For many, this past weekend marked the final binge of Jessica Jones and the Marvel/Netflix shows. The third season was a marked improvement over the second, picking up speed as it went along and building on Jessica’s growth as a person. All of these morally-murky characters that we’ve come to know and love (or even hate) spent much of their final thirteen episodes meditating on what it means to be a hero, even as they were punching, kicking, clawing, and killing their way through Hell’s Kitchen.
But what if this weren’t the final season? While the details surrounding the cancelations of all of the Marvel Netflix shows remain murky, from what we understand, this show and these characters are off the table for the next couple of years. But once that clause is up, we could potentially see them all again on another platform or network.
Given how popular the show has been, particularly the critically acclaimed, Peabody-winning first season, it would be a shame to let Jessica Jones cool her heels for too long, especially just as her BFF Carol is taking flight in the MCU and Marvel is finally giving us more substantial women characters, for whom Jess blazed a trail.
Here are some of our best guesses, theories, and what we would like to see if Jessica Jones ever makes it back on the air…
The biggest challenge the show faced after Season 1 was how to follow-up a villain like Kilgrave. It’s hard for anyone to be as enigmatic as David Tennant, or for any challenge to feel as all-consuming and existential as what the Purple Man did to Jessica. It would be great to see the show instead shift to a more case-of-the-week format and lean into the noir elements, while allowing other aspects of Jessica and the team’s life to carry through the season-long arcs, like Malcolm’s attempt to be a better person again and Jessica’s continual struggle to let people in.
This might also open the door for something many have been craving: a She-Hulk procedural. If she can’t have her own show, why not have Jessica get her own lawyer (to replace the obviously compromised Jeryn Hogarth), Jennifer Walters? The final season of Jessica Jones takes place in 2017. Skip ahead some time to let Trish languish in prison and jump over all things Avengers: Endgame, and now we have a world where Bruce Banner’s cousin She-Hulk can just walk around being a lawyer without the general public afraid that she might hulk-out, even if she always had more control than her cousin.
Jessica Jones, meet Jessica Drew
That’s not to say there aren’t still some interesting villains and other adventures to tap into from the Alias comics. Jessica went up against a mob boss dealing Mutant Growth Hormone, befriended Jessica Drew AKA Spider-Woman, and we got a peek at her brief career with the Avengers. If Spider-Woman can’t be on the big screen, why not at least let her hang out with her fellow Jessica?
It would be great to someday get a proper flashback to Jessica’s Jewel days as a caped hero, or even to see her help out the Avengers in her present tense. In a classic noir case full of twists and turns, someone hired her in what seemed like a run of the mill case, in an attempt to trap Jessica into exposing Captain America’s identity, which is less relevant in the MCU but could be applied to another masked character.
The Future of Jeryn Hogarth
While Season 3 left Jeri Hogarth facing a depressing, solitary future of her own creation, if the show were to come back, it’s possible she could one day become a better person… if she lives long enough. Television loves nothing more than a last-minute redemption, so it’s littered with dark characters who use their final act in life to finally do something good. Jeryn has always done just enough right (or considered Jessica and friends just enough useful) to keep herself from going full-on villain, but she does more than just flirt with the darkness. Helping Kilgrave and Sallinger are serious black marks that she’ll need to overcome.
As Kith rightfully hinted at, Jeri wasn’t trying to save the supposed love of her life out of selflessness. She was doing it because she didn’t want to die alone, and she had convinced herself that Kith was her solution to that problem. There’s a reason we had never heard of Kith before: once Jeri moves on, she drops someone cold. But she did make more progress this season toward something that looked like love, and while she helped Sallinger and was harsh to Malcolm, she did eventually come around to Jessica’s side when she saw the real danger. Any redemption arc for Jeri would need to take its time and involve heavy doses of skepticism from literally everyone, so it would certainly put Jessica and Malcolm in a fun mode to watch, if done right.
The Future of Trish Walker and Hellcat
Trish, on the other hand, seems like she might already be poised for redemption, even if it currently seems logistically more difficult. That might seem strange, since she’s on the Raft serving time for several murders and quite a few other crimes, but during the series finale she finally had a genuine moment of understanding that she’s the “bad guy,” as she put it, while Costa was reviewing the charges. It’s a moment of clarity the audience and Jessica have been hoping to see all season and, in some ways, since even before that.
It’s still deeply concerning that Trish sees the world in such terms of black and white, something Jessica was obviously hoping her sister would evolve on over the course of the series’ final season on Netflix. But the combination of someone who now knows how wrong they are and is forced to live with it, while reconciling it with a worldview that only accepts heroes and villains, as someone who went to such lengths to become a hero, could make for excellent storytelling. And based on their final wordless, emotional moments as Trish was taken away to The Raft, Trish could count on her sister for support as time or perhaps a more interesting solution to her imprisonment presented itself, like some kind of Suicide Squad.
In The Pulse comic books, Jessica shuttered Alias Investigations (sound familiar?) and went on to work for J. Jonah Jameson as a reporter. She teamed up with her old pals Spider-Man and Luke Cage and exposed Norman Osborn after he murdered a reporter at The Daily Bugle. It’s not hard to see Jessica’s skills as a PI translating to making her a great investigative reporter, but it might shock Jessica Jones audiences to picture her as a mom.
Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and…a daughter?
In the comics, Jessica eventually got back together with Luke Cage, and the pair had a daughter, Danielle, named after Iron Fist Danny Rand. One benefit of an IRL gap between Season 3 and a possible Jessica Jones Season 4 is that it would make it easier to swallow the idea that these characters have changed, and allow for some interesting use of time within the narrative.
Whatever happens with Jessica Jones, it’s been an innovative comic and show with plenty of source material and narrative promise left to explore. Here’s hoping its signature snarky twitter account one day lights up to let us know the bitch is back.