Created by: Melissa Rosenberg
Starring: Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor, Eka Darville, Carrie-Anne Moss, Janet McTeer
Marvel's Jessica Jones Season 1 is one of the best debut TV seasons of the most recent years, inside the comic-book genre or not. So what does Season 2 has in store for us?
Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is beginning to put her life back together after murdering her tormenter, Kilgrave (David Tennant). Now known throughout the city as a super-powered killer, a new case makes her reluctantly confront who she really is while digging deeper into her past to explore the reasons why.
After such a flawless first season, I obviously managed my expectations since the follow-up would never be as exceptional as the former. I still expected something great, having in mind that Krysten Ritter brilliantly portrays a beautifully written character such as Jessica and also due to the very interesting secondary characters who I looked forward to seeing once again, as well as their own storylines.
Unfortunately, I feel disappointed. There are so many narrative issues and the season's overall pacing is excruciatingly slow. The first five episodes feel aimless and if it wasn't for Ritter's performance, all of them would be a real pain. The next couple of episodes bring the entertainment levels back up, as well as some clever plot twists and a phenomenal origin story.
Jessica's backstory gets an entire episode which is probably my favorite of the whole season. One of the several Marvel's Iron Fist's problems is that Danny Rand's origins feel meaningless since the only thing we get, are some crappy flashbacks with quick cuts and shaky cam. Jones gets a full episode where everything is explained: her personality, her past and even how she got her leather jacket. If there is one thing no one can take away from this season, it is this episode. A fantastic lesson on "how to create and tell an origin story".
Besides these couple of episodes, there are another two that I also love, mostly due to a certain character than for the plot itself. Actually, let me get this out of the way: the cast is truly amazing. Even with its flaws, every actor and actress elevate the season in such a wonderful manner that some of the minor issues become no problems at all. Eka Darville is great as Malcolm Ducasse and his character's development is a standout of the season.
Carrie-Anne Moss (Jeri Hogarth) delivers some of the most emotionally powerful scenes with her meaningful storyline, but the real superstar is Janet McTeer as Alisa. This new character almost steals the show from Jessica, she is incredibly captivating and her presence is menacing. Janet does a phenomenal job and her interactions with Krysten are what keeps the show alive. Every scene with them never feels dull and the (few) action sequences during the season, originate from these two.
However, as the show reaches its (stretched) ending, it is noticeable that not all of the storylines are going to come together seamlessly. While the actors and even the characters are fine, their subplots don't end in the smoothest way. It is ironic how a season can be too long and still manage to clumsily mesh its stories together in the end. There are also some side characters who don't feel that they belong in this season and they are just there to provide plot devices and silly character choices ...
And now I get to this season's huge problem: Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor). First of all, Rachael has no fault. Actually, she portrays Trish as good or better than in her last season. The issue is really with the character. I don't know why or what went on the writers' minds, but they turned one of the most promising characters of the debut season into one of the most annoying ones of the entire cinematic universe. Not only she becomes the show's most hated character, every choice that she makes has no traces of logic.
Obviously, I can't spoil, so this is as far as I am going. She is by far my main source of frustration and I hope that they can do something about her in the third season. As in the first five episodes, the last ones are just there to stretch the season to thirteen episodes (ten would be more than enough and it would solve some of the problems). Finally, even though I applaud the fact that all of the directors are women, some don't exactly do a great job when it comes to the editing.
Despite that, the season has no technical flaws. The settings look great, the score is pretty cool and the tone is extremely well-balanced. I love the season's thematic of how people use each other to get what they want. The directors deal with it in a very creative way and even though the season's finale is anti-climactic, the main plot is interesting enough for me to continue watching until the end.
All in all, Marvel's Jessica Jones disappoints even with low expectations. Krysten Ritter carries the entire Season 2 on her shoulders, with a special help of Janet McTeer. Both of her characters keep the story captivating and the show alive. Nevertheless, there are a lot of narrative issues and the subplots involving the side characters don't end up well mixed. The season is far too long, the first five episodes are extremely slow and aimless, which doesn't help the overall pacing (ten episodes are more than enough). The biggest obstacle is Trish Walker who completely transforms into one of the most annoying characters in the MCU. Despite the anti-climactic and frustrating finale, Jessica Jones is a character worth wasting your time with, even if all doesn't perfectly come together at the end.