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Jessica Jones Season 2 Finds A New Theme (Non-Spoiler Pre-Review)

Due to the screeners available at the time of this article, this article focuses only on episodes 1 – 5 of Season 2.

Victims/Survivors. Addicts. Abusers. These are the three most common character types that continue to populate the world of Jessica Jones(our main character being each of these). But, now we’ve added one more necessary component to that list: Those Who Recover.

The first season of Jessica Jones has easily been my favorite of the Marvel/Netflix series to-date. The sarcastic and strong anti-hero, the gumshoe detective work, the exploration of the human psyche, the constantly ascending tension, etc. It was an amazing exploration of a side of the franchise we thought we’d never see. So, if you were to ask what was a large percent of viewers’ favorite thing about the series, you’d hear a resounding echo of one word: Killgrave. But, with that story definitively concluded, how does the second season of Jessica Jones perform?

Not bad. While the heights of the original season feel almost unfair to compare it to, this season makes the smart move of putting these characters in a position of recovery. Not just from the previous story or events from The Defenders(which haven’t been mentioned at all. A decision I personally welcome…), but from problems that were personal and never wrapped in the first season. All of these characters are still very broken and now we are on the journey to discover why. This even includes some welcome additions in the form of foils, with Oscar(J.R. Ramirez), Jessica’s distrustful new superintendent and Pryce(Terry Chin), a rival detective who has a not-very discreet disgust for Jones’ powers and gender.

Speaking of gender, the series does not pull back on the continued discussion of male toxicity. We see it physically, socially, professionally and yes, we see a direct reference towards the Hollywood confessions that brave women have revealed recently. These are far more interesting subjects. Sadly, they become glossed over by the season’s main arc of Jessica pursuing her origins that will feel very familiar to anyone who’s ever been a fan of Wolverine or Weapon-X. Referenced already in the first season, we dig deeper into “an evil scientific company that has mysterious funding and mysterious acronyms as it’s name”.

Unfortunately, the same tone expands to the season’s first villain. The same method of introduction for the first season is used(we are told about the enemy for episodes before ever seeing them), but with very different results. As stated previously, when the former antagonist(portrayed by the astonishing David Tennant) was destructive enough to emotionally wreck the viewer and cause a level of paranoia that could turn any character in any scene into a bomb: it’s hard to live up to. As of episode 5, there isn’t enough there to judge if this villain will be compelling enough to carry a large enough threat for the season.

The second season of Jessica Jones is off to a good start, while still feeling uneven. Even with a few bumps in the road, this franchise has earned more than enough good will to compel most of us to see where these characters’ journeys are going.

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