Jessica Jones’s third season—and the final Marvel season for Netflix—dropped today. We’re reviewing the first two episodes now, and the rest of the season next weekend.
Season Three lacks the strong start of the first two seasons, but it reunites an impressive cast. Perhaps because it’s the final season, or because Disney wants to inspire hope that they will reuse the Netflix characters when they regain rights in a couple of years, we’re reminded that, yes, Jessica and company exist in the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Titles: “A.K.A The Perfect Burger” and “A.K.A You’re Welcome”
Cast and Crew
Directors: Michael Lehmann, Krysten Ritter
Writers: Melissa Rosenberg, Hilly Hicks, Jr.
Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones
Rachael Taylor as Trish Walker / Hellcat
Eka Darville as Malcolm Ducasse
Benjamin Walker as Erik Gelden
Sarita Choudhury as Kith Lyonne
Jeremy Bobb as Gregory Salinger
Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth
Rebecca De Mornay as Dorothy Walker
Aneesh Sheth as Gillian
John Ventimiglia as Eddy Costa
Matt Weiss as Andrew Brandt
Tiffany Mac as Zaya
J.R. Ramirez as Oscar Arocho
Kevin Chacon as Vido Arocho
Rileigh McDonald as Cassie Yasdan
Rachel McKeon as Char
Cyndi Melendez as Carmen
Jeannine Adornetto as Detective
Cristala Carter as Anchor Woman
Jessica Jones resumes her hardboiled hero-for-hire ways, with a moderately increased emphasis on actual heroism. The head of Alias remains, alas, estranged from her newly-empowered sister. The first two episodes tell the same basic story from each sister’s perspective.
Despite the repetitiveness of the first two episodes, I enjoyed seeing Trish’s early forays as a superhero. Jessica Jones has always benefited from its humor, and we see it at work here. Trish patrols the streets and eavesdrops on police communication—only to discover that typical reported activity provides few opportunities for heroics. She finally goes into action—and gets recognized as a celebrity by crook and victim. She tries to find a disguise—and encounters more than a few problems.
While the show retains much that made it watchable—I still rank the first season above the admittedly excellent Daredevil— we’re in a lower-budget, less-impressive version of a familiar world, and the first two episodes feature more than their fair share of four-colour narrative tropes.
Originality: 2/6 As Jessica drinks and grows weary, a superhero-themed show examines the ethics and psychology of vigilante activity.
Story: 4/6 We have a slow start, carried by the actors, and the division between the sisters.
Acting: 5/6 Acting remains strong. The dialogue feels a little more stilted than in the past, though at least some of that results from Patsy Walker effects. Trish has lived her life in the media, and has a distorted view of reality.
It may be growing more distorted.
Emotional Response: 5/6 I enjoyed seeing Jessica back in action, and I liked the shout-outs to the broader Marvel Universe. But I cannot deny being a little disappointed at how this final season has started.
In total, “A.K.A The Perfect Burger” and “A.K.A You’re Welcome” receive 31/42
Two episodes in, and yeah, it dragged a bit. Lets see where this goes…
It picks up a little in three. I think we may have the same problem that afflicted Luke Cage: good actors, decent writing, and too much time to fill.
Episode three bonus:
Costa; Who’s the masked hero?
Jessica: Why? You think we all know each other?
I actually enjoyed episode 2.
My problem — having watched the entire season as well as both previous ones — is that they can’t seem to settle on what the supporting characters are and keep repeating that every season. Trish is cool! No wait, you can’t trust Trish! Trish is cool again! You can’t trust Trish! Trish is cool! You can’t trust Trish! Carrie-Ann moss is a bitch! But she redeems herself! Now she’s a bitch again! Now she’s redeemed herself again! Now she’s a bitch again! Now she’s redeemed herself again! You can’t trust Malcolm! He’s good now! Now you can’t trust him! Now you can! Now you can’t! Now you can! etc, etc.
Sure, have a redemption arc or a turning dark arc. But not for every single character and not several times every season. There’s a difference between flawed characters and characters that just keep having changes of heart all the damn time.
With that said, I enjoyed this season, as I have the previous ones. The above is one of my nitpicks. Another is that it does drag a little at times — mostly taking the form of the show not realising we’re all binge-watching it. You don’t need to remind me what just happened, Netflix!