Episode Title: AKA You’re A Winner
Original Air Date: 11/20/2015
Luke hires Jessica to help him find someone who may have skipped town, but she fears he’ll learn too much about her history in the process.
This episode is more focused on building on the romance between Jessica and Luke Cage and, once again, the chemistry between Krysten Ritter and Mike Colter adds to this. However, we also see the difficulties over Jessica being the one who killed Luke’s wife and his desire to find out what happened. Throughout the episode, we see Jessica trying to get the person Luke hired her to find first and deliver him home so that the information about the bus crash just after Jessica killed his wife would stay with her. All this comes to a head at the end of the episode when Luke finds out that the bus driver was drunk and he goes to kill him and in order to save the drivers life, Jessica has to confess that she killed her. This final scene is a great piece of acting from Colter and Ritter. The anger and disgust Colter presents over sleeping with the person who killed his wife is brilliantly handled and the remorse Ritter shows is brilliant, along with the insinuation that Jessica
This part also brings up a new mystery for the whole show, that being what was on the flash drive that Luke’s wife buried in the foundation of the warehouse. Along with this there’s the wonder of what would attract Kilgrave to the drive and why he would be willing to kill Luke’s wife to cover it all up.
The rape metaphors for what Kilgrave does are back again but more blatant this time. We find out that Hope was impregnated by Kilgrave and she’s been trying to induce a miscarriage, which is the reason for the attack at the end of the previous episode and the pain she feels over what Kilgrave has done to her feels really strong here, with Erin Moriarty delivering a great performance in her scenes, mainly when she begs for it to over quick when she’s given drugs to induce a miscarriage. This side of the episode also brings in some great moments for Carrie-Anne Moss, both the caring side in relation to Pam, the person she’s divorcing her wife to be with, and her more devious side, again asking for Jessica to find dirt of her wife and using the fetal tissue from the abortion that Hope has in order to prove that Kilgrave exists.
A new dimension to Kilgrave is also seen here which serves to make him even more compelling. We once again get a good show of his powers when he gets a restaurant full of people to go quiet but later on we see him trying not to use his powers to buy a house. This gives the indication that Kilgrave is trying to create a cover for himself and avoid attention from the authorities. This scene is a great comedic moment from David Tennant, his rage over not getting his way when he’s been used to it for so long is a great short burst of energy and his comedic timing and his awkwardness in small talk is a lot of fun to watch. Everything with the house also adds to the obsession that Kilgrave has over Jessica as at the end it’s revealed that the house he’s bought is the one that Jessica grew up in, on the road she says as part of her PTSD recovery. We also see the importance of the Kilgrave survivor’s group through Malcolm, who finds it a great tool to reveal all the thoughts he has about himself as a result of Kilgrave without the fear of judgment.
I would though say that this episode is the weakest so far until we get to the ending. The missing person case that Jessica and Luke are hired to do isn’t as interesting as others we’ve seen and the resolution to it feels a bit anti-climactic in my book, but this is made up for with the strong performances from Ritter and Colter, particularly at the end of the episode, along with the heartbreaking plot details around Hope, which really highlights how disgusting what Kilgrave does is, along with being a solid depiction of what rape survivors who are impregnated by their rapist go through. Overall, the rest of the elements work so well that they distract from the main plot not being as strong.