Season 1 of Jessica Jones was smart, relevant and thrilling, and she stole The Defenders without even breaking a sweat. Now she’s back for Season 2 of her own series, and the big question is: how can it possibly live up to the first?
To begin with, the show is doing the tricky job of putting season one to bed and kicking off a new story – this time focusing on IGH, the shadowy organisation that popped up briefly in Season 1, and which is responsible for giving Jessica her powers. Unsurprisingly, they’re not keen on being dragged into the light by the world’s surliest detective, and Jessica’s not exactly thrilled to be facing her demons either.
As Jessica, Krysten Ritter really hits her stride here. Season 2 Jessica is even rougher around the edges than before, and both Ritter and the show are now utterly unafraid of making her as unlikeable and ugly as possible. Season 1, we realise, didn’t even scratch the surface of how messed up she is, and Ritter delivers a career-best performance.
The supporting cast get more to do too, with Eka Darville’s Malcolm settling into his role as the moral heart of the show, and Rachael Taylor’s Trish revealing a dangerously driven side. But it’s Carrie-Anne Moss’ Jeri Hogarth who looks like she’s going to have the most interesting subplot this season, and it’s a joy to see Moss get her teeth into some meaty stuff.
But the first five episodes are slow to get going, and are bogged down in some subplots that, currently, feel unnecessary. J. R. Ramirez is a new addition to the cast, playing a clumsily obvious love interest for Jessica, without any of the chemistry she and Luke Cage shared, and the momentum drops whenever his character shows up.
The main problem with Season 2 so far is that, well, it’s not Season 1. Jessica is still one of the most compelling and fascinating superheroes around, but will Season 2 be able to pull together a story worthy of her? Just about everything the trailer gave away happens in the first five episodes, so we wouldn’t be at all surprised if a rug-pull is on its way.