When Netflix first announced its miniature Marvel universe, part of the appeal was the promise that it would eventually create its own small-screen version of The Avengers. Now that Iron Fist has premiered, The Defenders isn't far off, and the final piece of the puzzle has begun laying the groundwork for how these heroes will find each other. A throwaway line in Episode 8, "The Blessing Of Many Fractures," may go unnoticed by first-time viewers, but Marvel fans know that it's a major clue. The Jessica Jones reference in Iron Fist is one of many hints that the Netflix-Marvel Universe is finally starting to come together.
In a conversation with her brother, Ward, about getting back in the good graces of their company, Joy Meachum shows him an extensive collection of dirt on their fellow board members. Specifically, that none of them seem to be able to avoid having affairs or participating in some shady business dealings. When asked how she managed to procure these pictures, Joy says that she "hired a private investigator a while ago to start digging. She was worth every penny ... when she was sober." Those two lines aren't much, but it's just enough to connect the dots and figure out that Jessica Jones is, without a doubt, Joy Meachum's private investigator.
The line could have ended after Meachum explained she had hired an investigator, but the fact that the P.I. is a woman who is "worth every penny" and has trouble staying sober points to Jessica Jones, who fans have gone far too long without seeing. Having taken a backseat in the Netflix-Marvel universe since her self-titled series finished its first season, any mention of the anti-heroic P.I. is worth celebrating.
If, for some reason, the Jessica Jones message doesn't excite you, that's not even the first reference to a Marvel hero in that episode. While traveling with nurse and honorary Defender Claire Temple, Danny Rand's attention is drawn to a letter that is implied to be written by Claire's semi-flame Luke Cage. As The Defenders grows closer, Marvel is setting up more and more possible ways to bring these four misfits together, but of the multiple heroes, it's Jessica Jones that is most exciting to see come back to the small screen. Still, as the first female superhero to get her own franchise on either film or television in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the absence of Jessica Jones has been felt for far too long and it's good to be reminded that she'll be back soon.
Not much is known about what The Defenders will look like yet, but Danny now has a connection through his childhood friend to everyone's favorite troubled super-strength P.I., not to mention knowing Claire Temple, who is somehow the best at superhero networking in the business. As the series approaches, Marvel's breadcrumbs are getting larger and larger and should have a massive payoff when The Defenders premieres later in 2017.