This review contains spoilers for Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 2, episode 11, titled “Thee Lives and Counting.” To see where we left off, check out our review of Season 2, episode 10 and follow along with our full season binge here.
That’s more like it.
We’ve waited all season for Kilgrave to reappear, and episode 11 deploys him perfectly — not somehow resurrected in a way that would undercut the impact of his death, but as the devil on Jessica’s shoulder, giving voice to her worst impulses and deepest insecurities. Kilgrave (or rather Jessica’s subconscious manifestation of him) is probably right that he’ll always be inside her — there’s no erasing the trauma of rape or the other heinous things he forced her to do, but by taking back control, both mentally and physically, Jessica is refusing to let herself be defined by how others see her.
She’s not a killer or a pawn. Everyone is capable of harming someone else, whether they have super-powers or not — and by recognizing that she does have a choice in how she responds to obstacles, it seems like she’s finally able to come to terms with who she is.
“I’m enough” is probably the most earth-shattering thing Jessica has ever said in her life; after years of abuse and self-loathing have chipped away at her self-worth, convincing her that she doesn’t matter to anyone, it’s revolutionary to hear her accept that she has value, especially without anyone needing to give it to her.
If only Trish could learn the same lesson — her insecurities and control issues have come to a boil in the most dangerous way possible, with her actually seeking genetic editing from Dr. Karl to give her the abilities she’s always envied in Jessica.
Her feelings of powerlessness have now left her literally powerless and on death’s door (and Alisa is rushing over to help her cross through it, now that she knows Trish was somehow involved in Karl’s death), but even if she wakes up with abilities thanks to Karl’s meddling, it won’t fix the hole inside her that she’s been trying to fill with drugs and fame her whole life. I’m not sure what could fill it, beyond time and a lot of self-examination, but it’s clear that she and Jessica have more issues to work through than simply not communicating with each other.
Two observations that did drive me nuts in an otherwise powerful episode: Sure, Jessica did a fine job of faking Holiday’s suicide by dropping him off the roof, but if anyone was even vaguely suspicious about his death, listening in to Jessica and Alisa’s prison call would’ve told them everything they needed to know. Considering that both women were fully aware they were being eavesdropped on, you’d think they would’ve tried to make their code a little more subtle.
On a similar note, what kind of prison guard goes into the cell with a highly volatile powered person without backup when she’s already behaving erratically? If you’d just shown your concern from a practical and protocol-approved distance, you’d still be alive, lady!