Damn, this show is getting darker! I mean, Jessica Jones was already dark, but that little bit of light is getting smaller and smaller with each passing second. In this episode, “AKA You’re a Winner”, we watch as Jessica’s life spirals even further out of control, and, as per usual, we learn that she cannot catch a break, no matter what. (spoilers ahead!)
The episode starts with Kilgrave once again demonstrating his powers of persuasion, albeit in a more hostile manner than just forcing someone to welcome him into their home. We watch as Kilgrave sits down to play poker with a group of men before forcing them to fold on a million-dollar pot. One man makes the foolish decision to confront him. So what does Kilgrave do? He forces the guy to repeatedly bash his head in over and over. We thought it was evil when Kilgrave forced a guy to throw coffee into his face last episode – now he’s starting to get even worse. It’s a slow, gradual buildup as his hostile nature comes to light.
Guess who makes a reappearance in “AKA You’re a Winner”? Luke Cage! He comes back into Jessica’s life to ask her for help tracking down a guy named Antoine who’s stuck in a nasty deal with some loan sharks. Jessica is still iffy about working with Cage – on one hand, she obviously has a thing for him and wants to spend as much time with him as she can, but on the other, she’s worried that he’ll soon discover her secret and find out that she’s responsible for his wife’s death. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Using her sleuthing skills, Jessica and Luke are able to track down Antoine to a warehouse where a whole farm of weed is being grown. Before the duo can escort Antoine out, they are accosted by the loan shark and his cronies. Instead of handing over their target to the loan sharks, Jessica and Luke try to renegotiate the deal, offering all the weed in the warehouse in exchange for Antoine, who they intend to reunite with his sister. The sharks aren’t having it, and a big fight ensues. Now, I know this show isn’t meant to be as combat-intensive or action-packed as any of the other Marvel shows or films, but I wish they hired better choreographers. The fight scene looked a bit clunky and awkward, and it appears that Luke’s powers are severely underplayed in this series.
After Luke, Jessica, and Antoine escape, Luke reveals that he was retrieving Antoine in exchange for information from his sister. She gives him a folder full of info that indicates that the bus that hit his wife was driven by an intoxicated man who never went to jail. Luke seeks out revenge on the man, but before he’s seriously injured (or killed), Jessica shows up and explains that she was the culprit while under Kilgrave’s control. It’s a sad scene, and for a moment, you expect Luke to beat the living daylights out of Jessica. Instead, he punches the side of the bus, calls her a piece of shit, and walks out of her life. Personally, I think Jessica would’ve preferred that he hit her over this decision. You can tell that she’s really hurt that her close friend, confidant, and occasional lover has abandoned her.
While this episode is definitely Jessica/Luke-centric, there were some other aspects worth noting. Kilgrave is somewhat under the radar, making a few appearances here and there, but he’s not really seeking out new victims. We actually see him trying to buy a house. A bit unusual, right? Well, by the end of the episode, we discover that this house has a very special meaning to him (and to another protagonist). Not only that, but Kilgrave also refuses to use his powers to force the homeowner to listen to him. He actually restrains himself from it for some reason. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why he didn’t take the easy road out. Maybe he doesn’t want to become too dependent on his powers? Maybe he wants a semblance of a normal life? Hell, from what we’ve seen so far, it’s not like he’s a nice guy or anything. I’m honestly surprised that he didn’t force the guy to hand over the keys to the house, and then made him jump out a window.
Finally, we head back over to Hope, now in the prison hospital. As we saw in the last episode, another inmate assaulted her, punching her in the stomach repeatedly while she slept. Jessica thinks that the inmate was Kilgraved, but she learns that Hope paid her for the attack. Bombshell of the episode: Hope is pregnant… by Kilgrave. Once again, we’re seeing just how sick this guy is and what kind of monster is lurking beneath that English exterior. Is it surprising? Not really. Is it still unsettling and terrifying as hell? Oh, yeah. Kilgrave gets worse and worse with each episode.
This episode was on the slower side and kinda slogged along, even with the mediocre fight scene in the middle. I still enjoyed it for the most part, though I felt like it could’ve been shortened, or at least combined with another slower episode. It was a nice way of reintroducing Luke into the storyline and further developing his relationship with Jessica. And Kilgrave, well, needless to say that Kilgrave stole the show again, even with his minimal role.
Final Grade: B
+ I’m glad Luke is back.
+ Great acting all around.
+ There was some strong development between Luke and Jessica this episode.
– The fight scene could’ve used better choreography.
– The episode was on the slower side.
– What is Kilgrave’s plan with that house?
What are your thoughts on “AKA You’re a Winner”? Are you happy for Luke to be back? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!