If you’ve got to make a psychological thriller, then don’t put voodoo and supernatural elements in it. If you do mix the two together, then don’t make the story such that the audience feels the big reveal, in the end, was a disappointment they wasted their time on. Kelley Kali shows how to toe both lines in Jagged Mind and still make a psychological thriller with supernatural elements and also put in a queer aspect to it, probably to celebrate Pride Month. Billie Jackson is a young woman living in Florida’s Little Haiti, and unfortunately, she suffers from unexplained headaches and blackouts, which point towards the same dementia symptoms her mother had. Things start improving for Billie when she meets Alex Bishop in a bar, but the blackouts indicate something very sinister. Here’s what happens in the psychological thriller, Jagged Mind.
How Does Billie Meet Christine?
From the get-go, Jagged Mind propounds a queer love story where the cast mainly comprises women. The opening scene showcases Billie Jackson having a one-night stand with Christine, who is a rather toxic presence because of her gaslighting and manipulative behavior. The next morning, Billie’s friend Kim warns her not to get mixed up with Christine again because she’s only hurt her in the past. The surrounding area of Little Haiti can fool anyone into thinking this isn’t a settlement in Florida but the Latin American country itself. However, Billie has no way of enjoying the surroundings for very long during her run because she suffers a blackout when she finds a man with white pupils who speaks Creole and scares her. When she regains her senses, she’s in a bar, and she’s offered a drink by a woman at the table. This woman named Alex, a former model, sits down with Billie, and they get talking, but Billie has to leave for her art exhibition, where she finds Christine, and they hook up.
How’s The Relationship With Alex?
Again and again, we see various repetitions of Billie in the bar following blackout sessions, but each time, the conversations she has with Alex are different, meaning the events aren’t exact loops. In the final loop, where Billie invites Alex to the exhibition, Christine is nowhere to be seen, but the photographer Rose Porter is present. She’d previously asked Billie to “remember” when she’d spotted Billie, but this is also a jumble that’s too haphazard to decipher at the moment. In the final visit to the exhibition, Alex and Billie get together, and the next morning, the former proposes a relationship, but Billie wants to take things slow.
However, Billie and Alex seem to be doing the opposite of slow, and before you know it, they’re celebrating their six-month anniversary. Billie is in for a shock, though, because she witnesses her girlfriend go off at the waiter in a way she’d never seen her before, just because the wine he brought them wasn’t chilled. However, the moment doesn’t last long, and Billie suffers yet another blackout, after which she’s celebrating the anniversary with Alex, and nothing is out of the ordinary. That night, however, Billie feels a little extra tipsy, and she collapses on the bed as she faintly spots Alex making an incision on her arm and drawing blood. But Billie has no recollection of the event in the morning, and things go on as they were. Although Billie often shares with her girlfriend these strange visions she witnesses where she finds herself drowned, stabbed, or strangled, she can’t explain these moments. In the meantime, Alex keeps bringing up her request for Billie to move in with her, but Billie needs some time.
What Happens At The Party?
One day, when Billie casually asks if Alex wants to meet Kim, her girlfriend starts a screaming match where she hurls insults at Billie with rising severity, but it’s over one blackout later. The next moment, Alex gladly accepts Billie’s offer to meet Kim, but when they visit the single mother and her son Jack, a sudden incident happens, and Jack falls down, crying. As Billie takes the crying kid away, Alex suddenly begins lying about Billie to Kim, fouling the friend against her, and repeats the same with Billie, blaming Kim for accusing Billie of being a forgetful and irresponsible person. It’s clear something is wrong with Alex as a person, but even now we can’t put a finger on it. However, things have to be put on hold for a while as Billie passes out again and wakes up at a hospital to find her doctor telling her that they can’t explain her symptoms as Kim sits beside her. She points out the scar on Billie’s arm, but she can’t remember where it came from. Interestingly, back in the exhibition, Christine had made a similar observation when she touched Billie’s thighs, so now we know that Alex had indeed made an incision on her arm.
Alex comes into the room, and while handing Billie her purse, a postcard of Rose falls to the bed with the words ‘Remember’ written on the back. Alex’s face loses all color, and she rushes out citing work, and Billie decides to ask why Kim has been acting weird around her girlfriend. Kim mentions what Alex had told her, and the two friends have an argument. Returning home, Billie starts looking up Rose but finds Alex in her photos and also learns that Christine has left the country and has no contact with anyone. Billie heads to Rose’s home but finds her lying dead in the washroom with her wrists slit. She’s stunned to find the body, but on her way back, she brings back a box with strange wooden carvings. However, Alex returns just then, so she can’t investigate the contents of the box, but the two have a severe fight, where Alex throws a plate at Billie, and she threatens her with a knife, making her leave.
What Does Billie Find In The Thumb Drive?
With Alex gone, Billie goes through the box and finds a thumb drive with a video where Rose is seen explaining to Billie what’s really been happening. Apparently, there’s a crystal that can be used to reset time, but it’s blood magic, and Alex had forced this crystal on Rose. She’s now using it with Billie, and every moment that she witnesses before blacking out is actually happening, with Alex just using her blood to reset the time. The man with white pupils is also there, and Rose calls him Papa Juste and pleads with Billie to grab the crystal from Alex, reset time to the point before Rose ever met Alex, and then return the crystal to Juste. It was imperative that Billie didn’t fall prey to the black magic of the crystal. However, by then, Alex has started using the crystal to reset time, and Billie somehow scribbles a few clues about the discovery and puts them in the box, the only way to save them from being wiped.
Does Billie Regain Control Of Her Life From Alex?
By now, Billie knows about Alex’s plot, and when this voodoo user asks Billie to a palatial beach house, she accepts, knowing what she must do. In the evening, Billie sends Alex to grab a bottle of wine, grabs the crystal, and is reminded of every incident where Alex screamed at her, hit her, and how many times she ended her relationship with this psycho, only for Alex to use the crystal to reset time. Realizing that Billie has found out again, Alex explains that she killed Christine because Billie had cheated on Alex with her, and she also murdered Rose. Additionally, all the visions that Billie had had of dying were real, and Alex would just reset time to before things went astray. Alex had deliberately pushed little Jack at Kim’s party and then poisoned the women against each other to have Billie all to herself. At the end of Jagged Mind, the two women fight, and Billie stabs Alex in the gut with the broken wine bottle and uses her blood on the crystal to turn the time back to the moment before Rose ever met Alex.
How Does ‘Jagged Mind’ End?
The new Billie that we meet is a different person altogether. No, she’s played by the same actress, but her cheerful and happy-go-lucky personality has changed. She returns the carved box to Juste, but the crystal is missing. When Alex offers her a drink at the bar, she rejects the drink confidently, and later, when Christine makes a move at her, she firmly ends things with her. She mentions to Kim that she’ll be keeping her options open, which means that if she does find someone she likes, she’ll be using the crystal on them next time. Jagged Mind depicts how power changes a person, no matter how kind and pure they might be, even if that power comes from a crystal necklace. There’s a possibility, based on how Billie looks at Rose, that she might want a relationship with her now, and Rose will once again be trapped under the necklace’s power. Billie is no longer the sweet and loving girl from before, and the crystal has claimed its next victim.