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‘Jessica Jones’ Season 1 Episode 5 Recap: “AKA The Sandwich Saved Me”

This is the episode where we start getting into Jessica’s backstory — who she was before Kilgrave.

The episode opens in Jessica’s past. She’s killing time at a dead-end job. Her manager comes over to give her a stern lecture about appropriate use of office supplies. Jessica calls him on the fact that he’s been embezzling from the company (going so far as to have created a fictional employee) and gets him to fire her with six months severance pay and a glowing recommendation.

“Would you put day drinking under experience or special skills?” Jessica asks Trish over the phone.

Over post-firing/quitting drinks, Trish tries to get Jessica to think about a job that she actually cares about. There is a delightful interlude where a creepy businessman who used to watch Trish’s television show (and jerk off to it) comes over to “flirt” with Trish. Jessica gets the businessman to play one of the bar’s games with her — a test of strength — and pick up the bar tab if he loses (which he does).

After this, Trish encourages Jessica to think about doing something with her powers. Jessica refuses to be interested in this idea.

Later, our Reluctant Heroine is in a sandwich costume, passing out flyers for a sub shop. A little girl out with her father ends up walking into the busy street, and is almost hit by a taxi — but Jessica jumps to the rescue, forcing the taxi to a stop before it could hit the little girl.

“The sandwich saved me,” the girl reports, and Jessica softly smiles at her, clearly touched.

In the present, Jessica is researching Malcolm. She learns that Kilgrave got him hooked on drugs and ordered him to move into Jessica’s apartment building. Every day at 10 a.m. he’s been meeting Kilgrave to give him pictures of Jessica, and to pick up drugs. The locations of these meetings keep changing.

Jessica goes to Trish’s apartment, eager to make plans for Kilgrave’s imminent kidnapping and neutalization.

Trish and Simpson had moved from conversation to cunninglingus. While Trish isn’t thrilled at the interruption, she and Jessica start to strategize. Simpson joins them at the breakfast bar in only a pair of black boxer-briefs and tries to take over the conversation.

While Simpson wants to shoot Kilgrave, Jessica insists that Kilgrave needs to be alive so Hope’s name can be cleared.

Trish shuts him down: “Hey, last night was fun, but that doesn’t mean I want your opinion.”

Jessica: “I know I don’t.”

It’s a glorious moment — Trish is in a lovely robe, Jessica is in her jeans and leather jacket, and they’re both shutting down Simpson when he tries to take command of the situation.

Trish and Jess do decide to let Simpson help and they formulate a plan to grab Kilgrave and take him to an isolated location.

Unfortunately, their kidnapping attempt fails — Kilgrave not only had people he had mind-controlled watching his back, but also professionals he had paid, which means that even when Kilgrave is rendered unconscious by the anesthesia, he has people who get him to safety.

We learn in the final flashback of the episode that Malcom was a mugging victim that Jessica protected, one of her first attempts to be a hero. This was what caught Kilgrave’s attention, and caused Kilgrave to mindcontrol Jessica.

In the present day, Jessica has Malcolm handcuffed in her bathroom trying to get him clean.

Kilgrave is weirdly pleased by Jessica’s attempted kidnapping of him. He acts like this whole situation is foreplay. He’s delighted Jessica managed to get so close to him and delighted he outsmarted her. He tells Jessica that if she send him one photo a day, at exactly 10 a.m., he’ll stay away from Malcolm.

Malcolm doesn’t want to be saved, he just wants drugs.

Jessica slams him with “Why don’t you remember how to be a goddamn human being again instead of this self-pitying piece of shit that he turned you into, and save me for once? You choose.”

She tosses the drugs on the floor.

Malcolm doesn’t take them, and Jessica sends Kilgrave the photo he asked for.