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Jessica Jones Recap 1.7 AKA Top Shelf Perverts

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This episode feels a bit like filler. Stuff happens but after the emotional roller coaster of the last few hours this one seems to be idling. Maybe it would feel less so if I was binge-watching? But for me the magic of Netflix and other streaming services is not that I can watch all of something all at once but that I can watch it on my own schedule. But I digress.

Jessica is in full swing self-destruction mode. She gets cut off and thrown out of a bar —  into trash, which is a bit too on the nose for me but hey — and then accidentally almost kills Jeri’s ex-wife while intentionally threatening to do so. Jess had the wherewithal to save Wendy and herself, but she is clearly unhinged.

Unfortunately she’s not going to get a break anytime soon, because while she was out Kilgrave went through her belongings, used her toilet (I would say “that’s the creepiest and/or skeeviest thing he’s done” but every time I do they up the game again and I don’t really want to see it?), and finally killed poor lovestruck baker next door Rubin. Jessica learns about it when she collapses into bed next to his dead body (. . .like I said).

Please let this be the most creepy thing Kilgrave does.

Please let this be the most creepy thing Kilgrave does.

Malcolm, reasonably, flips out and, rationally, calls the police. Jessica, reasonably, loses it and, irrationally, decides to use the death to get herself thrown into Super Max Prison so they can catch Kilgrave when he comes to save her. This is a completely insane plan. As everyone tells her for the rest of the episode.

Jessica: Lock me up! Super max! Now!
Malcolm: This plan is completely insane.
Jeri: This plan is completely insane.
Trish: This plan is completely insane.
Cop: This plan is completely insane.
Kilgrave: LOL.

Seriously, everyone in Jessica’s life tells her flat out it is a terrible plan but she has no chill and does it anyway.  Malcolm tries and fails to talk her out of it, so he enlists Trish to try and fail to talk her out of it while he disposes of the body (Malcolm is so amazing y’all — he’s the friend who moves the body even when you want the body found).  But Jess gets the body out of the river, severs poor Rubin’s head clean off and drops it onto a cop’s desk. NO. CHILL.

Jeri, who she’d visited for “how to get thrown into Super Max Prison” advice, instead works to keep her out of Super Max Prison so Jess fires her. Even Clemmons, the cop she handpicked to throw her into Super Max Prison because he already found her super suspicious back when he investigated the murder of Hope’s parents, tries to instead talk her out of it. Because she is clearly unhinged!

But it’s Kilgrave who succeeds, by waltzing into the precinct and holding everyone in it hostage until Jessica agrees to leave, free. His pitch, horrifyingly, includes a declaration of love. He didn’t use his mind powers to buy her house last episode for the same reason he won’t use them on her now — he wants her to love him back on her own terms, with no interference from him. Which is both gross and impossible. Abusive relationships don’t work that way. For example, he tells her to find the “gift” he left in her apartment the other day (you know, when he killed a kid and left the body in her bed) and come home when she’s ready. Of her “own free will”, he explains while holding guns on some 50 people.

Inigo Montoya

Anyway, Jessica is not arrested, Kilgrave has all the control and everything is terrible. Rubin is probably the worst off, being dead, with his poor sister in second place because she doesn’t know he’s dead. Robin and Rubin had been a side story until this episode — the weirdos next door who made Jess fit in — but Robin got a couple meaty and honestly heartbreaking scenes here. The weirdo sibs may not be part of the main plot but they are a part of the main theme: damage and survival, particularly due to the superpowered.

Meanwhile Trish has tracked down Kilgrave’s bodyguards and entrusts Gaston (Simpson) to tail them. She gives him instructions to contact her as soon as Kilgrave shows up but of course he doesn’t. He has a plan, probably, and it’s as well thought out as Jessica’s, probably. 

There’s also a subplot about Trish’s mother, who is a talent agent for kids and a piece of work. Jessica tells her to stay restraining order distance away from Trish or else and promises she can find and destroy her no matter where she ends up (eg. in Super Max Prison where she was planning to end up at the time). I think I look forward to seeing where that goes? I do from the Trish and Jess perspective, I don’t know I need to know what Mama Walker does to survive. 

Super excited for young Jess and Trish though!!

Super excited for young Jess and Trish though!!

We end with Jess, having found the “gift” of a diary she lost in middle school, heading home to Kilgrave’s torture house. “Of her own free will.”


Gaston watches Jess join Kilgrave. What and when will he tell Trish?

Pam really, really deserves better than Jeri. In this hour she lies to Wendy to protect Jeri and their relationship as a response to Wendy blackmailing Jeri with proof she’s not only a terrible wife she’s also a corrupt lawyer.

Pretty sure Wendy also deserves better so maybe they should run away together?

Jessica tries to say goodbye to Luke before her planned trip to prison but he’s left town and left a cryptic old soothsayer to watch over his bar (like you do). The guy gives Jess two pieces of advice: 1) don’t care about Luke cause he’s only ever loved one woman, his late wife — way to twist the knife old wise guy! And 2) burning bridges is dangerous. Okay?

But speaking of bridges, there is an absolutely beautiful sequence where Jess climbs to the top of a bridge to say goodbye to her city. A great, great moment in an otherwise disjointed episode. 


Anika Dane works at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. She is a writer of words. A dancer of dreams. A pop culture blogger. A feminist and a fashionista. A Social Justice Klingon Warrior Princess who fell in love with the Skywalker family when she was seven years old. Mother of girls. Secretly a dragon.

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