Kilgrave has a Secret Smile, Barty!
The intro to the series plays like a Philip Marlowe soundtrack, layered with the comic book illustrations of something
then explodes into an Equalizer style theme tune that sets the tone for the
Jessica Jones, Marvel’s new superhero is far from advertising this fact. She’s an alcoholic who lives out her days as a private investigator, living in a seedy apartment, where lowlifes live on the same floor as her. She has few friends. Keeps many secrets and is drawn to Luke, the man whose wife she killed through the power of suggestion by Kilgrave.
Jones is haunted by the memory of Kilgrave, who controlled her during her time as a superhero. Escaping his clutches, she sets up a detective agency but still suffers PTSD resulting from her time with The Purple Man. So much so, that even to this day, a year or two later she continues to send selfie’s from a variety of locations to him from her phone.
Kilgrave is desperate to own her again. To have her in his complete control. So far, aware of the power of the man that the mere thought of him causes her to recite the street names from her own neighbourhood, Jessica’s life is one of chaos and turmoil, blanked out only by the power of liquor.
Jones reminds me a lot of the Buffy character, Faith. She dresses pretty much the same. She even looks familiar, and harbours a chip on her shoulder and seems very destructive in her manner. Dealing with the pressures of who she is, what crimes she’s committed while under the influence of the Purple Man seems very reminisce of the vampire slayer.
As of yet we’re not sure where she gets her powers from. How she’s able to rip off the door handle and bust any lock without kicking a door in to enter. We’re not given any introduction into how Luke is able to use a circular saw on his body and not have any cuts from the abuse.
The lawyer, Jeri Hogarth finds Jessica investigative work to keep the money coming in. She is a tall slim and extremely attractive yet controlling individual, who is currently filing for divorce on her wife. It’s a messy process given she’s romantically in love with her current secretary. I find her character immensely interesting and wonder if there’s not some kind of powder keg waiting to explode, in the fact that somewhere along the line, she’s going to come out as working for Kilgrave in some form or another. There’s just something about her character that I don’t trust.
Kilgrave is very sure of himself. He has intelligence. He’s smooth. Cool. Calm and collected. He doesn’t get his hands dirty because he has the power of mind control and manipulates others to do his bidding.
His character began simply as Kevin Thompson who was experimented on. During this process he acquired an airborne virus that gave him the powers he has today. But there is a drug that Jessica discovers in files that can disable his powers long enough for Jones and her team, to get close enough to him, to take him out. But it’s getting close enough to him, that’s the dangerous part.
Kilgrave feels no remorse in asking someone to see how long it takes them to smash their head through a solid wooden column. He has no qualms about suggesting that each cop turn their weapon on another. He has no remorse for suggesting that a former athlete too scared to leave her bed, should take the .38 special in her bag and shoot her parents to death in the elevator.
His interest in Jessica Jones however, intrigues me. What is it about Jones that appeals to him? Is it her powers? Is she useful to him in his crime spree, obtaining houses, eating food, and taking control of innocent people? Just who is the Purple Man?
The first time I’d ever seen David Tennant had been in the Scottish drama Taking Over the Asylum. From there I was introduced to the more grown up appeal of the Doctor Tennant who could turn a smile into a frown and vice versa with a few subtle facial expressions but then that’s the Doctor. He can be hard and cruel or he can be happy and reckless, as with any of his incarnations.
David, born with a Scottish accent, that you only ever expected to hear in his portrayal of any character, uses an English accent that appeals to most, and works on so many levels for the characters that he’s portrayed over the years, none more so than Brendan Block, Barty Crouch and now Kilgrave.
It’s an educated voice. Cool, slick and with the ability to turn and control those around him, with simple facial gestures, and those eyes. God, those eyes that you want to bathe in when he’s the gentle Doctor, but the eyes that you want to escape from when he becomes the sociopath in Secret Smile, the parcel mouth in Goblet of Fire and now as Kilgrave in Jessica Jones.
Tennant has the ability like Jacobi before him in Doctor Who’s Utopia episode, to transform his character from the mild mannered saint into a devil just by altering the eyes. If you don’t believe me, go check out Professor Yana when he realised just who he really was, before Chan Tho forced his regeneration!
The Purple Man, closing in on Jessica Jones, has finally moved into a house in a quiet suburb. This time he doesn’t use his powers to manipulate the owner of the house, he pays him over a million dollars to leave and never come back. With a man who oozes wealth, lives in expensive accommodation in the city, why on earth would he want a house out in the leafy suburbs, and why would he want to live in Jessica Jones’ old home where she grew up?
David Tennant’s portrayal of Kilgrave is scary. As controlling as Brendan Block was in Secret Smile, you know you’ve seen this character before, and you know how destructive he can make his victims. And you also know that whatever terrifying role Tennant plays, you know you’ll never stop watching him. He’s an addiction. He plays the ruthless without faltering. There’s no moment in The Purple Man when you see him as any other character, although having said that, there is a point in that smile. In that drop of tone where you think you’ve heard the Doctor, but in the flicker of an eyelid he’s changed, and the unshaven man on your doorstep is forcing you to watch him commit another individual to commit murder most foul, without breaking a sweat.
Jessica Jones Wikipedia
Jessica Jones Netflix serial