If the last episode started to hint at Jessica’s desperate need for connection, this episode builds on the theme dramatically, exploring the way those connections are used with both the best of intentions and the worst. Almost no one leaves this episode unscathed (except perhaps Kilgrave and Hogarth, but more on that later).
Last episode ended with the reveal of Luke and Jessica’s powers to each other, and this episode picks up right where we left off. Confronted with the other’s abilities, they put each other to the test in the sexiest possible way. Afterwards, they have dinner and they talk about higher callings, simultaneously echoing and rejecting their brother-from-another-mother Spider Man – great power might come with great responsibility after all, but how you interpret that doesn’t necessarily mean donning a suit, something Jessica alludes to having tried once. Not that it worked out.
Luke and Jessica are the emotional epicentre of this episode and cast a lot of the things happening in other scenes and with other characters into a harsher light. With Luke, Jessica’s often at her finest. Smart, sexy, loving, tender. We know her relationship with him is complicated, but for a lot of this episode it’s the easiest thing in her life. Krysten Ritter and Mike Colter have such a natural chemistry, and such a nuanced understanding of their characters, that the scenes where they’re together are a genuine pleasure to watch. So much so that we know it’s not going to last.
Jessica’s past is a mangled beast, and it seems to darken her present more with every scene. She’s haunted by the photograph of Luke’s dead wife in his bathroom cabinet, and by the shadow of Kilgrave, who she finally talks to Luke about, however elusively. The two storylines come together in a not unexpected, but still heartbreaking, way when, through flashback, we find out that Kilgrave had ordered Jessica to kill Luke’s wife. The act seems to have been a severing point for Kilgrave’s hold on her. The memory comes back stark for Jessica, and she breaks everything off with Luke at the end of the episode. The reprieve their connection made in the series was just that – a reprieve, and Jessica has other work to do.
Meanwhile, Jessica continues her search for Kilgrave and her defence of Hope, who continues to sit in prison while the media runs wild with her story. Jessica talks to Hogarth about stopping the latter, but Hogarth isn’t quite ready to step up. Turns out Hope told Hogarth everything, and by everything we mean everything. Now with the knowledge of Kilgrave’s control of Jessica, Hogarth’s surer of her case, but still, she’s not biting on the mind control defence. The case is still weak, and Hogarth risks looking as delusional as Hope sounds.
Jessica takes the conversation to Trish, asking her to talk about mind control on her radio show and telling her about the fact that surgical anaesthesia can knock Kilgrave out of the game. Trish has a reveal of her own – namely her new prowess with krav maga. (Trish is the best, right? We can all agree on that now?) The next day, Trish interviews Hope live on air, giving Hope the platform to plead her case, Hogarth by her side. Hogarth talks about delusion, and Trish takes the bait – talking about mind control and insults Kilgrave’s manhood. Jessica stops the interview, but not quickly enough. Kilgrave calls up the show, charming in his threats or threatening in his charms, depending on how you look at it, and Jessica and Trish flee the building.
Interestingly, Kilgrave’s evil feels both very present and elusive on the show, his danger removed. It’s not like it is with Kingpin in Daredevil, where we see his violence and his power. Kilgrave is yet to bloody his own hands, but David Tennant plays a brilliant threat in his call to Trish here and in the loom his presence has, weighing on Jessica’s shoulders. Jessica’s desperation is clearest here, and she tries to keep Trish safe by confining her to her fortress apartment before heading home herself.
One of the other major threads of the episode is Jessica’s continued search for the surgical anaesthesia. She tries Hogarth’s soon-to-be-ex-wife, Luke, contemplates holding up a hospital. Her solution comes now in the form of a very high Malcolm, who stumbles into her path. Jessica takes him to the hospital and flings him into a nurse, giving her the opportunity to steal what she needs.
Back at Trish’s, a police officer shows up, breaks in, tries to kill her under Kilgrave’s instructions. Her krav maga can hold him off, but it’s not enough to save her life. Luckily, Jessica is. They fake Trish’s death and Jessica follows the cop back to Kilgrave, who’s looking lavish in a luxury, glasshouse apartment. He’s pleased with the news of Trish’s death and promptly orders the cop to kill himself too. Jessica saves him, and we get a charged look between Kilgrave and Jessica as they finally see each other. Kilgrave escapes, but not before throwing a few attackers Jessica’s way and leading her down into a room covered with photographs of herself, her every move observed and caught, and a note – see you later. The only question is when.