After a very strong start, Netflix’s slate of Marvel super hero shows have been on pretty rough ground. A sentiment I think most people have with the exception of Season 1 of Jessica Jones. While I did appreciate everything it accomplished in shedding light on real life issues and just how refreshingly different it was from the other super hero properties out there, I couldn’t help but feel like it dragged on a bit. I was really hoping that Season 2 would up the ‘super’ a tad more and that we’d get to see a different side of Jessica than just cynical and depressed.
I don’t know her rogues gallery (comic book villains) but it must be laughably weak because there really wasn’t a true villain to this season other than her own past…
We did get both of those wishes…sort of. There was more of Jessica actually being super and showing some sort of power outside of an impressive ability to drink – but really, how many times can you watch her push someone down or rip off a door handle? I know it’s still just a TV budget but these ‘stunts’ get old real fast. We also do get to see more to Jessica than always dour, although she is still very much a broken person. I don’t know her rogues gallery (comic book villains) but it must be laughably weak because there really wasn’t a true villain to this season other than her own past (once again), both literally and figuratively. Not to mention that any suspense built up during the first few episodes quickly dissipates when the central figure to the season is unveiled in full not even half way through. A risky move and one that I don’t think paid off like they thought it would, it left the second half feeling especially anticlimactic.
But again, Jessica Jones is vastly different than any other super hero property out there so if you go into it with that mindset then there a fairly interesting dramatic, pseudo-noir story being told here; along with answers to long running questions about her past and potential for future highly personal conflicts. It’s not Netflix’s best but it’s definitely no Iron Fist, and while there’s no replacing the purple man, it did make one of their most relatable heroes that much more likeable.
Let’s get right to it, introducing Jessica’s long thought dead mom into the series as her main antagonist was a nice, albeit telegraphed, twist. She wasn’t a straight up villain, in fact all the bad things she did were basically out of her control, and that gray area made for an interesting challenge for Jessica to deal with. An obstacle that she couldn’t just punch or push. Not to mention that it is her mom.
Revealing her so early however, was a poor choice. The rest of the season just puttered along after they effectively killed any suspense or goal to be pushing towards. The calmer scenes of their mother/daughter moments were a nice touch but we didn’t need 7 episodes of it.
It did however give Jessica real closure to her past so hopefully she can start to actually give a shit about anything, just a little bit more, so she can have some real character progress.
The fact that it was her best friend/sister who killed her mom should lead to some great personal conflicts in the future that I didn’t expect.
And speaking of progress, it did get a little old watching Patty make objectively dumb decision after objectively dumb decision and effectively become this season’s punching bag. I get it, she’s a junkie and they make terrible life decisions but she had almost no redeeming qualities this season. Although she should finally become her comic book vigilante hero self in the next season.
In fact, none of the other characters story arcs were of interest. Things could have really been helped out here if they at least involved any of the other heroes running around, especially Luke Cage, if even for a quick cameo.
Case in point, it’s no surprise that one of the most engaging episodes of the show happened to involve the purple man, albeit as a figment of her own consciousness. It’s clear he’ll haunt her and the show’s writers for seasons to come.
Oh, I see what you’re doing Marvel. Almost zero mention of The Defenders; so we’re just gonna act like that one didn’t happen huh. I see you.
Have you seen Season 2 of Jessica Jones? What’d you think about it? How did it stack up to the first? Do you wish they had at least involved Luke in her story? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions to the season.
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