Phil tackles the deepening mystery of Jessica Jones Season 2.2 (AKA Freak Accident)
With Jessica Jones returning to our screens for her highly anticipated second season, one would hope that the narratives at play would aspire to be far grander in scale than its predecessor. Love her or hate her, the character has proven her worth to the Netflix/Marvel brand and has been rewarded with a staunch group of supporters, all of whom have been eagerly awaiting her return in the aftermath of The Defenders.
My Future of the Force colleague, Katarina, being one of those devoted fans tackled the anticlimactic first episode and was left more than a little underwhelmed by the tone of its content. You can read her thoughts here:
The second episode opens with Jessica on a downward spiral. The events of the first episode have taken their toll and she is seeking solace at the bottom of the whiskey bottle. She is drinking to forget. But the constant flashbacks are haunting her thoughts. The local tavern offers her the perfect escape, but her mind-set quickly spirals out of control and she is quick to engage in a cheap sexual encounter with the first would be suitor. Not her finest hour. Alas, the rendezvous is interrupted when a demonstration of her brute strength rattles his nerves and he retreats leaving the word “freak” in the air like a bad smell.
Whilst Jessica is struggling to come to terms with her inner turmoil, Trish reconnects with her estranged mother, using her as a means to an end to propagate a rendezvous with Max, a paedophile film director who had taken advantage of her whilst she was pursuing a career as a child star. Her idea to blackmail him in exchange of gaining access to his contacts within the hospital, the location where Jessica was treated in the aftermath of her childhood car crash is rejected out of hand and she is left reliving the nightmares of her torment.
Unbeknownst to her, her former lover, Will Simpson is observing her from the shadows, constantly inhaling a drug that enhances his physical strength. He confronts Trish after her altercation with Max, which leads to him reveal his true intentions to protect her from a greater evil. A monster determined to silence her investigation into Jessica’s past.
Jeri Hogarth, all the while is reeling from her ALS diagnosis and retreats from both the world and her responsibilities, falling into a cycle of drug fuelled escapism and erotic encounters with multiple prostitutes. Her “recreation time” is curtailed however by an interruption from Jessica’s private investigator rival Pryce Cheng, whose firm reprimand brings her back to reality.
Jessica learns of Trish’s whereabouts from her estranged mother and sets off to meet her. What she discovers is Trish, interrogating Simpson at gunpoint seeking the truth about the IGH conspiracy and the monster unleashed to prevent her investigation. With Simpson revealing the extent of his involvement, the mystery attacker arrives to curtail the discussion. With the trio separated, the assailant brutally murders Simpson and vanishes into the darkness leaving Jessica to fume at his grim demise.
Freak Accident is one of those episodes designed to add meat onto the bones of the plot twists established during the first episode. Sadly, this makes for another underwhelming instalment which fails to deliver upon the promise of the first season. Krysten Ritter is once again brilliant as the title character but with the episode resigned to being little more than “filler” she has very little to do besides stomp around the scene with a forlorn grimace that betrays her inner turmoil.
Hogarth’s ALS diagnosis is a noteworthy plot twist, one that will undoubtedly have greater repercussions throughout the entire Netflix/Marvel universe, and her ability to deal with its symptoms will play an intricate role in the episodes to come. Whether this plot twist is enough to enhance the outline of the second season remains to be seen. Much like my colleague, I have found the opening episodes of the second season to be a subpar anti-climax and had expected more from a series that excelled in its first season. The demise of an established character like Simpson feels meaningless after his instrumental role in the latter stages of the last season leaving us to wonder why he was allowed to survive those events in the first place.
There is certainly room for improvement in Jessica Jones Season 2. Teasing at the darker mystery surrounding her tragic car crash can only go so far before even the most devoted fan tunes out.
Until then, we await improvement.