The episode begins with Kilgrave running down a flight of stairs, obviously in pain. He finds Hogarth in her car about to take off. She goes so far as to point a gun at him, but he commands her to put it down and unlock the car. With Kilgrave in the car, Hogarth drives away too soon for Jessica to do anything. Hogarth pulls off the road and panics about the fact that Kilgrave killed his own mom, but Kilgrave spins it around to blame it on her, then demands that she take him to a doctor that she trusts.
In the aftermath of Kilgrave’s attack, Trish is still trying to put the bullet in her head, sobbing. Jessica intervenes, putting the bullet in her mouth.
Jessica: “There’s a bullet in your head. Okay? You did what he said. You followed his command. Okay? Spit it out.”
Trish snaps out of it, saying she couldn’t stop. Clemons walks in, bringing attention to Kilgrave’s father. Despite Trish’s willingness to call an ambulance, Clemons and Jessica refuse, saying that will stick them in questioning and only let Kilgrave get farther away. Clemons says he’ll call some police officers that he trusts to process the evidence. Jessica realizes that someone cut the fail-safe wire just as Kilgrave’s father wakes up and catches sight of his murdered wife. He then remembers that, per Kilgrave’s instruction, he has to cut out his own heart, then goes after the scissors. Jessica stops him, and they tape up his hands.
Albert: “I have to die.”
Jessica: “Later. Now I have to find your psychotic son.”
Jessica starts to go after Kilgrave, but Trish stops her, expressing her deep concern about Jessica’s safety. Jessica relays the news that Kilgrave can’t control her anymore, that she’s free.
Kilgrave and Hogarth show up on Wendy’s doorstep, much to her surprise... and irritation. Kilgrave commands her to take care of his injury. Wendy goes to retrieve her medical bag, and Hogarth says that the divorce papers can wait, but Kilgrave says he will make sure Wendy signs them.
Kilgrave:“I’m a man of my word... if I feel like it.”
Trish questions whether Jessica is sure she’s really free. Jessica recalls how, when she was back at her childhood home, Kilgrave wanted her to choose--it was because he can’t control her. Kilgrave’s father is amazed that Jessica is immune to him and says that Kevin (Kilgrave) has a virus that gives him his powers. They’ve been working on a vaccine for decades, but Jessica might be the missing ingredient. If he can get a biological sample from Jessica, they can know within a day whether the vaccine works. However, if they untie Albert’s hands, he’ll cut his heart out, so Trish volunteers to be his hands.
(Did I mention I kinda love Albert?--source)
They get a sample of Jessica’s blood, which she is more than happy to provide.
Jessica: “Take my blood. Take my piss. Take my spleen if you think it’ll help.”
Albert has lab equipment at his hotel, so he and Trish head off. Jessica starts to head off too, but before she does, Clemons informs her that Hogarth is the one that cut the wire... and that she has some blood on her face. (Good ol’ Clemons, always there when you need him.)
Wendy stitches Kilgrave up as he rants to her about Jessica’s supposed ungratefulness. Wendy says she can relate with regards to Hogarth, and they commiserate together, much to Hogarth’s irritation.
Kilgrave: “You ever think about revenge?”
Wendy: “Oh, sure. But how do you avenge death by a thousand cuts?”
Kilgrave asks what it was that Jessica wanted from him and actually expects Hogarth to give an answer. She says that Jessica wants Kilgrave to pay for what he did to her. Kilgrave, of course, insists that he treated her better than anyone ever. (Yeah, uh-huh, sure.) Hogarth also says that Jessica wants him to pay for what he did to Hope Shlottman. She then informs Kilgrave that Hope was pregnant with his child and that Jessica and Hogarth helped her abort it. Kilgrave is impressed with her honesty and prompts her for more info, and Hogarth informs him that she kept the remains to see if his power could be replicated. It didn’t work. Wendy thinks that Hogarth is disgusting; Kilgrave thinks that she’s pragmatic.
(Wendy is not happy--source)
Kilgrave asks where his child is, and Hograth tells him where it is as well as informs him that Jessica doesn’t know it exists.
Wendy finishes stitching Kilgrave up, and Hogarth gets a call from Jessica. Kilgrave tells her not to tell Jessica anything and to find out where his father is. Hogarth lies expertly and discovers that Jessica doesn’t know where Kilgrave is, but Wendy walks in and loudly asks if that’s Pam on the phone. Kilgrave suspects that Jessica knows where Albert is. The doorbell rings, and Kilgrave decides to get out of dodge. But before he does, he hands Wendy a scalpel.
Kilgrave: “Death by a thousand cuts. Do it.”
Wendy takes the scalpel and slashes at Hogarth’s face, starting to count.
Clemons is at the murder scene, and Simpson barges in on him, causing them both to draw their weapons. They both relax when they realize they’re both police officers, but as Simpson probes for more information about the murder scene, Clemons subtly tries to get rid of him.
Simpson: “Well, it looks like you could use a hand. [glances at Clemons' injured hand] I mean, sorry... I didn’t mean it like that.”
Clemons asks what’s wrong with Simpson’s leg, but Simpson spots the body of Kilgrave’s mother and asks who she is. Clemons says it’s a victim of a killer who has abilities, and now they have evidence to put the killer away. Clemons says he’ll call for backup and a medic while Simpson checks the perimeter, but Simpson argues that maybe the prison system can’t hold this killer. (He and Frank Castle should talk.) Simpson insists they can’t wait for the system, and when Clemons pulls out his phone, Simpson aims a gun at him and takes his phone. Clemons tells him that Jessica’s looking for Kilgrave now, and Simpson interrogates him about where Trish is. At Clemons’ hesitancy, Simpson puts down his gun and apologizes, saying that ever since Kilgrave, he doesn’t know who to trust. He asks Clemons more nicely where Trish is, and Clemons tells him. Then Simpson pulls out his gun and shoots Clemons right in the head. (This is my second rewatch, so I knew this happened, but I still jumped.) Simpson then douses the crime scene in gasoline and sets the place on fire. (I hate that guy.)
In a long, brutal scene, Wendy gets to cut twenty-five before Hogarth finally starts to fight back, and they wrestle in the living room. Wendy gets to cut number twenty-nine before someone knocks her over the head, and that person is revealed to be Pam.
Jessica runs up the steps just in time to see that Wendy is dead--her head hit the glass coffee table. Pam explains to Jessica what happened. Hogarth, heavily shaken, tells her that Kilgrave went to find his father. Jessica starts to leave, but Pam asks her not to go. Jessica says that what Pam did was self-defense, but what Hogarth helped Kilgrave do was murder.
“You are on your own.”
Jessica leaves, and Hogarth tells Pam she’s going to handle everything. (This development of events honestly shocked me, and I'm still going to miss Wendy a whole lot.)
Meanwhile, Jessica calls Trish to alert her that Kilgrave’s going after his father.
Trish: “He’s coming for his father?”
Albert: “She wants to use me as bait.”
Trish: “That’s not what she’s saying.”
Jessica: “I have to use him as bait.”
Trish says they have time, arguing that they need to finish the vaccine. Jessica gives him 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Robyn and Malcolm are putting up missing person posters for Reuben. Malcolm seems reluctant, and Robyn isn’t thrilled about that. Robyn hands a poster to Jessica, who confronts Malcolm.
“Have you lost your mind?”
Malcolm says Robyn feels better doing something. Jessica insists Reuben isn’t coming back, and Malcolm says that they should tell Robyn since he found her sobbing in the stairwell. Jessica upends the stack of posters and walks inside, leaving Robyn incredulous. Malcom says he’ll head to the subway, leaving Robyn telling poster-Reuben that they’re going to get him back. Jessica enters her apartment, changes her clothes, and grabs a drink. Kilgrave appears over her shoulder, and she pins him against the wall.
“You can’t control me anymore, asshole.”
“I’ve known that for quite sometime. You, however, a little slow on the uptake.”
Jessica says she could kill him right now, but Kilgrave reminds her that she doesn’t know what would happen if she did. She chooses not to kill him, taking a step back, and Kilgrave tells her that if she had killed him, there would have been a rash of suicides across the neighborhood.
“And who would’ve been to blame?”
“Not me, you prick.”
“You keep telling yourself that. Maybe you’ll actually believe it someday.”
Kilgrave then lists off all of the people who have died--Reuben, Kilgrave’s mother, the lawyer--and implies that it’s Jessica’s fault. He then says Jessica wants what he has and says that he has Hope. Jessica presses on his wounded arm until he says that Hope is in prison until her release papers go through tomorrow morning. Kilgrave convinced both the District Attorney and the judge that Hope was innocent. Jessica suspects that Kilgrave wants more wrath, more bodies. But Kilgrave says that Hope goes free tomorrow and Jessica’s conscience is wiped clean... unless he changes his mind. He wants to trade Hope for his dad.
Pam sits in an interrogation room with handcuffs on. Hogarth enters and goes into lawyer mode, but Pam asks how Kilgrave even knew Wendy. Hogarth says it’s complicated, and Pam realizes that’s what Hogarth says when she’s lying. Hogarth tries to gloss over it with an apology, but Pam realizes that she brought Kilgrave there. Pam wants to know that Kilgrave made her do it, and Hogarth says he did... but it was complicated. Pam says Hogarth did this. Hogarth turns the blame around to Pam, saying that Pam told her to “handle it.”
Pam: “So you turn me into a murderer?”
Hogarth: “I didn’t do anything. You chose to pick up that thing and crush her skull. You did that.”
(Parallels between 1x08 and 1x10--source)
Pam is repulsed by Hogarth (as am I), and as someone else comes in to take Pam somewhere, Pam asks for a chance to call another lawyer, saying she has no idea who Hogarth is.
Kilgrave sits in Jessica’s apartment as she texts Trish from the bathroom saying she needs the vaccine now. Kilgrave calls her on her bluff, saying that she’s buying time. They banter back and forth a bit, and Jessica tells him he’s delusional for thinking she can feel anything for him but disgust.
Jessica: “I never... not for one second...”
Kilgrave: “No, not one second. Eighteen.”
Kilgrave reminds her of a moment on a rooftop, which Jessica flashes back to. She’s standing on a rooftop with Kilgrave, and he pours her a drink. They kiss. Kilgrave’s voice over tells us that he timed it--he hadn’t told her to do anything for twenty four hours. And for eighteen seconds--the seconds in which they were kissing--he wasn’t controlling her. Jessica says she remembers it vividly; she’d waited for that opportunity for so long to get away from him. In the flashback, Jessica tells Kilgrave in a sickeningly sweet tone that she’ll clean up and then they can continue inside. She climbs up on the ledge and looks down at the street below, then she sees a white horse walking down the street. She jumps and lands easily, then climbs on the horse and rides away. But we return to modern day New York--it was just a daydream. Jessica backs away from the ledge as Kilgrave tells her to get down.
In the present, Kilgrave discredits her story as “revisionist bullshit.” Jessica says she didn’t jump because she wasn’t fast enough and she couldn’t get him out of her head. Kilgrave says he remembers, but Jessica forcefully tells him SHE remembers.
In the flashback, Kilgrave asks Jessica why she’s not listening to him; Jessica says it’s because she doesn’t want to.
Kilgrave: “If you don’t listen to me, what’s the point of having ears? Answer me!”
Jessica: “To listen to someone else.”
Kilgrave gets mad that Jessica never appreciates anything he does for her. He then hands her a knife, saying that if she’s not going to listen to him, she should cut her ears off. Jessica does, going so far as to draw blood, but before there’s any permanent damage, Kilgrave tells her to stop. He pulls her into his arms, saying he’ll always be there for her.
In the present, Kilgrave tells Jessica that she wanted to stay with him and she should admit it. Jessica shows Kilgrave the scar behind her ear instead, then takes the opportunity to punch Kilgrave while he’s distracted. She knocks him out.
Jessica: “Speak up, asshole. I’m all ears.”
At a restaurant, Malcolm is leading the Kilgrave Support Group. Things aren’t going well, and the group starts confronting him, asking who exactly he’s helped. Malcolm confesses that Reuben died and that he disposed of the body. It all spills out of him--he can’t tell Robyn the truth until Jessica finds Kilgrave, but he doesn’t want to lie anymore. One of the group members thanks him for sharing, and then... Robyn appears, turning around in one of the bar stools. She confronts him, asking where Reuben’s body is.
Robyn: “Holy shit, I feel like I’ve been cut in half.”
One of the members tries to calm her down, but Robyn asks where their rage is and if they’re tired of just talking about it. Malcolm says that’s all they’ve got since Jessica is the only one who can take on Kilgrave. Robyn isn’t so sure, though, and neither are the group members. Robyn pins this on Jessica, saying that all of Kilgrave’s atrocities can be traced to her. She hypothesizes that maybe Jessica is in cahoots with Kilgrave. Despite Malcolm’s attempts to warn them about Kilgrave, Robyn doesn’t listen, saying she’s gonna track Jessica down and explain herself. She recruits some of the group members, and they decide to go pay her a visit.
Back at Jessica’s apartment, she calls Hope, who wants to know whether Kilgrave is dead or not. Jessica dodges Hope’s questions, reminding her that she’ll be free tomorrow. Jessica says she’ll take her to a restaurant tomorrow and then to an airport so she can fly home. Hope says she has no home. Jessica tells her to remember the big picture: she’s healthy, sane, and she’s going to be free in a matter of hours. They hang up with the promise to see each other tomorrow.
After Jessica hangs up, Malcolm pounds on her door, saying he made a terrible mistake and Robyn knows. Before Jessica can get more info, the support group members storm her apartment, and Jessica has to fight them off. Malcolm explains while she does. Robyn shows up and hits Jessica over the head, knocking her down. Robyn walks into the apartment, looking for Reuben, but she actually finds Kilgrave, who’s awake now. She takes off his duct tape, assuring him he’s going to be fine. (No, no, no.)
Back at the hotel, Albert is guiding Trish through the process of making the vaccine. He glances over at a knife, still wanting to cut his own heart out. Trish reassures him it’ll wear off in a couple of hours. Then there’s a knock at the door, and it’s Simpson. Trish lets him in, questioning how he’s even here and standing. She notices that his pupils are dilated, and Simpson says he’s on meds but won’t tell her what kind of meds they are. He says that if she’s making a vaccine he wants to help and explains that Detective Clemons told him. (Yes. Before you SHOT HIM IN THE HEAD.)
Simpson introduces himself to Albert, and Trish explains that a.) Albert wants to cut his own heart out and b.) that Kilgrave is a virus. Simpson asks why a foreign scientist is holed up in a place like that, then asks what makes Albert so sure he can make a vaccine... he wants to know if Albert knows something about Kilgrave that they don’t. Despite Trish telling him not to answer, Albert tells Simpson that Kilgrave is his son. Simpson pushes Albert onto the bed in anger, and when Trish tries to stop him, he hits her hard against the window. He realizes what he’s done and apologizes, but Trish tells him he’s messed up and kicks him out of the hotel room. She pulls pills--his pills--out of her pocket and looks at them.
Jessica’s phone is ringing, and it wakes her up from being knocked out. It’s Hope, who’s mad that Jessica wasn’t there to pick her up. Jessica tells her not to move and to lock herself in the bathroom if she has to. Hope realizes that Kilgrave is alive and still out there.
Jessica runs to the prison and discovers that Hope was released twenty minutes ago--some guy picked her up.
A security guard approaches Jessica and says that Kilgrave is at her favorite restaurant.
“He said to bring Dad or lose all hope.”
At the hotel, it’s morning now, and Trish is looking over Simpson’s pills. She knows what people look like when they’re on Speed, but she says this is different. Simpson is intense, focused... and wounded but not feeling it. Albert says it’s probably some kind of combat enhancement. Trish remembers he’s part of a research program, which Albert says is probably unregulated. There’s a knock at the door, and it’s Jessica. Albert tells her that he’s finished the vaccine but there’s only one way to test it. Jessica announces that Kilgrave will trade Hope for Albert.
Jessica and Albert approach Jessica’s “favorite restaurant,” and Albert is trembling and thinks he’s a coward. Jessica tells him he’s absolutely not, and they enter the restaurant.
The camera pans to show us the support group members, Robyn, and Malcolm standing on the bar with nooses around their necks. Jessica demands that Kilgrave give her Hope, but Kilgrave tells the people with the nooses to step forward. They’re contingencies for Kilgrave. Jessica tells him to stop, and Kilgrave tells her not to bark orders at him and demands an apology. Jessica apologizes, but Kilgrave pushes for an apology for her hitting him. She acquiesces, but she’s not happy about it. Kilgrave tells the people with the nooses to stay. Hope asks Jessica to kill Kilgrave now, but Jessica tells her to let her handle it.
Meanwhile, Kilgrave monologues about how Jessica hopes she might be a hero if she can save Hope, the ultimate innocent victim. Kilgrave then commands his father to come towards him, and Albert slowly shuffles forward, apologizing to Jessica as he does. Kilgrave hugs him, whispering in his ear, “It’s just you and me now, Dad.” Meanwhile, Hope smashes a glass. Kilgrave tells her she can’t kill him, and Hope responds that Jessica can. She then stabs herself in the neck with a glass shard. (What???) Kilgrave yells at the people with the nooses on to step forward and exits through a back door with his dad. Jessica jumps up onto the pipe they’re all hanging from and tries to free it from the ceiling while Hope bleeds violently to death. Jessica frees the pipe from the ceiling, which stops them from choking, then runs over to Hope and tries to stop the blood. She asks why Hope would do this. Hope demands that Jessica tell her she can kill Kilgrave now, and Jessica swears she will kill him. Hope takes her last breath. Jessica looks shaken as the camera fades to black.
Have you seen "AKA 1,000 Cuts"? What did you think of it?