Jessica Jones: AKA WWJD? Review
AKA WWJD? Review
AKA WWJD? or What Would Jessica Do? followed Jessica in her attempt to prevent any further bloodshed by going along with Kilgrave for the time being. Kilgrave has set up her new, or rather, old home exactly how she remembers it from her childhood, from the furniture to the CD’s in her room. It’s a strange environment to be in for Jessica especially as she last remembers the house right before her parents and brother were killed in a car crash. We were also given glimpses of Kilgrave’s childhood which doesn’t quite exonerate him for his crimes but provides some evidence for his demented outlook on human life. However, Jessica’s housebound life doesn’t last long and things take a dramatic and explosive turn in the final cliffhanger scene.
The most intriguing aspect this episode was the dynamic between Jessica and Kilgrave. So far, we’ve only seen them as two opposing factions and Jessica now had to play along with Kilgrave’s twisted games in order to buy time and figure out her next move. We were given our best impression of Kilgrave yet, he tries to show Jessica he cares in his own twisted way but while still essentially holding her captive and with the constant threat of mind control hanging over her head. We were also given some insight into Kilgrave’s crimes when he controlled Jessica, including rape. It’s clear that Kilgrave has committed this atrocity to numerous women but to him, it isn’t a morally indefensible act. He states this episode: “How am I supposed to know if a person is doing what they want or what I tell them to?” It’s a warped and child-like world view that is given more context when he reveals to Jessica the contents of the flash drive that has been a secret of the show for a few weeks now. It’s interesting that Kilgrave showed this to Jessica voluntarily, Jessica wanted it because it was a clue to his weaknesses but Kilgrave shows it because he tries to open up to her in order to gain her trust.
AKA WWJD? also showed us what was possible when Kilgrave uses his power for good, with Jessica acting as a restraint on his more exuberant and violent instincts. The pair discussed working together for the side of good, with Kilgrave contemplating making up for his past crimes presumably just to win Jessica back. Nevertheless, Jessica knows that Kilgrave is beyond redemption and can’t atone for his violent and cruel actions. There was also some dark humour this episode with Kilgrave hiring a chef and a housekeeper to serve himself and his hostage but also acting as a warning to Jessica. The plot of this episode ended with a dramatic cliffhanger in which we saw Jessica fly away from the helpless Will and his buddies. This was a cool moment in the show as Jessica clearly showed she was walking her own path.
Despite being a strong episode, not everything worked in AKA WWJD? There was some strange tonal shifts as Jessica left Kilgrave to go visit Trish for a philosophical chat about good and evil. It didn’t really fit in here and struck me as a rather simplistic way to show what Jessica was thinking in what would otherwise have been a very self-contained episode. A flashback not directly related to events at Jessica’s childhood home may have worked better here. On top of that, Will looked a little lost this episode. He isn’t the strongest or most consistent character on Jessica Jones but this episode he came across as pretty incompetent, failing to blow up Kilgrave or kidnap him and receiving a pretty close-up explosion as a reward.
AKA WWJD? was a really entertaining and interesting episode of Jessica Jones. It gave more context to Kilgrave by showing us how he found his powers and his torture at the hands of his parents which goes some way to explaining his warped view of the world. Although there was some inconsistencies overall, the dynamic between Jessica and Kilgrave was intriguing and I’m eager to see where the show goes next with Jessica finally having the upper hand.