Jessica Jones: Season 3!
I’ve been rather impatiently waiting for Jessica Jones season 3, and at the same time not wanting it to arrive. It’s like how you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. Now that I’ve watched it, I can’t look forward to watching it. I can re-watch it, but it’s not the same as anticipating seeing it for the first time, since we know it’s not only the last season of Jessica Jones but the last of the Marvel Netflix shows. It’s the end of an era.
Now that I’ve finished binge watching all 13 episodes, I feel the way I feel when I come to the end of a really good book. I’ve been thinking about the characters all day. I don’t know about you, but to me, that’s one of the marks of a great TV show. If you’re still on the fence about whether to watch it, let me help you decide.
A Good Ending
The third season of Jessica Jones was a nice satisfying ending to the series. The characters are still there, living their lives, but you have a sense of where they’re headed. It wasn’t a “happily-ever-after” kind of ending — if you expected that, you probably haven’t been really paying attention in the previous seasons. But the ending fit and seems right, and we got to see an actual smile on Jessica’s face. But don’t worry, I’m not going to spoil you (well, I will share some minor details you learn in the first episode).
Some reviewers have said this season, with the standard 13 episodes like all Marvel Netflix shows, was too long. I disagree. The 13 episodes gave Jessica the chance to solve a real mystery, and in addition we got side stories involving the major other characters from Jessica Jones’ world: Trish, Trish’s Mom Dorothy Walker, Malcolm and Jeri Hogarth. We even get to see Vido and his Dad from season 2, and we get to know Detective Costa a little better. In addition to delving into the motivations of the villain and meeting several new characters. Some may think some of that is extraneous, but to me it just rounds out this world and makes it richer.
But while the other characters’ stories are interesting and even overlap with the main plot, Jessica Jones season 3 is, at heart, about the relationship between Jessica and Trish. Season 2 ended with Trish killing Jessica’s Mom, with whom Jessica had recently reunited. Trish did it to save Jessica from a life running from the law or possibly in jail, but Jessica hasn’t forgiven Trish and they are not really on speaking terms at the beginning of season 2.
But the sisters’ relationship is far from the only one of interest this season.
Jessica has a new romantic interest, as does her one-time assistant Malcolm. Since Malcolm is now working for Hogarth, Jessica has had to find a new assistant. And Detective Costa is also keeping in touch and sometimes sending clients Jessica’s way.
One of the things I really appreciate about the Marvel Netflix shows is they don’t treat the audience like idiots. They expect a certain amount of intelligence and attention to detail from their audience. This season has some unusual timeline and point-of-view shifts that they don’t spell out for you. I think these worked very well. We get a couple of episodes that are entirely from Trish’s perspective, and in these, a few scenes are replayed that we’ve already seen from Jessica’s viewpoint. This technique serves to fill in some things that Jessica doesn’t yet know about Trish and her actions. It helps us see things from each of the sisters’ point of view.
This season also gives us some flashbacks to Trish’s childhood, shedding some light on her relationship with her mother. We get to see Dorothy as the mom of a child actor and the role she played in her daughter’s success on screen. Dorothy has a bigger role in this season than in the previous ones, adding to the number of strong female roles on this show.
Other Good Points
There are several other random things I really liked about Jessica Jones season 3:
- As always, the settings provide a lot of visual interest. Each of the primary characters has an interesting-looking dwelling place/office, which very much fit the character and also the city of New York. Jessica’s apartment/office has transom windows and retro wall sconces, but much of it is badly in need of a new coat of paint. Our first glimpse of each character’s abode gives us a clue as to where they are emotionally at the beginning of the season. Jessica now has her business name on the exterior window behind her desk as well as on the door, and the opening in the wall behind the couch has been fully sheetrocked and painted, showing she’s investing some effort in making her business presentable (she also has a website). Trish has moved out of the fancy apartment with the security room (I won’t spoil her new place for you, but it’s not a step up). Jeri has managed to find replacements for the items Inez stole from her in season 2.
Jessica, Trish, Malcolm and Hogarth each have a location where they are often shown working (desks for the women, and a couch for Malcolm). The choices of artwork (or lack thereof) behind each of these seems to be saying something about the characters. I’m not completely sure what the show’s creators were trying to say with their choices of artwork but it is interesting to speculate.
- Fans who are sad that this is the last season of the last Netflix Marvel show can take heart that one of the other Defenders shows up briefly and one of the others is mentioned by one of the characters. Even Kilgrave has a voice-over line.
- Speaking of fan service, fans of Patsy will be happy with her story line. Even though she now goes by Trish, her mother still calls her Pats. The song that plays during the end credits of Episode 11 makes it worth it to figure out how to disable Netflix’s feature that automatically starts the next episode, resulting in bypassing most of the end credits.
Themes in Jessica Jones
I think all of the Defenders in the Marvel Universe struggle to one degree or another with what it means to be a hero. Jessica has repeatedly said she never asked to be one. At times, we’ve seen her actively running from being heroic. But at the end of season 2, her mother wanted the two of them to use their powers for good, like going to a site of a natural disaster and rescuing people. One of the themes of this season is when and how a powered person should use their powers.
Another theme is the unintended consequences of our actions. All of the characters experience this, even those who don’t have powers. Often, it seems someone suffers bad consequences, even when someone was trying to do something good, or when they were trying to right a wrong, or make up for a bad action.
This season, probably more than the other two, really makes you think about questions of morality. I love shows that do that.
It may be the last time we’ll see Jessica walk down this hallway or open that door, but there’s hope that these great characters will be brought back at some point on Disney+ or Hulu.
What did you like about Jessica Jones season 3?
Which of the Marvel Netflix shows is your favorite and why?
What other (non-Marvel) show would you recommend to fans of Jessica Jones?
Leave your answers in the comments below.
*All photos courtesy: NETFLIX
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