The highly anticipated second season of JESSICA JONES landed like a behemoth on the eve of the weekend. A behemoth more akin to a well mannered silent giant, cautious of making any noticeable waves. Hardcore fans of she who said no by monumentally flipping Captain America the bird are going to revel in this season. Jessica Jones Season 2 isn’t the carry on from Marvel’s The Defenders who quasi-fans of the Netflix medium will be expecting. This is the come down of the first stanza in the Jessica Jones/Netflix saga. More to the point, Jessica Jones Season Two is a somber flirtation with a much needed stint in rehab.
It’s Supposedly after the events of The Defenders or before, confusing still as it’s never clearly addressed. I’m certain that this sequence of events is what happens immediately after the maniacal orchestrations of Kilgrave in Season 1. We are reintroduced to the dark depravity that clutches to Jessica Jones like a sick puppy. Albeit, slowly. There is a feeling of loss, with the absence of a certain Luke Cage, but longing as you can feel the writers pushing the barely functioning relationships that swirl around the rarely sober head of Jones.
Initially, there is nothing wrong with the synopsis of the season. A killer is taking out all the former IGH operatives who are super powered from the usage of certain substances. But when the killer in question turns out to be Jessica Jones’ mother, season two starts to fall on its head. The enigmatic research labs of IGH and the mystery that surrounds their link to the Jones’ family are not capitalized on. So all we have is a family that meets an untimely demise behind the wheel and gets experimented on, unwillingly, leading to superhuman women supposedly devoid of all that makes them human. One let out into the world (Jones) and the other (the Mother) is left in a coma til her Reanimator meets Frankenstein’s bride rendition can come to fruition. The writing is a train wreck that you just can’t look away from.
The Mother is not the big bad that the writers expected her to be. The big bad is the best friend, Trish, who is revealed through the careful art of backstory and sililoquoy. Her need to be special or relevant is revealed to be the character flaw that begins the downward spiral of Jessica Jones’ life. The inordinate fuck ups that follow is a toxic free fall of emotions that reveals why these two women should probably have nothing to do with each other. Let alone be friends.
The action is appropriate when delivered and isn’t over the top yet the moody film noir is worn almost as a badge of honor. Not entirely fitting and not always appropriate but inserted just because Jessica is an alcohol fuelled detective at work. Jessica Jones is an ugly wild ride. It’s a story about sisterhood, about betrayal, about family, about jealousy, about abuse and about obsession. It’s an uncomfortable lesson about learning that sometimes when it comes to family you can turn two blind eyes to all the ugly, no matter the cost.
Jessica Jones Season 2 is one bullshit long exercise simply developing the Jessica Jones character to a point of familial understanding. Too long an exercise if you ask me. 10 episodes would’ve been enough. Still, these are the stories that need to be told. By women, about women.