Jessica Jones season 2 was created by Melissa Rosenberg based on the Marvel comic of the same name. I’ll give you the high points from each episode. Beware the spoilers – it’s all spoilers ahead.
Every episode was directed by a woman. That’s a significant accomplishment for Jessica Jones and I’ve made it headline news for each episode.
Episode 1 “AKA Start at the Beginning” directed by Anna Foerster
Trish (Rachael Taylor) knows Jessica (Krysten Ritter) is missing some time. After the accident that killed her parents and her brother, Jessica went missing for 20 days. She was in the hands of IGH. That’s where she got her powers. Trish wants her to face up to that past. “Kilgrave isn’t the only ghost inside your head.” Jessica is fearful of facing it. What if it makes her worse?
Jessica looks angry and dissolute. She’s drinking hard and barely working.
Malcolm (Eka Darville) is there doing everything from patching bullet holes in the office walls to helping with investigations. Jessica fires him regularly, but he’s always there helping.
Another P.I. named Cheng (Terry Chen) tries to buy out Alias Investigations. He was sent to do that by Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss). Jessica turns him down. He says he won’t take no for an answer. Jessica says, “How rapey of you.”
Jeri is told by her doctor that she has a health problem. We watch her reaction to the news through a window but cannot hear what the doctor says.
Whizzer (Jay Klaitz) shows up in Jessica’s office and asks for help. Jessica and Whizzer were both made into super powers by IGH. He claims IGH also created a monster and that monster is out to kill him. By the time Jessica believes what Whizzer tells her, he’s killed in a supposedly freak construction site accident.
Jessica finds an abandoned building that was once IGH. When she goes inside she has flashbacks of being taken there. She remembers being treated and struggling with a monstrous person.
She decides to face her past, try to remember what was done to her, and find the monster before it kills anyone else.
And with that, season 2 is set up and running.
Episode 2 “AKA Freak Accident” directed by Minkie Spiro
Jessica goes looking for Dr. Kozlov who ran the IGH clinic. He just died in a freak accident. Lots of freak accidents going around.
Trish suffers her mother (Rebecca De Mornay) to get contact info for Max (James McCaffrey). Trish doesn’t want to talk to Max because he raped her when she was 15 and still acting as Patsy. Can you say #metoo and #timesup? She sought him out for Jessica’s sake. She wants him to give her access to records about Jessica’s missing days at Metro General. He admits the sexual assault but is silent on the records. Malcolm filmed Trish talking to Max. Always nice to have evidence in these #metoo times.
Jessica finds out from Griffin (Hal Ozsan), the man currently living with Trish, what Trish is up to. She follows Trish to Max. Will Simpson (Wil Traval) finds Trish about the same time. Will is doped up and stalking Trish. He thinks he’s protecting Trish from IGH freaks. Trish and Jessica confront him. When they think someone is coming the women run and Will is killed. Trish grabs his bag of weapons. The person who apparently killed Will leaps over Jessica and Trish like a grasshopper on his way to the door. Grasshopper power never seen again. Loose thread, that.
While all this was going on, Jeri Hogarth had a drugged up afternoon with 3 women sex workers. All the drugs and half-naked ladies in the world could not take Jeri’s mind off the doctor’s message.
Episode 3 “AKA Sole Survivor” directed by Mairzee Almas
So much happens in episode 3. The two biggest developments are this.
Jeri asks Jessica to dig up dirt on her partners so they can’t force her out of her firm on a medical clause. We finally find out what Jeri’s medical condition is. For Jeri to tell her secret to Jessica and ask Jessica for help is a big change for her character. She’s the one who needs help and Jessica is the person she trusts. A nice twist from last season.
We meet Janet McTeer’s character. Jessica thinks she’s gone to meet Dr. Leslie Hansen who used to be an ER doc at Metro General and who shuttled patients off to IGH for experiments.
While Jessica talks to her, Trish learns that a skull they found incinerated in Dr. Hansen’s apartment building is actually Dr. Hansen.
So who is Jessica talking with? Whoever she is, she thinks Jessica should be grateful for being alive, because she died on the table in the ER. She has powers, just like Jessica. Super strong. Leaps tall buildings. They fight and the mystery woman runs away. An older woman with super powers. Imagine that. #eldersrock
Smaller developments. The award winning journalist Griffin is stealing secrets from Trish. Jessica is fighting with Oscar, the new super (J.R. Ramirez). He wants to evict her. She goes to his place and his kid Vido (Kevin Chachon) talks about Captain America. Cute.
Episode 4 “AKA God Help the Hobo” directed by Deborah Chow
Jessica saves Oscar’s son from falling out a window, so he drops the eviction notice. Jessica makes a pass at him – very awkward, since he rejects it. From the way the scene was awkwardly framed and shot from the start, we should have known it wouldn’t go well. But Oscar likes Jessica, you can tell.
Cheng tries to steal Malcolm away from Jessica. Cheng has it in for Jessica, even after Jeri tells him to lay off.
Trish is crazy about Griffin. But he’s lying to her doing sneaky things.
Jeri buys illegal drugs from Europe so she can off herself. She’s scared, but by damn she’s in control of her own destiny no matter what.
Jessica and Trish go see Max. They show him the video, Jessica punches a hole in his car, and bingo, they get the info they want. They are looking for the still unnamed character played by Janet McTeer. What they find instead is a homeless nurse named Inez (Leah Gibson) who used to work for IGH. She describes the rage the no-name character feels. Jessica identifies with the unnamed woman. Same powers. Same anger. Same lack of family.
Cheng sends someone to Jessica’s office to steal the information she has on the IGH case. When he leaves Ms. Just-Like-Jessica jumps him and brutally murders him. When Jessica gets home, the place is swarming with police who think she did the murder. Jessica looks at the bloody body of the dead guy and says, “That’s not me. That’s not me.”
Jessica’s been filled with self doubt since she killed Kilgrave. She’s a killer now. She’s afraid it defines who she is. She’s afraid she can’t control her anger, even though she’s able to step back from her anger when she chooses. Realizing she’s not a killer is a huge moment for her.
Episode 5 AKA The Octopus directed by Millicent Shelton
Ms. Just-Like-Jessica-But-Has-No-Name-Yet burns everything the thief took from Jessica’s office and all her bloody clothing. Then she goes inside her beautiful home and plays the piano.
Jessica gets out of jail by telling the cops the whole IGH story. She leaves out the part about Inez the nurse, who is currently hiding out in Jeri Hogarth’s apartment.
Inez told Jessica and Malcolm about Dave (Daniel Everidge). Dave is in a mental hospital for killing a nurse. Jessica is sure Ms.-No-Name killed the nurse. When Jessica visits Dave he talks about octopuses and how he used to watch the octopuses with Dr. Karl.
Jessica stakes out the octopus tank at the aquarium and soon sees Dr. Karl Malus (Callum Keith Rennie) greeting Ms.-No-Name with a kiss. They see Jessica watching them. Ms. No-Name creates general panic by breaking a tank open. She runs.
Trish is using again – Will Simpson’s inhaler. It makes her super strong and aggressive. Coming off it, she sleeps for 26 hours. When she wakes up her mother takes her to a staged setting with all kinds of family around. It’s an ambush wherein Griffin proposes.
Trish doesn’t want to be WITH Griffin, she wants to BE Griffin: award winning journalist. She says, “Thank you,” and takes the ring. Later she tells Griffin no. She and her mother fight. Trish slaps her mother. When her mother leaves, Trish goes straight for Will’s inhaler. Griffin disappears from the plot like a will-o-the-wisp.
Episode 6 “AKA Facetime” directed by Jet Wilkinson
Episode 6 is a big one. First a lonely and vulnerable Jessica shags Oscar. While she’s sleeping he paints her portrait. This can only end badly because he’s a really nice guy. And he has a thing for Jessica.
The former nurse in Jeri’s apartment figures out that Jeri’s sick and tells her about a boy at IGH who could heal people by touching them. He healed her when the monster tore her to shreds.
Trish uses the super enhancer inhaler and plays vigilante. She accidentally drops the inhaler in Jessica’s office. Malcolm brings it to her at the moment when she’s desperate for another hit. She’s full out raging addict at this point. No more coming down between hits.
She sneaks a hit and while she’s high, Trish shags Malcolm. This can only end badly because he’s a really nice guy. And he has a thing for Trish.
Jessica sleuths and threatens her way to the address of no-name-woman. She’s really showing her investigative skills this season, but the way she talks to people still needs work.
Inside no-name-woman’s very nice home, Jessica finds familiar things. In a basement stronghold she turns to see no-name-woman and Karl. The woman pulls off her wig. The back of her head is scarred like the monster from IGH. Jessica realizes who she is. Since I frequent IMDB like a second home, I knew long ago who she was, because her name is listed as Alisa Jones. But Jessica gets it in this moment and says, “Mom?” Yep, her mother alive and is the monster.
Episode 7 AKA I Want Your Cray Cray directed by Jennifer Getzinger
Flashback to the car accident, saving Jessica, saving and hiding her mother, the whole backstory.
Alisa Jones tells her story to Jessica. Karl kept her in a coma for 5 years because she was so injured in the accident. They were doing bioengineering at IGH, using genetic technology to regenerate cells. Alisa came out of it super strong with anger issues. Alisa was too dangerous to let out into the world. They told Jessica her mother was dead and placed her in the home with Dorothy Walker and her child star daughter Patsy.
When Alisa finally came out of it enough to learn her own story, she wanted to find Jessica. She killed one nurse and threw Inez into a glass cabinet in order to escape.
By then Jessica was grown and living with a small time hood named Stirling (Mat Vairo) who wanted to open a bar called Club Alias. She was blind to his faults and in love with him.
Alias Investigations apparently took its name from Stirling and his Club Alias. Although Alias and Alisa are an anagram. Maybe a little of both?
Trish was making music videos and hoping for a career as a pop singer. But she was using drugs. She admitted to Jessica that she was an addict. Jessica begged her to go to her mother and rehab instead of touring with her music.
Alisa found Jessica and followed her. She realized Stirling wasn’t a good guy and rage-killed him. She went back to Karl at IGH and told him she couldn’t be around Jessica or live in the real world. He promised to help her get control of herself.
After that Alisa lived in hiding, in a house with a fortified basement room where she could be contained when she grew enraged. That’s where Jessica found her.
Episode 8 AKA Ain’t We Got Fun directed by Zetna Fuentes
It’s not exactly two squabbling lovers locked in an elevator, but it’s almost the same thing with Jessica and Alisa. They talk because they are locked in a room together. Jessica doesn’t recognize her mother’s face, but her voice reaches her. I have to say, Janet McTeer does have a memorable voice. Deep and resonant and capable of great warmth. She sings and hums “Ain’t We Got Fun” frequently. It triggers a memory for Jessica.
Jessica and her mom have 17 years of lost history to dig through. They dance around each other. Mom wants her daughter back. Jessica is confused and anxious about forgiving a woman she knows is a murderer.
Jessica summoned the cops and then changed her mind and ran with her mom to Alias Investigations. They are not entirely safe there. They are not any kind of safe there. Windows aren’t bulletproof and someone shot at them.
Jeri goes to see the healer, Shane (Eden Marryshow), in prison. She’ll get him off if he heals her. He touches her hand just for a moment and she feels better. Full of hope.
And . . . Jeri’s getting very close to her house guest Inez. Very close. Inez cleaned up nice, I gotta say.
Malcolm looks for a way to help Jeri against her partners who want her out. He gets in a brawl and Trish comes along and beats up 3 guys. She convinces Malcolm he’ll heal faster if he inhales a shot of the enhancer she’s high on. He does, and runs off screaming.
How many doses does that inhaler hold? It’s like a gun in one of those macho shoot-em-ups where the guns never need to be reloaded.
Episode 9 AKA Shark in the Bathtub, Monster in the Bed directed by Rosemary Rodriguez
Cheng was the one shooting through the window at Jessica and Alisa. The two super powered dames quickly catch up with him in the building across the way. Jessica shoots him full of Alisa’s tranquilizer and they duct tape him and dump him in Jessica’s bathtub. Not a great long-term plan.
Jeri and Inez share a bed now. Jeri likes it. Jeri gets Shane out of prison so the healing can begin. When he touches her, she cries. She feels wonderful afterwards.
Jeri asks Inez to stay with her.
Trish blows up on her talk show and goes on a rant. She quits the show on the air. Later she gets a call from the news network she wants to work for. They liked the rant. They want to talk to her. After the call she goes to the inhaler and discovers it’s finally empty.
Alisa sees that Jessica feels guilty about causing the accident. Alisa assures her that she was not the cause. It’s a beautiful scene between them. Honest talk that they need so much. Janet McTeer is so strong an actress. She’s a huge presence. Krysten Ritter matches her word for word and gesture for gesture. Jessica is so wary, and Alisa is so hopeful about getting her daughter back. When Alisa is calm, she’s irresistible.
Jessica can’t decide what to do about her murderous mother or the attempted murderer Cheng in her bathtub.
Oscar asks for help when his ex wife (Victoria Cartagena) kidnaps Vido and heads for Canada. Jessica and Alisa work together to stop the mother. Another bonding moment both of them notice as special. Later Jessica tells Alisa she gets why she gave her up, why she couldn’t be around her.
A grateful Oscar promises to help any way he can. His specialty happens to be false ID papers. He’s an artist in more ways than one.
Finally a decision. She releases Cheng with threats of police action. Then Jessica calls the police on her mom. Her mother exercises the restraint to go peacefully. For Jessica.
Episode 10 AKA Pork Chop directed by Neasa Hardiman
Alisa is in jail. Jeri and Jessica tell her about the best deal they could get her. Jessica promises her she can get Karl away and to a safe place if she’ll take the deal. Alisa agrees. She has to put up with a sadistic guard (Brian Hutchison) to make it happen. The guard is cruel and controlling. Alisa wants to kill him but holds back for Karl’s sake and for Jessica’s sake.
Trish screws up her chance with the news network because she’s painfully stone cold sober and can’t deliver a rant. She hears them talking about the killer being found. She wants the story for herself. Trish is after the story and she doesn’t care who she hurts. If she can’t get to Jessica’s mom, she’ll go after Karl. She uses sex to get Malcolm to help her find Karl. She sheds mayhem.
When Jessica talks to Karl about her plan to get him to safety with new IDs, she learns there was never anyone at IGH named Shane.
Jessica warns Jeri about Shane. Jeri won’t believe Jessica, but when she gets home Shane and Inez have cleaned her out. She falls on the floor in a fetal position, crying and screaming. Her death sentence is back – she was never healed.
Jessica goes to the home of the sadistic guard looking for evidence against him. He finds her there. He attacks. She strikes back in self defense and kills him. She’s horrified by what she’s done.
Episode 11 AKA Three Lives and Counting directed by Jennifer Lynch
Jessica hears Kilgrave in her head telling her to make the guard’s death look like a suicide. Accidentally killing the guard lowered her defenses against Kilgrave’s brand of poison. But a suicide is fitting considering the guard’s penchant for prisoner suicides. She does it.
With the man who raped and tortured her strong in her thoughts, Jessica’s hanging on by a thread and trading banter with a delusion. These were some of Krysten Ritter’s strongest scenes with Jessica on the verge of insanity. Jessica Jones battles many demons, but Kilgrave is the worst of them. To have him pop front and center in her brain activates all her worst fears and insecurities.
Trish has Karl at gunpoint. She makes him take her to the old IGH building. She wants superpowers like Jessica. He’s willing to use her as a lab rat and try his science one more time.
Trish is almost dead when Jessica bursts in. She takes Trish to the hospital. Karl blows up the whole building, himself included.
Jessica drives Kilgrave from her thoughts. She’s stronger than he is, she’s not a killer like him and she can control herself. I suspect Jessica may have to struggle against the trauma Kilgrave visited upon her again and again in her life.
In jail, Alisa sees a TV report about Karl being in a burned building. She falls to the floor crying in the same way Jeri did earlier. Then she gathers herself up and breaks through the bars and doors confining her.
Episode 12 AKA Pray for My Patsy directed by Liz Friedlander
Trish is alive, unconscious. When the doctor asks what happened to her Jessica says, “A guy with a science hard on happened to her.” The doctors don’t know when or if Trish will wake up.
The cops tell Jessica her mother escaped jail. Jessica thinks Alisa will look for Trish because she was involved in Karl’s death.
Jessica and Alisa arrive in Trish’s hospital room at approximately the same time. For a moment, Jessica has Alisa’s rage under control. Then two cops burst through the door and the situation goes bad. Alisa is responsible for a cop’s death.
Jeri looks for Shane and Inez. She calls pawn shops to find out where they sold her stuff. When she finds them she tells Inez that Shane’s been using her. Jeri gives Inez a gun and tells her to protect herself. She watches from outside until Inez shoots Shane, then she calls the police. For a minute, while she was in love with Inez, Jeri was almost a nice person. The old Jeri is back.
Trish wakes up. Jessica is there. Jessica and Trish blame each other for everything. Alisa calls and want to meet Jessica. Trish urges Jessica to, “put her down,” which is what Trish would do if she’d gotten super powers from Karl.
Trish has a huge seizure. Her condition is unknown when the episode ends.
Jessica meets Alisa with gun in hand, but she can’t pull the trigger. Alisa bonks Jessica on the head and puts her in the back of a stolen camper. They drive down the highway into what Jessica’s voice over describes as a nightmare.
Episode 12 ends with the kind of fraught cliffhanger that is often missing in season 2. Trish may die. Jessica’s mother kidnapped her.
Episode 13 AKA Playland directed by Uta Briesewitz
Alisa realizes Jessica can control her, calm her. She wants the two of them to stay together and make a life. She wants to make up for her past behavior.
Trish wakes up. She immediately wants to go help Jessica, but her mother convinces her to stay in bed. As soon as Dorothy leaves the room, Trish is outta there.
Alisa and Jessica are on the road. They see a happy family in a car next to them. Jessica is not buying into Alisa argument that she should be free and kept in control by Jessica. Alisa says she needs Jessica. Together they will do great things.
They come upon a wreck. The family they saw earlier and a truck full of exploding canisters of propane or some such. They get the family out. Alisa runs to get the truck driver when the whole thing explodes. Jessica thinks her mother died in the explosion.
When Jessica sees Alisa is all right, she grabs her in a long hug. Finally she gives in to that release, that admission of love and need that she fought so hard against.
Jessica agrees to go to Canada with Alisa. She calls Oscar for papers. He’s followed there. Once again they have to run from the cops. They head north anyway.
It slowly dawns on Alisa that if Jessica stays with her, she’ll eventually be killed. She drives to an amusement park called Playland. The park is dark, but she opens the gate and goes to the Ferris Wheel. This is the place where she and Jessica had a happy moment during Jessica’s childhood.
Alisa tells Jessica goodbye. This is where wants to end it. She knows the police will find her and kill her. She sets Jessica free. They go for one last Ferris Wheel ride.
The cops and Trish are looking for them. Trish finds them first. She shoots Alisa in the head on a moving Ferris Wheel with a handgun. She’s freaking Annie Oakley. Jessica grabs Trish and takes the gun. She almost shoots Trish but eventually tells her to run.
Jessica goes back to the Ferris Wheel with the gun and waits beside her mother for the police to come. She takes the blame for the shooting. Jessica is completely destroyed by her mother’s death. So much loss this season. So much grieving.
In the last scene with Trish, she begs Jessica to forgive her. Jessica’s not having it. As Trish steps into the elevator to leave there’s a hint that maybe Karl’s illegal science gave her some powers after all.
In the last few minutes Jessica’s voice over talks about how disconnected and alone she’s been. How it took someone coming back from the dead to show her how dead she’d been inside. She puts down her whiskey and goes to Oscar’s apartment for dinner. She chats with Vido and smiles at Oscar.
It took two seasons, but Jessica is finally ready to be the hero everyone already thinks she is.