Jessica's secret has her and Luke's relationship hanging in the balance.
Don’t you hate it when you’ve just started to see someone and you’re hooking up but it’s pretty casual…and then you’re forced to tell them you killed their ex while under mind control because you need to stop your fling from murdering the bus driver they believe to be guilty?
It’s the worst.
Jessica Jones went through this very relatable trial during sixth episode of the Netflix series, “AKA You’re a Winner!” and while the scenario might have been heightened, the emotions were very, very real.
The episode is bookended by some sentiments from Malcolm, who is slowly emerging from the drug-induced fog. He explains that there is some freedom to be felt under the control of Kilgrave. Taking away autonomy also removes consequence. There’s no guilt or fear.
This is the exact opposite of the truth for Jessica, who is still very much feeling both in regard to Luke Cage. To her, it doesn’t matter how in-control she was when she punched Reva Connors full-force. There’s no escaping the debt that she feels she owes Luke. It’s why she’s so compelled to help him when he shows up at her door in the middle of the night with a case.
He’s looking for somebody. There aren’t a lot of specifics, but he needs it done quickly and discreetly. Antoine Greer went missing after his sister, Serena, gave him the money he needed to pay off a bookkeeper named Sirkes. And according to Sirkes, the kid never made his payment. What any of this has to do with Luke is a mystery for now, but Jessica isn’t in the position to question his intentions or to turn down the work. She promises to go over to Antoine’s place first thing, but in the life of Jessica Jones, there’s never just one case to handle.
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The other thing on Jessica’s plate is the case that won’t go away. As we saw at the end of last episode, Hope Schlottman received a beatdown by someone name Sissy after paying her in cash. So what’s up? The girl’s attacker doesn’t show any signs of Kilgraving, and a quick twist of the wrist reveals that Hope paid her for the beating.
In a rather tragic twist, it turns out that Hope is pregnant with Kilgrave’s child, and the pummeling she took at the hands of Sissy was meant to take care of it. It’s a testament to the work Melissa Rosenberg and the creative team have done that this “superhero show” can pivot so easily into an emotionally honest story about rape and abortion. The plot isn’t about agenda-pushing, either. It’s just what one character needs to do to get past a terribly traumatic period in her life. “Every second it’s there, I get raped again and again,” she says. “My parents are shot again and again.”
Suffice it to say that we understand why Jessica is a little late to searching Antoine’s apartment. Luke is already there when she arrives, and he gets a lesson in private detecting. Their quarry’s trash gives Jessica a profile of just the kind of guy he is and a plan for getting his attention. She, using her very best up-talking voice, calls Antoine’s phone to tell him that he’s won an Xbox One. But things continue to get more complicated as Jessica and Luke run right into Sirkes outside Antoine’s apartment, and they’re able to nab the private detective a nice 5 percent finder’s fee out of the case.
I just want to talk about what the hell happened on that phone call with Jessica on one end and Hogarth and Pam on the other for a second. Jessica had originally called to persuade the lawyer to get Hope the pill she needs for the abortion, and the talk somehow ended with a proposal. Let’s see if we can retrace our steps. It began with Jessica ignoring Pam and then Hogarth defending her assistant as a significant player in her life. They discuss Hope’s meds a bit and hang up. Pam is curious as to whether Hogarth’s platitudes were earnest, so her boss proposes on the spot, even producing a ring. All of this happens in under a minute. That’s efficient!
NEXT: Luke confronts Jessica
The episode’s main emotional heft begins with just a few suspicious questions from Malcolm for Luke. Given his recent predicament, Jessica’s neighbor isn’t fast to trust new faces, and Luke’s is both new and apparently interested in Jessica. Has he been Kilgraved, Malcolm wonders. And Luke begins to catch on that this Kilgrave fellow is someone important, for better or worse. Malcolm, being not super cool, tells what he knows about Jessica’s past to Luke, who then confronts her about it.
Luke has misinterpreted Jessica’s distance, assuming that it has to do with his dismissal of the Kilgrave business earlier. In fact, it’s what she did to Luke’s wife at Kilgrave’s command that kept her away. “You didn’t do anything wrong,” she tells him. “It’s me. I’m a piece of s—.” But Luke knows better, even if he doesn’t know the full truth. He tells her that, no, she’s not a bad person, and the words mean everything to Jessica, who immediately pulls him in close.
So now Jessica has someone who sees the value in her, and that’s worth protecting, even if it means deceiving him more. And that’s what she intends to do after he tells her the truth about Serena. Coming clean, Luke admits that he barely knows the woman who hired him to find her brother. She was working as an administrator at the MTA when his wife died. She has proof that what happened wasn’t an accident. Naturally, Jessica suspects that whatever Serena has will point straight to her, so she has to beat Luke to Antoine and claim the proof before he can ever learn the full truth of what happened that night, which is more complicated than we previously new.
Before Jessica punched Reva, she was forced by Kilgrave to dig up a flash drive that Luke’s wife had buried in the foundation of a warehouse near where she eventually died. Kilgrave wanted something that Reva had. What that is we have yet to find out.
When Antoine calls, there’s good reason to believe that it isn’t actually Antoine. Namely, whoever wants the Xbox has a Puerto Rican accent. Jessica tries to follow him alone, but Luke isn’t far behind. Together, they track not-Antoine to a warehouse filled with marijuana, inspiring the second “Sweet Christmas!” of the season. It isn’t long before Jessica finds Antoine, who was hiding out until the crop sold and he could return to his sister as a successful businessman, but Sirkes is close behind. The resulting scuffle is a solid opportunity for Luke to show off his table-flipping abilities and for Jessica to slip away with Antoine.
The momentary head start isn’t enough, though, to keep Luke away from Serena’s evidence, which reveals a cover-up around the bus driver, Charles Wallace, who was drunk the night Reva died. Luke is looking murderous as the rides the bus, waiting for the driver to be alone. After confronting Wallace, Luke sends him through the bus’ windshield, leaving it to Jessica to save the man, who now claims to be sober.
The only thing that can stop Luke from chasing after Wallace is the hard truth. Surprisingly, Luke seems to care much more about the deception after his wife’s death than the whole super-punching issue. (Not that he took that well, though.)
The hour left plenty hanging in the balance, beyond Luke and Jessica’s relationship. Sure, Kilgrave has legitimately purchased Jessica’s childhood home for some (no doubt) nefarious reason. That’s bad, but I’m much more concerned with the dead fetus that Hogarth is after. No good ever came out of secretly purchasing a dead, potentially super-powered fetus.