Marvel Jessica Jones | AKA Smile // Season Finale Recap Review

Luke receives special medical attention, and Kilgrave sends all of New York after Jessica Jones.


After Jessica ended her battle with Luke with a shotgun straight to his face, she rushes him to the nearest hospital in Hell’s Kitchen and gets help from nurse Claire Temple. Unable to treat him traditionally because of his unbreakable skin, and to avoid police, Claire brings Luke to Jessica’s apartment while Jessica tries to escape a hospital fully under the control of Kilgrave who sends everyone after her.

While Claire reluctantly looks after Luke, adding another “special” person to her list of patients, Jessica uses Luke’s phone to track down who Luke was calling to give updates on Jessica’s whereabouts to Kilgrave. In an expensive high rise, Jessica finds what’s left of Kilgrave’s bloody laboratory where he forced his father and the apartment’s residents to work to enhance his powers, increasing his sway over people. She also finds a picture left by Kilgrave, a clue leading her to a dock where a boat waits to take him away. With some distraction from Trish, Jessica is able to ultimately confront Kilgrave, and ends his abuse once and for all.

While Jessica and Kilgrave flex their powers in each other’s direction, what stands out in “AKA Smile” are those without enhanced abilities, but are still, well, superheroes. Malcolm, Trish, Claire, even Hogarth, in one way or another support Jessica and the other heroes around them with their own unique gifts that Jessica and Luke, and even Kilgrave, don’t have. Compassion. Understanding. A way with words. Just being there when they’re pushed away over and over. It reinforces the a theme that has been constant throughout this series in focusing on the little people and the difference they can make for the ones they care about and for themselves.

While Jessica Jones may not be as action packed as it’s Netflix predecessor Daredevil, stands on it’s own with its strong characters, both physically and personally. While Daredevil works to save the entire burrow of Hell’s Kitchen, Jessica Jones fights to protect herself and the one or two people she reluctantly cares about, all while trying to make a living in the goddamned city. Through Jessica’s fight against Kilgrave, we had the chance to flesh out Hell’s Kitchen and see the character’s that make up this street level of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Thanks to David Tennant performance, Kilgrave is by far the most evil, and vile, villain the MCU has introduced. Not only are the ramifications of his powers frightening, but what makes him worse is the realistic character behind his powers. The delusional abuser who puts the blame of his actions on his abused.

Krysten Ritter’s performance as the antihero Jessica Jones brings more depth than many other superhero characters. Given gifts not of her free will or born with them, doesn’t work to better the world or save it, but prefers to look after her own skin. But, with her distancing herself from the rest of the world, she picks a job as a private detective, which, more often than not, helps someone. Just as Malcolm said, there’s a hero in her, somewhere. She may not find it, but it’s there.

What can we expect from a second season? Will she and Luke see each other again? What is Jessica’s connection to IGH? What really broke Kilgrave’s sway over her? Will Malcolm and Claire team up as social worker and nurse to support superheroes? And will we see Jessica in Luke’s own adventures in his upcoming show?

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