I’m getting into a habit of making Saturdays Marvel post days, AND I LIKE IT!
It’s K-day, and I’m still obsessed with Marvel’s Jessica Jones because it is FUCKING GREAT, so today I’m going to give you my 5 reasons why Kilgrave is the Scariest Villain Ever.
This should be obvious, but SPOILER ALERT! DO NOT READ ON IF YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED JESSICA JONES!
5. David Tennant: You know how when you see on the news that XYZ person killed forty women and buried their bodies in the woods, and then they show the picture, and it just looks like a completely normal guy? Maybe even a charmer, or a little handsome? That’s Kilgrave. The casting was brilliant–you take one of the most beloved Doctors from Dr. Who and have him play the most charming sociopath ever and it’s terrifying. It’s even more terrifying because the character of Kilgrave doesn’t even need his charm to get by–he can literally make anyone do anything he wants with a single word–but he still has it. If you met him on the street you would never know that he is responsible for ruining hundreds, maybe thousands of lives–and you would probably (gulp) smile at him. Tennant’s performance really drove that point home.
4. The mundanity of his mind control: The random shit he makes people do when it has nothing to do with any of his evil plotting WRT Jessica Jones is especially chilling. He has zero self control–if he wants a man to pour coffee on himself because the guy bumped into him, he makes it happen. If he wants a pretty girl to smile at him, he makes her do it–and then she won’t be able to stop for twelve hours. It may be more outwardly horrific to force his father to (vomits again) cut his own arms off and bleed himself to death, but the utter self-absorption and narcissism of Kilgrave is what makes his talent of mind control really dangerous.
3. That whole fucking interlude at Jessica Jones’s old house: I CANNOT EXPRESS MY ETERNAL SHUDDERING AT THAT EPISODE. For those who may have forgotten: he buys Jessica’s childhood home and recreates her traumatically curtailed childhood in extreme detail, all for the purpose of seducing her without mind control. The scene where he surveys the house after buying it and we realize where we are–“Birch Street, Cobalt Drive, Higgins Lane,” which is the mantra she recites to deal with the PTSD Kilgrave gave her–CHILLS FOREVER.
2. The Kilgrave/Kevin reveal: The point of no return for Kilgrave’s character for me comes when, after the reveal that Kilgrave (“What, was ‘Murdercorpse’ taken?”) gained his “powers” after some nasty and painful childhood experiments at the hands of his parents, the writers (and Tennant, in his performance), dare us to feel sorry for him. Hey, it’s not his fault he’s a sociopath, right? He was abused himself, that’s why he’s an abuser now! And while childhood abuse is no excuse for turning to abuse oneself, it’s at least an explanation. And then, the twist: Kilgrave, or Kevin (lol such an appropriately bland name for a future supervillain) was actually only subjected to those experiments to save him from a degenerative brain disease, and his parents spent years afterwards catering to his every whim. As he grew more terrifying and abusive, they ran to save themselves; hardly the sob story of “abandonment” that Kilgrave relates to Jessica. And so, the audiences sees the only glimmer of reason for his mundane malevolence thrown out the window. He is truly irredeemable, and that is really terrifying.
1. Kilgrave exists in real life: Okay, so, there are (as far as I know) no actual British dudes with mind control powers roaming Hell’s Kitchen stalking super-powered PIs. There are, however, millions of abusers around the world who do everything in their power to control, exploit, harm, and kill women. Almost every woman alive has been told to “smile” by some jackass on the street; who’s to say what that jackass would do given the ability to force you to grin for him? Strip away his powers and his flashy suits, and Kilgrave is just another man who can’t deal with not controlling a woman he wanted. He’s just another guy on the internet who won’t stop sending you messages years after you broke up. He’s just another guy on the street, telling you to “smile” because it will make him happy. And that is truly frightening.
Luckily, Kilgrave had Jessica–and she certainly wiped that smile off his face.
Please leave your thoughts in the comments and like or share if you enjoyed the post…and don’t forget to smile! (J/K, I’m gonna go shower.)