Marvel’s Jessica Jones: Playing with Fire
Season 1 Episode 11: “Sleight of Mind”
By Lauren Beukes, Vita Ayala, Sam Beckbessinger, Zoe Quinn, and Elsa Sjunneson
Narrated by Fryda Wolff
This is the most horrifying episode of the Serial Box exclusive Marvel’s Jessica Jones: Playing with Fire to date. If you know Jessica Jones’ history, then this is her nightmare come to life.
Zoe Quinn and Sam Beckbessinger are the co-writers of this latest installment. They do a masterful job of showing us Jessica’s confusion, and her growing horror as she slowly discovers the reality of her situation.
And learns, to her regret, the truth about Nova Naledi.
After the stunning reveal in Episode 10, the last thing we would have expected was to find Jessica in her therapist’s office.
Of course, we know that can’t be Dr. Mel, right? But a disoriented Jessica doesn’t realize that.
But as she keeps talking to Dr. Mel, she senses something different.
“‘Deflecting with a joke is still deflecting, Jessica. Do you know why you’re really here?’
“As soon as Jessica opens her mouth to answer, she’s struck by a baffling realization. ‘I honestly have no idea.’
“In fact, she’s not entirely sure how she got here, either. Or when.”
Jessica finally understands that it’s not Dr. Mel, and that she is not in her therapist’s office.
She’s lying on the floor, which feels like the concrete of a basement. And sees that an IV has been inserted into her arm.
“Diane leans against an exposed brick wall, next to what appears to be the only exit — a formidable door. A condescending smirk is plastered on her face. ‘Do you know you snore?’
“‘A broken nose will do that,’ Jessica snarls. ‘Want a demonstration?’ She struggles in an attempt to get up, but her limbs ache and tremble. Aside from the pain, there’s something else weakening her, as if she’s lost too much blood.”
If you’re familiar with the Marvel Universe, then you already know what kind of creature Diane is after Shaw called her by her true name last episode. What’s horrifying about this situation is that Jessica has absolutely no idea. And is completely helpless — just like she was when Kilgrave captured her.
Honestly, it’s heartbreaking to see Jessica this helpless. This is a nightmare. She is weak. She is confused.
What is Diane doing to her?
Every time Diane does whatever it is, Jessica feels drained.
This episode patiently, almost excruciatingly shows us what’s happening to Jessica without explaining anything. It’s masterfully done.
“Diane sighs with a soft disappointment and delicately adjusts an ornate woodcut sculpture sitting on one of the few pieces of furniture in the room, an abstract, minimal shape that Jessica can only assume is some kind of end table. She takes several graceful steps toward Jessica.
“‘Tell me, Jessica, are you a vegan?’
“Jessica steps back into the corner of the room, watching Diane’s body language. ‘No. Are you a cannibal?'”
And, yes, I gasped at a heart-stopping moment in this episode. The same one Jessica experienced.
I can’t wait for Jessica to get her revenge.
(Editor’s note: This review is based on an advanced reader copy provided by Serial Box. Marvel’s Jessica Jones: Playing with Fire Season 1 Episode 11 will come out on July 23. Exclusively available on Serial Box.)
- “The Big Easy” – Season 1 Episode 1 review
- “The Boy Under the Bridge” – Season 1 Episode 2 review
- “Never Saw It Coming” – Season 1 Episode 3 review
- “This Is Going to Hurt” – Season 1 Episode 4 review
- “A Visit from Old Friends” – Season 1 Episode 5 review
- “Fake It Till You Make It” – Season 1 Episode 6 review
- “It Was Always Burning” – Season 1 Episode 7 review
- “My Door Is Always Open (Now)” – Season 1 Episode 8 review
- “Bad Taxidermy” – Season 1 Episode 9 review
- “Newton’s Third Law” – Season 1 Episode 10 review