The second season of Jessica Jones finally begins to show its teeth with this middle block of episodes. The big (and sadly predictable) reveal of the lead antagonist leads to flashbacks and some fun and dramatic scenes of conflicted emotion. Sadly while all of this is going on there is still an awful lot of uninteresting side-stories being told, so… Let’s take a look!
Jessica Jones finds herself behind bars after being framed for a killing committed by the still mysterious woman from IGH. Meanwhile Trish’s life begins to fall apart, and Jerri’s life begins to look more hopeful…
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
Cast of Characters:
The Good, The Bad and the Unimportant and Briefly Featured Character.
Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) – Jessica Jones never wanted to know about her past, and sure enough once people started to dig into it, nothing but bad things have happened… Still, couldn’t get any worse, right?
Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor) – Trish is beginning to become addicted to a new super soldier-y drug she’s been inhaling, but more importantly, addicted to the idea of becoming a super hero, a dangerous dream indeed…
Malcolm Ducasse (Eka Darville) – Malcolm is working for Jessica Jones, and although she often treats him like crap, he’s just happy for the opportunity to slowly do good and get his life back on track…
Alisa Jones (Janet McTeer) – I said spoilers from here on out! The mysterious woman from IGH turns out to be Jessica Jones’ mother, who was given super powers via the same treatment that saved Jessica, although a far more severe version of it. It’s left her quite, quite mad…
Karl Malus (Callum Keith Rennie) – Malus is the man who created the method used to bring Jessica and Alisa back from the brink of death and with super powers. He has fallen for Alisa and wants nothing more than her happiness, regardless of ethics.
Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) – Jerri is a top attorney who has recently found out she has only a few years of life left. Desperate to get an extension on this, she is starting to take interest in IGH and their past experiments…
A grim picture for “The Good”, but the flashback episode was a highlight…
The revelation that the woman was Alisa Jones, although I saw it coming, did at least lead to some proper interest being created in the season. Episode 6 sees Jessica find out the truth, and that leads to an episode-long flashback showing what Alisa has been through over the years, inter-cut with a story focusing on Jessica and Trish falling out when Trish was still a singing star and sees young Jessica finding a boyfriend. It all comes together with Alisa, having just escaped, crushing Jessica’s boyfriend’s skull against the wall when he looked to be making deals to pimp her super-powers out to low-level thugs. Jessica’s reaction to finding her boyfriend dead was heartbreaking, proper good acting by Krysten Ritter, and the episode in general was well told. That then leads to a two-episode arc where Jessica ends up sympathising with her mother just enough to take her back to her place and try and figure it all out.
There are some really good scenes here, mentions of Alisa being sent to “The Raft” places this season a bit further in the MCU timeline (which makes a change from constant Battle of New York references) which is fun, and in general you feel for Jessica’s predicament. Her whole attitude is based on being the sole survivor of her family’s car accident, and now suddenly her mother is alive again, but she needs to be stopped before she gets angry and kills again. Eventually scummy P.I. Pryce Cheng tries to get revenge for the ally he sent that Alisa killed by sniping her from across the street, but misses, clips Jessica and proclaims “oh shit!” when he sees Alisa look out the window and then start running out of the building. That made me laugh. Jessica manages to stop her mother from killing him, and the two eventually go on a nice little break to get Jessica’s love interest Arocho’s son back from his panicked mother, before they return home. Cheng manages to suddenly convince Jessica that her mother is a danger, leading to her calling the police and sure enough, the episode ends with Alisa being arrested, which I just realised in a swap around from how the last batch of episodes I reviewed ended! Fun coincidence!
So yeah, I really enjoyed the complicated predicament Jones found herself in. It lead to some funny scenes, some heartbreaking scenes, and some genuinely “don’t know where she’s going with this” scenes.
“Don’t touch me! You’re crap storyline is starting to infect me too!”
Sadly the bad is pretty much everything else. Trish becomes addicted to the IGH drug and slowly loses her would-be husband, her career and then her friends, which should be interesting but I just had no sympathy for her. Malcolm tries to help her (after sleeping with her, obviously!) but in general spends these episodes trying to be a good P.I. for Jessica and getting no love for it, his role in general being much smaller in these middle episodes (which is a shame because he’s so good in the role!). Finally Jerri and her rich bitch-ness and wanting to stay alive just… again, I just didn’t really care. She shows multiple traits of being a smug villain and yet we’re supposed to be routing for her as she treats previously-homeless Inez Green like crap she has to put up with just to get her life extended, then sleeps with her (because we need more awkward sex scenes!) before seemingly getting cured by a healer who was apparently part of IGH. I just… didn’t care.
… Has that security guard behind Jessica ripped his trousers?
Jessica Jones Season 2’s middle is a mixed bag. The story surrounding Jessica is really good and interesting, but sadly it’s blended in with lots of really uninteresting side stories. I will say that unlike the beginning this is more towards good than bad, Jessica being the lead protagonist and all means her story is the main focus, but it’s still a far cry from Season 1, and I’m not sure I’d ever like to sit through it again, so…