Not since Breaking Bad has a television show pushed the color purple this heavily. This show's opening credits sequence is awash in it, it shades the background in many of Jessica Jones' traumatic flashbacks, and the central villain is even referred to at times as "The Purple Man." In addition to the color purple, the main draw of this show is its unflinching portrayal of abuse and one woman's resolve to fight back. Many scenes in this show are downright harrowing and it's largely due to the sorts of power dynamics that are tragically grounded in reality.
Most superhero stories fail to make much of an impact on me because it rarely feels like much of anything is really at stake. I mean, if you rattle off the plot synopsis for a given Marvel movie, it sounds like a lot is at stake. The whole planet is going to be destroyed by aliens! Or robots! Or that elf guy with the macguffin! But when you're watching these movies, there's often a sense that everything is pretty much going to be fine. Thor and Hulk and company are going to punch a lot of bad guys really hard until they're gone and, more tellingly, they don't have to make many difficult choices or personal sacrifices along the way.
Jones, meanwhile, is haunted by her memories of Kilgrave's abuse. A powerful mind controller who can will anyone into carrying out his bidding, Kilgrave doesn't simply hurt or kill people; he strips them of their agency. Unlike other Marvel villains, Kilgrave seems uninterested in world domination or even amassing personal wealth. Instead, he derives a sick sort of pleasure from turning people into his puppets, unchecked by any internal moral struggles and singularly focused on satisfying his own short-term desires. Jessica Jones, who Kilgrave found to be particularly enticing due to her powers, was forced to mindlessly follow him around as his lover and personal bodyguard for months on end.
There are plenty of parallels to be drawn between the stories this show is telling and the non-mind-control related struggles that women face on a daily basis. Kilgrave is white male privilege personified, having little trouble getting his way and lashing out at anyone who challenges him. When Jones accurately describes what Kilgrave did to her as "rape" in a later episode, he balks at the term, and attempts to play semantics and paint himself as the victim in a way that resolves himself of any actual guilt (Emily Asher-Perrin goes into further detail about this sort of "gaslighting" tactic that perpetrators of abuse use). Even in lighter stretches of the show, Jones and her friend Trish will find themselves rolling their eyes as a well-meaning male friend of their's attempts to mansplain to them what needs to be done.
I haven't finished this show yet, and when I do, it's highly likely that Jones will have "won." Most superheroes win, after all, and this is especially likely when lucrative franchises can be built around them. What will make her win feel deserved, however, isn't the degree to which she can punch dudes. She's great at that and all, but Thor and Hulk can punch dudes harder. What makes me root for Jones is that she isn't willing for a second to let Kilgrave's toxic sense of entitlement be seen as anything other than what it really is.