Monday, November 19, 2018
  • The Feed
  • What you're talking about today

Review: ‘Jessica Jones’ digs into her past in angry, slow burning Season 2

Anger is as much a part of Jessica Jones' persona as her leather jacket and a bottle of whiskey. She's a powerful Marvel superhero, but her costume is less colorful spandex and more sarcasm, rage and heartbreaking vulnerability.

Season 1 of Jessica Jones introduced the titular character played by Krysten Ritter and dropped viewers into her world of dirty New York City apartments, late night private investigating and struggling to defeat a sadistic villain.

The long-awaited second season premieres Thursday on Netflix and pits Jessica against her own inner demons rather than a physical villain. Ritter is still ferocious as Jessica. Her sneers, snarls and eye rolls seem to have even more bite this time around.

Previous coverage: Jessica Jones is the reluctant superhero we need

With some serious pushing from best friend Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor), Jessica is forced to dig into her past to find the people who gave her superpowers and why.

It's an interesting choice for the show that's part of Netflix's Marvel universe, which mostly steers clear of rehashing origin stories in favor of pitting anti-heroes against shady villains and their own personal problems.

The result is a slow burn sophomore season with flashes of emotional intensity and heartbreaking insight into why Jessica is the way she is — super strong and super angry.

"I'm angry, and I'm not sure there's anything I won't do anymore," she says in one scene.

By the opening of Season 2, Jessica has already defeated some formidable enemies. Her most recent stint as part of the Defenders alongside Daredevil, Iron Fist and Luke Cage resulted in the destruction of an evil criminal organization. And two years ago in the critically acclaimed Season 1, she overcame the cruel mind control of Kilgrave (David Tennant) and killed him.

Previous coverage: The Defenders brings out the best in Marvel's unlikely heroes

But as she learned after her tortuous time in the abusive hands of Kilgrave — who raped her and forced her to murder — there are massive gaps in her memory that need to be filled in order for her to fully understand her powers and eventually heal.

"Kilgrave isn't the only ghost inside your head," Trish tells her.

Those ghosts are the details surrounding the institutional torture and experiments that somehow gave her superpowers while she was in a coma following the horrific car crash that killed her parents and brother.

More TV: The Punisher packs a punch tackling grief and revenge

In the five episodes sent to critics, an intriguing mystery takes shape related to mysterious organization IGH and its history of human experimentation.

All eyes are on Jessica and Trish, but the new season is peppered with more time spent with lawyer Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Ann Moss) and Jessica's PI assistant Malcolm (Eka Darville). At least during the first five episodes, their personal lives fail to make an impact on the overarching story. The same goes for the new characters: rival PI Cheng (Terry Chen), Jessica's wary superintendent (J.R. Ramirez) and Trish's journalist boyfriend (Hal Ozsan).

Speaking of Trish, her story continues to be dragged down by her clunky stardom and the toxic relationship with her mother. She takes more of a leading role in the investigation of Jessica's past, but there's still no hint to her becoming the yellow spandex-wearing Hellcat like she does in the comics.

Netflix continues to pack its Marvel lineup with increasingly complex and relatable characters. But it continues to stretch their stories into 13 episode-season when they'd be better contained to 8-10.

More TV: Mister Rogers: It's You I Like special will soothe your soul

While starting at the same glacial pace as the first season, Jessica Jones picks up some steam in the fourth and fifth episodes. There's a mysterious new character that just might be the key to everything. Jessica actually a grows a bit by checking her own knee-jerk violent tendencies and going to anger management.

Confronting her anger and trauma and learning to accept her past may not be the juiciest superhero story to come out of Marvel, but it's what makes Jessica Jones' second season a solid addition.

Contact Chelsea Tatham at [email protected] Follow @chelseatatham.

Watch

Jessica Jones Season 2

3 a.m. Thursday, Netflix

Comments

‘Bosch’ gets nod for Season 6

The Amazon series based on author Michael Connelly's bestselling books about an LAPD detective just wrapped shooting on Season 5.
Published: 11/15/18
‘Science Friday’ broadcasting live from WUSF ahead of Tampa Theatre show

‘Science Friday’ broadcasting live from WUSF ahead of Tampa Theatre show

Science Friday with host Ira Flatow will be live and local this week from the University of South Florida in Tampa.Science Friday is normally recorded in advance before airing on Fridays, but with the radio show and podcast’s production team in...
Published: 11/14/18
POKEMON Detective Pikachu: the live-action Pokémon movie the world didn’t know it wanted

POKEMON Detective Pikachu: the live-action Pokémon movie the world didn’t know it wanted

The trailer shocked many, prompting some to question whether it was joke. It is, in fact, quite real and a major push for the franchise.
Published: 11/13/18
Idris Elba named People’s Sexiest Man Alive for 2018

Idris Elba named People’s Sexiest Man Alive for 2018

Jimmy Fallon broke the news on 'The Tonight Show' as he revealed the cover to Elba, who appeared via satellite from London.
Published: 11/06/18
SNL’s Pete Davidson slammed for making fun of Dan Crenshaw, GOP candidate who lost an eye in war

SNL’s Pete Davidson slammed for making fun of Dan Crenshaw, GOP candidate who lost an eye in war

Crenshaw didn't demand an apology, but he did urge the show's writers not to use injured veterans as "punchlines."
Published: 11/05/18
You stole my candy! Watch how these kids reacted to Jimmy Kimmel’s latest Halloween prank

You stole my candy! Watch how these kids reacted to Jimmy Kimmel’s latest Halloween prank

From rage, to sorrow, and even plain disappointment, children react to parents who played along with Jimmy Kimmel by telling them that they ate all their Halloween candy.
Updated one month ago
Have unwanted candy? Trade it in for Reese’s cups with this machine

Have unwanted candy? Trade it in for Reese’s cups with this machine

Lollipops and Jolly Ranchers just aren’t for everybody.That’s why some trick-or-treaters in New York City could be flocking to this seemingly innocent-looking vending machine to trade in their unwanted disappointing candy or one of Americ...
Updated one month ago
National Cat Day: St. Petersburg artist Danial Ryan on his surreal feline art

National Cat Day: St. Petersburg artist Danial Ryan on his surreal feline art

Danial Ryan can’t stop painting cats.   Felines appear in most of the paintings and drawings by the St. Petersburg-based artist who also incorporates pop culture — Batman has crept in lately — iconic snack foods, and the grim re...
Updated one month ago
Stunned reaction as WWE’s Roman Reigns reveals leukemia diagnosis, relinquishes title

Stunned reaction as WWE’s Roman Reigns reveals leukemia diagnosis, relinquishes title

"My real name is Joe, and I've been living with leukemia for 11 years. And unfortunately it's back."With that, WWE star and Tampa-area resident Roman Reigns opened Monday night's telecast of "Raw" to announce his diagnosis and decision to relinquish ...
Updated one month ago