Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
Jessica Jones, the “hard drinking, fouled mouth private investigator”, is back. The second season came out on Netflix March, 8th. It’s been 2 years since we last saw our anti-hero, not including the events of The Defenders, take down her arch-nemesis Kilgrave. If you don’t remember what happened at the end of season 1, Jessica Jones, in order to save her best friend Trish Walker, snaps Kilgrave’s neck before he can escape on a boat. While the ending was climatic and beyond rewarding, it left a big void as to who would fight Jessica. I mean, having a villain with the ability to control minds is about as dangerous as one can get without reaching the Avenger’s level. This plus the fact that David Tennant is a very convincing Kilgrave makes it hard to replace him as the main evil villain.
Season 2 picks up right where we left Alias Investigations, caught between being called a hero by some and a vigilante by others. In this season she’s trying to stay out of everyone’s sight as much as possible while continuing her work as a private investigator. While her new fame does help bring in new clients it also presents newer problems. People all over the New York are reaching out for help. These issues are actually serve to help bring out more of Jessica Jones’ character. And when certain events unfold she finds herself having to investigate her past and reveal the origins of her superpowers. This is the main problem with season 2.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the season with all the character development and smaller story-lines, which I’m sure will play out in Season 3, like Trish Walker and Malcolm Ducasse, but without the main villain to immediately point out, it’s really slow going. The show struggles to keep your attention and without Kilgrave it needed a new way reveal shocking events. In fact, things don’t get very interesting until about halfway through the season. So in a way you are stuck watching 5 or 6 episodes before something interesting happens. But by no means is the]is season boring. What it lacks in excitement it makes up for in human interaction and character development.
This new season takes a lot of time to flush out some of the smaller details about each character’s personality. It asks the question, how would this character react to being in this situation. One character of note is the apathetic lawyer Jeri Hogarth, who in the last season was seen as this very cold and calculative person, but when she is diagnosed with ALS we begin to see a different side to her. She’s scared and vulnerable. For the first time in her life, she is unable to control the outcome of her life despite her trying to.
With all her accomplishment, dreams, and aspirations none of it matters because she’s alone. She lost both her wife and girlfriend. This leaves her work as the only means by which she will be remembered. Even that becomes threatened which makes her desperate to find a cure. This leads her to seek out the experiments IGH were performing to create Jessica Jones. It’s interesting to note that as we watch all this unfold, she turns into a more sympathetic person. Before, not many people could relate to being a powerful lawyer with all the control in the world. But now she’s broken and vulnerable and is just trying to survive like everyone else.
Who is Trish Walker Now?
Trish Walker is also another character of note who we always knew as the friend that tries to help but only ends up causing more trouble for our heroine. This time we learn more about her past and relationship with her mother. While we know that her mom was an abusive monster we find out that it wasn’t just her. A movie director named Max Tatum who once cast her in a movie when she was still going by the alias Patsy. We learn she was forced to have a sexual relationship, when she was 15 years old, in order to play a lead role in his movie. Trish is unfortunately forced to use this against him in order to get access to medical files from a hospital he donates to.
From here, I feel we are being introduced to an entirely new Trish where before we knew her as the sweet best friend trying her best to help wherever she can. However as we soon discover, she wants power in order to do more and fight with Jessica. It started with her taking the red combat enhancement pills, then evolved into the inhaler. But the thing to understand is that Trish wants to be physically involved, the power of control is addicting and while yes she is also addicted to the feeling of having superpowers, she’s experienced what it’s like to be extraordinary. This is something Trish has always been striving for to be important and relevant. It’s why she changed the focus of her talk show. It’s also why she’s looking to move on to cable news like how her complicated boyfriend Griffon Sinclair is currently in. And why she doesn’t want to marry him; she doesn’t want to be with him, she wants to be him.
This is something that people can relate to. In a way, we all want to be unique and relevant in people’s eyes and this is something that the Netflix Marvel series does really well. Showing the human side of superheroes. Jessica Jones serves to further that approach and I have a feeling that is all done in order to setup Trish to join the superhero family Hellcat. At this point in time, it’s probably too early to speculate anything, but it can be said that Marvel has something special planned for Trish.
The Sidekick is Born!
The third side character that we get to learn more about is Jessica’s associate Malcolm Ducasse. In the first season, he was just another victim of Kilgrave who Jessica saved. Maclom spent the rest of the season trying to figure out how to cope with everything. It can be very traumatizing to be controlled to do things you don’t want to. He decides that the best way to do that was to help the other victims deal with the same trauma as well as help Jessica Jones catch/kill Kilgrave.
This season he’s back and finally getting back on track. He’s even seen multiple times hooking up with different girls, and he looks healthier in mind; he talks and acts more confidently. He’s also started taking lessons from Jessica on how to become a private investigator and begins researching and feeding her information about the shadow organization IGH and how everything is linked together. But he’s more than the average sidekick, he’s in a sense become Jessica’s sense or morality. While Jessica in a way cares about people, she certainly does not show any compassion or love towards them, which is where Malcolm steps in now. He’s slowing transitioning into that role of being her true sidekick.
While it certainly feels like the pacing has issues, with not enough action sequences, the character buildup makes for great discussion over what makes a true hero and overtime will no doubt prove necessary in helping establish the groundwork for the inevitable season 3. With that said, it’s great to see how much Marvel cares about character backstory.