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.
2.3 AKA Sole Survivor
So long, Will Simpson. We barely knew ye. Jessica has spent a lot of time this season already trying not to get in trouble with the cops, though you have to imagine that repeatedly committing actual crimes in an attempt to stay out of trouble for crimes you didn’t commit is quite likely to catch up with her eventually.
Likewise, a superhero seeing a hypnotherapist is only destined to end in someone getting hypnotised badly. I’m suspicious of hypnotists, especially in this medium, and especially when they share the name with a noted villain. As long as large chunks of this season don’t all turn out to be a dream, I’m intrigued as to how (or whether) it’ll play into the series arc. I’m surprised, in fact, that they didn’t make more explicit the idea that she might not want to surrender control given her experiences with Kilgrave, but the subtle purple lighting in her subconscious hallucination were a reminder that his presence remains felt.
As for Griffin, I hope he’s not evil. Not least because Evil British Guy is one of the most over-used tropes on US television. We get it, you don’t like taxes, it’s been 200 years! Get over it! That said, I don’t think I’ve ever met a person called “Griffin” in the UK, so maybe he’s not British after all. Still, anyone who goes around sticking thumbdrives into other people’s laptops under sinister camera angles isn’t necessarily up to good things. Keep an eye on that one.
As for Oscar, the angry dad, I think it’s clear that he and Jess are going to end up with a begrudging respect for one another by the end of the series, though part of me bets they might also end up having some hate-sex instead. This is one instance where inventing new characters for the series is actually quite a good idea. If he was a character from the comics I’d have some idea of where the story might be going. Him being a completely new person means I’ve got no expectations other than those created by the material. (Which is to say, hate-sex.) Admittedly I find this guy relatively sympathetic, not least because Jessica broke into his house and started messing around with his kid. Eviction is the least he could be doing.
One of the better things about this show is that Jessica, for all that she’s a bit of a trainwreck, is actually good at what she does and smart enough to take control of situations. I do sort of wonder if her alcoholism could be slightly better portrayed, because I’m not so sure all it takes to be considered an alcoholic is to crack a beer open first thing every morning and otherwise be fine. The show seems divided on whether to address it or ignore it and that gives the scenes where she DOES roll out of bed and sink a can a slightly comic air, which I don’t think is the intention.
As for Leslie Hansen, who we quickly discover is NOT Leslie Hansen, it seems clear that she’s the villain behind some, if not all of what’s going on. The name isn’t a comics reference and the character doesn’t instantly recall any existing villain. And hey, Jessica Jones in the comics doesn’t have a lot in the way of villains anyway, so she too could be an original character. Part of me hopes not, because if we’re not watching this show for our fanboy/fangirl thrills what even is the point, but I would at least respect the decision to make her a new foil for Jess, even if I didn’t prefer it.
But speaking of thrills, this episode gave me the cameo I’ve been waiting for: FOGGY BLOODY NELSON. Sorry haters, he is amazing. Admittedly I’m sad he cut his hair but that only makes me more hopeful that he’ll wear a bad wig in a future season of Daredevil. And then when he shows up and is all Foggy Nelson-y, Hogarth is flat out mean to him, so now I hate her. Even if she is terminal (that really explains that whole off-the-rails thing, though. I assumed it was grief/PTSD from the events of the last season).
And in case you’re wondering, that list of names on Hansen’s apartment didn’t contain anything that looked like a comics reference to me, although I did spot an S. Jackson (possible Nick Fury safehouse?) and R. Kelly (you’ll believe he can fly). Even I admit I’m reaching here.