Jessica Jones: AKA You’re a Winner
November 22, 2015 4:35 PM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Luke hires Jessica to help him find someone who may have skipped town, but she fears he’ll learn too much about her history in the process.

Luke Cage returns, hiring Jessica to hunt down a missing guy for a woman Luke knows. Turns out the woman has information about the bus crash that killed his wife and will give it to Luke if he finds her missing brother.

Hence Luke hiring Jessica.

Hence them ending back up in bed again.

Hence Jessica not mentioning how Kilgrave mindordered Jessica to kill Luke's wife.

It's when you hear Luke tell Jessica tell her that she's not the piece of shit she thinks she is that you no exactly how this episode is going to end: Jessica's gonna finally tell Luke's wife Reava died, her part in it and it's going to get ugly. It get there, but not before we find out that Rita was hiding something to prove corruption in the transportation department. Something that Kilgrave ordered Jessica to dig up right before she was ordered to kill Reava.

Jessica doesn't want to tell Luke, but she does to prevent him from killing another person whom he thinks caused the accident. The look of horror and revulsion Luke gives her is harsh, as is his statement that he was wrong, "she is a piece of shit". Props for the actor expressing the hurt he felt over Jessica sleeping with as she hid the truth. More props to Krysten Ritter for her expression when Cage asked her if she ever would have told him. Really fine acting on both their parts and its great to know they'll be appearing in the Luke Cage series.

Elsewhere, Jeri the lawyer ups her creepiness by wanting the dead featus from Hope's abortion. What would a lawyer with questionable morals who loves winning at any cost want with the fetus fathered by a man who controls minds? Oh Jeri, honey, NO.

Fascinating twist with Kilgrave, as buys the house Jessica grew up in, mostly by not using his powers. Mostly. The guy isn't just evil, he's insane. He's literally the worst kind of stalker, but with the power to make his messed up fantasy come to life.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (15 comments total)
Well, he used his powers to get the money, but once he had the money it was obvious that he was challenging himself to do the rest of it without them. He is almost certainly deluding himself as to the value of that, but given what he's doing that's obviously just a drop in the ocean of delusion he's swimming around in.
posted by Grangousier at 12:48 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

There's also another reason he would buy the house using only money- he wants the house long-term. His mind control only lasts half a day, so if he mind controlled the homeowner into saying yes, they could start raising hell the next day.
posted by happyroach at 8:13 AM on November 23, 2015 [11 favorites]

I feel like someone should do a count of the number of times in the series Jessica is sitting in her office and someone knocks on the door and everyone wonders who it is. I just watched this episode last night and I feel like we're already at "several dozen".

I like this show ok, and it's a nice addition to what they started with Daredevil, but... eh. I feel like there's a bunch of lazy storytelling in it that kind of piles up in a corner and stinks. And the "crazy serial killer-esque dude who likes to chat with his victims" thing that Tennant is doing also feels like kind of a stale thing. I feel like their take on the Kingpin was a lot scarier since his emotions/character felt less rote.

But I will watch the rest of the episodes, so I must be enjoying it on some level!
posted by selfnoise at 8:59 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

When he peeled back that wallpaper I said out loud "oh you scumbag", so creep. This guy is what you get if you gamma-ray a nice-guy/pua/MR-bro....
posted by Iteki at 2:45 PM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

I love how creepy & dark this show is, and I adore its use of black leather jackets and cool scarves. But this whole time, I've been suuuuuuuuuper annoyed by Jessica's failure to tell Luke about her history with his wife - I just don't buy it. It feels like a soap-opera-style Big Secret that has more to do with how the writers want the plot to unfold than any kind of realistic behavior.

And in fact, I feel the same way about Jessica's failure to either sneak up behind Kilgrave and shoot him in the head, or else get the hell out of dodge, and Kilgrave's decision just to dance around her without actually making any kind of aggressive move. I know it's necessary to keep the story moving, but I feel like maybe mind-control is a really slippery power to write around, because realistically, the villain is going to either lose really fast or win completely - it takes a lot of circuitous reasoning to keep him sort of middlingly at bay as the plot unfolds. I mean, if Kilgrave really wants to torment her, I feel like he'd just mind-grab her and mess her up like he did before (THAT IS SUPER TORMENT-Y, or idk, mind-grab and then kill everyone she loves, or do ten million other majorly bad things, instead of just lurking around and making her send him daily selfies while she goes about her daily business and also tries to hunt him down. It's creepy, sure, but the scale and pace of it just feels way off.

Those leather jackets, tho.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 4:32 PM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

pretentious illiterate:
Although Kilgrave threatens to show up at Jessica's door, he may himself be unsure of whether or not he can control Jessica. Remember that the last time they were together, at the bus accident, she was actively defying his orders. That had to have been a major shock to him. Staying away from her, torturing her and breaking her down, watching her, it all makes sense. He's measuring her just as she's trying to measure him.
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:29 PM on November 24, 2015 [3 favorites]

By the by, I will posit that there are most likely two schools of thought where David Tennant as Kilgrave is concerned. And those would be: people who cannot believe how good it turns out Tennant is at playing a total fucking creep; and those who knew this already because HOLYGODS Secret Smile.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:41 PM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've been suuuuuuuuuper annoyed by Jessica's failure to tell Luke about her history with his wife - I just don't buy it. It feels like a soap-opera-style Big Secret that has more to do with how the writers want the plot to unfold than any kind of realistic behavior.

Coming clean about that would be the responsible, smart thing to do. But Jessica is dealing with her trauma by drinking heavily rather than seeking out help. Wanting to avoid a chat about "BTW I murdered your wife" isn't necessarily out of character, even if she's been sort-of heading in that direction ever since she started stalking him.

Quite apart from the irrational guilt about killing someone while under Kilgrave's control, I was wondering if the show was going for something darker. Seconds later, Jessica is able to disobey Kilgrave's orders. What if she could do it earlier and just didn't realize it? Even if she only had the tiniest of unconfirmable suspicions about that, it might be something to feel pretty guilty about.
posted by figurant at 12:24 PM on November 25, 2015 [11 favorites]

That's a good point. I also wonder if after having mind-controlled someone, it's a one time thing. If he doesn't renew it when it starts to wear off, maybe they are free forever? So she really doesn't have to worry about coming under his command again but he still poses a threat to everyone around her.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:30 PM on November 26, 2015

I tend to think Jessica's resistance was based on her low-level healing factor- which if you think about it, we were shown constantly through the series. I mean consider how much she was drinking. Gulping down bourbon like it was carmel-colored water, she should have been having DTs in the hospital instead of putting on a cool scarf and sloping around town.

I thought it was just really subtle plotting- Jessica can heal from anything, whether it's massive amounts of alcohol, or mind control.
posted by happyroach at 10:33 PM on November 26, 2015

I've been suuuuuuuuuper annoyed by Jessica's failure to tell Luke about her history with his wife - I just don't buy it. It feels like a soap-opera-style Big Secret that has more to do with how the writers want the plot to unfold than any kind of realistic behavior.


One of my favorite books ever is CAL, a book set in Northern Ireland in the 1980s. It's about a college-age guy who at one time drove the getaway car when his buddy did an IRA hit on the local Protestant chief of police. The book picks up about a year later when a new woman starts working at the library he hangs around in, and right when he's starting to develop a crush, he finds out that she's the police chief's widow.

This is relevant because - when Cal finds that out, he decides to rub his own nose in his guilt by becoming a hired hand on the farm where she lives, so she's even more in his face and he can punish himself even more. The widow then ends up starting to take a shine to him too, which ultimately brings things to a head, but also amps up the self-flagellation on his part. Which sounds like Jessica and Luke.

My point is - guilty people sometimes like to punish themselves by constantly dwelling on their sins, but if their victims don't know that's what they're doing it can get complicated.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:41 AM on November 28, 2015 [5 favorites]

Loved this episode. Also thoroughly enjoying Tansy Rayner Roberts reviews on, she is gradually catching up and this episode's is the latest to go up. (Also side-barred at top right.)
posted by Coaticass at 12:45 PM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

I loved the intimate details of Jessica's hands around Luke's waist while riding the motorcycle. That's hot.

And kudos to the costuming team, as those jeans Jessica wears just look delightfully, comfortably worn in.

I'm kinda glad that the whole Luke-Jessica thing has come to a head and broken as Luke was just so obviously too much the nicer, better person in this episode (excepting that whole murder-the-bus-driver thing). The "I'm a piece of shit" "oh no you're not" kind of relationship dynamic always gives me the icks.

"Were you just rude to Pam?" "I'm rude to everybody." LOVE IT. And yay for Pam to not just get completely bought off with a fancy ring and instead held her ground a little bit on waiting for the divorce to go through. She has a backbone, people!

So much stuff in this episode! Antoine's entrepreneur dreams getting him in trouble with loan sharks. "Dogs ok?" "Of course. I don't hurt dogs." That look he gave Jessica as she was ditching him, though...

I was confused for a bit about the bus driver, thinking that was the dude who lost both of his kidneys, but that was the ambulance driver!

I was also thinking maybe Kilgrave was trying to be a better person by NOT using his powers on the home-owner, but I agree that it is due to the time limit on his ability. Making sure the person was actually OK with the sale made it so that future issues were minimized. Pack up and move in two days, though? That would be hard, even if you DO make it a game for the kids-LEAVE NOW.

Pregnant Hope. That would be so shitty. Especially as she DOES want kids in the future, but if she kept beating herself up like that, she might not have been able to. Is Jeri being altruistic (yeah, right) in that they can DNA test the fetus for use in the eventual trial or is she going to figure out how to synthesize Kilgrave-Jr's powers to her own advantage?
posted by jillithd at 11:15 AM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

I felt like Jeri was A) way too persuasive with the nurse, which makes me wonder and … B) possibly plotting to plant some dirt on her wife to get that divorce ball rolling. Which would be ridiculous, but the divorce subplot is really wedged into this episode. And the whole idea of agency and real truths/identities seems much more developed to me in this episode than in any other so far.

Both of these make me wonder if mind control (whether or not Jeri has it) has some sort of corrupting downside, naturally or otherwise. And all three of the superpowered people we know of so far are damaged/self-destructive in some way. Like superpowers come with some superflaws. Which is sort of a trope anyway.

It's these sorts of questions that are keeping me watching and wondering. The dialogue and pacing/plotting is starting to get a bit routine and stale, and I'm hoping it all turns back around soon.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:07 PM on December 8, 2015

Re-watching bits and pieces of S1 to review before starting S2 and Jessica's cowardice about telling Luke what she did, the hope she briefly has that the truth might not have to come out after all, the look of despair and self-loathing when she finally confesses and admits she might never have told Luke, I feel like it's one of the most compelling and relatable things in the whole series.
posted by straight at 9:02 PM on March 9, 2018

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