Welcome to the recaps of ‘Jessica Jones’ ! Similar to how I handled the recaps for Marvel/Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’ when it came out, the recaps for ‘Jessica Jones’ will each cover 4 episodes of the first season, with the final recap being for the finale, and including a review of the first season of the series in general.
Anyway, jumping into the world of ‘Jessica Jones,’ where we find our heroine living in Hell’s Kitchen on her own, operating out of her office/apartment with the name “Alias Investigations” emblazoned on the window of her door. Unfortunately, that sign does not last very long, as we see one of the first demonstrations of Jessica’s powers as she knocks an angry client through the glass, the man having turned on her due to some pictures she took recently. We also see her go on an assignment, given to her by Jeryn Hogarth (played by the amazing Carrie-Ann Moss), to track down a strip club owner and serve him summons, the man being particularly hard to get a hold of due to his bodyguards. Luckily Hogarth knows Jessica is special, and can easily find her way to the man, Gregory Spheeris. She eventually tracks him down after he leaves a club, stopping his car by lifting up the back-end, and threatening the man with her non-existent laser vision. Jessica delivering the summons is a great scene as it not only shows off her powers, but also gives us a taste of how she is choosing to use her gifts nowadays, due to whatever trauma she experienced in her past. We gets hints about what happened to her during her PTSD flashbacks, which leave her constantly drinking and unable to sleep properly. In her building we meet some of her neighbors, including her noisy upstairs neighbors who turn out to be brother and sister, and slightly twisted, as they seem to be a couple. After Jessica goes upstairs to tell them off for being loud, and proves dominance over the female, Robyn, the man seems to grow infatuated with Jessica, from that point forward popping up in random places around the building to annoy her. We also meet her drugged out neighbor Malcolm, who Jessica constantly feels like she has to help, as the man is always loaded and unable to open his door, or function properly due to his intoxication.
When we first meet Jessica, we quickly figure out that she is no ordinary human being, as she uses her abilities to help her investigations, including leaping incredible heights to a fire-escape to spy on her quarry, including Mike Colter’s Luke Cage, who Jessica seems to have some history with, although he may not be aware of it. She hangs out around his bar quite often, and eventually he invites her in and they hit off, ending the night with the first of what will surely be many sex scenes for the series. It all comes to an end though when Jessica finds a picture of Luke’s ex-wife in the bathroom, which stirs up some dark memories for Jessica, who flees the apartment and vomits outside. We also see Jessica confront Luke’s other lady, claiming that she knows the woman is not only married, but whose husband hired Jessica to take pictures (which we later learn is not the case at all). The woman confronts her husband about Jessica, while also revealing her affair with Luke. The woman learns Jessica was lying, but now her husband knows about Luke and wants vengeance. The man confronts Luke in his bar with his gang, intend on beating down the barkeep. Jessica arrives just in time to help Luke, and they take down the gang easily, revealing their abilities to one another (for anyone not aware, Luke Cage has unbreakable skin, making him resistant to damage.) Luke confronts Jessica later at her apartment, and though he was angry about her interfering in his life, he is also intrigued by her powers, and about finding another person like him, leading to another wild sex scene between the two. She finds the picture of Luke’s ex-wife again, and we start to figure out that part of the trauma of Jessica’s past has something to do with Luke’s former wife, who we learn is dead. Because of her connection to Luke’s wife, Jessica figures it is unfair to keep seeing him, feeling guilty about what happened to his wife, and breaks it off with him, leaving him very confused about what happened.
In the main plot, Jessica takes up a case from a married couple, Barbara and Bob Schlottman, whose college-aged daughter has dropped off the map, leaving her apartment, her school, and her track team recently with no explanation. Jessica takes the case, but soon learns it bears striking similarities to her own past, and eventually realizes that the man who has taken the Schlottman daughter, Hope, is none other than her old nemesis, Kilgrave. Kilgrave we learned is an enhanced human being whose powers allows him to control the minds of those around him, an effect that usually lasts about 10 hours unless he “re-ups” his control over a person by coming in contact with them again. Eventually we learn that during her time trying to be a hero, Jessica came across Kilgrave, who took control of her and used her powers for his own benefit. Eventually he forces her to kill a woman (who happens to be Luke Cage’s dead wife), and Jessica somehow manages to rebel, knocking a bus into Kilgrave and leaving him for dead. In the present, she and her best friend Trish (who is a successful talk show host, who used to be a popular actress) learn that Kilgrave is still alive because of his hold on Hope, and are terrified at the prospect. Jessica decides to flee town before getting ensnared again, but on her way out of town she realizes she cannot leave Hope with Kilgrave. She returns to the hotel room where Kilgrave always kept her and finds Hope there, paralyzed as Kilgrave told her not to move. Jessica manages to remove Hope from the hotel, and reunites the girl with her parents, then ordering everyone to flee the city before Kilgrave finds them. Jessica packs her own bag and as she goes to meet the family in the elevator, she sees Hope remove a gun from her bag, clearly still under Kilgrave’s thrall. As the elevator doors close, Hope shoots her parents, leaving them dead in the elevator as she comes back to her senses and realizes what happened. Jessica, fearful of getting roped in again still decides to get out of town, leaving Hope in the elevator with her dead parents. But right before Jessica can get into her cab, she realizes that she alone might have a chance of stopping Kilgrave, and decides to do the heroic thing and go back to help Hope and stop the villain.
Hope is imprisoned for killing her parents, and Jessica manages to sway Hogarth into taking on her case, knowing the lawyer is Hope’s only chance of redemption. Hogarth meanwhile has troubles on her own as her wife recently found out about an affair Hogarth was having with her secretary, and divorce proceedings were about to begin. Hogarth has a hard time believing the idea of a man who can bend other’s will to his own purposes, but Jessica promises to find her proof. Therefore Jessica tracks down the hospital that might have taken in Kilgrave after the accident, learning that he was never brought in, but that an ambulance driver went AWOL that night with his ride. She tracks down the ambulance driver, and learns that after he picked up Kilgrave he was ordered to drive him to a Doctor named David Kurata, who specialized in transplant surgeries. Kilgrave forced the doctor to remove both of the ambulance driver’s kidneys to replace the ones destroyed by Jessica. The ambulance driver, after he was found later, suffered a stroke due to what happened, and could not speak out about Kilgrave, but his dialysis machine did help Jessica track down Kurata, who had gone underground and was teaching at a local college. Kurata flees from Jessica, but she quickly tracks him down, and learns that he could be used to corroborate the story of Kilgrave and his powers, and also that Kilgrave refused anesthesia when he was operated on. Apparently, the drugs required for anesthesia messed with his powers, which is good news for Jessica. Now armed with Kilgrave’s weakness and a witness, Jessica heads back home, but not before having Kurata call Hogarth to confirm the claims.
Meanwhile, Hope is being slaughtered by the media, who find her claims about Kilgrave to be ludicrous, and are calling for her blood. Hogarth will not speak out in defense of her client for fear of losing credibility, so Trish decides to use her show to build some positive press for the poor young women, Trish, knowing what Hope is going through after having to help Jessica through it the previous year, wants to see Kilgrave brought to justice, and knows she has the ability to help. Trish is an interesting character as well because she knows of the dangers out there, knows what Jessica and Kilgrave can do, and seems undeterred, continuing to liver her life without succumbing to fear. She has fortified her apartment to protect against psychopaths, and is taking Krav Maga classes to learn how to defend herself, clearly aware she will not always have best friend Jessica around to watch her back. Trish makes a deal with Hogarth to get an exclusive interview with Hope from prison, all of which Jessica learns about after the fact, and is none too pleased with. the interview goes alright at first, but it is clear Hogarth has a plan. She seems to throw Hope under the bus by calling her claims irrational and statting that Hope is mentally unstable, all of which pisses of Trish enough that she throws her full support to Hope’s claim, and goes on to badmouth Kilgrave for being a gutless monster. Jessica freaks out as she knows Kilgrave is probably listening, and has means to exact revenge on Trish, a point that is confirmed when the man himself calls the radio station and delivers an ominous warning to Trish. Jessica has Trish hide out in her apartment while she goes to run some errands, including stopping at a hospital to steal the anesthesia drug, which she accomplishes by using her neighbor Malcolm, (who happens to be black) as a distraction, pushing him into a nurses cart in the hallway and allowing the hospital’s staff own racism (and her accusations) to make a scene about what Malcolm was doing. While the chaos continues, Jessica slips away and steals the drugs, confident that she finally has a way to deal with Kilgrave.
Trish meanwhile, is visited by a police officer named Will Simpson, who claims to be investigating an incident involving Trish and a fan she inadvertently assaulted early when she thought the man was making an attempt on her life. After some cajoling, Will convinces Trish to open the door, and as soon as she does he acts, clearly under the control of Kilgrave with a directive to kill the woman. Trish tries to hold her own, using her Krav Maga training, but Will is a trained officer, and manages to overpower her, ending with him strangling her. Fortunately Jessica arrives back in that moment and saves Trish, even dosing her friend with some of the anesthesia drug to make Will believe he had accomplished his task (and would therefore leave). She follows Will to Kilgrave’s current hide-out, in the penthouse of a wealthy family, where she has the perfect moment to pounce on Kilgrave and end his threat once and for all. Unfortunately for her, after reporting back to Kilgrave Will is ordered to jump off the roof, which Jessica cannot let happen. She stops Will by knocking him out, and is spotted by Kilgrave, who flees, but not before forcing every member of the family to attack Jessica. As she searches the house for him, Jessica manages to non-lethally take out the whole family, and then she happens upon a room with hundreds of photos of her taken by a Kilgrave spy. She realizes she is being watched. She takes Will and fakes up a scene wherein he “wakes up” in a pile of garbage at the base of the building with Jessica, where she assure him that he jumped, and Jessica saved him (she has to let him think he accomplished his task or else Kilgrave’s power will make him continue to attempt to do it).
And now for the final episode, where first Jessica confirms that though she is being watched, Luke is still not on Kilgrave’s radar, which is a relief for her. We are still not sure what the connection is between Kilgrave and Luke’s wife (and why he wanted Jessica to kill her), but there is definitely something there that is sure to come up later. While Jessica struggles to hunt down the spy (knowing it could be anyone or everyone) and is engaged in a new case with a woman named Audrey Eastman, Trish struggles to recover from what happened to her, knowing she is still on Kilgrave’s hit list. Jessica has a plan where Trish apologizes to Kilgrave on the air, which they both hate, but know is necessary to assuage the man’s ego and prevent him from sending more hitmen after Trish. Will is racked with guilt over trying to kill Trish, and visits her to make sure she is ok, with Jessica supervising to make sure Kilgrave had not gotten to him again. Will insists on helping Jessica to bring in the villain, and provides her with police security footage to help in her search for the spy. He then visits Trish again later in the episode to give her a gun, and they talk for a long time about life, with Will desperately trying to prove he is a good person despite what happened, and Trish reminding him that she knows it was not his fault (yet she keeps the gun in her hand the whole time Will is present).
Jessica meanwhile continues to track her spy, while Hogarth has begun to amass a crowd of people who claim to have been controlled by Kilgrave. Jessica visits Hogarth and learns they lost Kurata as a witness (the man fled the country), so Jessica sits down with all the supposed Kilgrave victims and begins to weed out the ones that have actually met the man. Jessica also works the Audrey case despite worrying that it is another Kilgrave set-up, and learns Audrey is actively practicing with a gun in a hidden shooting range. While on assignment trying to track Audrey’s husband, Jessica grows suspicious and spies on the meeting clandestinely (instead of bursting in and catching the man in the act, as instructed), and discovers Audrey and her husband were setting a trap to kill Jessica. Apparently Audrey’s parents were killed during the alien attack on New York, and she blames the Avengers and all the other super-powered people for causing so much collateral damage. Jessica thwarts their attack and scares them into leaving super-powered people alone, venting some of her frustrations about her life on the room Audrey and her husband cowered in.
Meanwhile, Hogarth helps the victims set up a kind of Kilgrave support group, and she tells Jessica she should attend as well, seeing the anguish in the Jessica’s eyes over what Kilgrave made her do as well as Jessica’s burgeoning alcoholism. Jessica refuses, but still finds herself at the first meeting, where she learns one of the men drove Kilgrave around for a week. She learns Kilgrave met every morning with his spy, a man who wore a blue and white checked scarf. Jessica scans through the footage given to her by Will, and spots someone familiar. Her neighbor Malcolm wore a blue and white checked scarf, and she suddenly understands why he seems to pop up in so many places, and why he always seems so out of control. He is a non-willing pawn of Kilgrave.
That’s it for episodes 1 -4, so far I’d say ‘Jessica Jones’ is off to a great start, and I cannot wait to see where it is all going. Make sure to check back here for the rest of the recaps in the coming days!