Jessica Jones‘ sophomore season isn’t for everyone. This isn’t your typical superhero season with a clear-cut villain causing havoc at every turn. After a more traditional debut season, this is a thought-provoking exploration of a traumatized psyche and the demons of our past. If you give it a chance, it’s incredibly well done.
Full spoilers will follow so stop reading now if you haven’t finished the season.
The season introduces a notable character in the form of Alisa Jones, Jessica’s mom. Janet McTeer is terrific in the role, equal parts menacing and loving. In fact, she reminded me quite a bit of Lena Olin’s turn as the iconic Irina Derevko on Alias. You can never truly decipher where her loyalties lie, that it makes for some really fascinating television. Her dynamic with Jessica is complicated, but worth exploring. I’m not always a fan of previously dead parents coming back to life (Revenge I’m looking at you), but it works exceptionally well here.
Jessica’s supporting cast also got lots do this season. Rachael Taylor’s Trish is now firmly on board to become her comicbook alter-ego Hellcat, and that prospect has me extremely excited for what’s to come (although she probably won’t get the infamous costume). Similarly, Eka Darville’s Malcolm matures a great deal this season, and ultimately finds himself succumbing to the dark side after being taken for granted by Jess and Trish. Finally, there’s Carrie-Anne Moss’ Jeri Hogarth, who gains a whole lot of dimension this season as she struggles with an ALS diagnosis. Her storyline is isolated from the rest of the cast, but it surprisingly still manages to engross. Hogarth is taken advantage of all season long, so it’s gratifying to see her reclaim her power by the end.
The season also introduces a love interest for Jessica in the form of Oscar. J.R. Ramirez is excellent in the role, and I immediately found myself rooting for him and Jessica. Thankfully, the romance angle is a very small part of the season, and doesn’t distract from the proceedings. This makes the season’s ending with Jessica joining Oscar and Vido for dinner all the more heartwarming. After such a dark and depressing journey, it’s a surprisingly hopeful and optimistic closer to the year. Plus, I think it’s the first time we see Jessica properly smile in forever. Kristen Ritter just knocks this scene (and season) out the park.
Bits & Bourbon
– I don’t know why I was shocked when the sleazeball in the bar cat-called Jessica (“nice ass”) and we cut to them having dirty bathroom sex.
– So the Whizzer actually has super speed? I thought for sure he was delusional.
– Loved Jessica’s ball therapy scene.
– How satisfying was it to see Jessica punch Max, the sleazy director who abused Trish? With #MeToo the past few months, this whole storyline was shockingly relevant.
– I freakin’ loved episode seven, the flashback hour. From the origin of Jess’ jacket, to Alisa killing Sterling, it was all so raw and powerful. One of the show’s finest episodes ever.
– Mother/daughter bonding in Marvel: Jessica and Alissa stopping a bus together.
– Is anyone else a Malcolm/Trish shipper? Just me?
– Did you know that all the episodes this year were directed by women? That’s just super cool.
– Kilgrave singing Trish’ song “I Want Your Cray Cray” was priceless. In fact, his return was just perfect.
– Alissa falling out the hospital window with Sunday the cop going splat on the pavement was just gruesome.
– The family car crash was heavy handed, but I did get a kick out of Jess and Alisa saving them.
– The ferris wheel scene with Trish shooting Alisa was just gut-wrenching. Jessica’s soundless sobs? Wow.
– Loved Jessica stopping the robbery (with a bottle) like the true hero that she is. Foreshadowing for season three?
– Jeri’s got a new law firm people. Uh oh.
Cheng: I never take no for an answer.
Jessica: How rapey of you.
Jessica: I’ve killed. Ergo, I’m a killer. I don’t even know what “ergo” means, but it sounded right.
Griffin: Now she’s in trouble.
Jessica: Why do you think that?
Griffin: My balls are tingling.
Jessica: There’s medication for that.
Griffin: In my line of work, you learn to trust your instincts.
Jessica: Griffin, why don’t you go home? She might be there.
Griffin: Don’t manage me, okay? I know she’s in trouble.
Jessica: Because of your scroty-sense?
Jessica: (to Trish) I looked into him. You have often needed protection from your own vagina.
Trish: So how was anger management?
Jessica: Still angry.
Oscar: We grew up together, you know? She used to be cool.
Jessica: Nasty doesn’t just come out of nowhere.
Jessica: The line keeps moving. And I keep stepping over it.
Malcolm: There’s a hole in your soul. Just like there’s a hole in mine, and so let’s not use each other to fill it.
Kilgrave: Empty anonymous sex. We should sign you up. You can be JJ. Five-foot-nine, athletic. Enjoys leather in all seasons, justifiable homicide and long walks on the beach to dump the body.
Jessica: And you could be KK. Bony, translucent Brit. Enjoys rape. Also, dead.
I’m trading banter with a delusion.
Jessica: (to Dorothy) My mother is brain-damaged. What’s your excuse?
Alisa: Why is it the most fun to scorch one’s own little patch of earth?
Alisa: I’ve done a lot of damage in my life. But somehow you’re standing on top of the rubble like a shining light.
Jessica: Stop talking to me like I’m your baby Jesus.
Alisa: “Hero” isn’t a bad word, Jessica. It’s just someone who gives a shit and does something about it.
Jessica: Well, I don’t. I don’t give a shit.
Alisa: Yes, you do. You do. It sucks. And it hurts. But you do. You are far more capable than I ever was. Maybe I don’t have to be amazing. Maybe I just made you.
Jessica: It took someone coming back from the dead to show me that I’ve been dead, too. The problem is, I never really figured out how to live.
A captivating sophomore season that gives our heroine a very absorbing character arc.