Jessica Jones Season 3 is a great send-off to the Netflix corner of the MCU.
2019 was stuffed with goodbyes to some of the most beloved fandoms of the last decade. Considering that we have already bid farewell to Game of Thrones, the Infinity Saga of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the original X-Men franchise, one could almost be forgiven for forgetting that we are also seeing the last of the Netflix corner of the MCU. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, The Punisher, Iron Fist, and The Defenders together gave us 13 seasons of some of the greatest live-action adaptation of superheroes.
Season 3 of Jessica Jones may not be as good as the stellar first season, but still shines in a character-focused story that examines the limits of morality and justice. Jessica actually gets to do some good old sleuthing this season as she stumbles upon Gregory Salinger, an arrogant serial killer who is intent on killing people whom he deems ‘unworthy’ based on his twisted logic. Jessica is helped by her best friend/sister Trish Walker and Erik Gelden, a new superhero in town whose ‘shitty powers’ (Jessica’s words, not mine) allow him to sense when a person has done something bad.
While Jessica reluctantly has the spotlight on her for most of the season, Trish also has a compelling arc as she comes to grips with the powers she had developed last season. Two of the season’s best episodes (including one which is directed by Kristen Ritter herself) are in fact told from Trish’s POV. Rachael Taylor’s layered and heartbreaking performance made me wish for a spinoff show for ‘Hellcat’. Trish’s determination to be seen as a hero is in stark contrast to Jessica, who has spent all her life avoiding publicity. The special bond they share with each other and their contrasting ideologies somehow bring them both closer and farther to each other than ever before. From their amazing team-up sequences to Trish’s downward existential spiral to their eventual showdown, it makes for a compelling narrative.
Malcolm and Jeri also have parallel story arcs that eventually converges with the main narrative. Despite Carrie-Ann Moss’ stupendous performance, her arc often comes across as a distraction, with her character making some rather questionable choices. It is partly because of these subplots that the season gets increasingly convoluted and loses steam around the halfway point. As with most Netflix’s Marvel shows, trimming the season by 3 episodes would have helped maintain the pace better.
The season is laden of Easter Eggs and references. Captain America is name-dropped, the Sokovia Accords are implied, there are some jokes involving Captain Marvel and Hellcat costumes in a makeover montage, and there is a nice nod to the Raft (the prison for super-villains from Captain America: Civil War), in addition to a Luke Cage cameo in the last episode. While there is understandably no real sense of closure in the final episode – the season wasn’t originally intended as an ending before Netflix canceled the show – Jessica Jones Season 3 still manages to be a great send-off for the Netflix corner of the MCU.