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Published On: Wed, Mar 28th, 2018

Jessica Jones Season 2: Intriguing, Hot, and Disconcerting (Spoiler-Free)

The first season of Jessica Jones set the record for Netflix’s Marvel show views. This set the bar for the second season extremely high. Did it live up to it?

Yes and no.

On one hand, the show packs an emotional punch diving into the introspection of characters and presenting superheroes as the real people with real-life problems. On the other hand, this introspection sometimes gets too much and there isn’t enough of a dynamic story to offset it.

Jessica Jones Season 2: What It Is and What It Isn’t

What the season 2 of Jessica Jones is NOT, is a replica of season 1. It’s heartening to see that the show’s creators didn’t try to top Kilgrave (David Tennant). That was a truly clever move because how can one top a super-villain played by David Tennant?

One can’t, and trying to ‘replace’ him with another super-villainous character would have led to the inevitable comparison. Such a thing can only result in season 2 being judged inferior by default.

Yet, the ratings of season 2 on Rottentomatoes and Metacritic (87% and 70 respectively) are similar to season 1 (89% and 81). The number of views is also approaching the success of the previous season. That one metric is aptly aided by the magic of Kodi streaming.

In season 2, the creators chose to continue the line of deep character studies, which worked out so well the first time. It definitely worked out this time as well because new events and characters added more depth to the protagonists. These additions provided new struggles for them to work through and thus presented the beloved characters to the public from new angles.

Yet, the ‘spirit’ of Kilgrave lives on in the second season of Jessica Jones. And this particular development was inevitable as this character was the quintessence representing one of the leading ideas of the story, namely:

Superpowers and mental illness go hand in hand.

It’s this particular idea that makes Jessica Jones stand out so sharply among the multitude of comic-book superhero stories filling the screens today. Such an exploration of the mental and personality changes associated with gaining superpowers has previously been shown only in the character of Dr. Manhattan from the Watchmen. But that story went in a completely different direction.

It’s definitely the portrayal of a human being’s personal struggle in trying to cope with an inhuman power that makes Jessica Jones one of the most-viewed superhero TV shows. Jessica (Krysten Ritter) ‘deals’ with her issues by internalizing them and trying to build a fort between herself and the rest of humanity. There’s no appreciation of her ‘amazing gift’ or the things she can do with it. This is where the shadow of Kilgrave is seen the strongest as he made Jessica see exactly what those powers can do and the horrors of it plague her to this day.

The new season brings more drama and therefore a deeper study of Jessica’s personality and the issues she now carries. However, the viewers will have to wait a while for the plot to pick up and get beyond the heroine’s persisting depression, bordering alcoholism, and moral dilemmas. The show truly gets into gear around episode 5, and from there it gets significantly better with every scene.

Somewhat weak episodes, especially in the beginning or in the middle of the season are the problem for all Netflix Marvel shows. The network’s 13-episodes-in-a-day standard definitely isn’t the ‘golden formula’ for this type of show as the creators don’t seem capable of stretching the main great story quite that far.

Jessica Jones season 2 is subject to the same failing and it does have a few plot-holes. But doesn’t every superhero story have some? Overall, the show is brilliant and offers some topics for deep contemplation.

Author: Jane Koval

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- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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  1. laura fraschetti says:

    Season One is 92% on RT

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