TV Review: Marvel's Jessica Jones - S1 Ep 5 "AKA The Sandwich Saved Me"
EPISODE 5: "AKA The Sandwich Saved Me"
SYNOPSIS: Despite Jessica’s objections, Trish’s new friend Simpson gets involved in the hunt for Kilgrave. Jessica recalls a pivotal moment in her life.
BREAKDOWN: I was beginning to think that the build up to Jessica Jones confronting Kilgrave was going to take most of the season, but here we are five episodes in and the two foes are finally face to face. With Jessica realizing that surgical drugs could knock out Kilgrave long enough to get him somewhere secure, it was just a matter of time to find the right place to strike. Luckily, Jessica's discovery that her addict neighbor Malcolm was the spy gave her the perfect opportuntity to plan her attack. But, in order to pull of the kidnapping, Jessica needs help from Trish and Officer Simpson as well. It's like a S.H.I.E.L.D. operation but nothing goes according to plan.
The episode also serves as our first true flashback origin to how Jessica Jones became the character we met in the first episode. Flashing back eighteen months, we find Jessica working in a customer service job she hates with one of the best quitting scenes since OFFICE SPACE. Meeting Trish for drinks, we see Jessica put a douchebag in his place with her powers as well as Krysten Ritter dressed as a giant sandwich when she saves the life of a young girl in oncoming traffic. That all leads to Trish showing Jessica a mock-up of a potential superhero costume, an exact replica of her Marvel Comics outfit when she went by the name Jewel. Jessica agrees to try being a hero and using her powers for good, but we never quite see her reach that point.
Back in the present, Jessica begrudgingly accepts help from Will Simpson whom he runs into at Trish's apartment when she interrupts him going down on her best friend. I guess that attempted murder didn't last long as the two are now an item. Jessica doesn't like Simpson and he doesn't trust her. His military experience is useful though as he helps plan an operation to capture Kilgrave and take him to an abandoned facility with a hermetically sealed room where his mind control will not work. We get a nice scene of Jones and Simpson talking trash and not hearing each other which definitely helps build the tension and respect between the two. Jessica learns that Malcolm meets Kilgrave each day at 10am to provide photos in exchange for drugs. The team decides to follow Malcolm and shoot Kilgrave with a dart gun and take him away,
When the plan executes, Jessica manages to grab Kilgrave and get him into the van but when they arrive at the facility, they realize he had a tracker on him. HIred guards show up and use a cattle prod to take out Trish. Simpson knocks out one guard while Jessica takes on multiple, but they get away with Kilgrave. So, for all that plotting over five episodes, Jessica's brilliant plan falls apart and the team are left with nothing and now Kilgrave knows they are coming for him. Trish blames herself for being weak but Jessica cannot blame her. They leave to try and recoup while Jessica takes Malcolm back to his apartment to help him detox. Jessica tries to relate to Malcolm and what he went through but Malcolm insists he wanted the drugs and she cannot save him again.
In the final part of the flashback, we see Jessica come across two guys mugging and beating on Malcolm. She steps in and knocks the guys out. With Malcolm safe, Jessica realizes Kilgrave was watching the entire time. He sends his female companions away and says how impressed he is with the beautiful Jessica, especially in that she has power like him. Under his spell, Jessica says she liked that she helped someone and used her powers for good, but Kilgrave doesn't care and takes her to dinner. We can assume this is how their relationship began. Back in the present, Malcolm flushes his drugs and goes cold turkey. Jessica gets a call from Kilgrave who laughs off the events of the day. Kilgrave threatens to make Malcolm continue his addiction but says he will stop if Jessica takes his place and sends him a photo of her each day. Jessica does not speak and hangs up on Kilgrave, but seeing Malcolm writhing as he tries to get clean, she sends a single photo to her former captor.
You may have noticed each episode so far this season has earned a 9 out of 10. I have yet to find an episode that has disappointed so far and this one is no exception. Well paced, well edited, and well acted, this could be the best of the season so far. David Tennant gets to chew the scenery through this episode, including a brief scene where he makes a magazine vendor splash hot coffee in his own face. Tennant is slimey and completely self-absorbed which makes him a great villain. I am still ambivalent towards Rachael Taylor as Trish, but Will Traval is definitely growing on me as Will Simpson. Once again, Krysten Ritter is stellar and continues to showcase her superheroics without making it seem out of place or strange. Another quality episode with strong supporting performances.
MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES: There is a shot of a kid wearing a Captain America costume. We also see Jessica Jones' original comic book uniform.
NEXT ON JESSICA JONES: Episode 5 "AKA You're A Winner" - Luke hires Jessica to help him find someone who may have skipped town, but she fears he’ll learn too much about her history in the process.