Jessica Jones’s third season lacks the power of her earlier outings. They’ve reduced the budget, and the R-Rated content has been toned down, though not removed entirely.

Nevertheless, the cast remains strong, the humor, frequently sharp, the storytelling, intriguing, the villains worthwhile, and the themes, disturbingly relevant.

We reviewed the first two episodes here.

Cast and Crew

Directors: Anton Cropper, Leisl Tommy, Mairzee Almas, Tim Iacofano, Larry Teng, Stephen Surjik, Jennifer Getzinger, Sanford Bookstaver, Jennifer Getzinger, Sarah Boyd, Neasa Hardiman.

Writers: Lisa Randolph, Jamie King, J. Holtham, Jesse Harris, Nancy Won, Scott Reynolds, Lisa Randolph, Hilly Hick Jr., Jane Espenson, Melissa Rosenberg.

Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones
Rachael Taylor as Trish Walker / Hellcat
Eka Darville as Malcolm Ducasse
Benjamin Walker as Erik Gelden
Jamie Neumann as Brianna ‘Berry’ Gelden
Jeremy Bobb as Gregory Sallinger / Foolkiller
Rebecca De Mornay as Dorothy Walker
Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth
Sarita Choudhury as Kith Lyonne
Tiffany Mack as Zaya
John Benjamin Hickey as Peter Lyonne
John Ventimiglia as Detective Costa
Aneesh Sheth as Gillian
Jessica Frances Dukes as Grace
Tijuana Ricks as Thembi Wallace
Mary B. McCann as Chief Ronnie Velasco
Mateo Gómez as Manuel Silva
Leticia Castillo as Ana Silva
Rachel McKeon as Char
Matt Weiss as Andrew Brandt
Michael Hsu Rosen as Laurent Lyonne
Audrey Grace Marshall as Trish “Patsy” Walker
Larry Mitchell as Kurt Nussbaumer
Larry Mitchell as Officer Carl Nussbaumer
Rosalyn Coleman as Dr. Irene Bickell
Anthoula Katsimatides as Detective Defford
Tina Chilip as Detective Imada
Barbara Tirrell as Sal Blaskowski
Airon Armstrong as Dwayne Blaskowski
Thomas Pojanowski as Thomas Blaskowski
Ellen Mah as Mona Lee
Mark Kenneth Smaltz as Gene Burchell
Harry Smith as Devlin Hoskins
Bowman Wright as Officer Pickett
Chris McGinn as Sharon
Jessica Frances Dukes as Grace
Tamir Tamir as Grandmother
Jacob Laval as Grandson
Michael Alexander Henry as Guard
Ezra Barnes as Doctor Purks
Pedro Carmo as Gallerist
Neville Braithwaite as Waiter
Zuhdi Boueri as Nurse
Roman Roytberg as Alex Sokolov
Wayne Maugans as Demetri Patseras
Sandra Glinka as Graduate Student
Mike Colter as Luke Cage

Premise:

A convoluted plot sees Jessica on the trail of a serial killer, before she’s forced to take on her own newly-powered sister. The various plots address such things as vigilante justice and ethics generally. How much can a person move into a moral grey area before finding him or herself in the dark?

High Points:

While the season did not conceal its preoccupations with ethics and morals, the thematic elements felt (for the most part) like part of the story. Some of the questions raised remain thought-experiments: how would society react to the presence of metahumans—a lot of metahumans? Others, however, remain directly relevant. How do we make moral decisions? How many social guidelines can we lose before we no longer have a society? What actions become justified when facing adversaries born with advantages that we might not have? Or a justice system that doesn’t consistently deliver?

Low Points:

I recognize that people, especially grieving and damaged people, often make stupid decisions. Too much of this season’s plot might be averted if the characters made fewer stupid decisions, or occasionally spoke with each other.

Police procedure seems odd in places, and a couple of developments—one of them a plot by our heroes—assumes that the NYPD would quickly abandon their preferred suspects simply because those suspects have an apparent alibi.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6

Effects: 5/6

Acting: 5/6 Krysten Ritter remains excellent as Jessica Jones, and I hope she reappears once Marvel regains the rights to these characters. This season highlights her sleuthing skills as much as her brute-force powers.

Production: 5/6 The lower budget shows in the fight scenes and effects. We do, however, see some interesting, if brief, movement for Trish.

Story: 4/6 The convoluted story begins slowly but takes us in surprising directions. Given its meandering nature, I sometimes wonder if the season would have benefited from the 1990s approach typical of, say, the later Buffy the Vampire Slayer: an overall arc with some stand-alone storylines along the way. That would suit a superhuman PI, and help address the pacing issues.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Overall: 5/6

In total, Jessica Jones: Season Three receives 31/42