Massive Spoilers for Season 1, much of it not behind spoiler blocks!

I haven't watched Season 2 (yet), so please no answers that are spoilers for that.

In the final showdown with Kilgrave ...

Jessica pretends to still be controlled by Kilgrave, but in fact is not.

She continues doing that whilst he mostly monologues at her. She answers questions honestly and lets Kilgrave assualt Trish. Then after a while she

reveals herself and snaps his neck.

There's no apparent hesitation or turmoil about whether to kill him.

Nor any apparent mental fight to overcome his control, given which she must have known immediately that she wasn't controlled.

So it seems like she was standing there for no reason.

Out-of-universe, it's obviously extending the audience tension, as to whether this is an upper- or a downer-ending, and getting to call back to the "I love you" codephrase, but is there any reasonable in-universe explanation for the grandstanding, rather than just walking straight up to him and punching his nose through the back of his skull?

  • I haven't seen it so I can't really judge what's an actual spoiler or not, but if I may, I think it would improve your question if you would show more text; so far everything's behind spoiler blocks. Which... Kind of makes for a hard-to-read post. I'm sure you (or another editor, more knowledgeable than I am) can phrase it so that the question isn't just one big hidden block :)
    – Jenayah
    Commented Jul 19, 2019 at 23:24
  • No, you really really can't. It's about the exact specifics of the absolute culmination of Season 1. Which is a big "which way is it going" suspense moment. Any indication of which way it goes would be a huge spoiler (IMO)
    – Brondahl
    Commented Jul 19, 2019 at 23:27
  • In addition to which, if you haven't seen Season 1, I don't see any way you could plausibly have the necessary context to answer the question anyway?
    – Brondahl
    Commented Jul 19, 2019 at 23:28
  • Obviously, we could just declare that the first line and some visual spacing are adequate and remove all of the spoilers. But on that grounds we could arguably remove almost every spoiler tag in the stackExchange, right?
    – Brondahl
    Commented Jul 19, 2019 at 23:29
  • 1
    Me, I don't plan to answer that at all. But I do like to participate in keeping the site clean. If a title can't escape a "why did X do Y" phrasing... Alright. If the whole question body doesn't make any sense without the stuff behind spoiler blocks, I find that sad. Some spoiler hiding is fine, but masking everything without​attempt to reword in a way that only the hidden stuff is actually a spoiler, this is bad. If people don't want to be spoiled they shouldn't click the question to begin with, that doesn't mean others should have to face unhandy formatting for them
    – Jenayah
    Commented Jul 19, 2019 at 23:35

1 Answer 1


Jessica's goal was to get Kilgrave close enough that she could stop him before he could get a word out to harm Trish or any of the other people. He's done it before, and he'd do it again, and in fact he literally threatened that moments before. All he had to do is say "cut your throats" as she was approaching. That doesn't take long. Even if she rushed him in an attempt to blindside, there was that chance he could dodge the first attack.

As such,

she had to be careful to follow his commands exactly, to make him think he controlled her again... until he got close enough that she could finish him in a way that wouldn't let him give commands to anyone.

You can see this intention with

the specific method she chose to kill him - she grabbed him by the neck and physically held his mouth shut (or held him up such that gravity helped) so he couldn't get a word out, before she killed him. Obeying even the 'smile' command made him take one more step toward her, before that he was just out of arm's reach (or at least, out of a reach where he might have dodged her attempt and given a command). When he gave the command to say "I love you," that is the only moment of 'grandstanding' where she probably took some pleasure out of fooling him just before killing him.

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