Jessica Jones Season 2 review: Kilgrave’s absence more than made up for with all intriguing sleuthing
Jessica Jones Season 2 review: With the action kept to a minimal again this time, the show only has a whodunit to keep things alive and interesting.tv Updated: Mar 08, 2018 10:19 IST
Marvel’s Jessica Jones was the first show I watched on Netflix after it finally arrived in India in 2015. I remember feeling impressed with it for attempting what their big budgeted, silly, super glossy films on the big screen wouldn’t: Seriousness and desire to bring superhero stories closer to reality.
However, lot has happened since then. We’ve had films like Captain America: Civil War, Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther, raising the bar of quality content at the MCU higher than ever before. But the same cannot be said for Marvel television.
In these three years, we were also subjected to Iron Fist, The Defenders (also a big part of Daredevil 2) and a billion boring ninjas, without any consideration to an interesting story. The men of the series were really beginning to ruin it for me, but this Women’s Day, we have finally been saved by Jessica again.
The second season of Jessica Jones, in the absence of season one’s brilliant villain, brings the focus back to our alcoholic heroine’s detective work. Of the 13-episode series, only the first five were made available by Netflix for the purpose of this review and each one of those was able to keep me interested in the current and excited about the next. The new season maintains momentum simply with smart writing, great performances and a clear objective at heart, a rare entity in the last few run-ins I’ve had with the franchise.
After having murdered her rapist, Kilgrave, in the first season, Jessica could still not bury the demons of her past. It was already ruined before he decided to make her his puppet. Her entire family was killed in a car accident while she was given a new life and the curse of her super human powers as a side effect of the horrible experiments done on her. To close the door on her past, she needs to revisit it and bring those who wronged her to justice. And she would do just that if she weren’t this lazy or simply too afraid to dig up literal old skulls out of basements.
She needs motivation from Trish, help from Malcolm and a fat guy to run weirdly across a room to finally agree to fire up the case. When she does launch into the sleuthing bit, the show becomes even better. As she investigates mongoose infested homes, examines charred skulls, crashes a funeral, expands her mind through a shrink and breaks props at an anger management class, we are pulled deeper and deeper into the mystery. Just like her, we couldn’t be bothered to take it up at first and just like her, we cannot leave without answers anymore.
With the action kept to a minimal again this time, the show only has a whodunit to keep things alive and interesting. As and when the action does arrive, it is always with a purpose to show the inherent weakness of Jessica’s resolve and emotions, juxtaposed with her strength, shown through a gaping hole in a wall, in a car or in someone’s face. The execution of those action scenes (men and women awkwardly leaping off walls or using superspeed), however, is so silly it makes Shaktiman look good.
Kysten Ritter is still a delight to watch as the sarcastic, rude, undelightful Jessica. She ran out of f***s to give a long time ago and she isn’t in any mood to loan out a few this time either. However, each time her stern surface breaks apart, it reveals a hurting woman scared of herself and wanting of a better life than the one her past or alcoholism would let her have. Pessimism and misanthropy are her default settings but the regular peeks into her golden heart make sure we still only ever see her as a hero.
Rachel Taylor as Trish Walker has more screen time this time around than what I remember of her from last season. She is front and centre of the investigation and her own relationships, with people other than Jessica, are complicated on their own. She has a shady boyfriend that even after Jessica’s stamp of approval you cannot bring yourself to trust; a horrible, abusive mother that you want to slap across the face and a horrible past and secret of her own that hits a little too harsh in the current milieu of the Time’s Up and #MeToo.
I wish I had more to say of the villain but with merely five episodes at my disposal, I am not sure if the one I have seen is indeed the big bad, boss villain and not merely a red herring to something more sinister. I have had only two little peeks at the character and while he/she maybe nothing like David Tennant’s Kilgrave, one of the two scenes made me feel the same nervousness as Wilson Fisk once got out of me. Conclude what you must from that statement, I’ll leave you to it.
As much as it surprises me to say this, Tennant’s absence so far (He is expected to briefly return in the last few episodes) hasn’t been that big of a dampener for the series. Creator Melissa Rosenberg and her army of female directors have somehow managed to keep me hooked on their show. Hopefully the trend will continue in the next eight episodes as well.
Watch the trailer here:
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First Published: Mar 08, 2018 10:15 IST