Jessica Jones Season 3: Right or Lawful?

Marvel’s Jessica Jones reached its end, and with it all the Netflix Marvel’s Universe came to an end. As the show had been cancelled before S3 even came out, was it a right choice to make it or it was just a try to redeem the show owed to the fans?

essica Jones brought the final closure on Marvel’s shows presence on the streaming platform Netflix, once and for all. A universe that had a lot of good things to give, but also some really bad flavorless bits to swallow. First example of it, are the first season of Iron Fist and Luke Cage (I honestly didn’t have the guts to watch the second season of the latest…); I’m not saying that the second season of the Immortal Iron Fist was good, but at least was surely more enjoyable compared to the first one. Then, we have Daredevil, The Punisher, and, finally, our favorite (kinda) PI Jessica Jones. The first two are by far the best Marvel’s series that Netflix has produced, with some of the highest and most intense moments: I am still upset that they cancelled these two shows, as I was totally craving for more. At the end we get to our black sheep, Jessica.

The first season was definitely at the same level of the above mentioned series, with a villain/hero confrontation that made that run a memorable one, thanks to the superb performances of David Tennant and Krysten Ritter. Afterwards, everybody’s high expectations were let down with a bland season 2, and the risk that it may have been that the end for the series: eventually, the show got a chance to redeem itself, a chance to make it better. Mission accomplished, then? Not really, unfortunately. For the whole length of the season you can feel that pretty much everything that happens is filled up by useless story-lines and situations that could have been solved or ended long way before, but there had to be something to keep them going just to achieve the goal of 13 episodes. some of these story-lines won’t even have a proper closure.

Most of the twists are predictable, and the whole season revolves around the same theme that repeats itself, over and over, since the first scene of the first episode: should we act rightfully or lawfully? Maybe that was the questions that everybody that was working at the show had to ask themselves. Was it necessary to make a third season, when everybody knew about the show being cancelled? Would the audience have been interested in something that they knew it was going to end? The answer is, it was hard to watch. It took me 13 days to finish it, and I had to force myself to get to ending credits every single episode. It just didn’t have anything else to say for me, and I couldn’t ignore the feeling I was watching something without an actual point. Everything gave me the sensation that this project was dead and gone from the moment Netflix started cancelling all Marvel shows on its platform. I give credit to Krysten Ritter, though, she gave everything she had to save the day, showing some of her best performances during the whole show. Let’s get into some details now, and beware of the spoilers!

As already said, the first scene in the show sets up the mood that will persist for the whole sets of episodes. Jessica rescues a little kid from her dad, who doesn’t have legal rights to bring her on an international vacation and has to bring her back to her mother, against the will of the little girl, who wants to stay with her dad. This will be the constant fight of the season, rightful against lawful. Sometimes the two things overlap, but what to do when the law doesn’t match what’s right? This is one of Trish’s main concerns, and after she got superpowers in the previous season finale she trains up and starts to act as a vigilante to bring her vision of justice. Meanwhile, Jessica meets Erik, a guy that we later on find out has superpowers, too: he is able to perceive the evil in people, and it shows up with headaches. They get back to Jessica’s place, and that’s when we first meet our bad guy for this season, or at least his ninja costume version that stabs Jessica. After this, a long quest to identify the aggressor starts, alongside other boring and quite useless story-lines to get to Jessica and Salinger first encounter only during episode 4. Salinger is a twisted and cold-blooded serial killer who likes to photo-shoot his victims to get the real and honest part of them. Everyone knows he is a serial killer, including the police and detective Costa, but for lack of evidence they can’t do anything to stop him: everything from this point on it feels like they can catch him at anytime, but for reasons they can’t otherwise it would have been too soon, and everything is filled up by secondary stories including Erik’s sister Brianna, Jeri’s crush Kith, or Malcolm girlfriend Zaya, which I would have gladly cut to make a shorter season with a faster rhythm in the events. Salinger will end up killing Trish mother, and that will cause rage in her, who tries to kill him just to be stopped by Jessica at the very last.

From this moment Salinger presence begins to be harmless, or better, even more, as he has never been an actual threat for Jessica and it was just a matter of time before he had been caught by the police. Instead, the series take a very predictable twist: after Dorothy’s death, Trish starts quickly to turn into one of the bad guys she used to fight: she first kills a cop (accidentally), then kills Jace Montero, incapable to stop during a violent rapture. So, when Jessica manages to finally get Salinger to confess with a trap and he is arrested, she just can’t live up with that and has to kill him, becoming herself the real villain of the season but yet again, she holds no threat to Jessica and everyone knows how the final fight between the two of them will end up: but before that we have to watch Jessica let her runaway from her place from the bathroom window, allowing her to “get cleaned up” before escorting her to jail (as if nobody already knew how that would have ended up…)

In the end, there’s not much of a fight between Trish and Jessica, and our Hellcat ends up in the Raft, giving some non-existent villain this season as well (we really missed David Tennant, here…). It wasn’t really convincing Trish’s Thanos wannabe ethics, as she quotes him saying “I am the only one willing to do it.” This is not the only reference to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as the girl from the first episode mentioned above mentions Captain America, and during the last episode we hear the word “inevitable”, which it may be just accidental, but it doesn’t go unnoticed by a true Marvel fan. The series ends up with Jessica trying to leave her job and runaway from New York, but a last Kilgrave cameo makes her change her mind and everything goes back to the start, with her and Malcolm (really likely) continuing to work together at the Alias Investigations. Speaking about cameos, there’s the pretty random and useless Luke Cage cameo, who goes to visit Jessica for apparently no reason at all, and in the same way he leaves really quickly to never come back again.

Overall, the series gives some good investigating vibes, but most of the time those aren’t enough to keep the audience interested to what’s going on, and some scenes made me wonder, like the scene where Jessica and Trish look for a woman (supposed to be Salinger’s target) in the streets of New York by asking to random passers-by if they know her. In New Work, one of the largest and most populated cities in the world. The series is not a disaster, but you can’t shake this feeling that it could have been way much shorter cutting some secondary plots that have been prolonged in vain.

Unfortunately, this series couldn’t live up to its first season, and it was quite a disappointment in the long run. I would have wanted a better ending for Marvel’s stint on Netflix, but that wasn’t the case. And with Krysten Ritter excluding her return to interpret Jessica, this is for sure the end for this show and this character, exception made for a complete reboot on Disney+. My hope is that at some point Disney will choose to recover at least Daredevil character one day, as the open finale is still on my mind, and I’d gladly watch a new take on Charlie Cox Devil of Hell’s Kitchen. For now, we’ll have to say goodbye to these character that, one way or the other, excited us throughout these past years.

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