Published November 27, 2017

Psych Ward: Purple Man

Marvel’s most dangerous mind controller endures a therapy session.

Image for Psych Ward: Purple Man

The client, Zebediah Killgrave, presents as an average adult man with the exception of the tincture of his skin, eyes, and hair, which are various shades of purple. Coming along with this unusual skin tone—apparently caused by exposure to an experimental nerve agent—comes an ability to control others’ decisions, apparently via pheromones. Due to this, our sessions are conducted in person but the client remains in a special prison throughout that protects this writer and others from possible exposure to these chemicals.

Additionally, it reflects his image off a mirror rather than allowing the therapist to see it directly and the speaker alters the sound of his speech to ensure that I hear his words but not in his true voice. These are further safeguards because the full range of his abilities has never been verified due to the inherent danger of trying to do so and the probable ethical issues related to any such studies. His skin also inspires his alias of “Purple Man.”

In session he presents as arrogant, typically, although at times he does try to play act a persona in the hopes of gaining some level of identification or kindness from the writer. Although I strive for an open non-judgmental stance with all clients and empathy is part of that stance, I can be empathetic for Killgrave while recognizing the monstrousness of many of his actions. Therefore, his attempts to curry favor or manipulate my feelings towards him have largely failed and he has therefore reduced his attempts at pretending to be someone he is not over the course of our sessions.

The client is motivated by a combination of his arrogance—he believes he is entitled whatever he wants, whenever he wants—and a desire to be seen as a genius. Being in control is, ultimately, not enough for him. He hungers for recognition as well. As such, his crimes follow an inevitable pattern of many behind the scenes moves being eventually undone by him revealing himself, which leads to his defeat.

It must be said at this juncture that it is this writer’s assertion that the client is largely beyond the help of therapy. This is due, in part, to his refusal to engage in the process. However, it is also clear that the client is as archetypal an Antisocial Personality Disorder diagnosis as I have encountered. Even if he was to take to therapy, it risks making him more effective at being a “sociopath” which hardly seems an improvement. If not ordered to perform these sessions by the court as part of his sentence, this writer would’ve dismissed this client some time ago.

Allowing for some humility though, I will confess that perhaps some other therapists might be able to reach him. Killgrave is obviously insecure and exhibits intense feelings of jealousy and is quick to have his ego wounded. Theoretically, if one could help him see himself in a more stable and secure manner, his motivation to control others to love him and carry out his will may fade. I do not imagine this is likely but it is possible.

The client will attend his yearly state psychological evaluation on December 27 with Doctors Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos. The evaluation will be found in file JESSICA JONES #15.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who looks great in purple.


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