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Recap / Jessica Jones S1E1 "AKA Ladies Night"

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Jessica Jones, a down-on-her-luck Private Detective with super-human strength and a drinking problem, gets a missing-person case that is not as clean-cut as it originally seems. Soon, her investigation brings her onto the trail of a ghost from her past; one that still very much haunts her in the present.

This episode contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Artistic License – Sports: Hope's mother refers to Hope as "on athletic scholarship" for track and field at NYU. NYU competes at the division 3 level and therefore cannot give out athletic scholarships as per NCAA rules.
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  • Book-Ends: The episode starts and ends with Jessica narrating about facing reality and making a decision.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Hope is Kilgrave's latest victim, forcing her to scuttle her life by dropping out of college, maxing out her credit card and then killing her parents.
  • Cassandra Truth: Jessica's target sees her displaying her powers and threatens to reveal her. She lets him know that most people are still unwilling to believe in such things or simply want to pretend they don't exist, even now, so he'll just come off as a nut.
  • Ceiling Banger: Jessica's attempt of throwing her boot against the ceiling to silence her noisy neighbors upstairs turns into an Epic Fail.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Zack, Trish's assistant, is arguing with Trish over why it would be bad to get former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on the show, and she mentions he tried to get Channing Tatum onto Trish Talk. Channing Tatum co-starred with Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) and Kurt Russell (Ego the Living Planet) in The Hateful Eight, and co-starred in G.I. Joe: Retaliation with Élodie Yung (Elektra in Daredevil (2015) season 2 and The Defenders (2017)), Matt Gerald (Melvin Potter in Daredevil), and Adrianne Palicki (Bobbi Morse in Agentsof Shield).
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  • Chekhov's Gunman: All those giant banners about the "Talk with Trish" show are for a reason: Trish will turn out to be an actual character in the series.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Unintentional, but Jessica claims she has "laser eyes", just like Phil Coulson did with his "laser finger".
    • The cinematography when Jessica is grabbing Hope from the hotel room echoes Matt's rescue of the boy from the Russians.
  • Destructo-Nookie: Averted. Luke restrains himself to avoid hurting Jessica during their first night together.
  • Cutting Back to Reality: Jessica suffers numerous flashbacks to her time spent with Killgrave, all of which are at first framed as if real: in one, she's spying on Luke Cage from a fire escape when the camera slowly begins to zoom in on her face and Kilgrave appears next to her, whispering in her ear - only for a cut to reveal that she's alone. In another scene, Jessica is half-asleep at her desk when Kilgrave suddenly dips into view and licks her forcibly across the cheek. Next cut, Jessica shoots upright in a panic... only to find that it was just a nightmare.
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  • The Dreaded: Kilgrave is this to Jessica, due to what he did to her in the past. As soon as she finds out he's in the city, she tries to book an immediate flight to Hong Kong.
  • Elevator Snare: Jessica heads for the elevator but comes to late to save the old couple.
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: Light flashes in the corridor after Jessica triggered the fire alarm.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Jessica throws a jerkass client through her door, then snarkily discusses his bill.
    • Kilgrave sets up Hope's parents to find Jessica and make her find Hope, and then sets up Hope to kill her own parents if Jessica succeeds, thereby making it pointless.
  • Establishing Series Moment: The show starts with Jessica spying on a couple having vigorous extra-marital sex outside and Jessica taking photos of it while saying that she excels at finding the worst in people, thus setting the tone for the series.
  • Favors for the Sexy: Luke mentions several reasons for helping Jessica, including "You're hot"
  • Foreshadowing:
    • While Jessica's in his bar, Luke mentions Pop.
    • When Jessica is at the suit and tie shop talking to the owner, the camera lingers on a rack of purple neckties, telling us that Kilgrave is Hope's mystery "boyfriend" one scene before Jessica learns this.
  • The Ghost: Kilgrave doesn't appear in the episode; even during the flashbacks his face is never shown.
  • Heroic BSoD: Jessica has one after the elevator assassination.
  • Hope Spot: Jessica has rescued Hope, connected with her personally, and put her on the path home with her parents. Then, as the elevator doors close, Hope gives a creepy smile and pulls out a revolver.
  • Ironic Echo: "Laser eyes." Moron.
  • Lecherous Licking: Kilgrave, during Jessica's short Nightmare Sequence. Despite his famous Oral Fixation, David Tennant was mortified at the thought of having to lick Krysten Ritter, who was very understanding.
  • Manchurian Agent: It turns out that Kilgrave is counting on Jessica to return Hope to her parents, and so he gives her a latent order to kill them upon reuniting with them just to send Jessica a message.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Kind of. Luke is seen with his naked chest while Jessica is still (or again) fully dressed after their sex scene.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Hope after unwillingly shooting her parents, together with a Big "NO!".
  • Mythology Gag: Compare the opening scene where Jessica throws a client through her door with this.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Barkeeping: Luke is cleaning glasses during his talk with Jes at the pub.
  • Oh, Crap!: Jessica already realizes something's fishy when she arrives at Niku, as she remembers Kilgrave took her here. Then she talks to the maitre'd, and he mentions that a man fitting Kilgrave's description made him kick another couple out, made the sommelier comp him a $500 bottle of wine, and got the chef to make him the Italian pasta dish he used to like at the previous restaurant that existed here.
  • Over-the-Shoulder Carry: How Jessica gets Hope out of the hotel room.
  • Potty Failure: Hope has been told by Kilgrave not to move while in bed, confessing to Jessica she peed in the five hours she was stuck there.
  • Private Eye Monologue: Jessica's opening and closing monologues, establishing her personality, worldview, and methods on the job.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Realizing Kilgrave is back, Jessica immediately starts asking people for money to buy the first plane ticket out of town—and out of the country, and the Western Hemisphere.
  • Sherlock Scan: Jessica jokes that she can tell from the residue on the bar that "four years ago a man named Horace had buffalo wings".
  • Sudden Downer Ending: Jessica has just reunited Hope with her parents, then Kilgrave sends his final message.
  • Title Drop: Luke Cage claims it's "ladies night" (despite there being hardly any ladies in the bar) just to get Jessica out of her twisted Breakfast at Tiffany's routine.
  • Vertigo Effect: When Jessica looks at the hotel room at the end of the floor.
  • Your Door Was Open: Or so Jessica claims.


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