In its second season, Marvel’s “Jessica Jones” continues to be a cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked power. But without a clear antagonist, like season one’s Kilgrave, the Netflix series — out on March 8, just in time for International Women’s Day — is somewhat rudderless.
Jessica is still lost in a sea of PTSD and self-loathing after the death of Kilgrave, torturing herself over his murder and wondering if she’s more hero or villain. She’s finding out more about her past, too — a requisite for any tale in the Marvel universe. But despite these deep dives into Jessica’s tortured psyche, the season is slow to start. Because Jessica’s demons and the forces conspiring against her are mostly within, not without.
Trish (Rachael Taylor) is still yearning to be both the hero and the protagonist that Jessica refuses to be. It makes for uncomfortable moments between the two of them, but it’s also a comfort to see a real, complex female friendship on television. Particularly one that swings to and fro like Trish and Jessica’s, as they navigate their love for and frustration with each other in equal measure, and their overwhelming desire to keep each other safe.
Outside of the two women, it’s business as usual. Carrie Anne Moss returns as Jeri, with cocaine and lesbian prostitutes and some very bad news. Malcolm (Eka Darville) is back, too, in an expanded role where he mostly sleeps with random women while tasked with protecting Trish and taking Jessica’s shit.
For those of us with an eye for the finer things, “Jessica Jones” also introduces a few new baes, including an initially antagonistic super, Oscar (J.R. Martinez), who has off-the-charts chemistry with the hard drinking P.I. And Trish has a famous, journalist boyfriend, Griffin, who is too hot not to be evil.
In many ways, the second season of Jessica Jones isn’t much more than a well-written procedural with a healthy helping of superpowers. Still, it’s the best Marvel offering on Netflix. If tasked with choosing one of the Defenders to be, erm, defended by, we would still pick Jessica Jones every time.