Maybe some of the luster has worn off of the Marvel Netflix series, but no one bothered to tell Jessica Jones. AKA Start at the Beginning kicks off this new season with all the dry wit, self-loathing and mystery that made the first season so engaging. That and the acerbic performance from star Krysten Ritter.
This has been the show I’ve been eagerly anticipating the sophomore season. There were a lot of great elements in the first season, but the one adversary storyline felt stretched out after a while. AKA Start at the Beginning already seems to suggest plenty of problems for Jessica besides Killgrave screwing with her head.
Following the events of The Defenders, Jessica is reminded there’s consequences even for superheroes. That’s why she bristles so much at the notion that she’s a superhero or a vigilante. In fairness, Jessica isn’t exactly the hero type and never claimed to be a role model. Not when there’s soooo much alcohol to drink.
Trish has grown exhausted watching Jessica sink further into a depression and thinks she has a lead on her past. There’s some unaccounted for days between the accident that killed her family and the arrival of her powers. Trish thinks that’s more than a coincidence, but Jessica doesn’t want to unearth those still very painful memories. So Trish does what any best friend would do and brings the ashes of Jessica’s family to the office. Gee, Trish you really shouldn’t have. Really.
But Trish isn’t Jessica’s only problem. Pryce Cheng (Terry Chen), a rival PI, wants to buy out Alias Investigations. With an overhead consisting of Malcolm and a constantly in need of repairs office space, there’s not much to Jessica’s operation. For Pryce, it’s more taking the competition out no matter how big or small. It’s just that Pryce hasn’t dealt with anyone like Jessica before and his breakdown of her psyche leads to her breaking his shoulder along with some other bruises. Now Jessica is on parole and has to take anger management courses. You might as well lock her up right away, judge.
Turns out Pryce was working on behalf of Jeri Hogarth, who still hasn’t refined her social skills. Hogarth and Jessica are still on the outs, which explains her interest in Pryce suing Jessica. And once she get what appears to be a bad health diagnosis, Hogarth might not have much to lose. I’d like this subplot more if we hadn’t just seen it with Alexandra Reid in Defenders.
Trish might have her own issues though as she’s being watched by a man in a hoodie. And he looks suspiciously like her old flame, Will Simpson.
Trish knows her pal though and eventually she starts getting curious especially when an odd guy who calls himself The Whizzer (based off the old comic book character right down to the blue and yellow outfit) claims someone is trying to kill him. While Jessica blows him off initially, she learns The Whizzer actually had a reason to be paranoid as he was at the same hospital she was at after the accident. But before she can get anything else out of him, scaffolding conveniently falls and kills him.
Jessica may love getting blackout drunk and getting paid for catching sleazeballs cheating, but they’re always second tier to a good mystery. With the introduction of so many potentially great subplots and a compelling overarching story, AKA Start at the Beginning marks a strong kickoff to Jessica Jones Season 2.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Photo Credit: David Giesbrecht/Netflix