Kilgrave paranoia is running high for everyone, most of all Jessica, who discovers that someone has been stalking her and taking pictures for Kilgrave for the last few months. Revisiting the locations that the pictures were taken at, she works hard to find Kilgrave’s spy, who would be literally anyone, even a new client. Audrey Eastman, an angry wife whose husband is cheating on her approaches Jessica, hiring her to follow her husband after work and get pictures of him in the act with his “skank.” Jessica is cautious, but takes the case, deciding she is either sent by Kilgrave, which will get her one step closer to taking him down, or she’s telling the truth and it’s a paycheck.
Meanwhile, Trish is visited by the cop who tried to kill her on Kilgrave’s orders over her insulting comments about him on her show. Jessica arrives just in time and realizes that he’s not returning because of Kilgrave, but because he’s a decent person who thinks he’s murdered someone. Jessica explains to him the situation, telling him her idea for how to save Trish from Kilgrave, and asking for police camera surveillance of her to help in her search for the stalker.
The client was referred to her by a divorce attorney from Hogarth’s firm and tries to find out what she can about her. What she finds instead is a long line of potential Kilgrave survivors and witnesses waiting to meet with Hogarth to either tell the true tale of their experience being mind controlled, or to use Kilgrave as a popular alibi for robbing liquor stores, getting pregnant, or shoving purple staffs up their… Hm. Jessica and Hogarth determine that a few are true Kilgrave survivors and set up a group for them to help each other cope, and give information to Jessica about Kilgrave’s recent activities.
Back on the case of the cheating husband, Jessica follows him to an apartment where he meets with, not his mistress, but his wife. Breaking in on their rendezvous, Jessica discovers they’re not sent by a powered person, but because of powered people. Audrey lost her mother during “the incident,” the Battle of New York between the Avengers and Loki’s alien army, and now blames all “gifted” individuals for the tragedy that happened that day, and plans to take her revenge on Jessica, and any other gifted she can find. Finally reaching her limit, Jessica lashes out, destroying the apartment while scaring the Eastman’s of her “99 gifted friends,” warning them that she’ll be back for them if they don’t disappear.
For a character who has so far had little screen time, Kilgrave is impacting many lives, leaving traces of his abuse and paranoia on each person her uses. While Jessica’s focus is on stopping Kilgrave and saving Hope, showing others who have suffered at Kilgrave’s hand keeps the focus on real people who feel broken and turn to mental health support services to cope. I doubt there is a real Kilgrave Survivors’ Group for those who have been mind controlled by a super villain out there, but the implication is authentic enough.
“AKA 99 Friends” also brings up a strong connection with the greater M.C.U., bringing up “the incident,” just like in Daredevil, and highlighting more paranoia for super heroes in this strange new world after the Battle of New York. The Avengers may have saved New York from Loki and the Chitauri, the world from Ultron and Hydra, but countless lives were lost, and even more affected. While Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. touches on the reactions from global governments, we’re now seeing the real emotions and anger towards this new “gifted” community, that will more than likely continue in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War.