‘Jessica Jones’ Season 2 Review: Fantastic Performances Overshadowed by a Tedious Villain
In November 2016, Jessica Jones made her television debut courtesy of Netflix and became one of the best Marvel series alongside Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Daredevil. The freshman season followed the alcohol guzzling, superpowered private investigator who’s horrible past came back to haunt her both literally and figuratively in the shape of a man named Kilgrave (David Tennant). A mental manipulator, Kilgrave cemented his status as one of the best Marvel baddies ever, terrorizing and killing innocents while nearly obliterating Jessica’s world. As much as we wanted the Purple Man to stick around, he understandably had to go; but oh, do we miss him. With Kilgrave now out of the picture, what does the future hold in store for Jessica Jones?
The first few episodes of season two waste no time in giving us that answer, as we see our heroine dealing with the aftermath of murdering Kilgrave as well as the events that unfolded in The Defenders. Although she appears to be the same Jessica Jones on the outside, she has changed drastically; she’s drinking more than usual, having random, unromantic, aggressive sex with random men, and she’s extremely volatile. While her main focus is taking on mediocre cases in order to pay the bills, Jones is unwillingly thrust into a dangerous case with a connection to her past, courtesy of her BFF Trish. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Jones also has to deal with a brash P.I. who wants to “absorb” Alias Investigations and a super who wants her evicted badly.
In an Emmy deserving performance, Krysten Ritter succeeds phenomenally in adding more depth to Jessica Jones. The way she displays the character’s raw emotion and vulnerability will make the audience root for Jones even harder, if that’s even possible. Rachel Taylor also delivers an excellent performance, transforming Trish from talk show host and friend to an unstoppable force to be reckoned with who is worthy to carry the mantle of Hellcat. The most surprising performance, however, comes from Carrie Ann Moss, who gives a uniquely fresh portrayal of the ruthless lawyer Jeri Hogarth, last seen in Iron Fist. While Ritter, Taylor, and Moss shine brightly, unfortunately the same can not be said for the season’s newest additions: Terry Chen, J.R. Ramirez, and Hal Ozsan. Although Ramirez and Ozsan’s characters have decent moments accompanied by witty dialogue, they are so extremely obnoxious, the audience will spend their time wishing they would just go away, especially Chen’s Pryce Cheng.
Although this season features stellar performances, fun dialogue, great cinematography, and amazing cameos, it suffers from one major problem: its villain. The trailers make this new threat to be a big bad, but what the audience will really get is another Harold Meachum except with freakish strength. Naturally, it would be difficult to find a villain that’s in the same league as Kilgrave let alone better, but Jessica deserves nothing less than another formidable opponent. Hopefully as the season progresses, however, it will redeem itself and once again prove Jessica Jones earned its title as one of the best Marvel series currently airing.