Monday, February 29, 2016

Thoughts for Jessica Jones Season 2

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I remember before Jessica Jones was released back in November that there were some questions (specifically from me) as to whether or not Jessica Jones should receive a second season.  Now, in my defense there really isn’t a ton of depth to Jessica Jones’ character in the comics beyond her connection with Luke Cage (as his wife/baby momma/occasional superhero partner between retirements).  Consequently, my thinking before the season debut was that it would be better for Marvel Netflix to fold Jessica Jones into the other series (specifically Daredevil and Heroes for Hire—itself a combination of Luke Cage and Iron Fist) in order to make room on the schedule for new properties.  However, after watching Jessica Jones season 1, I now think there is more than enough story to merit a season 2—and apparently the powers that be concur, as Jessica Jones season 2 was greenlit way back in January!

And since I just finished publishing my reviews of season 1 last week, what better time than the present to start thinking about what could come next for our favorite super-powered P.I.?

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This is the most obvious place to start when talking about Jessica Jones season 2, as the final 3 episodes of season 1 very clearly set this up as a loose end for a future season or property to tie up.  IGH is the organization responsible for not only the experimentation that gave Simpson his abilities but also the chemicals that gave powers to Jessica herself.  However, we do not know anything about this company yet beyond those two connections.

Given that thus far all the scientific attempts to create super-soldiers in the MCU have been connected in some way to Captain America and Project Rebirth (at the very least as imitations attempting to recreate the results), I expect this to be no different.  However, I do not expect more connection than a passing mention that IGH has been working on the super-soldier project as one of several companies ever since Project Rebirth created Captain America and the Super-Soldier Serum was lost.

Beyond this, I definitely think that we will get more of Simpson/Nuke in season 2—perhaps even a flag face tattoo?

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Trish Becomes Hellcat

One of the most fun elements of season 1 was watching Jess and Trish’s relationship evolve, specifically Jess’s protectiveness toward her adoptive sister.  At the beginning of the season, Jess was overly protective, especially when it came to Simpson, but by the end she was much more willing to accept Trish’s help in fighting Simpson and then Kilgrave himself.

I think that a natural continuation of Trish’s story in season 2 would be for her to take a more active role in Jess’s crime-fighting endeavors.  After all, Jess will likely have to confront Simpson again, and last time she needed Trish’s help to defeat him!  In fact, a really interesting climactic battle might be Trish (as Hellcat) vs. Simpson (as Nuke).

I could definitely see Trish continuing to host her “Trish Talk” show while beginning to assist Jess with her investigations, particularly when her ex is involved.  Additionally, the Trish we saw in the first season would probably be excited to start using her resources and martial arts to help Jess fight crime—and would probably leap at the opportunity to wear a suit.

Finally, if they want to give Trish a new love interest for season 2, my vote would be her “Boyfriend from Hell” from the comics; by this point Doctor Strange and Iron Fist will have dealt with alternate dimensions, mysticism, and magic, so it wouldn’t be too out of place for Daimon Hellstrom to appear.  However, that’s just my thought, not something they set up in season 1.

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Alias Investigations:  “Heroes for Hire”

The final scene of Jessica Jones season 1 made it very clear that Jess has stumbled into a reputation as a hero who can stop criminals with powers.  In fact, in the time it took for her to be arrested and released, Alias Investigations had already received dozens of phone calls from people in trouble asking for Jess’s help.  At first it doesn’t look like Jess is overly interested in helping them, but the next time the phone rings Malcolm answers it for her with “Alias Investigations; how can we help?”

In other words, Jessica Jones is now a Hero for Hire (Geddit?).

In the comics, “Heroes for Hire” was the name of a “private superhero” business operated by Luke Cage, Danny Rand (Iron Fist), Misty Knight, and several other heroes (Scott Lang worked for them at one point).  These guys basically acted as superheroes but requested compensation for their services.  I’ve said before that I would like to see Heroes for Hire explored on Netflix (as a combination season 2 for Luke Cage and Iron Fist), but it looks even more promising for Jessica Jones season 2 to delve into the “Heroes for Hire” concept first—and if she gives her business a tagline to that effect (“Alias Investigations: ‘Heroes for Hire’”), so much the better.

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If season 2 does indeed go in this direction, I doubt that Jessica will be able to do it all by herself; the sheer volume of crime in Hell’s Kitchen (and the dozens of calls she received in a matter of hours) makes it unlikely she could handle all of them alone.  As such, she may very well have to hire a couple more heroes to assist her.  I already touched on one possibility above:  Trish becoming Hellcat and working with Jess as her schedule allows.  Another option has already been referenced in season 1:  Angela del Toro, who is the fourth White Tiger in the comics and whose powers are loosely tied to K’un-L’un (Iron Fist’s mystical city).  The comic book version of the character is a former FBI investigator who was involved in the investigation of Daredevil after the death of the first White Tiger (Angela’s uncle, Hector Ayala).  Angela eventually took up her uncle’s mantle to become the White Tiger and left the FBI to become a private investigator.

In Jessica Jones season 1, Jess tried to refer Luke to Angela when he came to hire her for a job, so in the MCU Angela is a private investigator who operates out of New York City.  Based on this, I think it would be really interesting to see this Easter Egg pay off with Jess hiring Angela to work with her at Alias Investigations.

The only other options available within this universe are the Defenders themselves (Daredevil and Luke Cage at this point, with Iron Fist guaranteed to show up sooner or later now that a casting has been announced), but I don’t see Daredevil leaving Nelson and Murdock to become a fulltime hero for hire, and we won’t know about the possibility of Luke Cage joining up with them until after his series debuts this summer.  And in any event, I would just as soon see Jess as the only Defender in her second season (aside from Luke)!

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Consequently, my vote would be for Jessica Jones season 2 to actually introduce one or two new “heroes for hire” to work with Jess (and Trish and Angela), of whom there is no shortage.  Two options are Misty Knight (set to debut in Luke Cage season 1) and Colleen Wing, both of whom are associated with the Luke Cage/Iron Fist Heroes for Hire.  Black Cat is a Spider-Man supporting character that Sony is very interested in who could also fit the bill:  she’s a cat burglar/antihero (like Catwoman but owned by Marvel) and off/on love interest of Spider-Man who worked with the Heroes for Hire for a while in the comics.  If Marvel used Black Cat in Jessica Jones season 2 and the Netflix universe, that could set her up to receive a larger role in Sony’s Spider-Man-related movies—and build greater connectivity between the Spidey characters and MCU.  A fourth possibility is She-Hulk, the lawyer cousin of Bruce Banner who received a blood transfusion from him that turned her into She-Hulk (a smarter but slightly-less-strong version of Hulk).

Finally, if they want to build in some more connective tissue between the Netflix and ABC shows, Marvel could introduce a new Inhuman in Jessica Jones season 2 who could work with her.  The possibilities on that front are virtually endless.

You’ll notice that all the options I offered are female, and that’s partially intentional, as the two from season 1 are both female and I was curious if they could put together an all-female Heroes for Hire/Alias Investigations.  If they did, I think it would be funny to have a team of female heroes with a male secretary/administrative assistant/on-call social worker (Malcolm):  it would be like Charlie’s Angels… but not.

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Luke Comes Back

The final element that I am hoping to see in season 2 is for Luke Cage to return to Hell’s Kitchen so that we can see the further development of his and Jessica’s relationship.  When he ditched out shortly after awaking from his coma, it became pretty clear that he was still recovering from everything that happened to him:  his wife’s death, hooking up with Jess, learning Jess killed his wife, being mind-controlled by Kilgrave, blowing up his bar, and being forced to fight Jess.  His decision to leave Hell’s Kitchen brings him back to Harlem, which is where his own series will pick up.  However, until Luke Cage is released we can’t know where that series will leave him—though my guess is that it will set him up to return to Hell’s Kitchen for The Defenders or Jessica Jones season 2.

The relationship between Luke and Jessica was one of the most interesting and dynamic elements of season 1, and it looks to become an important relationship for both of their characters moving forward.  Considering that in the comics they are married and have a daughter by the end of Jessica’s first comic series, there is a huge history there to delve into—even if Marvel does not stick Jessica into a kitchen, barefoot, and pregnant just yet!

This is a relationship that will have to be further developed in Luke Cage season 1, The Defenders, or Jessica Jones season 2, and of the three options I think Jessica Jones season 2 would make the most sense.  Luke Cage will take place in Harlem (and Jess doesn’t know that’s where he went) and The Defenders will already be a very packed 8 episodes, with at least 4 heroes and a villain running around.  Obviously The Defenders will pair the two of them up for some things—and further that relationship—but that miniseries will not have the time to do a ton with any given character.  That leaves Jessica Jones season 2 as the most logical place to see where their relationship is after everything that’s happened up to that point.

Jessica Jones season 1 was only released about 3 months ago, and there are still at least two series on the release schedule before season 2 will be released, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make some guesses about Jess’s future adventures.  Obviously some of these things will change or be saved for a different series/season, but I’m pretty confident that we’ll see at least some of this when Jess continues her adventures in season 2.

Of the four options listed, I think I’m most curious to see what happens with Jess’s “Heroes for Hire” and what kind of role Trish will play in her future hero adventures.  Which of these are you most interested in seeing?  Did you see something hinting at season 2 that I missed?  What heroes would you like to see join a Jessica Jones-led Heroes for Hire?  Let me know in the comments!

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1 comment:

  1. Jessica Jones villain Kilgrave is apparently back to torment Marvel’s super private detective again – as we see in this Jessica Jones season 2 set photo released by EW!