Jessica Jones Season 1 Episode 12 Review: “AKA Take a Bloody Number”

Jessica Jones

In retrospect, I should’ve guessed that Luke Cage was still under Kilgrave’s spell. Kilgrave is much too smart to not fully quiz Cage if he was under his control, especially if he knew Cage and Jessica’s past history. What’s surprising, and ultimately revealing, is that Jessica trusts that he’s free of Kilgrave’s influence in this episode of Jessica Jones, the penultimate installment of the show’s first season.

Jessica quizzes Luke thoroughly, but she still can’t quite find the right question to ask to fully suss out of if he’s really on her side. I don’t know if this was the intention, but even if was accidental, I find it fascinating how well this explores/mirrors the idea of women being fearful of men and what they might do.

Women oftentimes get this line of, “Well are you going to distrust men forever?” when they are assaulted or otherwise mistreated. Their fear is treated as irrational, as if it’s somehow strange to be wary of a group of people that has shown a propensity to abuse individuals like you. Men have treated women poorly for centuries, in a variety of ways, and while it may be unfortunate and limiting for a woman to be afraid of all men, it’s also completely reasonable. If you knew that, in a bowl of a thousand M&Ms, five of them were coated in poison, would you eat any of them?

It’s an interesting exploration of the idea that you just don’t know how men will treat women until you see them with women. There’s no question you can ask, or scenario you can pose, that can suss out how they truly feel until they’re put in that situation. Anyway, I’ll get back to Jessica Jones now.

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One of the things that I am both excited for and most concerned about is the people who turned Jessica into a superhero. They operated on Jessica and are also connected to Simpson, and in that lies my issue. It’s very convenient that Simpson happens to be a cop that once worked for IGH, and that IGH happens to be the one that paid all of Jessica’s medical bills. It makes me think that Kilgrave picked Simpson on purpose, which can’t be true, because he would’ve used the possible knowledge of who turned Jessica into who she is to bring her back into his fold.

It’s just kind of lazy, in my mind. I wish Simpson hadn’t turned out to be a raging, white-knighting lunatic. I wish Jessica Jones had just used him to explore the sexual and physical abuse levied against men instead of keeping him so true to his comic book roots. I feel like Kilgrave was more than enough villain for this season, and that his rapid transformation is kind of lame.

I’m not saying that Simpson shouldn’t eventually take his abuse and use it to justify violence against abusers later; on the contrary, I think that would be a very worthwhile and interesting exploration. But not this season. Not right now. There is too much to do.

But as I said, I am excited about exploring IGH. I think that, both thematically, and just as a cool story, going into that organization could be a real positive. It definitely bodes well for Jessica Jones‘ second season.

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The reveal of Cage being under Kilgrave’s spell was so devastating. I was suspicious of Cage, simply because things had gone too smoothly, but when it happened, I was still stunned by it. The fact that Kilgrave wrote all of those sweet lines for Cage to feed Jessica to make him trust her was made even more sickening by the fact that Kilgrave thought that Jessica would love him if she knew that he had wrote those lines. He’s being revealed as less of an all powerful, villainous mastermind and more like a cowardly douche. I mentioned this in a previous review (I think?), but Kilgrave is so unambitious that it’s almost comical to watch him work. He’s so insistent on Jessica that he can’t seem to realize that he’s literally the most powerful person in the entire world.

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A good episode, one that sets up the fantastic finale very well.

[Photo via Netflix]


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