Jessica Jones’ first season was brilliant. My second overall favourite of the Netflix side of the MCU, it featured twists, turns and a really compelling villain… that was sadly (though made perfect sense for the story) killed off. That leaves Season 2 with a gaping hole that will be hard to fill, and judging by these first four episodes, that may well be the problem! “A slow start” doesn’t do it justice… Let’s take a look, anyway!
Super-powered private investigator Jessica Jones has become known as a vigilante hero around New York City since she killed her tormentor Kilgrave. Trish Walker, Jones’s best friend and adopted sister, attempts to convince Jones to investigate her past and IGH, the company that gave her abilities, but Jones is not interested… at least until she has no other choice…
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
Cast of Characters:
Trish and Jessica, thrilled and pissed off… Sounds about right.
Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) – If she thought killing Killgrave would bring her peace, she was wrong. Now branded a vigilante killer, Jessica is having trouble getting clients to treat her as a normal person… Not that she ever presented herself that way in the first place…
Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor) – Host of the popular radio show Trish Talk, Trish was also a child star and every bit as broken as her adoptive sister. That being said she has taken interest in the mysterious organisation IGH and what they did to Jessica, even if Jessica herself has no interest…
Malcolm Ducasse (Eka Darville) – Jessica’s assistant, much to her distress, and former drug addict (due mostly to the influence of Killgrave…) Malcolm is doing his best to be both of help to Jessica, and to generally be a better person.
??? (Janet McTeer) – A mysterious woman who meets with Jessica Jones, but ends up spooked and showing her powers… powers that are very similar to Ms. Jones…
Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) – Top attorney who has helped out several heroes recently, including Jessica. Sadly for her, she soon receives news that no super powers can do anything about…
Jessica actually doing some investigating! *gasp!*
Although very leisurely paced, the first four episodes at least do a good job of re-establishing Jessica and her world. Jones herself is still blunt and sarcastic, which is fun to watch, and very mentally broken, which makes for good drama. Trish is still a bit entitled and annoying, but also still has her heart in the right place… so far. Malcolm, although he had a rough go of it in Season 1, is the flat-out nicest of the group, and is therefore a breath of fresh air. This trio makes a lot of the scenes work, even if not much is happening.
There are some fun scenes in Episode 1, where Jessica meets some clients and they’re all nuts, apart from one who turns out his claim to have super powers is actually true, despite looking like an overweight geek (it’s the MCU version of little known Golden Age hero “Whizzer”, who I didn’t know about personally). It was a good laugh, but sadly it ended in his death in the same episode, so… I guess it gave Jessica a reason to push forward into the IGH investigation, so it wasn’t all for nought!
The whole IGH thing is a good plot string, and the mysterious woman with powers is a nice extra string to the bow (and I already have a good idea of who this mysterious older woman with powers similar to Jessica could be…) but it takes a long time to get going each episode. Normally the last 10 minutes are really good and interesting, but it takes a good 40 to reach it…
Mystery woman killing a guy in front of Jessica’s house and Ms. Jones being arrested for it is a good way to end this opening chunk, fingers crossed for the middle and end!
The unfortunate antagonist who has to follow Killgrave…
As mentioned several times already, this is very slow going. I appreciate that with the Netflix “all at once” release model they can afford to have a few slower paced episodes, but this is taking it too far! I’m sorry I don’t watch six episodes in one sitting, but at two a night it seems not much has happened that couldn’t have been told in a single episode, maybe an episode and a half tops.
Jeri Hogarth has a terminal disease and reacts to the news by having a weird drug-fueled lesbian prostitute party… Great? Did I need to see that seemingly never-ending sequence? Nope. In fact there has been a lot of rather pointless sex scenes in these first few episodes… I’m not a squeamish type, it’s just… again, it seems like it’s filling time. “What’s that? We’re running short? Let’s have Trish and her boyfriend have sex for a minute or two before the bed chat. That’ll do it!” It’s no Game of Thrones Season 1, but it certainly can’t defend the scenes as necessary for the story…
Some of the new characters aren’t exactly interesting. Rival P.I. Pryce Cheng was just a smarmy, cocky guy who immediately got his comeuppance and seems to already be irrelevant, new janitor Oscar Arocho a man who has a son and therefore doesn’t want Jessica in the building, is clearly there to be a love interest for our heroine later on and is generally not very interesting at the moment, but at least there is more to tell with him.
Will Simpson is brought back from the believed-dead, only to be killed off for good with very little impact. Odd decision, though to be fair there wasn’t much else to go with him. Trish’s mother is still thoroughly unlikable, but that’s why she’s here, so… Can’t complain too much.
It seems we’re going to do a “Trish is addicted to a super-soldier drug” storyline… *shrugs*, maybe it will be good, but it seems rather soap opera-y to me (as in woman getting a drug addiction subplot, not the super-soldier drug…)
Hey look, I’m sorry I didn’t give you a high score this time round, but there’s no need for that!
Jessica Jones Season 2 has a hell of a act to follow on from, yet even with my expectations set low to give it the benefit of the doubt the series hasn’t exactly thrilled me so far. It’s early days, obviously, but rated as purely a beginning to a story there hasn’t been a lot to get me excited over. Fingers crossed it’s just the calm before the storm!