Jessica Jones - Season 2 - Review
We last saw Jessica Jones be comic relief to all the superhero shenanigans that happened in The Defenders. But now she's back in a new solo adventure, and she is anything but comic relief. Continue reading to see my thoughts on one of the darkest, depressing entries in the Netflix corner of the Marvel universe. There will be SPOILERS.
The journey that Jessica Jones went on would have broken anybody. In fact, a journey that any of these characters went on would break you. The second season explored an origin of the character of sorts, which was a nice switch to not have it in the first season.
The exploration into Jones's past was riveting, especially if you are invested in the character. Krysten Ritter plays the character to perfection. She is the highlight of every scene she is in. It was nice that it was that way, because some of the other character arcs were frustrating as hell.
Trish Walker. Her relapse, and her selfishness was almost unbearable to watch. Rachael Taylor plays her great, it is how the character is written that is problematic. Malcolm's (Eka Darville) journey on the other hand was wonderful to watch. When he quickly relapsed (which Trish forced) your heart dropped. You felt for him, and wanted the best for him. It seemed that Trish was pushing everybody away, including the audience. At the end when she catches her phone with her foot, I didn't care. She has abilities now, but what she had to give up to do it, left a bad taste. Even for as no-nonsense as Hogarth is, she is likeable enough to care about her ALS diagnosis. Trish isn't, and it is unfortunate. It seems like she will be Hellcat in season 3, but does anybody care now?
Structurally, Jessica Jones has the same problem as every other Marvel Netflix show - it is too long. Shave 5 or 6 episodes off, and you have one the tighest and best shows to date. When Jessica reconnects with her mother, and she's in prison, then escapes, it all is too long. Shorten that part up, and a lot of the problems go away.
There was some new blood added to the show too, and they were great additions. Janet McTeer as Jessica's mother was the biggest one, and she did wonderful in the role. McTeer actually won me over as the "villain" and I felt for her. J.R. Ramirez as the new super, and Jessica's love interest, added a much needed dynamic. He gave her some stability that was needed, and it was earned. They were against each other at first but that is only because Oscar's first thought is about the protection of his son. They seem to be really good for each other, and while the show didn't offer much levity, the scenes of their burgeoning relationship were about as close as we could get.
The other sort of ancillary "villain" was Terry Chen's Pryce Cheng. He was another private investigator with a large firm, but did things that were very shady, including stealing information from Jessica. Jessica pushed so many people away though (except not Trish, because she did that herself), that Malcolm who is constantly fighting to stay clean, went to work for him, so I expect to see them back. Now Jessica Jones has a rival in the investigation front, which could prove an interesting dynamic.
Surprisingly (at first), there was no Rosario Dawson appearance. Maybe she was just a "Phase 1" thing, and will be utilized where she has a story, which is in Luke Cage and Daredevil more than anywhere else. Even Iron Fist has something for her to do, with her friendship with Colleen. She has the littlest impact and the least amount to do on Jessica Jones, so the more I think about it, the more it makes sense that she isn't in this season.
One of the best villains in these Marvel Netflix shows is Kingpin, but a close second is David Tennant's Kilgrave. While he was satisfyingly defeated in season 1, I wasn't sure how this season would feel without him.
Well, he showed up again, in episode 11, and was used to perfection. Jessica has a dark past, and it haunts her every day. The way Kilgrave was used as Jessica's psyche, perfectly portrayed where her head was at, at the time. Jessica could easily be a villain, and a pretty nasty person if she let Kilgrave in fully. That fight we saw for one episode, but she deals with that constantly. It is amazing how much depth we see of her, and your heart aches.It also certainly puts your own problems and issues into perspective
Overall, it was exactly what I expected for the second season. It was great that it was an female-directed season. Each character had a definitive arc, and whether or not I liked every arc was irrelevant. It was great that they were all so clearly on a path.
This is certainly far from the worst thing Marvel television has done, and if you enjoy the character, it is worth your time.
Season 2 of Jessica Jones is now streaming, exclusively on Netflix.