This one statement made by Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) defines the entire season two of Jessica Jones. This season is about control. Not as we saw in the first season with Kilgrave (David Tennant) trying to take control of people, but keeping control of yourself.
Potential spoilers ahead for Jessica Jones.
I’ll be honest, this season didn’t wow me like the first season did. As we all know, season one set the bar for other superhero series. Personally, I walked into watching Jessica Jones knowing nothing, as I do about most Marvel comics, and came out a loyal viewer. The women on this show are badass and all of them have problems. This makes them feel more, for lack of a better term, human.
Jeri is currently fighting with her partners over Pam (Suzie Abromeit), her old assistant she was having an affair with, and who is now suing the firm. Throwing herself back into work, Jessica tries to drink her demons away as she takes cases to make ends meet. She tries to avoid every mention or thought about what happened with Kilgrave and how it has thrown her into the spotlight.
Jessica’s biggest problem is not with others that have fears of powered people, lack of cases or even that she has powers like she does. Her problem is with trying to convince herself that she is not a killer. She is- we know she is- but where is the line in the sand between stopping someone evil by killing them or turning her anger and rage onto someone else? During this whole season the line is continually flirted with, putting Jessica on edge.
Jessica is also dealing with a rival private investigator that wants to buy out Alias Investigations. Pryce Chang (Terry Chen), is a pompous, arrogant, son of a bitch that thinks he’ll get whatever he wants, letting him walk all over Jessica. Of course, Jessica takes no crap from him, throwing him out, and doing her best to find dirt to stop him. Chang is a guy doesn’t take no for an answer, becoming a big pain in the ass for Jessica. He constantly wants to win, making Chang a pest the entire season.
Unfortunately, he’s traded one addiction for another, going from heroin to sex and work. There is also the new building super and ex forger Oscar (J.R. Ramirez), who at first hates that Jessica is around, thinking that powered people always bring trouble, then later starts a relationship with her. He and his son Vido become a grounding force for Jessica, caring about her no matter what is happening.
He can see through the crap she throws out and wants to help her move on. It was good to see someone honestly care about Jessica like that, no strings other than just to make her a better person.
In her stop-at-nothing attitude to get a story, Trish and her expose of IGH, the company that supposedly made Jessica, are another constant thorn in Jessica’s side. She wants Jessica to face her past, deal with what happened to her. Trish keeps pushing- on air- in her research, hell even using her old persona of Patsy to get information from people.
Trish cannot move on. Her research has become her new addiction. She brings Jessica her dead families ashes to try to trigger memories of what happened seventeen years ago. Or going to see her old film producer that sexually assaulted Trish when she was sixteen so they can use his connections for IGH. This is the one character that I’d like to smack across the room. And tell me, when that “I want you Cray Cray” song comes on you don’t want to hurl something at the TV? I can’t be the only one.
Of course, when everything looks good on the outside, things are usually falling apart on the inside. It's something Jeri will have to come to grips with sooner than later, as a personal battle will interfere with her plans.
Of course, as what happens in all Marvel series, something benign triggers something big happening to the characters. When a potential client comes in to Jessica’s office with an off the wall story, Jessica dismisses him as looney, but then gets himself killed. This is our jumping off point, and we are thrown down the rabbit hole again, trying to figure out who killed him. The further down they go, the deeper they get into Jessica’s past.
This is similar to last season, but it works for the series, giving it the feeling you're watching an old PI show from the fifties.
In the process, they find that someone is trying to kill people connected to Trish. The killer turns out to be someone that Jessica knows from her past that she thought was long gone, adding to the drama.
As a result, the secrets of IGH and Jessica’s past are finally brought to the surface and Jessica needs to deal with the pain and the loss that comes with them. Where Trish was supportive last season, this season she is all out of herself. She's willing to stop at nothing to achieve her goals.
Jeri feels betrayed and takes her revenge on those she let get close to her. She does this with the help of Turk, another crossover from several Netflix Marvel series'.
And, Jessica crosses a line she fights with all season, and is haunted by Kilgrave, providing some of the best scenes of the season.
Of course, this being Marvel, nothing is wrapped up in a pretty bow. At the end, sort of like in Captain America: Civil War, we are left with a fractured group. Everyone has gone their own way, isolating themselves. We are presented new possible problems that may come up in the future, making us look forward to what they bring in season three, or if they do another installment of The Defenders.
There were episodes that salvage some of the series, but a lot of it became background noise as I played Candy Crush. There was no time during the last season that I didn’t pay attention. I was on the edge of my seat. This season I’m left with, ok, now what? Where does this go from here?
I don’t mind being left with questions- keeping the viewer engaged is the key to any good series- but I don't want this to become another Agents of Shield, where it had me engaged at first and lost me halfway through.
Being a woman, this series always shows how strong we can be- both in the characters portrayed and behind the scenes. I am proud to say that all thirteen episodes are directed by women. During this time of #MeToo, that’s a very important milestone.
Also, the series does delve, if only a tiny bit. into the subject of Hollywood abuse with the relationship between Trish and her former film producer and abuser, Max. Jessica’s reaction to the whole situation of Trish seeing him again feels real, maybe because that’s how I would react if that happened to someone close to me. I’m not sure if this story line was part of the #MeToo events or just a byproduct of what happened in Trish’s story, but it was very well timed.
When Jessica Jones comes back for season three, I’ll be watching again. I'm just hoping the story line can hold up to the viewers scrutiny- keeping us engaged and tuned in.
Jessica Jones is an anti-hero, and anti-heroes have gotten a good run on Netflix. Not all superheroes need to fight aliens or big monsters in the streets of New York. Some can focus on the needs of those in their own backyard, making life better for the little people of New York...or wherever.
Sometimes it’s a badass chick in a leather jacket who thinks she’s got nothing left in life that can make the biggest difference.
3.5 out of 5