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Recap / Jessica Jones S1E4 "AKA 99 Friends"

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A new case pops up while Jessica searches for who's spying on her for Kilgrave. Meanwhile, Trish's radio broadcast results in unexpected consequences.

Tropes in this episode include:

  • Adult Fear:
    • Kilgrave uses a little girl to send Jessica a message.
    • Kilgrave made a father abandon his son on the street to get himself a chauffeur.
  • Ass Shove:
    • Jessica threatens Audrey with a very colorful claim that she's bulletproof. She's bluffing.
      Jessica: You shoot at me, I'll pull the bullet out of my ruined jacket and shove it up your ass with my pinky finger, and who do you think that's gonna hurt more?
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    • One of the fake Kilgrave victims is a junkie who claims he was forced to shove a purple stick up his ass.
  • The Atoner: Simpson spends the episode tearing himself apart because of what Kilgrave made him do.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Trish summons Jessica to her apartment when Simpson returns to her door with another officer and begins trying to force his way in, thinking Kilgrave has sent him back. Then they hear Simpson's partner asking him about a body and realize he's here because he thinks he killed Trish.
    • While Jessica and Trish are walking after Trish makes her apology to Kilgrave on the radio, Jessica freezes up noticing a man on the street corner ahead of them with a camera pointed in her direction. She thinks that the guy with the camera is Kilgrave's spy, and begins walking towards the man, only to see that the man is just taking pictures of his wife.
    Trish Walker: Jess? Jess, are you okay?
    Jessica Jones: Yeah, I just thought I... Saw someone I knew.
    Jessica Jones: Kilgrave's been surveilling me. Taking pictures.
    Trish Walker: Why?
    Jessica Jones: I don't know. So he can record me imploding as he tortures me? The spy could be anyone, or everyone. It's been going on for weeks. I had no idea.
    Trish Walker: Just breathe, okay? He isn't here now.
    Jessica Jones: [points to her head] Yeah, well, he's always here.
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  • Blatant Lies: The interviews from some of the "victims" are hilarious in their fakeness. The real victims? Not so much.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Audrey can't really target the Avengers, so she chooses someone who she thinks will be an easier target. She's very wrong. Jessica is much more morally grey than the Avengers.
  • Didn't Think This Through: What did Audrey expect when she tried to kill Jessica? For her to lay down and take it?
  • Fantastic Racism: Audrey has an attitude about superhumans is driven by hatred and fear.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In hindsight, Audrey's attitude when hiring Jessica hints that she's not truly interested in hiring her.
    • Jeri noting someone with Kilgrave's power can be "useful on our side" which plays in future episodes.
    • We see that regular people in the MCU are starting to turn on superheroes and the huge destructive battles they have, which will culminate in Captain America: Civil War.
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    • When Simpson is following Jessica into her building, he notices Malcolm loitering around in a corner of the lobby out of eyeshot from the entrance doors and says to Jessica "He's watching you!" to which Jessica retorts "Yeah, he's probably watching the ceiling melt." We learn at the end of the episode that Kilgrave is using Malcolm as his spy, meaning Malcolm was actually there trying to discreetly get more photographs of Jessica.
  • Freudian Excuse: Audrey blames all superhumans for a collapsing building that killed her mother during the Chitauri attack during The Avengers.
  • Hate Sink: Audrey Eastman. She's initially introduced as a client for Jessica, asking her to investigate if her husband is having an affair, but turns out to be luring Jessica into a trap that involves killing her just for having superpowers because she was upset by the events of The Avengers (2012). While she cites her mother dying in a building as justification, any sympathy points this could earn her are lost thanks to the ridiculous nature of her claims ("People died in a superhero battle that involved metahumans, therefore metahumans are inherently destructive and need to all die!" essentially), which also ignores the fact that at most two of the original Avengers could be considered metahumans,note  an offhand remark comparing Gifted people to the mentally-challenged and the mere fact she's choosing to take her grief out on Jessica, who wasn't even there, when she could at most blame Loki, the Chitauri or the Avengers themselves. She acts all righteous when she has a gun on Jessica but folds like a cheap suit when the tables are turned on her. And unlike anyone Jessica has to deal with who are affected by Kilgrave's Compelling Voice, it's made clear that she is Not Brainwashed and is acting of her own volition. Her comeuppance is getting a "The Reason You Suck" Speech from Jessica and her hapless husband, whom she roped into her scheme, deciding he wants a divorce.
  • Heroic BSoD: Simpson is going through a big one in light of his time under Kilgrave's control. He returns to Trish's apartment, furiously trying to break down the door to be sure that he didn't actually kill Trish,
  • Insane Troll Logic: Audrey wants to kill Jessica as a preventative measure against gifted/powered people, as the "incident" caused her mother's death under the rubble of a destroyed building. Apparently, calling it the "incident" lets her conveniently ignore the fact there was an alien invasion happening at the time, and that the Chitauri were targeting everyone in sight until the Avengers arrived to draw their attention from slaughtering everyone. Plus, if the usage of a nuclear missile to close the portal the Chitauri came through was made public knowledge, then there is the likely probability that the WSC/S.H.I.E.L.D. could have used the missile to level the city, Avengers or no Avengers.
  • Interrogation Montage: The series of interviews with people claiming to have been controlled by Kilgrave.
  • Irony: Audrey hires Jessica to find out if her husband is sleeping with another woman, thinking he might ask for a divorce. When Jessica proves to her why it was a really, really bad idea to do all of that, her husband asks for a divorce.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Despite how easily Kilgrave controls people, he still has limits: time and distance. Jessica says the former is 10-12 hours, so she follows Audrey Eastman to see if she has any contact with him. If not, then the job is legit.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Audrey blames "gifted" individuals for the death of her mother rather then, you know, the aliens that invaded the Earth. Especially considering that Loki was the one who initiated the invasion
  • Mood Whiplash: The montage as Jeri and Jessica interview people claiming to be Kilgrave's victims randomly jumps between comically obvious frauds and genuine cases.
  • Mugged for Disguise: One of the interviewees says that he was waiting on a subway platform to catch his train when Kilgrave made him fork over his suit. What would be a pretty mundane petty crime ends up demonstrating how truly evil Kilgrave is; even something as small as being forced to give away a jacket traumatizes the man because of the victimization and lack of control. He is also the first to remember the accent, calling Kilgrave a "Limey cocksucker".
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Simpson is horrified when he sees the bruise marks on Trish's neck from when he was choking her.
  • Not Me This Time:
    • Jessica suspects Audrey was sent to her by Kilgrave to lure her into a trap. She was right about the trap, but Kilgrave had nothing to do with it. Audrey is just a Fantastic Racist who wants to kill people with superpowers.
    • While in the midst of her meeting with Audrey, Jessica's phone rings. It's Trish, calling because Simpson is outside her door with another officer, and she fears that Kilgrave has sent him back to finish what he started. By the time Jessica gets there, he is viciously trying to break down the door with a battering ram. Then she sees the frantic look on Simpson's face through the video monitor, and she hears his colleague asking him, "Are you sure there's a body in there?"
    Jessica Jones: Kilgrave didn't send him back.
    Trish Walker: Then why is he trying to break down my door?!
    Jessica Jones: He thinks he killed you. I recognize that look.
  • Perpetual Smiler: One woman says that Kilgrave made her smile for days on end.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain:
    • Audrey cements her position as an unlikable person by comparing the word "gifted" to "special", and talking about it being a euphemism for "retarded".
    • One of the fake Kilgrave victims is a conservative mother trying to claim that Kilgrave was a perpetually shirtless gardener who charmed her daughter and every girl on the block into sleeping with him.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Jessica is absolutely furious when she realizes that Audrey was trying to kill her:
    Jessica Jones: What have we or the mentally challenged ever done to you?
    Audrey Eastman: "You saved the city." That's what the newspapers said; "You were heroes."
    Jessica Jones: [bewildered] Not me...
    Audrey Eastman: "The city was saved"... But I was there. I saw what really happened. I saw my mother crushed to death under a building that you people destroyed.
    Jessica Jones: ...In "the Incident"?
    Audrey Eastman: I was trying to pull my mother out from the rubble, watching her bleed to death [sniffs] while all around me, you people were raining down hell!
    Jessica Jones: [getting increasingly angrier] So go after the big green guy or the flag waver! I wasn't even there!
    Audrey Eastman: Consider it a preventative measure for next time!
    Jessica Jones: You think you're the only ones who've lost people?! You think you're the only ones with pain?! You think you can take your SHIT and dump it on ME?! You don't get to do that! So you take your goddamn pain and live with it, assholes! You lost your parents?! Welcome to the goddamn club! I lost mine in some random accident! DO YOU SEE ME TRYING TO KILL EVERY SHITTY DRIVER?! NO!! BECAUSE I DON'T WORK MY SHIT OUT ON OTHER PEOPLE! SO KEEP YOUR GODDAMN FEELINGS TO YOURSELF!!! [Jessica finishes her rampage by throwing a water heater through the double doors] Ninety-nine. You wanted to know how many of us there are? The last time I counted, I had ninety-nine gifted friends in this borough alone. And now, every single one of them is going to know about the shit you tried to pull. And they hate attempted murder, they really do. And the cops hate it too, you know, because it's against the law.
    • Jessica also gives one when Jeri makes the mistake of saying someone with Kilgrave's "gift" would be nice on "their side" and Jessica rips into her over how someone who rips people apart for his own amusement belongs on no side.
    • Jeri gets one from her ex when she and her new girlfriend run into her ex at the restaurant where they got engaged. Pam is just as unhappy about this move.
  • The Reveal: Malcolm, Jessica's drug-addled neighbor, is the one who has been taking pictures of her for Kilgrave.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Jessica becomes the target of a woman who hates all "gifted" individuals because her mother died in "The Incident".
  • Single Tear: Done by Jessica once she goes to Malcolm's place and sees both a picture of herself in the printer and another of Malcolm with his mom in a frame.
  • Title Drop: When Audrey demands to know how many other Gifted people there are in the city, Jessica says, "The last time I counted, I had 99 gifted friends."
  • Yellow Peril: One of the fake Kilgrave victims is a stoner who claims that Kilgrave was a Chinese dude who made him rob a convenience store at gunpoint.


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