Tuesday, February 27, 2018

REVIEW: Jessica Jones Season 2

Has it really been three years since we last saw Jessica Jones starring in her own show? While we finally got to see all four of the Defenders together last year, marking the first major climax of the project formed between Marvel Studios and Netflix, I’ve still been waiting to see my favorite detective return in all her glory. Out of the Marvel Netflix series we’ve gotten so far, I found the first season of Jessica Jones to be the most solid - and I wanted more. I still can’t believe it’s been three years, but she’s back. Read on for my review of the second season of Jessica Jones.

DISCLAIMER: I was provided with early screeners of the first five episodes of Jessica Jones Season 2 courtesy of Netflix. Opinions are my own.

Jessica Jones season 2 marvel Netflix

New York City private investigator Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is beginning to put her life back together after taking down her tormenter, Kilgrave. Now known throughout the city as a super-powered killer, a new case makes her reluctantly confront who she really is while digging deeper into her past to explore the reasons why. Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones) is joined by an incredible returning cast that includes Rachael Taylor (Trish Walker), Carrie-Anne Moss (Jeri Hogarth), Eka Darville (Malcolm Ducasse) and new cast members Janet McTeer and J.R. Ramirez, among others.

Season 2 follows Jessica returning to her day to day life after the events of Season 1 and The Defenders. She reluctantly accepts Malcolm as her assistant and continues to take the usual private investigator work. In short: she takes pictures of people screwing. But it’s a living. The only real difference now is that Jessica’s powers have been outed and she is continuously approached with cases of the weirder variety. No matter what, Jessica can't escape the past.

Jessica Jones season 2 marvel Netflix

That’s one of the main themes going into this new season. No matter how fast she runs, the past keeps catching up to Jessica. Trish Walker, Jessica’s foster sister, and best/only friend, is doing whatever she can to uncover the truth about the accident and experiments that gave Jessica her powers. While Jessica would rather move on, some old wounds never heal. To snap Jessica out of her funk, Trish also dis up old memories about her family. Low blow, Patsy.

The main plot of the season seems to be following Jessica and Trish on a mission to expose IGH, the mysterious organization responsible for her powers. Along the way, they find out about the one that got away, an IGH experiment that’s out there taking out anyone related to the organization. This represents the second major theme of the season. While Jessica is trying to forget the past, she’s also trying to avoid a future where she herself becomes a feral rage monster hellbent on revenge. While she’s not a fan of therapists, we see her at least attempting to get better through hypnosis and anger management. In truth, Jessica just wants to be normal. But in this world, superheroes don’t get to be normal.

Jessica Jones season 2 marvel Netflix

Season 2 of Jessica Jones is just as gut-wrenching and audacious as the first. But I have to say I am thoroughly surprised by how hilarious it is too. Before I go further let me promise you this isn’t Thor: Ragnarok level of jokes every five seconds. People still die gruesome deaths and Jessica’s PTSD is no laughing matter. That being said, there are some moments in this gritty, dark show that had me laughing out loud. They’re few and far between and it never gets annoying or cringeworthy. The comedy in Marvel’s Netflix series has usually been handled pretty well and here it’s at its best.

The acting is even better this season. Krysten Ritter, who I never saw in the part and was baffled when she was announced, continues to surprise me with every scene. Rachael Taylor is perfectly taking Trish Walker further down the road towards evolving into a hero in her own right. Eka Darville (former RPM Red Ranger) perfectly plays recovering addict Malcolm who so desperately wants to work for Jessica just to keep his hands busy. Carrie-Anne Moss returns as Hogarth, who I haven't mentioned yet because I’m not sure where her story is going yet. Just like her divorce plotline from the first season, Hogarth is kind of off in her own world although I am sure everything will come together in the end just like in the first season.

Jessica Jones season 2 marvel Netflix

The second season also perfectly tackles so major social issues going on in today’s political climate. While many want to hire Jessica for her extranormal abilities, there are still those who fear and hate her and anyone with powers. New cast member J.R. Ramirez treats her with bigotry and prejudice against superpowered people and it hits her hard, especially coming from a Hispanic man. We also get a further glimpse into Trish’s past as a teen TV and movie star and her history with the sexual predators hiding in Hollywood. All thirteen episodes of the second season have been directed by female directors, a bold choice that pays off perfectly.

Jessica Jones has continued to surprise me every second of the way. Through her first season, her appearance of The Defenders, and now into her second go at her own series - Krysten Ritter has perfectly brought to the screen a character I never knew I would enjoy more than Daredevil or The Punisher.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones on Netflix is Executive Produced by series Showrunner Melissa Rosenberg (“Twilight”, “Dexter”), Raelle Tucker (“True Blood”), Jim Chory (“Marvel’s Daredevil”, “Marvel's Luke Cage”, “Marvel's Iron Fist”) and Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s Daredevil”, “Marvel's Luke Cage”, “Marvel's Iron Fist”) who also serves as Marvel’s Head of Television.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones returns for a second season on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2018 on Netflix.