And at last, we come to the ‘Jessica Jones’ finale, and with 12 episodes of lead-up and tension rising, the episode certainly had a lot of work to do. Fortunately, it felt like an appropriate ending to the first season, and definitely hit all the notes I wanted to see, while also having some amazing action scenes to showcase the powers of the characters.
Jumping back in for the last time, Jessica takes Luke to the nearest hospital to have him checked on, and belatedly realizes that they cannot insert any needles into his unbreakable skin, and she does not want him or her to be reported to anyone in an official capacity. Fortunately, she runs into Claire Temple (finally we have Rosario Dawson’s cameo, doing the same kind of work she did in ‘Daredevil’), who immediately grasps the situation and attempts to help the duo, helping Jessica put the comatose Luke into a wheelchair and getting them out of the room before police and more doctors arrive. Unfortunately, we learn that Kilgrave has followed them to the hospital, and has decided to test his new powers out. While Claire flees with Luke back to Jessica’s apartment (cause where else would Jessica send him at this point?), Jessica attempts to find Kilgrave in the control room, only to find the man has fled. Before leaving though, he orders everyone in the hospital to kill Jessica, which makes her escape from the hospital resemble a zombie horror movie, as everyone from doctors to sickly patients makes attempts on her life.
Jessica makes it home and sees that Claire has set up Luke in her bed. Claire explains that the blunt force trauma might have caused swelling in Luke’s brain, which they see evidence of when Luke starts seizing. Since they cannot drain his spinal fluid through his unbreakable skin, Claire has Jessica hold the man down, demanding that he remain steady, as she inserts the needle through Luke’s eye, in an excruciating scene (at least for those of us freaked out at the thought of other people (never mind needles!) touching our eyes). Claire drains the fluid, and then says they just have to wait and see. She and Jessica then discuss the nature of the hero business, with Claire dropping hints about Matt Murdock, and claiming Jessica and Luke were not the first heroes she has aided. Jessica asks Claire to stay with Luke while she goes out looking for Kilgrave, and Claire agrees. Fortunately for Claire, she is relieved of duty when Malcolm finds her in the apartment, offering to keep watch over Luke for her so she can rest.
Jessica meanwhile, joined by Trish, has managed to track down the home of Kilgrave’s latest victims, where he and Albert have been running their power enhancing experiments. Before their arrival however, it seems Kilgrave, enraged that he still could not control Jessica, had Albert inject him with all of the remaining drug, hoping to supercharge his power. We see his veins flash purple, and he for a moment resembles his purple skinned counterpart from the comics. Trish shares with Jessica what she learned from her mother about the IGH, though Jessica says she tried to get answers before and nothing came of it, and does not seem as interested in IGH (though it is clear Trish will not be letting it go). Before entering the penthouse apartment, Trish and Jessica work out a safe-word, something Jessica would never say if she were controlled by Kilgrave, and they decide on “I love you.” Once Trish gets that text, she will know it is truly safe to join Jessica up in the penthouse.
When Jessica arrives she finds that Kilgrave has ordered one of the owners of the house to kill the other occupant, following that order with the directive to “remove Albert from the face of the earth,” which the man carries out by cutting off Albert’s limbs and attempting to put them down the garbage disposal. Jessica arrives and locks the man in the closet to halt his attack on Albert, and then speaks briefly to Albert who is still alive, but barely. He warns her about Kilgrave’s enhanced power, and then he passes. Jessica calls Hogarth and demands that she defend the man trapped in the closet, aware that Hogarth owes her now because of what she pulled at the CDC Safehouse.
Jessica and Trish eventually meet up with Kilgrave down near the docks, with “Jessica” (really Trish in disguise) entering the room blasting music from her headphones to negate Kilgrave’s power, while the man holds a squad of police officers in his thrall, ready to “kill” Jessica if she does not obey him. Trish pulls back her hood to reveal her identity to Kilgrave as Jessica drops down from behind, surprising the villain. The police officers open fire on Jessica, and she and Trish take cover as Kilgrave flees. Jessica pursues the man out onto the docks, where he has a yacht waiting for him. To slow down Jessica (and make her suffer), he orders everyone on the dock to attack and kill each other. Jessica attempts to pull people apart, and Trish comes running over to help as well. Unfortunately, her headphones gets knocked off, and Kilgrave sees his moment. He stops the violence, and commands Trish to come to him, also ordering Jessica to stop, which she surprisingly does. We are unsure whether she is pretending, and it seems Kilgrave is also suspicious. To torture Jessica into action, he kisses Trish, and claims he will take her with him instead of Jessica, knowing how much Jessica loves her sister. He describes how he will control Trish and make her his slave, and still Jessica does not move, which kindles hope in Kilgrave. He finally believes his new powers have taken control of Jessica, and he walks over to her, astounded that she still has not moved. He orders her to smile, and she complies, and then he embraces her, ordering her to confess her love for him. In that moment, Jessica’s eyes move to Trish, and she states “I love you,” the sisters’ codephrase for Jessica confirming Kilgrave is not controlling her. She grabs Kilgrave’s mouth to stop his speaking, and then forcefully snaps his neck, finally ending the threat.
Back at the apartment, Claire has to run back to the hospital, and Luke eventually does wake up, though it is unclear where his head is at now, as if he was under Kilgrave’s control the whole time, then his mending fencing with Jessica was meaningless, and he may still be pissed about her lying about what she did to Reva. By the time Jessica comes back Luke is gone, ostensibly right into his own show, which will premiere next year. Jessica’s voice-over makes it clear she still does not think that much of herself, or that she is any kind of hero, despite everything that has happened. We see Trish get more boxes from her mom about IGH and Jessica’s medical treatment, and it is clear that she will continue to research what happened to her sister, even if it means cozying up to her vile mother. Ever since the docks it seems Jessica has become a hot commodity for people needing help and PI work, though at the moment she is not answering the phone, clearly unsure if she can be the hero everyone is clamoring for. Fortunately, Malcolm is there, and he answers the phone, ready to provide whatever support the fledgling hero needs.
AKA Series Review:
The show indulged a lot in the film noir aspect, and while well-done, and artful, it definitely made the whole series a bit slower than ‘Daredevil’ had been, and a lot more melancholy. The highlights of the series were definitely Krysten Ritter and David Tennant as Jessica and Kilgrave, as both gave masterful and nuanced performances as their characters, creating moments and scenes where we both reviled and loved each character. I loved how they handled the powers in the show, never shying away from what Jessica, Kilgrave, or Luke could do, but never going out of their way to show it off with CGI or detailed wide shots. And the action was pretty great, continuing the gritty and realistic feel from ‘Daredevil,’ where every punch, every kick has real weight behind it, and every fight seems like a genuine life or death struggle, and not some hero showing off his moves. The story was gripping, especially in the beginning before you knew Jessica was immune to Kilgrave, as it gave every confrontation a terrifying element, that at any moment Kilgrave would turn his powers on Jessica and she would be helpless. I would definitely recommend this show to anyone who was a fan of ‘Daredevil,’ or even of the MCU in general, as it worked well within that universe (and also as a standalone.)
Looking forward to seeing where Luke Cage’s story goes when his show premieres next year!