This review is spoiler-free.
Not for the first time in a Netflix/Marvel product, it may have been two-three episodes too long. Season Two of Jessica Jones took a LONG TIME to get going, the episodes at the start, on the whole, were simply not great. But as the season hit the middle mark, the quality soon shot up and the episodes became really engaging. This is a little ironic, as Season One started so strong and went out with a whimper. So roles reversed here.
With that being said, in the first season, I found myself liking Jessica less and less as the season went on. This time around I was fully behind her really got on board with her for the entire season. I loved what Krysten Ritter did this season, her performance was emotionally complex and her attitude walked the line of ‘bad ass’ and ‘sympathetic’ was much better than the previous season. She never became a chore to watch. The fact that the character is now well established helped in this regard, the focus was put on the story, character relationships and how she copes with the various situations thrown at her.
The positives of Ritter cannot be transferred to Trish however. Just like with Tara from The Walking Dead, I just have no interest in the character anymore and find her scenes a mix of annoyance and frustration. This was not a great outing for Rachael Taylor, though take nothing away from her sub-plot, which to her credit, was a story that she executed well and very relative to present day real life issues. It’s what she did outside of this one story that was the downfall of the character. And it’s clear they have a new direction for her in the future, that could go either way. Carrie-Anne Moss returned and was once again a big positive. In terms of the new additions to the cast, Janet McTeer is the best of the bunch while Terry Chen and J. R. Ramirez are ok but never reach any real heights. As for a certain purple person, let’s face it that is not a spoiler now, they were perfect but underused.
Melissa Rosenberg was once again in charge of proceedings and she delivered, in the end, an enjoyable series further building on established characters and pushing the show towards an exciting future. The decision by Rosenberg to use only female directors was fitting with the show’s identity. Using the show as a vehicle to get more female directors on big projects like Marvel properties is a good thing. But just like some of the bad episodes of Iron Fist and The Punisher, by male directors, we get just as many here, proving that regardless of gender, the showrunners for these Marvel/Netflix properties are still making duff choices with some of their directors. To put it simply, some of the episodes were not good and just like Iron Fist, it was noticeable when a director had a different vision to the previous one.
While some of the directors may have been a misstep, the quality of the story and characters in the second half of the season is the real positive. Everything began to click into place, and all that early season frustration with the sluggish pacing and lack of story reveal was just about worth it. Just. As I mentioned at the start of this review, it could have done with being a few episodes less, condensing some of the frustrating filler episodes into a more structured and better paced season.
Overall, Jessica Jones Season Two was an enjoyable experience WHEN you finished it. It took time to get going, and all the struggles at the start of the season clicked into place in the latter half, resulting in a satisfying conclusion. Ritter is on top of her game here and while the supporting cast around her are not at the same level, they do more than enough to make the series the best outing of Jessica Jones to date.