“Marvel’s Jessica Jones” Season 1, Episode 5 Review – “AKA The Sandwich Saved Me”
Life ain’t easy when you are Jessica Jones, and this episode gives us a glimpse of the complexity of having superpowers and not being sure of what to do with them.
In the last episode, Jessica formed a makeshift support group for people who were under Kilgrave’s control, which I named the Kilgrave Interaction Survivor Society (or KISS for short), which she also hoped to use to get info on him. Officer Simpson, the cop that tried to kill Trish in episode three, has joined Team Jones to help her find the Purple Man, and made up with Trish who has now taken quite a shine to him. Meanwhile, Jessica managed to get some info out of KISS and discovered the man that had been stalking her this whole time for Kilgrave was her drug-addicted neighbor, Malcolm. This episode brings us into Jessica’s past and first meeting with Kilgrave, as well as her first chance at stopping the man and what will happen to her and Malcolm.
Things kick off as Jessica trails Malcolm and unfortunately discovers that Malcolm is indeed doing Kilgrave’s bidding, having an anxiety attack the minute she sees him in the flesh in Union Square. With this new info, she calls Trish to make a plan of attack. However, Trish is a bit busy at the moment, courtesy of Officer Simpson and his magical tongue.
It’s odd how last episode, Jessica wanted his help, and this time when the Chris Evans look-a-like is volunteering it, she suddenly doesn’t want it as the trio make plans on how to stop Kilgrave. The past two episodes in fact, she was helping Simpson, but the moment he wants to help her, she shuts down and treats him like dirt, which according to Trish is pretty normal for Jessica.
Simpson turns out to be a former Special Ops soldier and has plenty of useful skills, including access to a safe house to lock up Kilgrave where no one can touch him and he would not be able to use his powers. The plan is formed and they are ready to follow Malcolm one more time to deal with Kilgrave.
Meanwhile, Jessica gets a call from Hope in the detention center. Hope is not doing too well, and needs money to give to a group of abusive cellmates. We later see just how terrible this group is, and there is sadly nothing Jessica can do to save this girl other than give her what she needs to keep her out of less trouble.
Back in Union Square, the plan is set into motion, despite Kilgrave meeting Malcolm in a more public place than usual in front of a restaurant. Unfortunately, a balloon from one of those pesky and non-existent NYC balloon vendors bursts, and Kilgrave starts looking around, staring directly at Simpson and his dart gun. Jessica jumps out from behind her hiding spot to distract Kilgrave long enough for Simpson to successfully take the shot. Unconscious and causing a scene, Jessica says she is taking him to a hospital. Funny enough, there is a hospital around the corner from Union Square, so she was not too off in telling someone that. #NYFACT
However, Kilgrave has a tracking device in him that led a group of hired goons right to them, who beat down the trio and retrieve the Purple Man. Simpson was able to detain one and intimidates him enough to get info on who hired him, and it turns out it was not even Kilgrave but a private anonymous client. Jessica also figures out that Malcolm told Kilgrave that she got the drugs since Malcolm was her accomplice in the task, and that is most likely why he hired these goons. We also discover that six months before Purple Man entered Malcolm’s life, he was completely clean and drug-free.
Before we head into the conclusion of this episode, now is the perfect time to go into all of those flashbacks I mentioned earlier which flesh out Jessica’s life before Kilgrave entered it. Jones was working dead-end jobs that she could not hold for more than a few weeks, although her penchant for investigating things was already being implemented here and there. With Trish’s help, Jessica had a handful of these jobs but ultimately went nowhere, while Jones contemplated becoming a superhero. Trish even makes her an outfit, which Jessica rebukes. Easter egg for comic nerds, her suggested name of “Jewel” was Jones’ moniker for a brief period when she wore the same hideous costume that you see Trish holding here.
Jones had been dabbling in the heroism, saving a child while doing one of her odd jobs dressed as a hoagie (hence the title of this episode), and even saved a stranger getting beat up by some thugs, who we later learn is Malcolm. It’s at this crossroads of her life when she first meets Kilgrave, who falls in love with her power and her looks. He immediately takes control of her and thus begins his reign over her that would culminate months later when he got hit by the bus.
Returning to the present, Jones saves Malcolm from a drug-pusher in his apartment and handcuffs him to a radiator in his bathroom to try and clean him up. He must make the choice to fight or give in to his drug habits and continue to ruin his own life. Malcolm refuses to make this choice and reminds her that she can not save him again. While she leaves Malcolm to make his choice, Jessica returns to her office where she get a chilling call from Kilgrave, who is exhilarated by what transpired and tells her that Malcolm would have been a junkie whether or not he controlled him, he simply expedited the process.
Kilgrave then tries to cut a deal with Jessica, asking her to take one photo of herself per day in exchange for leaving Malcolm alone. Jessica hangs up on him and goes to check on Malcom, pleased to see that Malcolm has tossed his drugs into the toilet and is going to try and clean up. Seeing this as her way to save Malcolm, Jessica agrees to these terms and sends Kilgrave a photo of her self.
The fifth episode remains a strong one, and the situation is getting stickier for Jessica as the season progresses. While she might be saving a person or two, the cost of her own soul is being used as a bargaining chip. It is interesting to see that Jessica was contemplating using her powers for good, but it be a good assumption that being under Kilgrave’s control made her afraid of using her skills and putting herself out there. We all see the hero in her, as does Trish, but Jones struggles with being able to do good and the fear of seeing the people she loves getting hurt because of this. With a villain like the Purple Man compounding that worry, it’s no wonder that Jessica is such a troubled character.
The sub-plot with Jeri’s divorce was missing in this episode and there was still no sign of Luke Cage, but that will change in the next episode (according to Netflix’s preview info). Stay tuned next time for episode six of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones”, titled “AKA You’re a Winner!” With a title like that, what could possibly go wrong?