Marvel's Jessica Jones S01E01 "AKA Ladies Night" Recap

Meet Jessica Jones. She's the brooding protagonist of this latest Marvel property and she works as a private investigator. She frequently is hired to get dirt on people like cheating spouses, which sometimes doesn't go over so well when the person hiring her finds out bad news they weren't ready to know about. But it's nothing her super strength can't handle, as she's more than capable of throwing an angry man threw her office door's window.

Jessica visits the stone-cold lawyer Jeri Hogarth whom she frequently collaborates with. When she needs something handled with muscle in a morally grey area, she will reach out to Jessica for help. The latest assignment is to issue a subpoena to a strip club owner named Gregory Spheeris. Jessica has a propensity for melancholy, the source of which will be explored as the season progresses. She drinks to self-medicate the traumas from ghosts of her past. Mind you these are figurative ghosts; this series may exist in a larger universe of superpowered beings like Jessica but we've yet to encounter any literal ghosts.

Jessica decides to go out in the middle of the night when she can't sleep. She arms herself with her camera and spies on people in the building across the street. One of the men in the building is Luke Cage, a man whom Jessica's past and future is intertwined with though she has yet to formally meet him. Cage goes on a date and Jessica carries on observing from her fire-escape perch. She hears a voice of a man named Kilgrave (David Tennant) telling her she "wants to do it." It's possible this is a symbol of her struggles with depression and perhaps even suicidal thoughts. Another swig from her flask and a mantra about Main Street is enough to quiet the voice.

The following morning Jessica wakes from the voices of neighbors yelling in the apartment above her. Her mood is worsened when she finds that her phone charger wasn't plugged in. There's rustling in her apartment and when she goes out into the living room she finds her neighbor Malcolm. He's a drug addict and wandered into her apartment by mistake while intoxicated. When she goes to show him out, there is a couple waiting for her help. Barbara and Bob Schlottman are a nice couple from the midwest searching for their missing daughter Hope. Hope was a university student with a bright future ahead of her but now they have no idea where she is or what has happened to her. Bob's coping mechanism is to fuss with trying to fix Jessica's broken door while Barbara explains the details of the case and how she started acting differently before disappearing entirely.

Jessica takes the case and looks into the Schlottman family and Hope herself. Hope was not only driven academically but a star member of the track team. Through a trail of bread crumbs on social media, Jessica goes to Hope's former place of residence to question Hope's ex-roommate. Hope had told her to sell all of her belongings for some extra cash but the new roommate tells Jessica there's a box of Hope's old stuff still left in the closet. Hope started seeing a man and became infatuated with him.

In between working on the Hope Schlottman case, Jessica tracks down Gregory Spheeris for Jeri Hogarth. He's driving fast in an expensive car but Jessica catches him at a stop sign. She tries to get his attention but he attempts to drive off. Jessica stops him by holding the rear bumper of the car. Spheeris is frightened by Jessica's superhuman strength and threatens to expose her if she lays a hand on him but Jessica tells him that there's no point in threatening such action because the world doesn't want to know about people like her and are more content to stay ignorant. She serves him the subpoena and returns home where she has another nightmare of Kilgrave, who licks her face before she wakes up and begins her mantra of reciting street names. Her tormented anguish is palpable.

Jeri Hogarth calls Jessica, mildly displeased that Jessica threatened Spheeris with her "laser eyes" (Jessica doesn't have any abilities involving laser eyes) but content that the task was completed. She assures Jessica that payroll will issue her payment for the job. It is also revealed that Jeri is having an affair with her assistant Pam despite being married to a woman named Wendy Ross-Hogarth.

Jessica passes by the bar Luke Cage owns. He's seen her around the neighborhood though she's never come into the bar. He doesn't know about her spying on him though. He offers her free alcohol as part of a fabricated "Ladies Night" promotion to entice her into coming in but doesn't pressure her with any sort of aggressive tactics. The two get to talking as she spends the evening drinking in his bar till it's last call. The two engage in a slow flirtation that culminates in them going home together for sex. Jessica tries to encourage him to be more aggressive with his lovemaking, assuring her he won't break but he is insistent that she will if he isn't careful. Afterwards, Jessica finds a photo of a woman tucked into Luke's bathroom mirror and is shaken by this discovery. She exits the bathroom, redresses, apologises to Luke, and leaves. She throws up on the street outside. There is a whole wealth of backstory context to this scene that won't be revealed till later episodes.

Barbara Schlottman calls to check on Jessica's progress. Hope made some recent charges on a credit card her parents gave her for emergencies only. Jessica tracks the stores in which the card was used. There's expensive lingerie and other clothing being bought. The search leads her to a familiar Chinese restaurant. The restaurant used to be an Italian restaurant that Jessica has been to before. Upon questioning the staff, Jessica realises that the man that Hope was here with was Kilgrave, who had taken Jessica to that same restaurant before.

Jessica's world is shaken up hard by this revelation, as she had believed Kilgrave was dead. Jessica is suffering from PTSD and a cocktail of other issues from her traumatic relationship with Kilgrave. Jessica questions the Schlottmans about how they found her and deduces that Kilgrave was the one that advised them to seek out Jessica for help. Jessica tells them they should leave immediately and tries to book a flight to get out of the country but she lacks the funds for it. She calls Jeri, hoping for a loan but Jeri says that those aren't the terms of their business arrangement.

Jessica pays a visit to Trish Walker, who runs a successful radio talk show. Trish is also Jessica's foster-sister. The two haven't spoken in some time and Trish is upset that Jessica shut her out for so long. Jessica tells Trish that Kilgrave is back but Trish thinks it's just her PTSD as she had already seen Kilgrave's death certificate a year ago. Jessica convinces Trish of Kilgrave's return and tells her about Hope Schlottman. Trish wants to call the police but Jessica talks her out of it since they can't do anything to stop him. Jessica wants Trish to loan her money so she can run away but Trish advises her to stay and help Hope. Kilgrave has the ability to perform mind control on people and Jessica is concerned that it's too dangerous for Kilgrave to get his control over Jessica again. Jessica is determined to run so Trish relents and gives her the money. Jessica gets more voicemails from Hope's parents, pleading for answers on their daughter's whereabouts. Jessica knows that Kilgrave is repeating a pattern of lingerie, clothes, a restaurant, and staying in a particular hotel room. This was something he did with Jessica and is now repeating on Hope.

Jessica decides to help Hope so she goes to the hotel and pulls the fire alarm. She approaches a particular room, experiencing flashes of her past while doing so. She enters and finds that Kilgrave is nowhere to be found. Hope is lying in the bed, unmoving. She has urinated the bed due to Kilgrave commanding her to stay put. Jessica calls Hope's parents and instructs them to come to her office and be prepared to get away. Jessica has to use all her superhuman strength to get Hope out of the room, as Hope screams, claws, and fights to stay in the bed because of Kilgrave's mind-control. Jessica tells Hope that Kilgrave's mind control wears off with enough distance and time. Hope is emotionally traumatized, saying he made her do things she never would have done otherwise. Jessica instructs Hope on how to make her own mantra of street names to help her calm down when she feels like she is spiraling.

When Hope is reunited with her parents, they are all overjoyed. Jessica advises them to go back to Omaha immediately and to not look back. Hope thanks Jessica for saving her life and Jessica promises she'll be right behind them, still intent on leaving the country to escape Kilgrave. Jessica has a terrible realization when walking down the hallway towards the elevator, seeing Hope pull a gun from her bag. The elevator doors close before Jessica can get in and when she reaches tit at the ground floor, Hope has shot both of her parents dead. A still-brainwashed Hope smiles eerily and tells Jessica to smile, an echo of a flashback Jessica had of Kilgrave telling her to smile at their anniversary dinner. A few seconds pass, and Hope collapses, horrified and distraught at having killed her parents. Jessica walks out of the building, overcome that she failed to fully save Hope and her family. She considers getting into a taxi and escaping but instead turns back to re-enter the building, determined to do something about Kilgrave.

Marvel's Jessica Jones is available for streaming on Netflix.


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