In later episodes of the TV series Jessica Jones, the titular character develops the power to

resist Kilgrave's mind control. Even after his powers are artificially enhanced, Jessica is still able to resist him without any trouble.

I get there is a clear explanation for this in the comics. It's also very clear that this explanation doesn't apply to the TV show, because this power develops while we're watching, and it's not helped by Jean Grey as in the comics.

Jessica wonders if this is the result of her

being commanded by Kilgrave to kill Reva, Luke's wife, which was something she really didn't want to do, and that this somehow severed her link to Kilgrave forever.

However, I think Jessica is just shooting in the dark and her explanation is particularly unconvincing because several other characters were in similar (or worse) situations and this didn't help them.

For example, Hope

is still susceptible to being commanded by Kilgrave, even after being forced to kill her own parents, an act that is more horrifying than Jessica's.

So is there any convincing explanation for this development in the TV show? Or in interviews with the writers or actors?

Note there is a related question here, What exactly are Jessica Jones' powers?, but that's not what I'm asking. I'm not asking for an enumeration of powers; I'm asking about the origin of a particular power.

  • 9
    It's not been stated as far as I'm aware. Given that it was revealed that the cause of his powers is <spoiler tag>, it's hardly surprising that someone with enhanced healing might prove to be less susceptible,
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 23:05
  • 2
    @Richard An enhanced immune system, you say? :P I'm not entirely sure it works out either (timespan of events doesn't favor an "antibodies" explanation), but it could. In any case, we all agree Jessica's own hypothesis isn't convincing, right?
    – Andres F.
    Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 23:15
  • 4
    She had a number of traumatic experiences while under his control. I don't see why a murder would be the single trigger that prevented him from being able to manipulate her. My first thought was "superhuman immune response".
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 23:18

1 Answer 1


Kilgrave's power to control others in Jessica Jones is explicitly stated as being caused by a virus that makes people susceptible to his commands.

Before Jessica escaped his control completely after killing Reva, we see that at one point she managed to resist his commands for a very short amount of time. During a flashback in the episode "AKA 1,000 Cuts", Jessica refuses to come down from the ledge when ordered to by Kilgrave.

As such, a likely explanation for Jessica's ability to ignore Kilgrave is that after prolonged exposure to the virus she built up some degree of immunity. This just so happened to coincide with her killing Reva, allowing Jessica to escape completely while Kilgrave was injured.

  • 2
    This seems plausible, altough i think her somewhat enhanced healing also helped a bit.
    – DLE
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 10:59
  • Interesting. Would anyone have developed this resistance in the long term? In any case, if true, this would imply Jessica's own theories were bullshit :)
    – Andres F.
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 13:24
  • 1
    @AndresF. Maybe. As DLE said, her ability to become immune may have been helped by her enhanced healing abilities, but I don't see why a normal person wouldn't also become immune after a certain amount of time. Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 13:50
  • 2
    I'm pretty sure the immunity story is given explicitly in the show; Kilgrave's father explicitly tries -- but fails -- to transfer Jessica's immunity to himself biologically.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 17:45

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