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Fridge Brilliance

  • Kilgrave normally goes after Gifted individuals, so Jessica and Trish can't figure out why he went after Hope, who is just a mundane gifted athlete. But her entire purpose was to be a Hope Spot making Jessica think she could rescue someone before the last of Kilgrave's programming kicked in and she killed her parents. He chose her for nothing but the cruel irony of her name.
  • Trish's mother brings her a large orchid and disparages someone else's choice of flower. Orchids are mostly epiphytic or parasitic, meaning they need other plants to survive and thrive- much like her connection with her daughter and her talent agency.
  • Luke and the Avengers:
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    • Luke refers to the Avengers as "the big green guy and his crew." Given Luke's backstory in the comics, he may very well have been caught in the Hulk's battle with the Abomination in Harlem, meaning that "the big green guy" would always be the first superhero that comes to Luke's mind. Alternatively, he could remember the Hulk first because he was the Avenger that was tearing through the Chitauri all over the city. Thor and Iron Man were up in the air, keeping the aliens contained. Hawkeye was on the ledge of a skyscraper, keeping a lookout and taking down stragglers. Black Widow and Cap were on one spot on the ground. Hulk's job was to 'smash,' i.e cause as much disruption and destruction to every Chitauri he could get his hands on. This meant he could leap and bound all over the city while the other Avengers were in strategic locations. It was more likely for the average New Yorker to see the Hulk before any of the other heroes.
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    • If you take into consideration Jessica and Luke's respective powers and their position in society as outsiders, it makes it obvious which Avenger they would identify with and mention the most.
    • And it makes sense why they would call the Hulk "the big green guy" and Cap "the flag waver". Consider the street vendor in the first episode of Luke Cage (2016) that's selling Blu-ray bootlegs of the Incident, "All HD, got it right here on Blu-Ray 'cause I'm nice like that. Tony Stark, the big blonde dude with the hammer, the old dude with the shield, the green monster (and I don't mean Fenway)!" The Avengers were a secret organization at the time of the Incident, and people in New York City are typically only cognizant of things about New York... for them, Captain America is literally a war hero from days past, so calling him the "flag waver" or "the old dude with the shield" makes sense, while everyone knows Tony Stark just like the majority of people know who Bill Gates is.
      • Which also reflects the idea that for ordinary, everyday folks, the Avengers don't have the level of name recognition that the audience might expect. Compared to the Defenders, who have a PR machine in the form of Karen Page and Trish Walker, the Avengers don't really have a PR machine and branding putting out their names all the time. They're known from news stories, which might not be consistent. At best, "The Avengers" are like the equivalent of "SEAL Team Six". Clint and Natasha are essentially unknowns, of course, Captain America is famous from 70 years ago, and Tony Stark said the phrase "iron man" a few times on TV, but why would someone in the general public call the Hulk "the Hulk"? That's not in the general public's lexicon, so that's why he's called "the big green guy" or "the green monster".
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  • There's something very familiar about Will Simpson. His hairstyle and his off-duty outfits (dress shirt, leather jacket) are extremely similar to Steve Rogers. Wil Traval looks just enough like Chris Evans as Steve to evoke that sense of familiarity. He even has a Zippo lighter with the American flag on it when he burns down the old CDC building. Because Nuke is supposed to be similar to Captain America; he was a Vietnam-version of the Super Soldier program. It's been updated to 2000s War on Terror, but like Steve, he's an elite special operator. He's just not a paragon of virtue like Steve. The show is priming you to think of the contrast with Cap even before you really get to know Simpson, and way before he transitions into Nuke.
  • Jessica uses a shotgun to put down Luke Cage. Logically, shotguns excel at causing internal injuries despite body armor possibly blocking the pellets, and thus, they and the Judas bullets are logical weaknesses for a man with unbreakable skin.
  • One of Jessica's early jobs is dressing up a sandwich to distribute flyers for a deli. What is one of the names of a submarine sandwich in New York City? A hero. Jessica has always been a hero!
  • To emphasize the theme of abuse, it turns out that most of the show's villains are abusers of one stripe or another, not just Kilgrave (though he remains the worst). Trish's mom is physically and emotionally abusive, Simpson is damaged to the point where he completely disregards Trish's wishes, locks her in a small room and tries to kill her best friend, Audrey Eastman abuses Jessica's trust and tries to kill her, and even Robyn is emotionally and financially abusive of Ruben.
  • Color motifs:
    • What's the opposite colour to purple on the colour wheel? Yellow.
    • In addition to being associated with Luke Cage, yellow is also the color of Jessica's dress in the flashback.
    • Yellow is also the colour of the thumb drive Jessica had to dig up for Kilgrave. This makes sense - as yellow is a contrast to purple, the child we see in the video from the 'drive is arguably the opposite of Kilgrave. Kevin is neurologically impaired; Kilgrave is savvy and intelligent. Kevin was unsure of his power and had pain inflicted on him; Kilgrave doesn't hesitate to use his powers and inflicts pain on others.
    • Furthermore, the drive's contents are a major psychological weapon against Kilgrave, which he was desperate to control.
  • Kilgrave continually insists that he doesn't make his victims do anything they don't want to do. This is not only an accurate description of realistic hypnosis - while people in a trance can have their inhibitions lowered, it's very difficult to get them to act differently to their normal standards of behavior - but also a classic denial of rape and other abuses: "She wanted me to do it," etc.
  • After Jessica and Kilgrave's confrontation in the sealed room, she reflects that he didn't use his power because he wanted to prove that he could still manipulate her without using it. While this is true, his stubborn silence in this scene could also be explained as him not wanting to reveal to Jessica that his powers don't work on her. He couldn't have stopped her even if he wanted to. In fact, when he breaks into her apartment to threaten her face to face in a later episode, he makes clear that he knew that for a long time even before he sent Simpson after Trish.
  • The show's preferred scene transition is a blurry cut coming into focus, which is likely how Jessica wakes up every morning after drinking herself to sleep.
  • Jessica and Matt:
    • Jessica Jones's story is an exact inverse of Matt Murdock's. While Daredevil started with Matt Murdock being a violent vigilante and then developing into a more traditional hero, Jessica had, prior to the events of the story, started as an idealistic (albeit snarky) do-gooder and had become a violent Anti-Hero after her experience with Kilgrave. Also, while Matt and Foggy had started the series as good friends and had almost been driven apart by the revelation that Matt is the man in the mask, Jessica and Trish had started the series as estranged friends but grew back together as the events of the series unfolded. With the villains, while Wilson Fisk was a physically strong, yet socially-awkward Visionary Villain to whom Matt was at first an Unknown Rival, Kilgrave was a physically weak yet charming villain whose only goal was to get Jessica back because he was obsessed with her.
    • Both Matt and Kilgrave are, except for one specific power, ordinary men, but while the latter is a lazy, amoral sociopath who takes what he wants, the former is a moral, hard-working lawyer who gives to people. Kilgrave got his powers from his parents trying to help him, and Matt got his from an accident where he was being a hero. Ironically, Kilgrave's power involves putting out sound, while Matt's involves improved senses, most prominently advanced hearing. Meanwhile, both Jessica and Fisk are quite strong, antisocial, and have temper issues. While Fisk is a large man, Jessica is an average-looking woman who is straight-up superpowered. She's also low on money, while Fisk is quite rich. He's a crime boss that poses as a philanthropist, she's a PI who occasionally does questionably legal things. He's got a network while she's basically just got Trish and maybe Hogarth, she gets more friends as the season goes on while Fisk loses associates, it goes on and on.
    • Both Foggy and Trish are charming blondes, but while Foggy is a cynical attorney whose exterior hides lots of compassion, Trish has a talk show, where she helps lots of people, and she's started to lose her idealism by the end of Season 1. Their blonde love interests are also mirrors: Marci Stahl is an amoral corporate lawyer who is convinced to do the right thing and help her boyfriend with exposing Fisk, while Simpson is ostensibly a war hero cop with a dark past who eventually flies off the rails trying to do the right thing (in the wrong way).
    • Perhaps unintentional, but the native nationalities of the actors cast as the protagonists and antagonists in the two shows are inverted as well. Jessica Jones has a protagonist played by an American and a main villain played by a Brit. Daredevil has a protagonist played by a Brit and a main villain played by an American. David Tennant's hairstyle is also incredibly similar to Charlie Cox's.
  • The internal monologue running through the show, while fitting in with the whole "detective noir" idea of Jessica being a PI, also ties in to one of her issues: admitting her problems to other people. In the penultimate episode of the series, she admits that she is not comfortable with talking about her issues to other people. The internal monologue is her talking her problems through with herself.
  • Hope's case:
    • We don't know of any lingering effect from Kilgrave's powers...except for the very strong need for human beings to rationalize their own actions. The last thing Kilgrave had the the district attorney and the judge do was drop the charges against Hope and release her. The only way those actions make sense is if they believe her story. The brilliance is that this will make them all the more likely to believe Jessica's story. Kilgrave's power is, for once, working in her favor, now that he's dead and can't change his mind.
    • They've also taken very public action on a very high-publicity case. They'll have made public statements on it. The District Attorney, at least, is an elected position, and the judge involved probably faces some sort of Judicial Retention vote. Politics being what they are, both of them will likely have to stick to their very publicly-taken positions. Even if they wanted to change their minds about whether Kilgrave was real, what would their official reason be? "I never did believe in those mind-control powers, I only let Hope go because this nice guy told me to"?
  • One of the major complaints leveled at the series is why no one believes in Kilgrave's Mind Control powers even though The Avengers showed Loki using similar powers on people. However, remember something Joss Whedon said on the commentary track for that film, mainly how they added Occult Blue Eyes in post-production to characters Loki had used the staff on to indicate to the audience when a character was being controlled and when they weren't. Kilgrave's Mind Control doesn't do anything visible to its victims, so no wonder people have trouble believing someone when they claim to have been controlled. The fact that Loki was able to waltz into a secure SHIELD facility and turn some its top people into "his personal flying monkeys" is also likely a fact that SHIELD kept deliberately classified, so even lacking obvious mind-control side effects, no one had revealed the existence of the previous mind-control incident in the first place. As a result, the general public has a hard time believing that people like Kilgrave exist because they don't know about prior incidents.
  • When Jessica falls into the garbage while drunk, she apparently smells bad enough that a homeless man living in the garbage is compelled to comment on her body odor. This is because of her superhuman metabolism, combined with the truly epic amount of alcohol she consumed to get more hammered than Mjolnir. "Alcohol stink" is caused by metabolites such as acetone being excreted through the pores. After consuming enough alcohol to poison an elephant, she'd still have to eliminate the metabolites from her system. At this point, she is basically sweating nail polish remover!
  • Many people are upset that Kilgrave didn't have grander plans but if you think about it, the reason he survived so long was that he kept things small. Most real-life criminals get caught as a result of getting greedy. If Kilgrave had not been so obsessed with Jessica and had the strength to just avoid her, he could have spent his entire life living the way he was. Drifting from penthouse to penthouse doing whatever he wanted, but the minute he gives into his obsession he's doomed.
  • The reality with which the abuse narrative plays out is oft-touted as the show's great strength, but the narrative plays out on two levels. Obviously with Kilgrave, and more subtly with Will Simpson. The way he reacts to Trish while on his "meds" is classic abuser mentality, hurting her one minute, apologizing profusely and promising it'll never happen again the next. Double Fridge Bonus because Will only turned back to his "meds" and gained that abusive personality because he was abused by Kilgrave, symbolizing the cycle of abuse in general.
  • The apartment that Kilgrave takes over while his dad works on a power boosting drug is located at 270 Broadway. While it’s a luxury condo these days, the building's claim to fame was as the original headquarters of the Manhattan Project (the 18th floor to be specific), the United States government’s program to build the ultimate weapon (the atomic bomb). How appropriate it is that it becomes the spot where Kilgrave tries to become an ultimate weapon himself.
  • Kilgrave, with increased powers, tells a man to stand in front of a chain link fence forever. When Jessica and Luke pass by the zone the next day, he's still there. But, fortunately, he must have been freed as the guys in the dock when Kilgrave was killed.
  • Kilgrave's interaction with Wendy and Jeri essentially means that, from an objective perspective, he actually agrees with Jessica about himself. Jeri is effectively a depowered version of Kilgrave: expertly manipulative and always trying to be in control at all times. She merely lacks his superpowers. And Wendy is her victim. Yet despite Jeri freeing him, Kilgrave takes Wendy's side; he genuinely sympathizes with Wendy's description of their relationship. Now obviously Kilgrave doesn't realize this; he thinks Wendy is describing how Jessica treats him, not the other way around. Even so, when he removes himself from the equation and looks at the pattern objectively, he sides with the victim over the abuser.
  • One thing that's very noticeable is how Luke is constantly making sure they avoid police. He tells Jessica at one point, "we can't stay here, it will just mean police and interviews—shit we don't have time for." After blowing up the bar, he tells Jessica that all the paperwork kept his name out of everything. Once he woke up from his coma, Luke expresses to Claire that he's worried about the police finding him (given that he did attack two of them while under Kilgrave's control). At first glance, it looks like he's just worried about the cops wanting to catch him because of the things that Kilgrave made him do. But then Luke's own show reveals he is a fugitive from the law, having broken out of Seagate Prison, so his worrying about getting mixed up with the cops is actually about not wanting to get arrested because if he gets fingerprinted, he'll be identified as Carl Lucas and returned to Seagate.
  • On a noticeable, there are a number of random encounters that make clear Malcolm is Kilgrave's spy long before Jessica gets access to the tapes Simpson acquired for her.
    • For example, after Jessica leaves Wendy's hospital, she sees Malcolm get hit by a bike. This may seem like a random chance encounter with Malcolm, but the more you think about it, the more suspicious it gets: Jessica is in a totally different part of town, leaving a hospital. What are the chances that her next-door neighbor happens to be across the street as she leaves? Well, as it turns out, the chances are very high. Jessica learns later in the episode that Kilgrave has had someone taking pictures of her all over the city, and at the end of the next episode, she learns that Malcolm is the one he has doing it. Meaning, Malcolm didn’t see the biker because he was too busy trying to photograph Jessica without being noticed.
    • Later, Malcolm is hanging out in the lobby of Jessica's building as Jessica and Simpson enter. He's standing in a blind spot, where he won't be seen by anyone entering the building. When Simpson says he'd suspected Malcolm was the spy, it's pretty clear that this encounter probably was the one that aroused his suspicions.
    • When Jessica and Trish are leaving the radio station after Kilgrave calls in and makes his death threat, they are surprised by a fan, who Trish tackles to the ground mistaking him for a Kilgrave flunkie. Hours later, Simpson shows up at Trish's door claiming that he's asking about an assault that happened at the radio station and that the guy ended up in the hospital. Once it's revealed that Malcolm is spying on Jessica, it makes sense how Kilgrave knew about the altercation and what false pretenses to send Simpson under.
  • When Simpson is about to kill Kilgrave's father in anger and slaps Trish away, for a second, he's put in purple lighting, showing how he's not so different from Kilgrave and carrying on the theme of abuse.
  • At the banquet where Jeri Hogarth is giving a keynote speech, her partners, Chao specifically, warn her that, "Power is an illusion, Jeri." The theme of the second season is that being powerful is a real drug for some people, and the lengths to which people will try to consciously and unconsciously gain power over others. Trish wants physical strength. Jeri manipulates people's emotions. And Jessica refuses to give people respect, because as long as she isn't forming attachments, she can't be vulnerable and no one can hold her accountable.
  • The flashback conversation Alisa has with Dorothy on the streets when she is trying to track down Jessica has a very telling exchange:
    Dorothy Walker: Maybe she [Trish]'s better off without me.
    Alisa Jones: Bullshit. A daughter needs her mother. Always.
    • Ironic that this is a conversation between two women whose daughters would very much be better off without them. But that’s what the show wants the audience to see too considering these other incidents:
      • In "AKA The Octopus", Dorothy yells at Trish for making a decision about her own love life, and implies she was fine with what Max the pedophile did to her.
      • In this encounter between the mothers, Alisa is encouraging Dorothy, who really shouldn’t go near Trish. While later in the episode, Alisa herself murders Jessica’s boyfriend, and Sterling was a man Jessica referred to as the only family she had.
      • Then in "AKA Shark in the Bathtub, Monster in the Bed", Alisa severely injures Jessica in the process of her attempts to kill Pryce Cheng.
  • When Jeri Hogarth is introduced in the first episode of season 2, she's giving a speech at a conference celebrating successful female lawyers. Notice how in the very first shot, the camera is positioned from behind Hogarth such that one of the chandeliers on the ceiling forms a tiara around her head, like she's the "queen" who will be knocked off her perch.
  • Look at Trish in season 1. Trish is a good-natured, kind, and tough female character. She wants the best for Jessica, and she wants Jessica to be a hero. She is a fun, likable protagonist. Except, when she got her hands on Simpson's pills. See, Season 1's fixation on Jessica's conflict with Kilgrave means that one crucial detail got overshadowed: the fact that Trish is an addict. She's a former addict that is doing well, but still an addict none the less. And that’s something that never leaves you. In taking Simpson's pills, Trish got a high that she had never had before, the high of having powers. And that kind of high, that feeling of having the whole world in your grasp? Now that’s a high that you can’t let go of. But the crash down back to earth, that hurts. You’re a god and then you are a mere mortal.
    Cut to season 2. Trish is now a woman on a mission, to expose the truth of IGH at any costs. She wants them to pay and she does this for Jessica? No. Trish does this for herself, to find that high again. Because if she can save a god, then she is one too. Sure, Trish cares about Jessica, like family, but she wants that rush of being a hero. How bad does she want it? She wants it so bad that she is willing to take a drug she doesn’t even know anything about to “help” Jessica. She doesn’t even hesitate. And then she is hooked. She has power again. And it controls every aspect of her life. She is addicted again. So she is a woman obsessed and addicted, and that’s a dangerous combination. And addicts will do anything to justify their addiction. "I need it," "it’s for the best," "it isn’t so bad", Trish uses all of those excuses. They don't change that Trish is an addict. And addicts will go to great lengths to feed their addictions. And Trish has a powerful addiction. One that's so strong, she tries to get Karl Malus to give her a dangerous surgery to give her powers. She says it’s for Jessica, but that turning point, that moment, when she kidnaps Malus to give her powers, that’s when it’s obvious about what Trish wants. She wants to be Jessica. Moreover, she thinks she can be better. But when it goes south, she still can’t give up. If you can’t get powers, she can have them for a second. Trish's addiction proves to be a struggle and it’s a battle that she loses. She addiction made her a murderer. And that’s something she’ll have to deal with. She might be Hellcat, but she got that through her addiction. She has blood on her hands.
  • Trish landing a headshot on Alisa while the latter was high up on a moving Ferris wheel may seem like an exaggerated and inexplicable show of marksmanship on her part, until you realize it happened after receiving the gene editing treatment, and was therefore an early display of her powers manifesting.
  • It seems odd in season 2 that the events of The Defenders are seemingly ignored. While the out-of-universe reason is that the Jessica Jones season 2 scripts were written before The Defenders was filmed, the in-universe explanation is that Jessica is willingly ignoring everything that happened in that show because she was so disenchanted with the whole war with ancient ninjas in the first place. Remember that at the Royal Dragon, Jessica bowed out when Stick started to overload her with an infodump while Matt, Luke and Danny were more invested in the fight with the Hand. She blocks out that event and any attempt at being a hero because she doesn't want to be one. Also, Jessica's charming personality simply works that way.
  • At the beginning of season 2, we’re introduced to Whizzer. We immediately write him off as crazy because he is in the middle of a quickcut/montage of clients that Jessica is annoyed at. It then turns out that he was telling the truth. But this changes the viewers' expectations when Inez introduces Jeri to Shane, the supposed healer. Most viewers would have been skeptical of Shane right off the bat. But because the audience's expectations have now been changed because of what happened with Whizzer, a first-time viewer is going to be dismissive of Shane. This is obviously helped by the fact that the information came from a credible source, Inez, whereas with Whizzer, the information is unlikely to be true.
  • Jeri Hogarth's intro scene in season 2. When the camera's positioned behind her, one of the hotel chandeliers is forming a 'crown' on her head, symbolizing her position as someone on top.
  • In episode 6, when Jessica and Trish talk about Malcolm right after he leaves her apartment, they both pretty much gave away how his relationship to both of them would end in Season 2.
  • Vido's Captain America figure is missing his shield, a stealth Continuity Nod to the status of the character in the MCU during season 2.
  • The interaction between Jessica and Oscar when she confronts him about lying to the cops about what he saw at Whizzer's death is one of those scenes that matter much more when you rewatch and realize what the characters meant in the dialogue.
    • Oscar asks Jessica if she feels bad about bringing the cops to his door, because the police investigating him would get him into some deep trouble because it would be discovered he was forging papers for the landlord's boyfriend. Jessica doesn’t get it: from her perspective he just lied to the cops because he dislikes her.
    Oscar: I saw a man die. So did my son. Do you know what that does to a kid?
    Jessica: Yeah, actually, I do.
    • And Oscar doesn't understand Jessica either. As he sees it, Vido might have become traumatized for life as a result of that accident. He doesn’t know the same thing occurred to Jessica, he doesn’t know that Jessica’s “yeah, actually, I do” comes from a personal place. The result is that they proceed to make prejudiced assumptions about each other, both of them saying to the other, "You stay the hell away from me." No surprise that they hook up later: Jessica and Oscar aren't really that different at all.
  • In the opening scene to season 2, Jessica tells off the pizzeria owner who tries to get her to kill her cheating delivery driver by saying, "I'm not a killer." Mave responds, "Oh bullpucky, you broke a man's neck, I heard about it on Trish Talk! Some guy does you wrong and you kill him, but now the vigilante hero's gonna judge me?"
    • “I’m not a killer,” might as well summarize most of Jessica’s plot this season. After killing Dale, she even talks about it with her hallucination of Kilgrave. “I’m not like you. I’m not like my mother.” None of the three murders she commits are anything like what Mave suggests here. Reva was killed because Kilgrave made Jessica do it. Kilgrave was killed because if he didn’t die, Trish would. And Dale was a complete accident. Jessica not once committed murder out of sadism, revenge or as a way to force others to do her bidding (like Kilgrave), she didn’t commit murder out of pure rage and loss of control (like Alisa), and she is sure not going to murder someone because they cheated on their girlfriend. As awful as cheating is, it’s not something that requires to be stopped with violence. It’s not something that kills people. Tears are shed, hearts are broken, but in the end, life goes on. And Jessica isn’t a murderer. When she killed Kilgrave, she neutralized a threat. A threat probably strong enough to pose a challenge to the Avengers. Because let’s be realistic here: what could a guy in an iron suit, the incredible green guy, or a dude with a magic hammer or shield, do against mind control? The answer: nothing.
  • It's a good thing Jessica wears all black all the time, or she'd look really out of place at Dr. Kozlov's funeral. Of course, Jessica's always dressed like going to a funeral.
  • The whole scene in "Sole Survivor" where Jessica sits down with the fake Dr. Leslie Hansen plays out a whole lot differently on rewatch when you watch the scene knowing that "Dr. Hansen" is actually Jessica's mom:
    • On first watch, it looks like it was very important for Alisa to speak to Trish, and for Trish to come alone. On rewatch, it’s more about Alisa's fear of talking to Jessica. Guilt over how she's had to let Jessica believe she was dead, guilt over killing Stirling. Not to mention that Alisa must be very afraid of accidentally harming Jessica.
    • Alisa denies planning to kill Trish. That much is true, given the fact that she didn’t hunt Trish after killing Simpson. Not to mention that Alisa knows Trish is Jessica’s family, and killing her too after what happened with Stirling would devastate Jessica. Would she have told Trish the truth though, if Trish had shown up instead? We may never know, because now that Jessica showed up, the whole situation is different.
    • When she says, “You survived. And that’s all that matters,” that's a clue that “Dr. Leslie Hansen” was personally invested in Jessica.
      • It goes further, once Jessica keeps pressing about Whizzer and Simpson and Dr. Kozlov. Alisa replies, “they are not you." Huh. Why would this particular doctor find Jessica so special? Why would she think Jessica was worth more than everyone else involved with IGH?
    • Alisa is relatively calm throughout the conversation, up until Jessica says that IGH should have let her die with her family. She accuses her of being unthankful (”You should be thankful! You should be thanking your goddamn stars!”), and then starts to get physically violent. On rewatch, Alisa is upset that her daughter would prefer to be dead, probably because she herself has been comforting herself the past years with the knowledge that Jessica is alive and well, but perhaps also due to the fact that Jessica didn’t receive the same side effects she did from the treatment. Remember that while Jessica’s mental health is far from perfect, some of it may have been inherent (she has depression, since Alisa mentions Jessica was listening to “depressing rock” when she was younger; she's an alcoholic and was a heavy drinker even before Kilgrave; and she gained post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of Kilgrave), she can still control herself. Which is much more than what we can say about Alisa who, in response to Jessica’s disheartening wish, throws her own daughter into a wall...
    • And after she throws Jessica, she stands still for a while, and doesn’t move until she sees Jessica doing so. Almost as if she wanted to make sure Jessica was okay…
  • The parallels between season 2 of this show and Daredevil season 2 are very noticeable and almost intentional given that of the other Defenders, Matt was the one Jessica spent the most time with in The Defenders.
    • In both cases, Matt and Jessica momentarily don’t just give into the idea that they can run away from their lives and sever all ties with their loved ones, but also that they are really capable of giving up their daylight lives (shitty as they sometimes are) and all the people they care about (Trish and Malcolm in Jessica's case, and Foggy and Karen in Matt's case) in order to be the thing that keeps the person they love from losing control and killing people.
    • Alisa and Elektra have the same thing in common. Alisa is drunk on the idea that Jessica can diffuse her bloodlust pretty much the same way Elektra wants to believe that if Matt is with her, she can be "good", never mind that both are very mentally damaged and could never be that idealized person (Elektra due to her upbringing by Stick, and Alisa as a result of the experiments of Dr. Malus).
    • And it speaks to the nature of love–because if Elektra's and Alisa's love was truly selfless, they would never ask Matt or Jessica to do that. To put the burden of ensuring neither Elektra nor Alisa take innocent (or even guilty) lives again on their shoulders in the first place.
    • And in both cases, Matt and Jessica both want so badly to believe, and both have that decision be taken away from them (Elektra stepping in front of Nobu’s blade; Alisa turning on the Ferris wheel) by the people they love realizing that it’s not fair to them. That they don’t have the right, that love doesn’t give them the right. And both Matt and Jessica deep down know they’re lying to themselves, but they need love so much that it eases the lie along–makes them believe the lie, even if it’s only for a minute or an hour. Because they want it to be true so much. Because they’ve lost so much, and are so tired of losing.

  • There's foreshadowing in the falling out Trish and Jessica had at around the time Jessica hooked up with Stirling:
    Trish Walker: Don't call me when you're arrested and need bail!
    Jessica Jones: And don't call me when you OD and need a hospital!
    • This is a mid-season flashback, by which point Jessica has already gotten arrested for assaulting Cheng (for which Trish bailed her out), and Trish is currently addicted to Simpson's inhaler, and later gets hospitalized after Dr. Malus's operation on her is botched.
  • Trish was not addicted to the inhaler itself, but rather the power it gave her (echoes the Griffin situation, in a way). Trish claims it’s about helping people, but is it?
    • Consider that Trish dug up Jessica’s old memories of IGH. Was that really about helping Jessica? She says, “Knowing what was done to you might help you,” but none of this clearly helps Jessica in any way. Jessica’s mother brought her nothing but pain, but Trish also plays a major role in this. Trish went as far as to bring Jessica’s family’s ashes to her office/home, even after Jessica had explicitly said she wanted nothing to do with IGH. Trish talks so much about how Jessica never consented to being experimented on, but she overlooks that Jessica didn’t consent to Trish’s IGH investigation and how she kept talking about it publicly, on her show, either. It was never about helping Jessica, even if that’s what Trish will keep telling herself. It’s about her addiction to power. She was willing to knock out Malcolm and throw him in the trunk of her car to get it. She shot near him to scare him. Even if Trish does become a hero in her own rite in between seasons 2 and 3, it sure won’t erase what she did to become powerful.
  • In season 2, we find out more about Jeri's backstory. She lived in poverty, got bullied at school for being poor (and while it’s not mentioned, it's implied that her being a lesbian also contributed to alienation from her peers), and despite all this, she has managed to become successful. The power theme in season 2 is not limited to the superpowers stuff with IGH, but also extends to the “power” men have compared to women. In the conversations between Jeri and Inez, we also get a taste of the power the rich have over the poor. And much like Trish envies Jessica’s and Griffin’s “powers”, Inez envies what Jeri has. Trish still loves her sister. Inez still had some sort of feelings for Jeri (assuming she was telling the truth. Why else would she get into that car?), but the jealousy is there, and it’s what drives them to hurt them.
    • Jeri climbed to the top. But she did some questionable things in the process, and continues to do so. In season 1, she threw Pam under the bus to save herself. In season 2, she freed Shane, who she was sure was a real criminal, just to get a chance to cure herself. And later on, she manipulated Inez into murdering Shane as payback.
    • Of course, Inez and Shane aren’t much better. They took advantage of Jeri’s weakness, tricked her, and stole all her belongings. It’s a disgusting thing to do to a woman who believes she is dying. But Jeri didn’t pull the trigger. She didn’t kill Shane. She technically never told Inez to kill him. However she handed the gun to Inez, and made a vague comment about how she needed to protect herself. Jeri knew exactly what it would result in. Jeri’s need for power is different from, say, Trish, because Jeri is not trying to be heroic. Jeri doesn’t claim to want to save the world, or any of the people in it. Jeri is looking out for herself only.
  • When Jessica and Oscar hook up the first time, they spill his paint all over the floor and wind up having sex on it. The first color to get knocked over is purple, Kilgrave's color. The second is yellow, Luke's color. Could symbolize Jessica putting both Kilgrave and Luke behind her (as in, uh. . . on her behind, you might say). . . but could also symbolize that while Kilgrave is her past, Oscar and maybe Luke are her future.
    • And perhaps to note that, the painting Oscar makes of sleeping Jessica includes generous amounts of purple, the first color spilled when they started. From his point of view, it's a romantic notation of a tiny detail of their first time together. From Jessica's point of view, it's a great big reminder of how Kilgrave viewed her, as his possession.
  • The events of The Defenders are part of what makes Trish complain about "always being the one who needed to be saved by Jessica" in season 2. Back in Season 1, Trish had her hero moment when she was the one who defeated Simpson (albeit with Jessica's help), but then in the finale she was taken hostage by Kilgrave. Then, in The Defenders, Trish had to be saved from Murakami and had no chance to defend herself by using her beloved self-defense skills. In fact, she didn't throw a single punch in that entire series at all while she saw other non-powered persons like Colleen and Misty help save the day. All of that explains why she felt so "powerless" in Season 2.

Fridge Horror

  • In the season 1 finale, District Attorney Reyes still refuses to accept the reality of Kilgrave's powers even in the face of the testimony of dozens of regular people and police officers who could testify otherwise. This seems ridiculous...until season 2 of Daredevil reveals that Reyes is thoroughly corrupt. And Marci Stahl discloses to Foggy that rumor has it that Reyes is building a political platform based on persecuting vigilante-types like Frank Castle and Jessica, and mentions that Jessica has fallen under scrutiny. Thank god that the Blacksmith killed her before she could get that far.
  • At the precinct, Kilgrave gives the order that "the next person whose phone rings eats it." He leaves without ever rescinding that order. It's possible that Kilgrave's command for the cops to think that the incident was a hilarious joke may have overridden his previous orders, but what if it didn't?
  • Kilgrave takes over an apartment, sending the children to hide in the closet. They are never mentioned again. Worse still the scene ends with the mother and father about to serve Kilgrave lamb calling it their specialty, to which Kilgrave says he will be the judge of that as he has a specific culinary palate. While sharpening a knife. Since he sadistically punishes people for not meeting his high expectations one can only imagine what happened to the family if the lamb wasn't up to his standards and considering that he can eat at literally any restaurant in the world for free and that he presents himself as a man of refined tastes his standards are ludicrously high for a family that wasn't even expecting company to meet. Even if the family is physically okay, imagine the psychological trauma. The parents have to live with the fact that they let Kilgrave into their house, cooked and housed him, and the children had to stay in a closet for who knows how long while one soiled herself and their parents did nothing.
  • The military/spy agencies are developing and fielding drugs on special operators that gives them near-superhuman abilities. Added into the arms race that stemmed from other countries trying to copy Stark Industries technology, and the covert and black ops world of the MCU is getting incredibly dangerous. This gets more established in Luke Cage (2016), which reveals that Hammer Industries one-upped Stark Industries in the arms race with their invention of the Judas bullets.
  • Despite decrying it as useless, Jessica uses the "streets I grew up on" coping mechanism several times early in the series. Then Kilgrave goes and buys her childhood home, restores it to the exact way it was when her parents died, and forces her to live there with him for at least a few days. The last piece of her life that she had to herself, and Kilgrave went and violated it.
  • Even though Kilgrave is dead, the precedent has been set that being mind-controlled is a valid justification for all sorts of crimes, including homicide. People will be using it for years to come if it becomes public knowledge. Either a lot of people will get away with blaming their own crimes on "the devil made me do it," or people will get so sick of hearing the excuse and seeing it proven wrong that it will be even harder for the victims of the next mind-controller to convince anyone of what happened. Most likely, both. Considering the obvious rape and abuse symbolism oozing from Kilgrave's actions, this seems like a metaphor for various fears and worries about false rape accusations making it harder for real rape victims to take action against their attackers, or Victim Blaming in general.
  • Kilgrave ends the standoff at the police station by telling everyone to realize that the whole thing has been a hilarious joke. As he leaves, they fall over themselves laughing, despite the fact that they were literally all a word away from death. Not seeing a reason to be horrified? Imagine for a second if Kilgrave's control wasn't something you became conscious of after it ended. Now imagine you had been mind-controlled into believing that some scenario was hilarious, and sometime after it was all over went to tell your friends about it, only to realize halfway through that there was nothing funny about what happened, or that your friends are staring at you in stunned disbelief or even horror as you tell them this story and you just can't communicate anything that was funny about the "hilarious situation" to them. Maybe you have to end your story by just saying something kind lame like "Look, you had to be there to get it" or a line to that effect. Now... how many times has that happened to you, and exactly how sure are you that nobody can mess with your mind or your memories?
  • Near the end of the series Kilgrave gets a power-up that allows him to control people even through his voice being electronically transmitted. What if that also encompasses audio recordings?
  • Kilgrave's awkwardness when it comes to trying to have a conversation without using his powers (like when buying Jessica's childhood house), and his life choices in general, show that he'd never be able to achieve anything along the lines of leading a group of people, since being a boss or world leader means being able to delegate responsibility to others, to work in a structure. That's impossible with a power as uncontrollable and unpredictable as Kilgrave's: Any structure he tries to build, even something basic, would just come crashing down after a while. That's why Kilgrave is shown in the show as completely alone. He has to be. He's unable to function in any kind of society.
  • Kilgrave's "I once told a man to go screw himself. Can you imagine?" line highlights how he has to be careful about how he phrases his commands. But maybe he also has to be careful about his commands so as to not appear on police radar. If he openly used his abilities in public and it was obvious he was using them, he'd become the top priority for the police to catch/stop. Sure Kilgrave's powers might be hard to prove in court, but they would catch him in the end. And while they're trying to stop him, he'd have to be careful and constantly have contingency plans. As a result, he's much safer under the radar and sponging off society like a parasite.
  • Here's something frightening to consider: You can actually draw parallels between Kilgrave's behavior with Jessica and Jessica's behavior with Luke, and it's more than a little creepy. Jess actively stalked Luke, similarly to what Kilgrave does to her (including regularly taking pictures of the other without consent), there's a great deal of manipulation involved in both cases (Jess specifically keeping the fact she killed Luke's wife from him, not to mention constantly lying to him to cover this up), and overall consent is very questionable (Jess being under the influence of Kilgrave's power, which is explicitly called out as rape, verses Jess bedding Luke while not telling him she killed his wife, something that Luke explicitly calls out as a huge violation). The biggest difference is that Kilgrave considers this 'love' and obsessively but Jess is painfully aware that the entire situation is fucked up and repeatedly tries to end things before they get any worse.
    • What makes it worse though is the implication that, because of Kilgrave's influence, he's now completely damaged Jess' ability to have a healthy relationship. In the second season, Trish says that Jessica's regularly having drunken hook-ups with terrible guys (one case even shown, where she has sex in a bathroom with a gross dude while drunk after he verbally abuses her), and even her relationship with Oscar has her repeatedly getting him to do illegal stuff despite how much of a risk it is for him to do so. It seems that after her time with Kilgrave, she simply can't be involved with others without some degree of abuse involved.
    • When you think about it, there's a reason Luke ended up in a relationship with Claire Temple by the end of Luke Cage season 1. It's because Claire was the first woman in his life who actually was open and honest with him. All of his flings before Claire lied to him in some form: Reva kept secret her involvement with the experiments in Seagate including the ones that gave Luke his powers; Gina had a husband; Jessica killed Reva and began a relationship with Luke knowing he was Reva's widower; and he had a one-night stand with Misty Knight while she was undercover and claiming to be an "auditor".
    • It should be noted though that it's not a one-way street in this regard. Though Jessica was stalking Luke and omitted that she was the one that killed his wife, Luke is the one that pursues sex with her despite the fact she was heavily drunk at the time of their first encounter (while he was sober, mind), and continuously pursues her after she broke things off (and in general, it seems Luke just has something of a sex addiction given he was also having other affairs at the time and regularly beds customers, Misty included). Oscar meanwhile was initially extremely hostile and antagonistic to Jessica, and he even points out that its uncomfortable for her to be so ready to have sex with him after the way he'd been treating her only a few hours prior. Essentially, Jessica is mostly a well-intentional person who's unable to act in a healthy way romantically, the guys she's attracted to are usually similar to herself in this regard.
  • When Simpson returns to the apartment and informs Kilgrave that he has (seemingly) accomplished his mission of taking out Trish, Kilgrave comments, "Lot of people will be [upset]. Patsy was such an icon. Personally I always thought her television show was shite. Honestly, Patsy was a grating teenage do-gooder. So sanctimonious. Why Jessica was so attached to her, I'll never understand." Later in the show, Kilgrave claims to love Jessica. But we can tell that he doesn’t understand what love is (although he does watch television). He doesn’t feel affection for her; he’s drawn to her because he craves power. Before Jessica was able to resist him, she was just another tool for him to use. She wasn’t a person in his eyes, she was an object. Once she was able to resist his ability, that made her much more than just the average person in his eyes... but still just an object. She simply became the object he wanted most. If Kilgrave genuinely loved Jessica, he would have tried to find out anything about her. But he clearly knows nothing about her, not even the most basic relationships she has or any personal information about her.
  • It must take a hell of a lot of conscious effort on both Jessica’s and Luke’s part to make sure the people around them don’t get hurt. Like, people could easily hurt themselves on Luke, totally accidentally in normal interactions, but nobody ever does unless they’re actively trying to hurt him or somebody else at the time. He’s also super strong and never harms anybody that way, either. With Jessica, she’d have to constantly, constantly temper her extreme strength. Think of how Trish grew up being physically abused by her own mother, and then realize that both her and Jessica touch a lot, and that Trish has ZERO fear of Jessica harming her. Jessica is so strong, Jessica has never hurt her. Nor anybody else. So think about it when Kilgrave pulls his "my life is hard because of my powers!" schtick, and how hard it is not to use them on people because he has to think of it all the time (remember how he Hates Small Talk). Jessica must put real thought into all of this and never say a single word about it, because she's not a shitty person.
  • More Fridge Sadness but the ending of Season 2 for Jessica is similar to Matt’s (the Defender next to Luke who she seemed the closest to) with her having cut almost all of her original friendships with her and Trish now being estranged due to Trish having killed her mother and Malcolm having left Jessica to work for Cheng. However also similar to Matt she has managed to hold on to one relationship just like Matt was able to hold onto Karen.
  • Trish talks so much about how Jessica never consented to being experimented on. But Jessica didn’t consent to Trish’s IGH investigation and how she kept talking about it publicly, on her show, either. Meaning this was never about helping Jessica, even if that’s what Trish will keep telling herself. It’s about her addiction to power. After all, she was willing to knock out Malcolm, throw him in the trunk of her car, and threaten him with a gun, to get that.
    • And worse, even after nearly dying when Dr. Malus's process went wrong, and Jessica having to pull her out of there - Trish isn't remotely impacted by the fact that she could have died, claiming Jessica ruined her chance to get powers and that Jessica is a coward for not using her powers to save people.
    • Additionally, her constant pushing for Jessica to be a hero starts to seem eerily like she's trying to vicariously realize her ego-fuelled savior complex through Jessica - just like Dorothy vicariously realized her lust for fame and power by using her daughter. Just like season 1, the theme of the cycle of abuse is ringing very clear.
      • In this vein, there's then Trish killing Alisa, something she's not remotely remorseful for, just like how Dorothy refuses to accept that she was abusive to Trish or accept responsibility for her behavior. Trish can't accept that she horribly traumatized Jessica - refusing to listen whenever someone tried to argue the complexity of the situation, demonizing Alisa as a monster to be destroyed and outright admitting that she killed Alisa just to feel powerful, to be the one saving Jessica for once - all this rings of the same sort of blame-shifting and refusal to accept responsibility that Dorothy does in every scene she's in.
      • Indeed, her utter dislike and demonisation of Alisa whenever she gets brought up and the fact that, despite being all for sympathising with Simpson in season 1, she ignores Jessica's claims to the contrary and insists on calling Alisa a monster despite not knowing the situation nearly as well as Jessica does, all culminating in her shooting Alisa in the finale, all comes off like she's being driven by jealousy that Jessica could be closer to anyone other than her (even her own mother), and is trying to prevent anyone from taking Jessica away from her - this resonates with how Dorothy's dislike of Jessica only seems to increase whenever she gets in the way of her being able to control Trish.
  • Trish is much more like her mother than she would care to admit. In season 2, she's essentially pimping out Jessica's pain for her own gain on her radio show and she pulls that stunt with the family's ashes just to get Jessica involved in something purely for her own ratings. Those are moves straight out of her mother's playbook. Hell, she later goes with her mother to that "meeting" with ZCN instead of checking out how Jessica is doing in jail.
  • If there's a recurring trait among every character, it's that they're psychologically projecting their own problems onto each other and making things worse.
    • Jessica goes after Malcolm for his "sex addiction", when really, the only difference between them is that Malcolm does it sober, uses a Tinder-style dating app, and is generally more polite to his partners. (Jessica even notes, the first time she sees a woman loitering in Malcolm's apartment, "glass house here, throwing no stones." What changed, Jess?)
    • Jessica refuses to believe that Dr. Malus genuinely cares about her mother because she thinks he is using Alisa the same way Kilgrave used Jessica.
    • Trish believes that Alisa is selfishly manipulating Jessica in the same way Trish's own mom selfishly manipulates her.
    • Dorothy Walker seeing Jessica Jones as being a negative influence on her daughter's life while being, you know, Dorothy Walker.
  • When it comes to how the morally ambiguous characters present themselves, there's a sharp contrast between how Trish presents herself and what she is actually doing, compared to how other characters like Jessica and Hogarth do it.
    • With Jeri, she presents herself as an ambitious, calculating, cold-hearted woman who will do what she needs to, tiptoeing around the law as close as she can, to get what she wants. This is in line with the truth of what she does. She never lies about who she is. Oh, she manipulates characters, but she's established she's a user of people; she even knows she's a user of people. She tends to use her power to screw over other characters who have done things to her like rob her or lie to her. She doesn't really go out of her way to affect innocent people.
    • Jessica presents herself as an asshole alcoholic who doesn't really pay much mind to what other people think about her. Her truth is pretty much spot on with this, along with some internal conflict over killing Kilgrave and trying to figure out what to do with her mom. She will lie and use violence to get information or to follow a lead, and she often keeps things close to the chest to isolate herself. Her character presentation is true to herself. She also does not enjoy killing and would prefer to have better control over herself, but self-destructive tendencies are hard to shake. Her trauma is visible to all who would see her.
    • By contrast, Trish presents herself as this good-doer savior of the people who just wants to help those around her and save people, but the truth of who she is and what she does doesn't align with that. The truth is, she is selfish. She is also a user, but acts like she's not and is instead doing a favor for that person. She manipulates and rarely shows guilt for having done so. Actually, she rarely admits guilt for anything and instead when accused of doing a shitty thing will deflect away and say it as for the other person's own good or benefit.
      • While Trish is ambitious like Jeri, Jeri is blatantly calculating and obvious. Trish, on the other hand, covers up her internal ambition to be better than everyone else by saying she wants to help people. She doesn't want to help people, she wants to be known and seen as someone who helps people. She wants the rush/high of doing a good thing. It's the difference between a person going out and helping at the local homeless shelter once a week and a person taking a selfie of giving a homeless person $20. And back to her being a user, she puts Jeri to shame. Not only a history of using drugs and forcing others like Jessica to get her help, but she relapses thanks to Simpson's pills and inhaler, and then terribly assists a recovering addict (Malcolm) to use drugs again. She uses the information Jessica gives her that he's into her to fill the hole in her, to sleep with him, and then use him to find Dr. Malus. Then, when Malcolm is no longer of value, she knocks him out and tosses him in the trunk. She uses Jessica's trauma for her own story. Even when Jessica explicitly says to not talk about IGH on her show because she doesn't want to deal with it, Trish, in the guise of seeking out the truth, ignores Jessica's agency and privacy and drags it all out in the open for her own personal gain.
    • In other words, Trish is a lying, abusive, manipulative, selfish person in the guise of a nice person, much like her mom. Because that's what she presents. She seems nice, she cares about people, she wants to do good...but her actions show that the truth of what she is goes entirely against what she is trying to present. She's the stereotypical "nice" guy in a different form. She "helps" Jessica with dealing with her family trauma by manipulatively dumping her family's ashes at her feet, by digging up all this information to get a good story to further her career. And then expects the reward for all her "do-gooding" to be thanked, or seen as this amazing thing. To be rewarded because she put in all that effort and deserved it. The only good thing is that as the season goes on, this veneer is lost as she slips further down the rabbit hole and what she is presenting is more on par with her truth, and because the truth of what she is is so hard to look at, it makes the scenes like when she Rage Quits her show and then subsequently bombs her audition at ZCN while in withdrawal that much more a punch to the gut for the viewer. For all her external beauty and charm, she becomes a very ugly person.
    • So in essence Trish is fake. People hate fakeness more than they hate evil things really. Most would trust someone like Fisk or Kilgrave who always does evil things in their self-interest more than someone who spouts good intentions, but still does lots of things in their self-interest. Combine fakeness with an elitist attitude of being better than other people, and now you've got a character who could be hated more than Cersei Lannister.
    • Of course, Trish's mom is not blameless in this situation. The apple never falls far from the tree. And being a child actor/pop star is not a good way to live a happy fulfilling life, so Trish's circumstances do not set her up for success. However, despite all her therapy and time spent away from the party life and her mom. All the time recovering from drugs, spent on building herself up, it doesn't take much to throw it all away. Nor is ambition by itself technically a bad thing. However, at the cost of her friends' life and choices it shows lack of care for other people that is uprooted.
  • Kilgrave's powers are strongly implied to be hereditary (and are explicitly so in the comics). He's clearly used his power to turn a number of women into sex slaves over the years, and Hope getting pregnant implies that he's not particularly careful. How many of his previous victims also got pregnant by him and carried the children to term? How many new Kilgraves are out there, growing to maturity?
  • In Season 1, during the brief story arc where Kilgrave buys Jessica's childhood home in an attempt to win her love, her next door neighbor Mrs. De Luca chats with them and talks about how Jessica's brother was a troublemaker, and Jessica gets angry and says no he wasn't. In Season 2, Jessica's mother talks about how Phillip started acting out after walking in on his parents arguing, and the whole conversation served to rip away Jessica's Nostalgia Filter towards her family. In other words, Mrs. De Luca wasn't wrong, and still didn't deserve Kilgrave making her blow herself up.
    • Which says a lot about Jessica: even though she's a very jaded and bitter person, she still wants to hold onto the happy memories she had with her family when they were alive, to the point of ignoring any of the actual problems her family went through. So, when her own mother confirmed what Mrs. De Luca said was true, it really crushed Jessica.

Fridge Logic

On the headscratchers page.


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