In the first five episodes of season two made available by Netflix for review, Jones finds herself without an enemy to vanquish. After plenty of moping about, (she's even more sarcastic and rude this season than last), we get given two villains: a murderous super-villain, half-fish-half-man mutant creature that lurks in dark corners, and the medical group IGH which gave Jessica her superpowers and saved her life after a childhood car crash.
It's difficult to understand Jessica's fury this series. Sure, she wants to investigate why and how she was bought back from the dead and imbued with superpowers. But why exactly does it all make her so angry? How exactly does she know that the IGH doctors performed Joseph Mengele style experiments on her, when she can't remember much more than corridor flashbacks and some needles going into her legs? No doubt these doctors will turn out to be evil scientists – because it's the superhero way (looking at you Wolverine), but this is some serious jumping the gun stuff. No wonder America has a litigation problem.
Simultaneously, there's a mystery to be solved. Who killed Whizzer – a Flash-like character who runs at super-speed? It's not really a 'whodunnit' though when we're provided with a murderous mutant-fish so early on. Perhaps it's a 'whydunnit', but a slow, meandering plot and self-indulgent drunken bar scenes make it very difficult to care about why the IGH doctors and their super-fish want whiny superheroes dead.
Following a few exceptionally dull Marvel superheroes (in particular Iron Fist), Marvel's Jessica Jones does a great job at giving us a complicated, three-dimensional protagonist. It's a joy to watch a show that has an unlikable woman in the lead, and one who doesn't trot about saving crimes in stilettos. But without a smooth, intelligent super-villain, what we're left with feels derivative – oh look, a gruff private detective and a drinking problem, and oh dear, a superhero obsessing over a painful origin story, you don't say. It's also baggy and slow, with some good one-liners.
The whole series is available to watch now. The Marvel universe needs a serious female character. Let's hope it improves.
|What||Marvel's Jessica Jones: season two review|
08 Mar 18 – 31 May 18, 12:00 AM – 12:00 AM