“AKA The Sandwich Saved Me”
Written by Dana Baratta
Directed by Stephen Surjik
We see some flashbacks of Jessica in sucky jobs. One night, she saved a little girl from getting hit by a car, and from then on, Trish kept trying to convince her she should be a superhero for real. She was skeptical but did feel good helping people. One of those people was Malcolm, before Kilgrave got him. But saving him was when Kilgrave got Jessica. In the present, Jessica wants to move in on Kilgrave. Simpson is very insistent about helping, and he even has access to a hermetically sealed room they could stuff Kilgrave in so he can’t control anyone. Jessica doesn’t want to work with him, but Trish (who is now sleeping with Simpson) persuades her that it’s worth it. They come up with a plan for drugging and snatching Kilgrave, which involves following Malcolm to him. The plan would have worked, except they didn’t account for the possibility that Kilgrave would have hired a whole squadron of non-mind controlled security guys, who tase the crap out of Jessica, Simpson, and Trish and haul the drugged Kilgrave away. Jessica handcuffs Malcolm to a pipe in his own bathroom and tells him it’s his turn to save her: he needs to get clean and stop doing Kilgrave’s dirty work. Kilgrave calls Jessica once he wakes up. He’ll leave Malcolm alone…if Jessica sends him a daily smiley selfie. Jessica checks on Malcolm. He flushed the drugs she left in the bathroom in an “I dare you” sort of way. She sends Kilgrave the picture. Also, Hope seems to be having some kind of trouble with the other women in prison. She’s asking Jessica for cash, and she’s getting beaten up at night.
It seems like there are some themes emerging about selflessness—specifically, the fulfillment you can get by helping other people instead of focusing on yourself. I think the show might also be raising the question of whether it’s worth it to be selfless if you only get screwed over for your trouble. So far, Jessica’s not sure what the answer is, which is why she’s so grudging about helping people. But what alternative is there, if you’re not going to be selfless? The clearest examples of that are Kilgrave and Hogarth, who are both the worst. And they also don’t seem particularly happy.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
I love that Jessica checked to see how Malcolm was doing before she sent the picture. She told Malcolm it was his turn to save her, by staying clean, and he proved that he was making progress, so she can grit her teeth and send Kilgrave pictures to keep Malcolm out of his clutches. She projects this image of someone extremely asocial who doesn’t give a crap about anyone else and just wants to be left alone, but her instinct is to help people. Even if she groans about it a bit, she’ll always do the right thing. Go Jessica! And actually, I think the reason she struggles with her hero instinct is because that’s how she landed in Kilgrave’s clutches. He’s made her afraid of helping people, so she became a P.I. who mostly does infidelity cases and drinks around the clock instead.
Trish is clearly a large part of Jessica’s inspiration. We haven’t even seen her backstory yet, so it’s not clear exactly how impressive it is that Trish is so optimistic and determined to help people. I do think she kind of wanted to be a superhero vicariously through Jessica. Hence picking out a name and making a costume for her. But she didn’t push when Jessica wasn’t enthusiastic about it, she just encouraged her to use her powers for good, even if she didn’t do it with the costume and the name.
Simpson is extremely stubborn, and he’s also very protective. He’s a big, strong dude who was just forced to try killing a woman and then himself, and he wants to get the control back by playing as active a role as possible in taking Kilgrave down. Also, he hates the idea of the “hero” label being attributed to people who have superpowers, because he feels it takes a lot more bravery to face down deadly situations if you’re just a normal person.
I can’t even imagine how much it would suck to be in Malcolm’s position. You were on your way to living out your dream of making a difference in the world when some creep came along and forced you to get addicted to a drug you never would’ve touched if you’d been in control, and then the addiction takes over to the point where you do things you hate yourself for because you can’t overcome it. I think the self-loathing would probably affect him even more than the drugs, and now he believes he’s this weak, worthless thing. But oddly, it’s Jessica telling him it’s his responsibility to save her that makes him find the strength to stop. He can’t do it for himself, but he can just barely do it for her.
Wow, Kilgrave actually thinks it’s stupid and pathetic for someone to use their powers for good. He’s so used to being 100% selfish and getting everything he wants pretty much instantly that he can’t even fathom the concept of doing something for someone else, and receiving fulfilment for it. Has he ever considered that even though he always gets what he wants, he’s still not happy?
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.