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Recap / Jessica Jones S1E13 "AKA Smile"

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The Season 1 finale. Jessica and Luke get help from someone else in the neighborhood. Kilgrave gears up for a major test of his powers against Jessica.


Tropes in this episode include:

  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Leaving aside the world and city they live in, the fact that the DA 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 pushes this trope to the fullest. One can only assume that this is not the DA who got mind-controlled by Kilgrave into releasing Hope.
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  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Trish puts on some Sleigh Bells to ignore Kilgrave (amusingly, the comics version of Walker used that exact song as a ringtone).
  • Book-Ends: At the end of the first episode, a Kilgrave'd Hope tells Jessica to "Smile." At the end of this episode, Jessica tells Kilgrave to do the same right before killing him.
  • The Bus Came Back: Claire Temple is back in Hell's Kitchen after leaving near the end of Daredevil (2015)'s first season, setting her up for the major role she'll play in Luke Cage (2016).
  • Continuity Nod: Claire mentions that Luke and Jessica are not the first superhumans she has met. Later, she offers to call in some help, strongly implied to be Daredevil.
  • Effortless Amazonian Lift: Jessica picks up Luke without even trying right in front of Claire, showing she's a Gifted.
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  • Eye Scream: Because of his unbreakable skin, Claire has to put a needle through Luke's eye socket and along his optic nerve to drain fluid from his brain.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Trish puts some on headphones with the volume maxed out to avoid hearing Kilgrave. The music cuts out whenever the scene cuts away from her.
  • Heroic BSoD: Jessica, after killing Kilgrave. She sits there deleting messages off her phone, pleas for help from desperate people, because she can't bear to think of herself as a hero. Eventually Malcolm takes the phone from her to answer calls and help her through it.
  • Ironic Echo: Jessica tells Kilgrave to smile just before she snaps his neck, echoing his command from the first episode via Hope.
  • Irony: Claire Temple offers to call Matt Murdock so that he can help Jessica take down Kilgrave, but Jessica declines the suggestion, not wanting to risk Daredevil being mind controlled. Ironically, in the comics, Daredevil is one of the few characters immune to Killgrave's powers. Also, Killgrave started off as a villain for Daredevil.
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  • Last Episode, New Character: Samantha Reyes makes her first appearance here, wanting to charge Jessica for Kilgrave's murder, though she has more of a role in season 2 of Daredevil.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Kilgrave's upgrade serum makes his veins turn purple. It also happens when he uses his enhanced powers. In the comics, Killgrave's alias is the "Purple Man" and his skin is this color.
    • His new plan to order Jessica to love him but never reciprocate is what the comics version did in the first place.
  • Neck Snap: Jessica grabs Kilgrave, lifts him and then twists.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Smile."
  • Reality Ensues: Jessica kills Kilgrave—and gets arrested for murder. Following this, she is exonerated for murder because dozens of people, including police officers, were at the scene and saw everything. They were also mind-controlled.
  • Sequel Hook: Trish starts investigating the files her mother sent her.
  • Sidekick: Discussed Trope. Malcolm and Claire talk about how they are similar to them... but Claire emphatically says no, she is no one's sidekick.
  • Squick: In-Universe. Jessica has quite a lot of trouble when Claire goes into Luke's brain via his eye with a four-inch needle.
    Claire: If you vomit, he's done!
  • Title Drop: Jessica echoes the command that Kilgrave gave her via Hope in the first episode when she lifts him off the ground right before killing him.
    Jessica: Smile.
  • The Un-Smile: While Kilgrave thinks Jessica is slipping back into his control, he orders her to smile. This is the result.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Realizing that Jessica doesn't love him at all drives Kilgrave completely nuts.
    Kilgrave: I'll make her want me. Then reject her, devastate her over and over and over until she wants to die... No, I won't give her that, either. She'd wither away like someone dying of thirst or starvation. Be as like a ring of Hell designed especially for her. Or maybe I'll just kill her.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Discussed.
    • Claire mentions that she isn't special, she just keeps "running into special." Considering she is a normal nurse, but has been involved in helping three different super-powered individuals in the span of about a year, she has a point.
    • The doctor that tries to treat Luke notes that "Okay... he's one of those," so gifted individuals are rare, but not unexpected. She then rattles off some orders indicating there's a procedure in place for that sort of situation. Does this happen often, or is it just "haul in the top brass and dump it in their lap"?

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