Jessica Jones: Shattering Exploration Of Rape, Addiction And Control

Marvel’s superhero drama shows the after-effects of trauma, exploitation and abuse, with smart and subtle things to say about the way guilt affects the lives of the victims, and how exploitation corrupts the exploiter.

Netflix’s Jessica Jones is one of the most complex treatments of agency in the wake of victimhood that the small screen has seen yet seen. A grim show, shadowy and hopeless and unlikeable, it’s finally less about trauma than it is a murky contest between revenge and rehabilitation and the term that floats between those: responsibility.

Its villain Kilgrave, played by David Tennant, has the power of mind control and is as legally blameless as he is morally monstrous. Jones, a New York detective with superpowers played by Breaking Bad’s Krysten Ritter, spent time in his thrall, during which he made her do terrible things, and now he’s back in her life, a year after his apparent death.

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