10 Thoughts on Jessica Jones – AKA You’re A Winner!

Today was a day of revelations on Jessica Jones. Allegiances were tested, secrets were revealed, and irony was slapping everybody in the face. Luke reappears and asks Jessica to find a relative of a friend. Meanwhile, Hope reveals a horrible secret and Jessica tries to help her. And through it all, Jessica makes horrible decisions in order to preserve her relationships. And Kilgrave continues to creep around Brooklyn.

Here are some thoughts.

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1. You can really tell the importance of an episode by the names in the opening credits

At the beginning of every episode, the opening credits display the lead actors in the episode. This is instead of just displaying who the leads are in the series, as many serialized shows do (or used to do). Because of this, you know who’s going to be in the episode and who isn’t. And if David Tenant or Mike Colter don’t appear in the opening credits, you know the plot isn’t going to move forward that much. It’s a nice primer to see all of the stars in the opening credits. Then you know you’re in for an important episode.

2. Kilgrave has some really unsettling designs (obviously)

I mean, it kind of goes without saying. He is the villain, after all. But watching him go through all his planning and machinations without knowing why he’s doing it all is very chilling. From the opening scene where he swindles an entire poker game out of a million dollars, you know he has a dastardly plan. The next we see him, he’s looking up addresses in a crowded cafe. And finally, we see him trying to buy a house for twice it’s worth with the money that he’s basically stolen. Without his mind control powers. It’s not clear until the end of the episode why he’s done all this. But, boy, that’s a creepy reveal.

3. Thank god, Luke’s back

Mike Colter is such an engaging presence, his absence his deeply felt whenever he takes a break for an episode. Krysten Ritter is a powerhouse, and the rest of the cast is great. But Colter always brings that extra spark. And he was a big player in this episode. It’s good to see him be the center of the show for a little bit. At least until he get’s his own show.

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4. So it looks like the trajectory is one-new-case per episode

It’s an interesting idea that seems to be confirmed as the format with this episode. Every episode, along with the main plot, will be complimented by a subplot tangentially related to the main story. A sort of “case-of-the-week” feel, with Jessica doing her normal PI job. This episode had her trying to find a missing kid (a brother of a friend of Luke’s) who has a loan shark looking for him. Turns out, Luke is looking for him because his sister, the one who asked Luke to find him, has some information that would lead to finding out how his wife actually died. Jessica, being responsible for his wife’s death (sort of), is anxious to keep that information from him. The reveal of where the kid, Antoine, actually is isn’t that interesting (he’s working for a weed distribution outfit), but the aftermath most certainly is.

5. The Defenders are an infinitely more interesting superhero team than The Avengers

Watching The Avengers come together over the course of, like, five movies wasn’t that intriguing. Sure, it was fun watching our favorite heroes come to life on the big screen. But there wasn’t that much in terms of storytelling that was compelling about their eventual union. The Defenders, on the other hand, is displaying a totally fascinating ramp up to the eventual creation of their team. Daredevil already has his own awesome show. Luke Cage and Jessica Jones already have a complicated and nuanced history. And Iron Fist, as far as we know, hasn’t shown up yet. Throw Nuke (i.e. Frank Simpson) into the mix and we have a whole bevy of fascinating, complex characters to work with before they even meet up. But when they do… holy shit, it’s going to be amazing.

6. Poor Hope just can’t catch a break

It turns out that her beating in yesterday’s episode was actually a paid beating. Who paid for it? Hope. Why? Because she’s pregnant and she wants to get rid of the baby as quickly as possible. She explains to Jessica that the doctor won’t perform the abortion for another two months, and she can’t stand to have the baby inside her any longer. She says having it inside her is like being raped again every single moment. Which leads to an important point…

7. This episode had the first real use of the word “rape”

Over the course of the series so far, the fact that Kilgrave raped his female victims has only been hinted at. Nobody had really come out and said it. With good reason, too. That’s an incredibly touchy subject and one that might turn off viewers immediately if it was brought out into the open. But anybody with half a brain watching the show would be able to surmise that that had definitely been happening. But now we have Hope saying it out in the open: Kilgrave raped her. And he almost definitely raped Jessica as well. It’s important for the show to bring this out into the open. Kilgrave is a rapist. No matter how cool David Tennant himself actually is, we have to recognize that his character is the evilest of the evil.

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8. Where is Jeri’s storyline going?

Her divorce is going slowly and painfully and Sam, her secretary, is waiting patiently for it to become final. But in this episode, Jeri pops the question to Sam. And boy howdy is that premature. In the nicest way possible, Sam says no, not until the divorce is final. Which is definitely something Jeri should have have taken into account. My question is what is the trajectory of this plot line? Perhaps it’s just an attempt to make Jeri a more well-rounded character, but it seems like every plot point up until this point has fed into the larger narrative. Maybe there’s something coming in the near future to tie it all together. But for now, it seems sort of disconnected from the rest of the show.

9. Jessica finally (finally) confronts Luke

It takes him almost killing a bus driver, but it finally happens. Luke gets the information he wants and find out that the bus driver who hit his wife was drunk at the time. So Luke sets out to find him and murder him. Jessica gets there just in time to convince Luke not to kill him and finally admits that it was her under Kilgrave’s control that killed his wife. To which Luke responds appropriately. That is, by telling Jessica that she’s a piece of shit and walking away. Yeah. She kinda deserves that. It was really, really stupid not telling him right away.

10. And Kilgrave gets one step closer to whatever his freaky plan is

So the reveal? Kilgrave has bought Jessica’s childhood house. Which… you know… ew. That feels incredibly weird and invasive. And it turns out the streets that Jessica mumbles to herself to calm her down are the cross streets she lived on as a kid. Looks like Kilgrave has some weird plans for Jessica. Again. Obviously.

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