English 1102: Television and Feminism

Dr. Casey Alane Wilson • Georgia Institute of Technology

Tag: kilgrave

Second Chances in Jessica Jones

Theme is very tricky in Jessica Jones. There is no underlining theme that applies to every episode or the whole series as a whole. However, there are certain episodes that have a theme that pushes the whole episode.

Today, I am going to analyze episode 8 of Jessica Jones. First of all, I need to give context about Kilgrave. He has the ability to command people with his voice, and he has used it to kill countless people and ruin countless lives. Jessica, the main protagonist, is living with Kilgrave, so he doesn’t kill any innocent people. In the middle of the episode, Jessica takes Kilgrave and makes him save two children from an abusive father. This makes Kilgrave and the entire audience think the theme is that “people deserve second chances”.

However, the show surprises the audience by having Jessica drug Kilgrave and lock him up at the end of the episode. This hits the audience hard and establishes the new theme of “doing good deeds doesn’t remove your past crimes”. All of the viewers thought that Jessica was going to teach Kilgrave to use his powers for good and be a superhero, but they shut that down very fast at the end.

Kilgrave trapped in cell

This theme helps relate to the show as a whole. It shows that no matter what good deeds Kilgrave does in the present, it doesn’t excuse all of his past murders and crimes. This also helps relate the show to modern law. You could save 1000 people after killing one person, but you would still go to jail for murder and be remembered as a murderer.

This creates a question about how are people redeemable. I believe some people should get second chances after doing a mistake. They should get the ability to redeem themselves and make good in the world. However, there is a certain point beyond return. People like Kilgrave, who have ruined and killed dozens of lives, do not deserve a second chance. It is hard to tell where the line should be drawn between a second chance and not, but some people deserve another chance to make the world a better place.

Jessica Jones and the lack of “Free Choice”

The title is just a pun on this being the free choice option for the blogs. Also because of the whole occasional lack of free will due to Kilgrave’s mind control powers. This entry is going to a bit all over the place. The main two topics, as it is my choice to do so will be: the relation of the show to the comics and the choice of actors in the show.

This show is based off of the Jessica Jones comic series with the character being brought about and developed by the specific comic and the other’s she is apart of. The biggest part of the show is how they work in the villains, fellow heroes, and other significant events in the Marvel universe while maintaining a new and innovative plot line. Of course some of the basic concepts within the show are from the comics like Jones’ relations with Kilgrave and Luke Cage. But unlike in the comics, Kilgrave is not called the purple man and he doesn’t have as far a reach over other comic characters and heroes. There is also the part where Jessica Jones was made to be apart of the Marvel Defenders saga where she is only one of 4 stories or shows that are made and eventually lead to the Defenders TV show/fighting force. So basically a huge part of the underlying plot points going throughout the show is working Jones in with the other characters that she is destined to meet.

The second topic, which is one I tweeted about earlier in the semester, is the importance of the actors chosen by the producers of the show. Creating the right feel for the show is an important job that the actors must do correctly and creatively in order to create a realistic and immersive show. One major point is whether big name actors ruin this because they are associated with other television shows. I find it interesting how certain actors get heavy ties with other characters they have played, such as David Tennant. He has been in many other shows and in this he is depicted as an wicked twisted man, but he is heavily associated with BBC and Doctor Who. The other actors are not in any other big franchises so they are the character that they play, but when an actor who is recognizable is put in, then they are seen as the person not the character. This is simply an interesting characteristic of certain actors and can have a huge effect on the realism of a show. The same can be said for many other actors that are seen as themselves or the wrong character such as Daniel Radcliffe or Tom Cruise who can’t be in a movie or show without one thinking “hey, that’s Harry Potter.” Overall, this is an important issue within certain shows that is difficult to address but imperative nonetheless.

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