Jessica Jones, S1 E5 Review

Now, in the fifth installment of Jessica Jones, we are beginning to piece together the title character’s past and reconcile it with her present. “AKA The Sandwich Saved Me” explores more of Jessica’s past and her pursuit of Kilgrave in the present, while exploring various definitions of heroism and what it truly means to be a hero.

On this episode of Jessica Jones: In flashbacks, Jessica remembers her original journey into heroism, and how that led her to her first meeting with Kilgrave. In present day, Jessica tails Malcolm to gather data on Kilgrave before her strike. Trish and Simpson, now dating, assist Jessica in her nearly successful attempt at snatching Kilgrave. Hope gets into some trouble in prison.

Ultimately, I find this show fascinating. For a lot of people, they binge-watch a show because of the compelling overarching plot. I’m not sure that the Kilgrave story alone has enough juice to propel a show like this on a week-to-week basis. But that story is just the hook to keep people pushing “watch next episode.” Jessica Jones is really character-motivated, and the depth of the characters and their stories are what make up the meat of the show.

“AKA The Sandwich Saved Me” was no exception to that. It explored Jessica’s desire to do something better than herself, and to help people. Personally, I would’ve liked to see her fight crime in the sandwich costume, but there were at least some nice allusions to the “Jewel” character (though the Jewel mentions in the flashbacks make me think Trish might not make it out alive). This episode explored the meaning of heroism to various people and how they make a difference. Simpson has special ops skills, while Malcolm does something as little as flush his drugs. The scene at the end, when Jessica walks into the bathroom and sees the drugs in the toilet before she sends the pictures to Kilgrave, beautifully states that she doesn’t see herself as the hero. She seems to want to help people, but also inspire the heroism in others. That’s what makes Jessica such a compelling lead character.

Krysten Ritter is amazing, and the supporting cast is all wonderful, but I’m here to talk about David Tennant. We could all use a little more Tennant in our lives, yes? Jessica Jones quickly reminded me how easily Tennant can turn up the creepy factor, something I hadn’t really seen since Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Kilgrave is a brilliantly written character, because he barely shows up at all in the first five episodes, and yet he’s absolutely terrifying. He has a really unassuming on-screen presence, but what he accomplishes in his own nonchalant manner makes Kilgrave terrifying to even think about. He’s not scary in a Grodd/Zoom/Kingpin kind of way, but in a Dexter sort of way. He makes you want to look over you shoulder everywhere you go. Tennant does a masterful job maximizing his limited (so far) screen time to perpetuate this feeling.

So far, I’ve liked what I’ve seen in Jessica Jones. “AKA The Sandwich Saved Me” was a wonderful exercise exploring heroism and what that means. I’m totally enthralled at this point, and I’m very much looking forward to continuing the series.

How are you finding Jessica Jones?

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