Jessica Jones Season 2 is here!
Netflix has so many Marvel shows now. Maybe you’re wondering if you should watch them all. Jessica Jones season 2 is one that should definitely be on your “to watch” list. This season, like the one before it, has really interesting characters and a compelling story. It’s filled with twists and red herrings. Keep reading to find out non-spoiler specifics. If it’s been a while since you watched season 1, check out my Jessica Jones season 1 recap article.
Strong Women Characters
This show is unique in having a woman show runner, women main characters and also this season – the episodes were all written by talented women writers. But they didn’t just pick women for the sake of picking women; they found the most talented women they could find to do the job. They also had plenty of time to write the episodes for this season, because the actors needed to film The Defenders before they filmed this season, so the writers had more time to work than on some of the other Marvel Netflix shows.
This season was released on International Women’s Day in an effort to further underscore the importance of women to the creators of the show. It’s not just a show with one strong main character who is a woman. The women characters are all confident, complicated and more than competent. The actors who played Jessica, Trish Walker and Jeri Hogarth gave great performances, and the cast included a couple of other strong and complicated women characters as well.
Strong Men Characters
But Jessica Jones is not just a show about women. There are several very interesting male characters who are important to both the plot and in the lives of the female characters. We see both Jessica and Jeri as women in charge with male assistants. As with the women, the men are all interesting, different, and have compelling story arcs.
Easter Eggs and the Marvel Cinematic Universe
All of the Netflix Marvel shows have done a good job of making the characters and the universe accessible to those who have never read the comics, but I think Jessica Jones might have done it the best. This season is chock full of comic book Easter eggs and references to Marvel movies, while at the same time being totally understandable for viewers who have never flipped open a single comic book.
It’s clear from the first episode that in this world, the average person is now aware there are people with “powers,” as most New Yorkers seem to be calling them (the use of the term “inhumans” from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. seems to have been entirely abandoned). Jessica jokes that she prefers the term “gifted,” but in Hell’s Kitchen, most people view powered people as freaks, and there is no law against discriminating against them as there is against discrimination based on race, gender or religious affiliation.
There are multiple references to the Raft, a special prison for criminals with super powers which we saw in Captain America, Civil War, but the meaning is clear even if you’ve never heard of it before. Those familiar with the comics will recognize the names of several characters and appreciate such tongue-in-cheek remarks as when a child in Jessica’s building explains that his toy Captain America figure has lost his shield. But if some or all of these references sail right above your head, your enjoyment of the season will not suffer for it.
The Villain and the Plot of Jessica Jones Season 2
So what is the second season of Jessica Jones about? Without giving spoilers, I can tell you that many details of Jessica’s past are revealed, and these details play a big part in the season. There is an entire episode filled with flashbacks to things that happened well before even the first season. The past doesn’t stay in the past, but serves as a jumping-off point for a very real threat in the present. There are two separate sub-plots involving Jeri Hogarth and Trish Walker, and these manage to be inter-woven with the main plot that Jessica is dealing with. There’s quite an unexpected reveal about halfway through the season and if I say much more I might spoil it for you.
Relationships are a major part of the plot in many ways. There are romantic relationships, employer-to-employee relationships, and the relationship of Jeri Hogarth and her law partners also comes into the plot. But family relationships are the main consideration, with Dorothy Walker, mother to Trish and adoptive mother to Jessica, taking a bigger role than in season one. Mother-daughter relationships and also the sister relationship of Jessica and Trish have an important part in the plot.
But don’t get the wrong idea from that; there is still plenty of action involving many of the characters. People are now aware of Jessica’s powers, which has brought her some more clients than she had in season 1, and Trish seeks out her own adventures as well. There are mysteries and crimes and manipulation. Jessica does her share of spying on people, people are kidnapped and tied up and knocked unconscious, thrown through glass walls, and arrested. People are chased by police and save other people from explosions. Someone is going around killing people who have powers, and you’ll never guess who it turns out to be.
If you’ve watched the trailers or read any of the press about this season, you know they’re keeping the identity of the villain under wraps. You’re also aware that there are hints that Kilgrave, the villain from season 1, will be seen in this season, but they’re keeping the details on this secret as well. I will tell you that Kilgrave is not a major character this season, but I thought the part he played was done really well. If you are a huge fan of Kilgrave, and hoped you’d see him in every episode, you might be disappointed with season 2, but if you don’t want this season to just be a rehash of season 1, you should be happy with his role in season 2.
Just about everything about this season of Jessica Jones can be summed up with one word: complicated. There is no clearly evil villain, nor are the actions and motivations of the “good guys” always pure. Several of the characters deal with addiction, and one of the “good” characters turns out to be an ex con. Many of the characters are often questioning their own motivations, and a few of the other characters seem to have lost their moral compass almost entirely. Viewers may find themselves wishing that certain characters would start doing some soul-searching and get back on track.
The relationships in this season are a major reason so many of the plots and sub-plots are complicated. You may find yourself yelling at the screen, telling a character they just made the wrong decision, or wanting to reach through the screen and shake another character to just doesn’t “get it.” But the motivations and complications make this story so much more real than many shows that are on TV. Life is confusing, relationships are messy, and decision often offer many shades of gray instead of a clear black-and-white choice. This is Jessica’s world.
My reaction to Jessica Jones season 2 can be summed up this way: I loved it and I can’t wait for season 3. It’s one of those shows where they tie up all of the major plot threads, while leaving several more minor details hanging, ready to be pulled out and developed in season 3 (though as of this writing, there have been no firm promises that there will be a season 3). I’m excited to see what happens with these characters. I want to spend more time with them and follow the next chapter in their lives.
What do you think? If you’ve watched season 2, tell us your thoughts in the comments. Just be sure to put a spoiler warning, or better yet, just try to avoid specific plot spoilers.
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