to his own gain from a very young age. Was it in his nature or the way he was raised? Or was it the fact that he was not raised and left on his own? The only thing that is certain is that the whole family is to blame and now they are all paying for their past actions.
Jessica has assembled the whole gang to see this reunion. She convinces Hogarth to return as well as Detective Clemons and Trish. And she gets what she wants: them as witnesses to Kilgrave in action. Kilgrave makes his mother stab herself while Jessica goes for the trip wire…which has been severed. All the group can do is watch. This will undoubtedly come to be yet another death Jessica blames herself for and this time she may not be entirely wrong. In her quest to make Kilgrave confess to murdering Hope’s parents Jessica has done some very questionable things.
At the end of the episode as Kilgrave escapes, Jessica runs after him and grabs his arm. He tells her to let go. A direct command. She keeps holding on.
In that moment, everything changes. The scene plays again, slower this time, with both Kilgrave and Jessica looking at her hand still clasped around his arm in shock. It is over. He can no longer control her. Which will make things very interesting going into the final few episodes of the series.