Season 2 review of Jessica Jones struggles to find its center

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The villain, not the hero, dominated the first season of Jessica Jones. Kilgrave (played by former Doctor Who star David Tennant) was a chilling enemy who used his mind control powers to kidnap and rape the main character, leaving her as a distrustful mess driven by anger that was determined to do everything possible to keep him from unleashing the same horrors in others. The first season ends with Jessica (Krysten Ritter) killing him, but her trauma is still with her. In Season 2, she is still trying to control her own destiny, raising the question of who she is when she is free of her influence and, by extension, of what her program can be without him.
The first five episodes of Netflix's 13 episodes series, provided to critics for early detection, do not answer any of the questions positively. Season 2 begins with Jessica returning to work as a private eye, struggling to reconcile if she is a hero or a murderer. Stopping Kilgrave did not erase his trauma, and he's dealing with alcohol, having mindless sex, just taking cases that do not require emotional investment, and generally trying to keep everyone around him away.
After the crossed series, The Defenders interpreted the alcoholism of Jessica by laughter, the second season of Jessica Jones becomes serious when having different characters that repeat repeatedly the behaviors unhealthy of the hero, although the creator and conductor Melissa Rosenberg still doubts on if Jones' drinking habits are real. problem or a trait of endearing character. Meanwhile, Jones' best friend, Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor) has found a new niche for her that reports on superheroes, but is running out of material. That leads her to try to help her friend and her career at the same time by investigating IGH, the mysterious organization that saved Jessica's life after a fatal car accident, and may be responsible for her super strength. A couple of gruesome murders involving IGH force Jessica to admit that she really needs to face her past.

Courtesy of Netflix

The first half of the program follows Jessica's wanderings through abandoned laboratories while reliving disconnected and repressed memories that seem to be borrowed from an argument by Wolverine. Janet McTeer plays a stronger and more violent test subject who pretends to embody the worst parts of Jessica, a formula that has inspired some of the best comic book villains. But Jessica Jones is saying instead of showing this similarity, with Jessica repeatedly signaling the connection, since initially, there is not enough for the McTeer character to bring him home in another way. While McTeer has a remarkably tense scene in which he tries to control his anger while a baby cries, he gets relatively little screen time in the first five episodes. Instead, Jessica usually faces worldly conflicts, such as a new superintendent of buildings (J.R. Ramirez) trying to evict her, and a rival PI (Terry Chen) trying to recruit or ruin her.
Marvel Television Studios Netflix shows have contrasted with Marvel Studios' MCU movies since its launch, and that contrast is strongly emphasized in this series, while Jessica Jones asks what it means to be a superhero without a secret identity, Tony Stark's resources, or problems on a global scale. Jessica can not work her way out of most of her problems, and when she can, she generally should not. Coping with them challenges your limited ability to exercise moderation. A scene where he attends an anger management class is one of the most evocative of the season, while other members share stories of post-traumatic stress disorder and abuse, adjusted to the rhythmic rhythm of a stressed ball bouncing off the wall of a basement dimly lit. It shows that although Jessica's trauma is extraordinary, it is linked to the powers of a supervillain and the manipulation of a mad scientist, his decision to suffer alone is a much more common and easy choice to relate. The creator and host Melissa Rosenberg and her writers emphasize that Jessica needs to open up and accept the support of those around her if she struggles successfully against both her inner demons and the external threat of the season.

Courtesy of Netflix

The unconnected secondary frames of the second season accentuate Jessica's loneliness. The first season was feminist without apologies, facing a heroine against the walking incarnation of male privilege and law. That strong position makes the comparatively loose attempts of season 2 to say something about the #MeToo movement much more disappointing. Trish is struggling to avoid being pushed to cover fabulous celebrity pieces. She wants to produce meaningful news without having to rely on the resources of her famous boyfriend war correspondent Griffin Sinclair (Hal Ozsan). Instead, he resorts to blackmailing a director with whom he had relations while he was a minor, in exchange for a role in the cinema.
That secondary plot has some convincing seeds, particularly about how a woman's desire for privacy may conflict with the obligation to warn other potential victims about a predator. But the incident largely seems aimed at pushing Trish into her own emotional crisis so that Jessica can save her. If there is anything good about this plot, it is the increasing presence of Trish's manipulative mother (Rebecca De Mornay), whose advice on her daughter's career and love life is delightfully odious.
The most ill-conceived story of the season is that surrounding lawyer Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss), who appears in the opening episode giving a moving speech accepting a Women in Law award, where she discusses her desire to to be seen not as "impressive, for a woman," but as impressive as any standard. "Hogarth's original comic book version is a man, and changing gender from the role of having a woman to play a teacher Power hungry manipulator with a complicated sex life is a bold decision, emphasizing the struggle against gender norms, the same struggle that Rosenberg and the company face by focusing their story on a hard-drinking, hard-drinking noir detective. Tropo was refreshingly new in season 1, but now Jeri's schemes feel more desperate, as the script makes her a victim. sleep with your secretary, and your resolution becomes even stronger when Jeri is diagnosed with ALS. The writers are trying to get Jeri back into sympathy after his season 1 decisions allowed Kilgrave to escape and kill several people, including Jeri's wife.

Courtesy of Netflix

The attempt to redeem Jeri is no more successful than the telenovela-style plots imposed on the supervillain parents at Runaways. That bad things happen to deplorable people with the hope that the audience cares about them feels manipulative and does not serve to excuse the bad actions they have already taken. Once again, there are convincing ideas in the plot of Jeri, which touches the right to a dignified death, the perceptions of the disabled and the importance of the legacy. But they are wasted on a character who feels irredeemable, and whose selfishness in these first episodes once again leads to a completely avoidable death. What remains is the frustratingly obvious path that the writers have drawn to make Jeri go back to the IGH plot.
The first five episodes are marked by an oppressive hardness, with a precious little relief. At one point, Daredevil's Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) rushes into Jeri's office in a cloud of righteousness and optimism, and is quickly rebuffed, as if hope and justice were concepts left for another show. But that kind of humor is rare in this series, and so is Foggy's optimism. The brightest notes come from Jessica's interactions with her junkie junkie turned professional partner, Malcolm Ducasse (Eka Darville), who is working hard to push and protect her. Kilgrave also ruined Malcolm's life, and has linked his recovery and redemption to Jessica. Malcolm shines like a character due to the exuberance of his emotions: in season 2 more than ever, he defends himself when Jessica tries to put him aside, and practically takes pride when he accepts her help.

Courtesy of Netflix

It is certainly possible that the program will successfully join after the fifth episode. While Kilgrave was a powerful driving force in season 1, its importance was a problem in the middle episodes, as the plot stretched credulity in an effort to keep it relevant while allowing the heroes some victories. Season 2 has a different problem: it is more likely that the most important issue is how the season ends. An early scene in which Jessica confronts a sprinter, achieved through some surprisingly ugly special effects, is a reminder that overcrowded fights are not the strength of Jessica Jones. And judging by the configuration and the trailers, it seems that where things are going.
The most promising plot of season 2 may be the budding alliance between Jessica and a police detective played by John Ventimiglia, who sees her as a hero for killing Kilgrave, rather than a vigilante out of control. His opinion on the story, much more in line with the supposed views of the audience, goes through the black and white morality that too often dominates the superhero stories, and establishes a gray area dynamic that could really make sensitivity shine of the Show. When Jessica Jones' season 1 was about trauma, the second season starts by exploring how and if she can heal. Hopefully Jessica and her show come out strengthened in the end.
Season 2 of Jessica Jones launched on Netflix on Thursday, March 8.

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