Mild spoilers for Season 1. I haven't (yet) watched Season 2, so please no spoilers for that.

We are told that surgical sedation disables Kilgrave's power, and somewhat demonstrated that with Ducasse's response once Kilgrave is tranq'd.

We are also shown Kilgrave's power having time-limits, and also that the victims are entirely aware of the control after the fact (assuming that it wasn't mild enough that they deny their experience to themselves).

However, In Ep 8. the next door neighbour detonates the bomb, killing herself, despite Kilgrave being sedated, and in all the police who held themselves hostage in Episode 7 don't seem to remember anything that happened.

Is there any good explanation for this, or is it just "the writers weren't too careful/fussed about that sort of consistency"?

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    Haven't seen it, but when the neighbor was told to detonate the bomb was he already sedated? Sounds to me like whether or not he's sedated matters when he gives a command, not when its carried out. Again though, I have not seen the show. Jul 21, 2019 at 14:17

1 Answer 1


No, his powers are not inconsistently represented.

Kilgrave's mind control powers are effected by some kind of chemical/pheromone he exudes into the air. Therefore victims must be in range of that before he can control them (just being able to see or hear them is not enough).

Once under Kilgrave's control the effect lasts about 10-12 hours, whether or not he continues to be present. This is why, for example, the neighbour still detonates the bomb despite Kilgrave being sedated.

Generally Kilgrave's victims remember their actions, but in the police precinct scene you mentioned, Kilgrave explicitly tells everyone present to forget what happened and remember the whole thing as a joke. Since this is what happens after he leaves, we can assume that his control of people's minds allows him to forcibly alter memory in a way that persists after his control wears off.

  • (Possible Spoilers) Clearly not entirely accurate, as in the finale, all of his other targets instantly return to normal (including confused, what's going on reactions) once Kilgrave isn't there.
    – Brondahl
    Oct 28, 2019 at 7:43

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