Marvel’s Jessica Jones is available to view now on Netflix, and as with Daredevil we’ll be providing (mostly) daily episode-by-episode coverage for those who want to follow it with us. Each instalment of these viewing notes will look at how the show’s plot, characters and story relate to the comic source material, providing background information and pointers for those who want to know more.
Please note that while we might occasionally reveal the way plots developed in the comics, we are trying to be sensitive to any surprises the TV show may have in store. These notes are written immediately after the episode is watched, so any speculation about the way the story may go is purely that!
All we ask is that if you’ve seen future episodes that confirm, contradict or otherwise twist things we talk about in this piece, please respect people who don’t have the luxury of binge-watching and don’t put spoilers for future episodes anywhere in the comments. You can, however, swap spoilers in our ‘What Did You Think?’ post. Thanks.
Jessica has to find a way to prove to her lawyer friend, Hogarth, that Kilgrave and his powers are real so that she’ll take on Hope’s apparently doomed defense. Jessica and Luke also learn that they both have superpowers.
Like Daredevil’s second episode, which involved him doing his thing in court, this episode really cuts to the bone of Jessica’s skills as a PI. The focus on Hope after episode 1 suggests we’re not going to get much in the way of a case-of-the-week structure, but hopefully we’ll have a few more opportunities to see this sort of investigation unfold.
So, this might not need explaining, but at the start when Hogarth mentions “Patty Hearst”, that’s nothing to do with comics. It’s a reference to the real-life case in which the granddaughter of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army. She was eventually indoctrinated into their cause to the point where she began to help them, and 19 months after her kidnapping she was found, tried for her part in the crimes, then found guilty (though later pardoned.) Hogarth is comparing Hope’s case to this one, while Jessica argues that this goes beyond indoctrination.
While undercover at the hospital, Jessica mentions that she transferred from “Seattle Grace” which is, of course, the hospital from Grey’s Anatomy. Interestingly, Grey’s Anatomy is owned by ABC, which is owned by Disney, which owns Marvel. So it’s entirely possible that it could be taking place in the MCU (after all, they’re all too involved with their own lives to ever mention superheroes, and if Tony Stark was hanging around it would explain the show’s frankly bizarre scene with a holographic heart).
On the other hand, the hospital they’re actually IN? That’s definitely from the Marvel Universe. It first appeared in Night Nurse #1 (November 1972) and was, of course, the hospital Night Nurse worked at. I don’t think I spotted it at the time, but there’s no question that the hospital in the Daredevil Netflix series is also Metro-General, so there’s your first crossover. Now we just have to wait for Claire Temple to show up.
After confidently predicting in last episode’s notes that Tricia Walker wasn’t going to be a superhero, it does seem like they are moving in that direction. I wasn’t sure who she told to “wait here” in the car before she tailed Jess, and between the scars and nosebleed I wondered if Kilgrave already had her. But then we find out she’s learning to fight, so – in light of their scene in the previous episode – it’s possible that she and Jessica both wanted to become superheroes and Tricia’s going about it in her own way. I can’t quite imagine her in the Hellcat costume, especially at the grittier Netflix end of the MCU, but frankly the more superheroes we see on screen the happier I am.
Interestingly, Reva Conners – the woman who died during the bus crash incident – shares a name with an established (if minor) Marvel character. It’s possible this is just one of those instances where they repurpose a name rather than come up with a new one (like the use of Leet Brannis in Agent Carter) but given that there were a lot of characters named in this episode which weren’t taken out of the comics, I do wonder why this one was. Given her particular connection to one of the cast members I wouldn’t be entirely shocked if they’re planning make more of it, so for that reason I’m going to make the executive decision not to spew the comics backstory on this one. If you’re not worried about spoilers, feel free to look it up.
Now, last episode was a bit low on punching fun, so it was good to see a proper fight in this one – especially since we got to see Luke and Jessica fighting back-to-back. I nearly cheered when that guy tried to stick a bottle into Luke’s neck only for it to completely fail. Cage’s powers, if you hadn’t guessed, are super-strength with unbreakable skin, and I’m already looking forward to his own series based on this episode.
We also finally get to see Kilgrave in action, and it’s appropriately menacing. Although you have to be amused by that first moment where he uses his power on the guy. “You’d like to invite me in.” “You’re damn right I would, you’re David Tennant!”. Anyway, crush syndrome – the title of the episode, and the reason Kilgrave needed a double transplant – is renal failure caused by traumatic muscle injuries (like if you were hit by a bus).
Part of me hopes that this is in there to explain why Kilgrave is going to have purple skin, as some consequence of damaged kidneys and whatever gave him his powers. The fact that we haven’t seen his face makes me think there’s a chance of that, despite publicity photos showing otherwise. I think it’s kind of important that he is, because it’s part of what makes him menacing – that he’s so obviously different but he doesn’t feel the need to hide it because of how powerful he is.
Anyway, time will tell on that theory. At least this show seems to be moving quite fast with its plotting!