Jessica Jones season 2 episode 13 review: Playland

Following her appearance in Defenders, Jessica Jones is back on Netflix for a second season. As ever, we’re going to be reviewing every episode of the series – one per day – providing analysis, easter egg spots and speculation for those who aren’t planning to binge it all in one go. All discussion is welcome but please don’t spoil future episodes in the comments.

This review contains spoilers.

2.13 Playland

Another Netflix series in the can. On balance, this is definitely in the top 3 Netflix series, with The Punisher season one and Daredevil season one. I’ll let you decide on the order they rank in. Despite the slightly less charismatic villain compared to Jessica Jones season one (which was always a problem for me – I felt like I wanted to root for him last series) I thought this series was a LOT stronger on the writing and that counts for a lot. But anyway, let’s check in on how my predictions were:

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Hogarth will get everything she wants, except a cure.

DEAD ON. Well, basically. She shamed her partners into giving her a tonne of cash, she kept her life and livelihood, and she escaped blamelessly from the murder she tricked someone into committing. All that and a hot yoga instructor. I’m not even kidding, I want to see a Hogarth series. My only complaint about her was that we spent a lot of time on this story that didn’t really dovetail with the main one. It crossed over a couple of times, but there were no stakes for Hogarth in Alisa’s capture (or otherwise). Besides that? No complaints.

Malcolm will quit Alias and probably leave town to get away from the psychodrama.

Half-right. I loved him proving his skills and impressing Hogarth, and then unexpectedly partnering with Cheng. A shame that he and Jess are now estranged, but after all he went through for her and all she did to him… well, who can blame him? And he looks good in a suit. Stay off the skag, mate, and you’ll do juuuust fine.

Trish will have gained the superpowers she always wanted.

YEP. Or at least, it’s heavily implied. Look forward to her and Jess reconciling in the next season and being super-friends. Will Trish wear the Hellcat costume? Probably not. But hey, she’s suddenly got a lot of time in her schedule so maybe there will be some crime-fighting. It’s notable that the nurse tells her’s she’s used “two of her nine lives” because what clearer cat-related imagery is there?

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Alisa will be killed, probably by Jess, probably to save Trish.

I’m calling this one a third correct. Of course Alisa had to die: if she stayed alive it’d completely alter the show’s dynamic. Much like the time Alias (as in, the Jennifer Garner one. Spoilers ahead!) brought back the main character’s apparently-dead mother basically everything that happened afterwards revolved around it. And reasonably enough. I didn’t see Trish being the one to kill her though. That’s the sort of thing that’s going to make Thanksgiving dinner pretty awkward at the Jones-Walker house.

To be honest, I think this is a more interesting ending for being quite unexpected. Trish’s motivations remain ambiguous to me. Was she jealous at being replaced in Jess’ affections? Was she desperate to be a hero? Or was she genuinely concerned at what Alisa would do and annoyed at Jess for trying to avoid taking care of things the obvious way? Probably some mixture of all three, but the ambiguity means there’s an interesting dynamic.

 Oscar will stick around for Jess’ sake, declaring he accepts the danger being around Jess involves.

I guess that actually happened last episode. In this one, he and Jess seem to be committing to an actual relationship, and that’s an exciting character move. Of course she’ll probably cause him trouble one way or another, but I like their relationship and the basis of honesty between them. Their backgrounds and personalities are different but complement one another. There’s definite growth for Jess here: she admits to herself that she doesn’t want to be alone. I hope we get to see how it plays out.

 And no-one will even mention Griffin.

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Bad luck, Griffin Sinclair. If that is your real name.

One last great thing about this episode: Jessica doing some actual superheroics for a change (and I loved the ending to that car rescue scene, where her mother’s near-death crystallises what she was previously unsure of). I could’ve done with more of that, but hey. Maybe next season.

Oh, and it’s just the nerd in me but every time they mentioned being in Westchester I was going “CALL THE X-MEN!”. Weirdly Jessica does have form with the X-Men in the comics – it was Jean Grey who implanted in her the post-hypnotic suggestion that made her immune to Kilgrave’s control following her first escape from him.

So, there we have it. Season two of Jessica Jones, a much greater success than I was expecting, and with probably the richest writing of any Marvel show, and I even include my beloved Agent Carter season two in that. Now we just have to find out whether Luke Cage season two is going to continue Marvel’s streak…

Read James’ review of the previous episode, Pray For My Patsy, here.