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Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 2 Starts Slow But Shows Potential

Netflix hooked us up with the first five episodes of the second season of Marvel’s Jessica Jones allowing us to get an idea of what to expect for the series when it returns March 8th. The second season picks up on some of the teasers from the first along with having our main characters dealing with the trauma experienced.

Without a standout villain (at least in the first five episodes) the series explores how Jessica got her powers from the mysterious company IGH. Patsy’s on the case using her talk show to put a spotlight on those with powers while Jessica is just trying to get a footing and go on with her life. The mysterious deepens when a case whizzes in front of Jessica forcing her to confront her past which includes the death of her parents.

The first season did an excellent job of exploring trauma and PTSD and this season continues that theme a bit while also challenging the characters to move on with their lives. And how the series does that is some of the most interesting parts of those five episodes. In this case, Jessica is the one who has her act together while Patsy is the one spiraling out of control. How each supports each other, and their friends do, is some of the more intriguing things. Jeri Hogarth too is not unscathed and she’s forced to battle her own demons along with a work dynamic that has become hostile. The dynamics have shifted, treading familiar territory in new and different ways and the focus feels like character growth with a backdrop of mystery.

All of that’s on the shoulders of the actors who make the show interesting. Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones) is joined by an incredible returning cast that includes Rachael Taylor (Trish Walker), Carrie-Anne Moss (Jeri Hogarth), and Eka Darville (Malcolm Ducasse). Every one feels like there’s been a shift since we last saw them. Some for the better and some for worse. And it’s the actor’s abilities in their movement, subtle gestures, and looks that drive a lot of the story telling in that aspect. They’re joined by new cast members both friends and foe.

It’s that last bit where the first five episodes fall short. There isn’t a foe like we’ve seen with Killgrave or any of the other live action Netflix series. Instead this is about uncovering the truth of Jessica’s origin and IGH. It’s slow, it’s plodding, and the fighting is minimal. This is more about uncovering clues and gaining leverage to get to one’s goal. Five episodes in and we’re still being teased as to who the big bad is, if there’s any one person behind the curtain. Sure we see a few intriguing individuals here and there but there’s no one name the season revolves around… so far. That may change.

And that’s part of the fault of this season. As a comic fan I look forward to seeing who the villain is and how they’re interpreted. But, that formula has been done over and over and it seems the second season of Jessica Jones is looking to change that up, much like the first season shifted storytelling expectations.

While I can’t say I’m gung-ho about this second season (especially since Marvel’s Netflix series tend to sputter the longer they go) the series delivers something different, a noir detective series that focuses on the trauma after the trauma and how individuals deal with it in their own ways. There’s potential here and we’ll find out if it pays off soon enough. If nothing else, the season entertains with performances a cut above so many others and the details that add depth to everything.

We’ll have full reviews of each episode when the show debuts March 8th on Netflix.

Netflix provided Graphic Policy with a FREE screener for review

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