Season 2 of “Jessica Jones” moody and gripping

Fans who have been eager for the second season of “Jessica Jones’” are finally able to assuage their anticipation with the March 8 release of all 13 episodes on Netflix.

Netflix’s Season 2 of “Jessica Jones” began in March with its raw examination of trauma in its protagonist. (Graphic from Netflix)

When Krysten Ritter made her debut as a snappy alcoholic private investigator with super strength in the show’s first season in 2015, Marvel fans were pleased with the show’s thrilling examination of abusive relationships and the trauma that results from them.

Many of the strengths of the first season of Jessica Jones are present in the follow-up, but without a villain as compelling as David Tennant’s scene-stealing Kilgrave. There are weaknesses which were not formerly present and which tend to make the 13-hour season drag. Instead of the simple external conflict between Jessica Jones and Kilgrave that overshadowed the majority of the first season, there are multiple plot lines among the characters that tend to become tiresome.

This is due to the increasingly oft-maligned approach of dragging out each Marvel Netflix story for 13  episodes. This was first noticeable back in the second season of Daredevil, which had two alternating plot lines competing for the spotlight, and continued in Luke Cage, which struggled to maintain its grip after a beloved character’s death in episode six. But despite these various plot lines that could confuse viewers, the good news is that they are interesting in their own efforts to give the supporting characters greater roles than they had in the first season.

Jessica Jones returns along with step-sister Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor), strong-willed attorney Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss), and recovering addict Malcolm Ducasse (Eka Darville). Each of the actors play their roles with energy and enthusiasm, but once again Ritter shows that she is capable of doing what is required from her role: that of a traumatic alcoholic, a compelling character despite a poor attitude.

Trish tracks down files of IGH, the mysterious company that gave Jessica her super abilities. Though initially reluctant to investigate, Jessica eventually agrees when the company becomes tied to the death of a client she turns away and who then abruptly dies under strange circumstances. Her investigation leads her to uncovering her past and finding out the truth behind the organization that made her who she is.

Dark revelations lay ahead of Jessica in her investigation, but they help her realize how much the PTSD from her car accident and horrifying relationship with Kilgrave has affected her. Whereas the first season was about the traumatic events that the characters were forced to confront, the second season focuses on the impact the events have even after the characters manage to overcome their fears.

The line between good and evil is blurred as Jessica grapples with how to handle the season’s darkest revelation. Executive producer Melissa Rosenberg handles the gripping nature of Jessica Jones’s dilemma in a moody, gripping, and intriguing season that, while starting off slow, manages to land its target in tackling the complicated nature of trauma.

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