Jessica Jones – Season 2 Overall Review

Jessica Jones S2

So another 13-episode chapter in the Netflix “street level” side of the MCU comes to a close, and sadly it’s on the lower end of the quality scale. It had a monster of a task following up on Jessica Jones Season 1 and its lead villain Killgrave, a task it couldn’t beat, though to be fair it goes in a completely different direction with its lead antagonist rather than inevitably fail to try and copy the already successful formula. So let’s have an overall look at Jessica Jones Season 2, because there is plenty to like still… It’s thankfully no Iron Fist!

Synopsis:

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:

Jessica Jones S2 4

Reunited and it feels so…. killy.

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.

Alisa Jones (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…

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) – 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…

Plus more!

The Good:

Jessica Jones S2 2

Yeah I went with another Killgrave mental image screenshot… It was one episode, but probably the best of the season, so…

Jessica Jones is, as the title suggests, about Jessica Jones, and in that sense Season 2 does a great job. Still the most charismatic and amusingly sarcastic of the MCU Netflix cast, Jessica is given plenty to do, from losing old relationships, gaining new ones and the key antagonist being her mother back from the dead (not literally, though that wouldn’t be unheard of…) The scenes of Jessica hating her mother for attacking and killing her boyfriend a few years ago (and generally being a psycho who could mentally snap and kill at a moment’s notice) followed by her complete lack of ability to actually kill her and instead in several instances travelling with her, are great TV. Her whole personality is based on survivor’s guilt of being the only person to come out of the car crash that killed her parents and younger brother, so now her mother is back she can’t help but look out for her.

A few times Jessica caves in, calling the police to have arrested and so on, but other times she’s covering up an admittedly accidental murder she commits to the arsehole guard that was bullying her mother, or willingly going on the run with her in a camper van, seeing it as a legitimate new path for her, despite falling for hunky artist janitor Oscar Arocho. By the end of the series her previous close connections are gone, her adoptive sister Trish is the one who ends up ending Alisa Jones’ life, giving Jessica every reason to hate her going forward, and nice guy Malcolm joins another company after he gets fed up of being treated like crap by Jessica and Trish. That being said everyone in New York has been giving Jessica a hard time for not using her powers for good, despite her stating she just wants to live a normal life (a perfectly valid want…), so it’s hard to blame Jessica for being a bit pissy. The final scene is Jessica, Oscar and his son having a normal family meal, meaning it seems Jessica may have sacrificed every part of her life she knew, but may have gained what she wanted all along. A nice ending to the character if a Season 3 never materialises.

When you start looking outside of Jessica Jones the series starts to falter, although I will mention Trish and her desperate want to be a hero and jealousy as Jessica for having the ability and not doing anything with it is a good story, it’s just it only really gets good in the final straight, kidnapping Karl Malus, the man responsible for giving Jessica and her mother their powers, and getting him to do the same to her, with initially near-fatal results. In the final few scenes it seems it has actually paid off, which makes sense if you follow the comics, though I’ll be honest and say she almost doesn’t deserve it at this point…

I will also mention that despite being played around with by the women in the show, Malcolm and his nice guy just trying to set his life straight act is a constant highlight, I really felt sorry for him at several points and was happy to see him move forward in his life by the end.

Oh and Killgrave makes a reappearance in Episode 11 as a part of Jessica’s subconscious, and is once again brilliant!

The Bad:

Jessica Jones S2 3

I picture of Jerri Hogarth would make more sense here, but… whatever. Trish and Malcolm were caught in pretty bad stories early on, so…

Jerri Hogarth is seemingly in this because she was in the original series and nothing more. Her storyline is having a terminal illness and wanting to do anything to be cured, including housing a homeless woman who might have connections to the people who saved Jessica and her mother, then getting tricked and robbed. She then gets revenge via manipulating said homeless woman to kill her boyfriend (who fooled her into thinking he had magical curing powers), but the whole series I was thinking how horrible Jerri is. She has this whole posh lifestyle and demeanour that makes her more of a villain than a figure of sympathy, and copious amounts of pointless lesbian sex scenes, especially the first one where she hires a bunch of prostitutes and has a drug-fuelled party… Those scenes were frankly embarrassing and clearly there just because they could get away with it.

Trish spends most of the season on a super-soldier IGH drug, and her whole life falls apart because of it. The only problem is that once again she acts so bitchy and unpleasantly that I didn’t feel any sympathy for her, which I presume was the intention.

The other big problem was how slowly the series moves. The first half is almost entirely pointless and could be told in one or two episodes. Several characters and plots are introduced that go nowhere (remember Trish’s boyfriend? How about the former employer who mistreated her?) and generally the series just treads water until it’s ready to kick into full gear… well, with the Jessica Jones storyline anyway…

Overall Thoughts:

Jessica Jones S2 1

Yeah, sorry Jessica. Have a drink and forget about it. Maybe next time!

It may seem like there is more good than bad if you go by word count, but in reality the second season of Jessica Jones is on the poorer side of Netflix MCU. Some of it is down to having to follow up on Season 1, which is among my favourite super-hero live action things in general, let alone in the MCU, but a lot of it is down to having too much time to fill and several characters left over they clearly had no idea what to do with. I’d rank it above Iron Fist, because at least this has a charismatic lead and a good core-storyline that ends really well (once if finally gets going), but it’s still not a patch on most of the Netflix MCU…

3 Star Watch

 

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