Addict in Waiting
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
It is an odd note to see Jessica laughing and having happy hour drinks with Trish. Her trademark sarcastic wit is intact, but free of the burden of Kilgrave’s abuses and the trauma they left in their wake. The enhanced lighting makes that atmosphere feel uncharacteristically light and buoyant right before some annoying asshole of a sexist prick arrives to ask Trish if he could buy her a drink. She politely and pointedly declines, but this wasn’t a guy who was apparently used to anyone telling him “no”. Jessica takes about three seconds and destroys him in a betting match centered on a combat of physical prowess. Trish is the one trying to calm her down, assuading her from tackling what she considers to be fairly unnecessary fighting. But the smile on her face when Jessica sits back down triumphantly cannot be denied. The friendship between Trish and Jessica is a strong one and a vital one to depict, particularly in this series, which prides itself on writing about women and female characters in a complex fashion and one that resides within the comic book universe. Female friendships largely are nonexistent in a way where both depend on one another for little more than support and they both understand one another. There’s usually some sort of heteronormative romance that arrives in the midst of said friendship and it tears the friendship apart, as if the mere presence of a man is enough to tear apart female friendships as they exist. Or there’s a competition where the two of them can’t coexist in the same sphere because one is achieving something more than another. Here there’s nothing more than a consistency of being there for one another and it’s refreshing to see so.
Trish comes around towards the perspective that Jessica should use her gifts for good. Last week Jeri made a similar point about Kilgrave, a point that was utterly repugnant for the reasonings Jessica knew Jeri had made it in the first place. But Trish’s reasoning crucially never centers around the idea that she should be controlled to do the right thing, which is just a different side of what Kilgrave does himself. Her reasoning centers upon the crux that she herself should be making that decision because she has it within her to do good with her powers. The sequence of her trying on a superhero costume was great and not just because she thinks the name “Jewel” sounded more like a slutty stripper rather than a superhero. There’s a natural rapport between the two friends that is even more refreshingly honest somehow but there’s also a recognition that there really isn’t any necessity for her to put on a costume. Jessica’s superhero powers came out of nowhere, out of this event that she couldn’t really explain and she didn’t feel the need to put on a costume to become some else. She was who she was and all the power was within her own self. It sounds a little corny to be sure, but Jessica felt the most sane within her own skin and that’s where her power was at its maximum height. It’s within that skin that she gives the title its name, saving a girl from an oncoming car while wearing a sandwich costume. It’s a moment that borders on cliché, but with execution this sharp, it largely works.
Kilgrave continues to be thunderingly menacing, courtesy of David Tennant’s sublime performance that is so effortlessly slimy that it sends every Doctor Who fan into a dizzy of confusion for their otherwise unabashed love for Tennant’s natural charm. He’s easily the best villain to emerge from any Marvel property yet (that I’ve seen, anyhow, and no, I have no desire to catch up on the rest of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) in that he has all of the vital qualities of a great villain. He’s terrifying in the depiction of his power but the key here is that he never forgets that he’s a legitimately intelligent human being, even though he completely lacks the understanding that what he actually is doing is frankly terrifying and evil. His control of Malcolm is especially devious, completely detached from the general performance of controlling his mind. He’s savvy enough to hook Malcolm onto drugs instead of just relying on controlling his mind, well aware that his proximity to Jessica requires an additional mechanism that lies within his hands. Attaching a personal security detail to protect him at all costs makes all the sense in the world as well, considering how handy they were here in helping him make that close escape. Jessica does manage to punch him well enough to kick a tooth loose, but even then his psychopathic grimace is an indication of where his priorities lie. Kilgrave in that instance discovered that Jessica wanted to take him alive and it’s quite likely that it will take him about three seconds to understand the reasoning why. But while that is likely, what is known is that Kilgrave interprets Jessica’s actions as some sort of treatise of love. Every time she understandably wants to rip his chest open and gnaw his organs out, he finds no anger but a buried testament to the love they once shared, the love he simply refuses to see as torture and rape. Then he smiles in a psychopathic reverie, comforted by a mirage that is sure to be fatal.
Great/Not So Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+“Fuh… Fuh… Felony.”
+“Jillian Michaels saved her life.”
+“Last night was fun, but that doesn’t mean that I want your opinion.”
+“So rare, for me to feel powerless.”
+“Don’t forget to smile.” Shudder.
+/-Malcolm’s reveal was an intriguing one but outside of a tragic tinge towards his past there’s little emotional heft here for the character as a whole
-Simpson is regressing quickly as a character. If I wanted another typical macho police officer as a character, oh wait, I don’t.
Episode Title: AKA The Sandwich Saved Me
Written by: Dana Baratta
Directed by: Stephen Surjik
Image Courtesy: n3