Theme is very tricky in Jessica Jones. There is no underlining theme that applies to every episode or the whole series as a whole. However, there are certain episodes that have a theme that pushes the whole episode.
Today, I am going to analyze episode 8 of Jessica Jones. First of all, I need to give context about Kilgrave. He has the ability to command people with his voice, and he has used it to kill countless people and ruin countless lives. Jessica, the main protagonist, is living with Kilgrave, so he doesn’t kill any innocent people. In the middle of the episode, Jessica takes Kilgrave and makes him save two children from an abusive father. This makes Kilgrave and the entire audience think the theme is that “people deserve second chances”.
However, the show surprises the audience by having Jessica drug Kilgrave and lock him up at the end of the episode. This hits the audience hard and establishes the new theme of “doing good deeds doesn’t remove your past crimes”. All of the viewers thought that Jessica was going to teach Kilgrave to use his powers for good and be a superhero, but they shut that down very fast at the end.
This theme helps relate to the show as a whole. It shows that no matter what good deeds Kilgrave does in the present, it doesn’t excuse all of his past murders and crimes. This also helps relate the show to modern law. You could save 1000 people after killing one person, but you would still go to jail for murder and be remembered as a murderer.
This creates a question about how are people redeemable. I believe some people should get second chances after doing a mistake. They should get the ability to redeem themselves and make good in the world. However, there is a certain point beyond return. People like Kilgrave, who have ruined and killed dozens of lives, do not deserve a second chance. It is hard to tell where the line should be drawn between a second chance and not, but some people deserve another chance to make the world a better place.