Kilgrave returns! Jessica has to deal with the British voice in her head. Trish stays the path to be “special”. Karl ends IGH where it began. Alisa loses it, officially.
On Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 2 Episode 11, “AKA Three Lives and Counting,” Jessica’s mind takes a dark and purple-y turn, an appearance of Kilgrave summoned after she tries to figure out who she is after taking another life. Despite having gifts and being special of her own accord, Trish becomes desperate to be “special”, in the terms she comprehends and has seen, and takes Karl back to IGH to continue his work. Malcolm gets used and abused by Trish, and then slapped verbally by Jessica, seemingly for the last time. The Alias family breaks apart while Jessica attempts to keep herself together.
The British Villain Returns
Jessica’s derailing brings back an old favorite, though maybe not to Jessica, a hint of purple indicating his arrival. Kilgrave has returned! A dip back into her past can’t be a true visit without the appearance of the demon. A kill brings him out and alters Jessica’s opinion of herself, one she has fostered and nurtured throughout the current season. Forced to reconcile that she is indeed a monster, in the same way her mother had to, Jessica realizes she has to find an inner strength, one that is independent of the monster that she thinks she is, of her mother, and of Kilgrave. His return is a haunting one, a promise of who Jessica could become, of the line she is tiptoeing. Kilgrave’s line to her, the title of the episode, seems more haunting than ever before, the potentiality of furthering a promise more than anything else.
Mama Jones Is Right About Trish… Again
Just as Jessica attempts to realign her mind, Mama Jones proves she’s right again about Trish, despite Jessica not wanting to believe her. Alisa and Jessica’s bond has seemingly become stronger than ever, even with Alisa behind bars, and apparently one action has caused her and Kilgrave’s bond to become stronger than ever, even with Kilgrave gone. The killing of the cop causes her sense of self to shatter, as well as any form of reality she had once been comfortable with, the little rift allowing the manifestation of Kilgrave to appear.
Kilgrave Is Darker Jessica
As Jessica closes in on Malcolm’s phone, Trish becomes more and more annoyingly self-righteous in her quest to prove something to herself rather than to help anyone else. She pulls a gun on Malcolm and Jessica finds her, further proving how deep she has dug her hole of chaotic insanity. Kilgrave appears as Jessica and Malcolm fight, offering not necessarily his viewpoint but the darker side of Jessica’s; the anger she’s been harboring, the one that keeps her from becoming like her mother, has found its voice in the British purple-suited villain. The only true reason she’s been fighting the darker thoughts is because they’re voiced by him, the antithesis of anything she’s ever wanted to be. In essence, Kilgrave’s reappearance in Jessica’s mind, despite it taunting and trying to seduce her to the darker side of life, has given her even more fuel to stay on the right track.
Unlike Trish, Jessica Has Grown
Trish’s wish to become special comes full circle. Despite having powers of her own, a talk show that she threw away and opportunities that she could have explored simply being herself, she chose instead to pursue something else, isolating everyone and becoming less of herself in the process. Her wish to help people extends only as far as she gets what she wants, as she’s proven countless times with Malcolm. Manipulation is a learned gift, and she’s learned it from the best, that being her mother, exemplified earlier in the season.
As Trish continues her selfish crusade, Jessica begins to spiral, fearful of the ramifications of an active Kilgrave in her mind. Or, more accurately, afraid of her own rage. His monologue feeds into her rage, and for a moment, the way the episode is cut shows that her delivery has become like his, the two of them enveloped as one. But, just as he was her fuel, he becomes the stopgap, the demand coming from him being the only thing that stops her from killing Karl. Kilgrave’s presence in Jessica’s mind was to keep her on the right path, even if that would have never been his intention. Despite seeming easy, his way was not the right way and she knew it because it was coming from him. Even though Jessica didn’t kill Karl, she couldn’t save him from himself, who decides to end the science where it all began, IGH’s implosion from the inside out seeming just as figurative as it is literal.
Jessica’s Self-Worth for Kilgrave’s Silence
Trish’s fate uncertain, Trish and Malcolm’s relationship finally comes to a head, their separation finally closing the chapter on the Alias family. Both of them now have no choice but to exist without one another. Jessica’s conversation with Kilgrave allows for her growth to be tangible, to the audience and to herself; his disappearance, despite his promise of always existing in her mind, symbolizes that she is her own person and that none of the previously affixed labels apply to her. She has come to define herself in her own terminology, independent of the people around her, even her own mother.
The arc of Jessica from season one, when she was repeatedly referring to herself as trash, inwardly and to others, showcases how her opinion of herself has changed. Her abilities haven’t prohibited her, her rage hasn’t overcome her; she’s who she is, on her own terms, independent of Kilgrave, her mother, and even the person she had been when Karl had given her new life. Unfortunately, Mama Jones learns that Karl is dead and her rage overcomes her, as we all knew it would. Time to find out what a true rage-fueled monster really can do.
What did you think of Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 2 Episode 11? What won’t Alisa do? What will Jessica do? Wasn’t it kind of good to see Kilgrave again? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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