Jessica Jones Season 2 Review: Back in Black & Stronger Than Ever

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Jessica Jones season 2

Check out our spoiler free review of Jessica Jones season 2!

Our favorite badass, foul mouthed, super-strong Defender, Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is back. She played nice with the boys in The Defenders and saved New York City, but now it’s time for her to take on a case a little closer to home. Season 2 of Jessica Jones is the first show to return since the superhero team up. It depicts the aftermath of the vigilantes becoming public heroes. The world knows about Jessica- and the fact that she killed Kilgrave (David Tennant). So what does it mean when a hero who just wants to be left alone gets thrown into the spotlight?

While season 1 focused on Jessica’s recovery from her trauma, season 2 sees her struggling to reconcile with her past. Jessica is thrown deep into the mystery of her family’s death, the shady IGH, and the origin of her powers. On top of this, she must deal with the pressure that comes from being a high profile powered individual who also runs a private investigation agency. Jessica has a lot on her plate and deals with it the only way she knows how: with a whole lot of booze and punching.

While season 1 of Jessica Jones was praised for its style, season 2 doubles down on the noir feeling. Jessica is faced with more cases, including her own and goes about looking for clues in true detective fashion. Sean Callery’s score adds another layer in creating the show’s creepy atmospheric tone. Jessica Jones season 2 feels more like The Punisher than any of the previous Netflix Marvel shows. Both are about big conspiracies and cover ups. Both are stories of very damaged individuals trying to overcome the trauma in their past. And both are about the realization that no matter the consequences, sometimes the only way out is through.

Don’t Call Them Sidekicks

Ritter is back and better than ever as tough talking Jessica, but we get to see her more vulnerable side in this season as well. Jessica really is struggling with what it means to be a hero, especially with Kilgrave’s death so recently on her hands. She has also learned to open up, however slightly, to Malcolm (Eka Darville) and Trish (Rachael Taylor), who both have their own reasons for wanting to help Jessica unconver her past. Darville especially shines in the earlier episodes as Jessica’s right hand man, always ready with an energy drink and a willingness to help despite his boss’ attitude.

However, it is Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth who steals the first few episodes with her stellar performance. Hogarth is a fascinating character, especially as she and Jessica parallel each other as such different examples of female strength. Both of them wouldn’t like to admit it, but they are more alike than different. Hogarth’s storyline in season 2 shows a different side to the character as well and it will be interesting to see where it progresses.

The New Kids in Town

The familiar faces from season 1 are joined by some new characters including Jessica’s P.I. competition Pryce Cheng (Terry Chen), her new superintendent Oscar (J.R. Ramirez), and Trish’s latest beau Griffin (Hal Ozsan). Pryce is a man who should not be underestimated. He’s dangerous and crafty and it will be fun to see him going up against Jessica. Griffin is a handsome award winning journalist who has gone on humanitarian missions around the world, adores Trish, and actually gets along with Jessica- which means he’s probably shady. He’s just too likable! There’s just something about him that makes him hard to trust. Oscar on the other hand gets off on the wrong foot with Jessica right away so he’s probably not so bad afterall. That’s just how these things usually work. Plus he has a son he adores and the kid loves superheroes like Jessica so they may not stay enemies for very long.

The new characters are strong additions to an already great cast. Because their motives remain unclear they add a layer of intrigue to a show already full of questions. There is plenty more to uncover as well in terms of character motives and backgrounds so going forward really anything is possible.

What Makes a Monster?

The big theme of Jessica Jones season 2 is about the difference between being a hero and a monster and how small the line is between the two. Jessica has now killed twice-Reva (Parisa Fitz-Henley) and Kilgrave-and it is something that weighs on her conscience. She doesn’t consider her actions heroic. She is confronted by the fear of facing herself and seeing a monster. She drinks to forget her past, her family, and her actions. She fears the darkness inside of herself now that she’s seen what she is truly capable of. The public at large knows Jessica murdered Kilgrave and so when there’s a super strong killer on the loose she is the one who gets the blame. This makes Jessica confront her worst fears. The death of Kilgrave was necessary, but was it worth it? Was she created for some greater purpose?

Jessica Jones season 2 starts off at a breakneck pace and doesn’t let up. It’s a great re-introduction to a character who we haven’t seen on her own since 2015. Before we only saw Jessica defined by Kilgrave, but who is she without him? Is she a hero? And can she heal? I don’t know the answer to those questions yet and Jessica might not know herself either, but this journey of self discovery is a must watch. 

Jessica Jones season 2 premieres on Netflix on March 8th.

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