In New York City, a woman is having sex with a man in his car. Private investigator Jessica Jones takes photos and then shows them to her client, the woman’s husband. When he blames Jessica, she shoves him through the window of the door at her office, Alias Investigations.
Later, Jessica is walking down the street and passes a bus with a signadvertising talk radio hostess Patricia "Trish” Walker. She goes to the office lawyer Jeri Hogarth and asks if she has any cases for her. Jeri admits that she has nothing for her and that Jessica turned down her offer of a full-time job for the firm, and points out that Jessica has a habit of being erratic and volatile. The lawyer warns that she’s had to overlook several complaints against Jessica, and Jessica figures that Jeri needs her. Jeri reluctantly says that she needs someone to serve a summons against Gregory Spheeris, the owner of a gentleman’s club. One of his dancers suffered brain damage falling off of a loose pole. The firm is representing the dancer... and several parties interested in Spheeris’ property. Spheeris’ bodyguards make it hard for anyone to get the summons to him.
At her apartment bathroom, Jessica calls Spheeris’ secretary and claims that she was on the Vanderbilt color guard, and works for Spheeris’ partner. The secretary finally gives her Spheeris’ location at the Soho House, and warns that it’s members-only. Once she’s done, Jessica takes a drink and then tries to go to sleep in her bed. She can’t and goes out to check on a case. She climbs up a fire escape and runs surveillance. A man, Luke Cage, leaves an apartment building with his girlfriend, and Jessica takes photos of them. Luke and his girl go up to his apartment and Luke looks out the window. After a moment, Jessica stops taking photos. She hallucinates a man, Zebediah Kilgrave, telling her that she knows she wants to do it. Gasping, Jessica snaps back to reality and recites street names to focus. She then watches as Luke and his girlfriend kiss. As they undress, Jessica takes a drink from her flask.
The next day, Jessica is sleeping when her neighbors’ argument wakes her up. She hears someone in the kitchen room and realizes that her apartment door is open. She goes in and finds her neighbor Malcolm there. He wonders why Jessica is in his apartment until she points out that it’s her apartment. Jessica ushers him to the door and finds a couple there, Bob and Barbara Shlottmann. They explain that their daughter Hope is missing.
Jessica agrees to hear them out, and Barbara explains that Hope is a track & field student at NYU. A month ago she called and said that she’s taking a break. Hope moved out of her apartment and didn’t leave a forwarding address. The Shlottmanns flew to New York, and the police told them there was no evidence of a crime. The police referred them to Jessica, much to Jessica’s surprise. She tells the couple that she charges hourly plus expenses and gets them a contract to sign.
Once the Shlottmanns leave, Jessica goes over the family’s web page. There’s a photo of Hope with her friend Mei, and Jessica goes to see the woman at her apartment. When no one answers the door, Jessica casually breaks the doorknob with her bare hand and finds Mei and her roommate inside. The PI claims that the door was open and the roommate, Raj, films the interview with a head camera. When he refuses, Jessica knocks the camera off. Mei explains that Hope told her to sell of her stuff for rent, and Raj goes to get Hope’s leftover box of junk. When he leaves, Mei says that Hope is with her boyfriend, and Hope never mentioned him to her parents. Jessica pockets an envelope from Hope’s box and leaves.
Later, Jessica goes to Spheeris’ club and watches as he drives off in his car. He pulls over several blocks down and Jessica approaches him on foot, asking for directions to the Chrysler Building. Spheeris isn’t interested and tries to drive away, but his car jerks to a halt. He looks out and discovers that Jessica is holding up the rear end of his car. He figures that she’s a superhero type and Jessica serves him. When Spheeris threatens to tell the world about her, Jessica points out that she isn’t hiding and people would rather not admit that she exists. Spheeris finally takes the summons and Jessica walks off.
Back at her apartment, Jessica passes out drinking. She wakes up when she feels Kilgrave licking her face, but there’s no one there. Jessica recites her mantra to regain control, and her phone rings. It’s Jeri, who warns her that Spheeris’s attorneys said that Jessica threatened him with her superpowers. As a woman kisses the back of Jeri’s neck, Jessica vaguely compliments Jessica and says that she’ll notify payroll to cut her check. Once she hangs up, Jeri kisses the woman.
Jessica looks at her bed and then goes out. She walks by Luke’s apartment and sees that the light is on. She enters the bar beneath the apartment but doesn’t see Luke working the bar. He’s in the alley dumping trash and invites her in for Ladies Night, pointing out that he’s seen her around. Jessica knows that he doesn’t have a Ladies Night, and Luke says that she’ll attract customers. When she hesitates, Luke tells her not to do any favors and goes inside.
After a moment, Jessica goes and drinks at the bar until last call. It’s just her and Luke, and Jessica orders a double. She asks how long he’s been running bar, and Luke says that it’s been a while. He claims that he doesn’t have any family or friends, and asks if she’s had a hard time at the office. Jessica says that she’s a PI and a natural, and admits that she stands in dark alleys and takes photos of cheating spouses. Luke points out that she’s been watching him since she came in and figures that she’s flirting. Jessica insists that she doesn’t flirt, and figures that Luke keeps the place clean because there’s history there and he cares about it more than anyone or anything. She says that he has something personal there but it’s private so he has no photos up. She also knows he likes women, at least temporarily, and Luke figures that she’s flirting. They end up in bed in Luke’s apartment, and he slams her against the headboard. Jessica assures him that she won’t break, and they continue
After sex, Jessica gets up and goes to the bathroom. She washes up and looks at herself in the mirror, and then checks the medicine cabinet. There’s a photo of a woman inside, and Jessica closes the cabinet. She goes back out and gets dressed, says that she’s sorry, and walks out as Luke looks at her. Outside, Jessica throws up and then continues on her way.
The next morning, Jessica wakes up on her couch when her upstairs neighbors argue. Barbara calls and Jessica says that Hope made some recent charges on her credit card. Barbara says that they gave it to Hope in case of emergencies and she never uses it. Jessica goes to the lingerie and men’s clothing stores where Hope made her purchases. She then checks the next purchase, at a restaurant, and recognizes it. Inside, the maitre’d tells Jessica that they had trouble when Hope and her male companion came in.. He had to chase out some regulars to give Hope and her friend a table. Then the sommelier comped them a $500 bottle of wine and the chef tracked down an old recipe that the previous chef knew. Jessica insists that it isn’t possible and remembers years ago when she was there with the same man at the same table, smiling when he told her to smile. Panicking, Jessica runs out and recites her mantra.
Jessica runs to the Shlottmanns’ hotel room and asks which officer told them about her. Bob says that someone was at the station and claimed that he overheard them, and gave them Jessica’s name. Barbara remembers that the man had an English accent. Jessica tells them to go home and get out of New York, and don’t let anyone near them.
Back at her apartment, Jessica packs and orders a ticket to Hong Kong over the phone. When she tries to pay with Hope’s credit card, the clerk tells her that it’s declined. Jessica then calls Jeri and says that she needs to be paid immediately. The lawyer warns that it will be a few days and refuses to give Jessica a loan. Jeri’s friend comes in and kisses Jeri, just as the woman from the previous night sees them together and walks away.
As Jessica leaves, Malcolm gets in the elevator with her. She asks him for money and he offers her his TV. She refuses, figuring that it’s stolen, and he admits that it is.
Trish is at her apartment talking with her program managers when she sees Jessica climbing up on her balcony. Once the managers leave, Trish lets Jessica in, and Jessica says that it’s important. Trish points out that Jessica never called and shut her out, and Jessica asks for money. The host asks what’s so important, and Jessica says that Kilgrave is back. Trish reminds her friend that she saw Kilgrave drive, and confirms that Jessica is still having nightmares and flashbacks. She tells Trish to go back to her therapist for her PTSD, and Jessica complains that reciting her hometown street addresses doesn’t help. The PI explains that Kilgrave has been sending clients to her and took their daughter. A month after Kilgrave took Hope, he held the same one-month anniversary that he did with Jessica when she was under her control. Trish wants to call the police, but Jessica warns that they can’t help. She admits that she’s running and Trish points out that she knows how to handle Kilgrave better than Hope can. Jessica doesn’t believe it and admits she was never the hero Trish wanted her to be. After a moment, Trish goes to get Jessica the money.
As Jessica takes a taxi to the airport, she checks her voice mail. The Shlottmanns, desperate, have left messages asking where Hope is. Jessica finally has the taxi driver stop at an upscale hotel. The doorman recognizes her and greets her by name, and Jessica looks to the hotel room Kilgrave took her to. She throws the fire alarm but no one comes out. Jessica goes in and has a flashback of Kilgrave saying that she misses him. She continues to the bedroom and finds Hope on the bed, staring at the clock. Hope says that Kilgrave left five hours and 21 minutes ago, and Jessica says that they have to get out. She calls Bob and says that she found Hope, and that he and his wife have to get their daughter as far away as possible.
Hope says that she can’t go, and Jessica realizes that Kilgrave told her not to go. When she tries to get Hope dressed, the girl fights her, insisting that she can’t leave. Jessica carries her out, Hope fighting her every foot of the way.
Back at Jessica’s apartment, Jessica tells Hope that Kilgrave’s control will wear off with time and distance. Hope says that Kilgrave made her do things that she didn’t want to do. As she cries, Jessica has her recite street names from her hometown in Omaha, and has Hope repeat that it isn’t her fault what happened. Hope manages to do it, just as Bob and Barbara come in. Jessica tells them that they haveto keep Hope away from the man who took her, and Hope hugs Jessica and thanks her for saving her life. She leaves with her parents, and Jessica prepares to go with them.
As the Shlottmanns get in the elevator, Hope draws a gun and shoots her parents as the door closes. Jessica runs down the stairs and opens the elevator, and finds Bob and Barbara dead. Hope is standing there, pulling the trigger on the empty revolver, and tells Jessica to smile. Shocked, Jessica backs away as Hope drops the gun and screams for help. Ass people come to investigate, Jessica staggers out of the building and goes to the waiting taxi. After a moment, she decides to do something about Kilgrave and goes back inside.
Written by Gadfly on Nov 21, 2015