Jessica Jones: Episode 1 Season 1

This episode of Jessica Jones was written by multiple writers in Los Angeles with one of the writers being on set in New York City. These writers took inspiration from Daredevil, the other Netflix Marvel character. Interestingly enough, the writers of Jessica Jones were developed through the production of the season rather than being pre-written unlike the other Netflix Avengers TV shows. I think this is very interesting because the method of the show’s writing also reflects the impromptu/just-go-with-it attitude of the character Jessica Jones.

Dialogue in this episode was very informal with no voice over. However, there were multiple scenes with just music playing in the background that set the tone of each scene. The music with the silence of the characters in the scene almost acted as a passive voice over for the episode. I feel like this shapes the character of Jessica Jones much more and adds to the dark tone of the episode. For example, there is one scene where Jessica Jones is spying on Luke Cage, who happens to be another superhero. Without any words, the audience can tell just from her facial expressions and the slow, steady background music that Jessica yearns for a normal life without PTSD or any of her problems.

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Jessica speaks through her facial expressions

On the note of the episode using silence, the episode very frequently used flashbacks that blends in reality to express the feeling of Jessica’s PTSD. Rather than do direct black and white flashbacks to the past to recall why she has PTSD, the episode often blends scenes from the past and the present with fast paced music to instill a sense of fear in the audience’s minds. In these scenes, Jessica also does not talk often if not at all, which I believe is used to show how much fear Jessica Jones has for the antagonist of the season, Kilgrave.

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Flashback scene

Overall, the frequent absence of dialogue in the writing of the episode stood out to me most. Most of Jessica’s feelings or complex thoughts were expressed through music and facial expressions which the writers did well in synchronizing the two elements together in scenes. For example, the plot twist at the end of the episode wasn’t started via a dialogue scene like in many other TV shows, but through slow, eerie music and through Jessica’s silence.