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Warning: This post contains major spoilers for the first season of Marvel’s Jessica Jones.
As the manipulative villain of Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Kilgrave’s wish is your command. No really, he’s a master of mind control. On paper, he’s undeniably wicked, but in person, he can be undeniably, well, charming.
Casting David Tennant as the man who returns to rekindle his forced relationship with Jessica (Krysten Ritter) gives the Marvel Universe its most nuanced villain in recent memory: He’s clever and playful, at times affecting, yet ultimately abusive and deadly.
You’ve seen the tweets from Whovians whose memories of the effervescent Tenth Doctor, Tennant’s most famous role, are being warped by his convincing portrayal of the sociopathic serial killer and rapist. But what about those Whovians whose affection for the innately affable Tennant leads them to momentarily crush on Kilgrave against their morally-conflicted will? With those silky brown eyes and well-coiffed hair, surely he can’t be all bad. (Obvious disclaimer: We know rape is a terrible crime, and we are not minimizing it in any way. We are talking about a TV show. Thanks.)
Here are the 7 Stages of Your Shameful Kilgrave Crush explained:
1. Disgust (AKA he’s the worst). By the end of the pilot, you’ve decided he’s thoroughly reprehensible. You carry these feelings into “AKA Crush Syndrome,” when for the second time in as many episodes, he makes an innocent girl wet herself. Not exactly Mr. Right.
2. Curiosity (AKA you want more). There’s a purple cloud of mystery around his crisp suits and sarcastic comments, and you’re dying for a closer look.
3. Swooning (AKA is wrong, but feels so right). You begin to feel things as Kilgrave bounds out of the house in “AKA Top Shelf Perverts” (episode 7) and rushes to Jessica’s defense against a nosy neighbor in “AKA WWJD?” (episode 8). Not to mention he became the greatest interior decorator of all time while painstakingly restoring Jessica’s childhood home. You’re drinking the Kilgrave Kool-Aid.
4. Hope (AKA could he be the hero that v-neck sweater deserves?). Jessica shows him how to use his powers for good, and though you feel guilty about it (didn’t she just tell him, “Not only did you physically rape me, but you violated every cell in my body and every thought in my goddamn head”?), you allow yourself to envision a crime fighting duo. Kilgrave & Jones? Jonesy & Gravey? You’ll work on the name later. You frantically check Twitter to see if you are the only one being swayed. You’re not.
5. Pity (AKA enough is enough, Jessica). You gobble up his origin story of being tortured by mad-scientist parents and pity pruny little Kevin Johnson as he’s forced to repeatedly watch the video of his abuse while ankle-deep in water.
6. Anger (AKA I TRUSTED YOU). You’ve been duped. You couldn’t believe he lied about his parents’ intentions for “torturing” him, but you got straight up pissed when you discovered Luke is his puppet. Don’t mess with the Cage, the man’s been through enough!
7. Acceptance (AKA you’ve sobered up). It’s been 12+ hours, and Kilgrave’s hold over you has worn off. You’re exhausted from trying to make this relationship work. You don’t root for him on the dock during his last twisted attempt to make Jessica love him, and you’re relieved when it’s finally over.
You can’t deny the way you felt on Birch Street in “AKA WWJD?,” but you don’t need laser eyes to see he’s not the one for you.
Enjoy your pasta amatriciana in hell, Kilgrave.
Stay charming, David Tennant.
Marvel’s Jessica Jones is now streaming on Netflix.