Recap: Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Season 3, Second Half

The Netflix section of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is now closed after season three of Jessica Jones ended over the weekend. It’s the only show that advertised itself as the final season, because it marked the end of a world that included a guy with an Iron Fist, a bullet-proof man, a lawyer who fights like a devil, and a guy who punishes like no other.
Yet it ended by showing that it’s not really the end. Crimes will be committed and will be solved by a special group of heroes, including a woman who doesn’t want to be a hero but might as well try.

The second half continues Jessica’s battle against psychopath Gregory Salinger (Jeremy Bobb). He says someone will die, and people will think it’s her fault.
When that happens, Jessica (Krysten Ritter) will recognize he’s not the only monster she has to defeat.

SPOILERS BELOW

Just before season three started, Netflix had hinted a major death would change Jessica and Trish (Rachael Taylor) forever. It happens late in episode eight when Sallinger kills Trish’s mom, Dorothy Walker (Rebecca De Mornay) . From here, any other show would show how Jess and Trish would unite to bring him to justice.
Not this one. The next three episodes take some really dark turns as a second monster emerges from this act…..Trish Walker herself.

Seeing her change isn’t a surprise to fans of Buffy who remember Dark Willow, who emerged when Tara was killed. How this is handled on Jessica Jones is much different. There’s a lot of manipulation and bad choices are made. It still reveals that, in the end, Trish was always capable of this.

It starts when Trish sees how Salinger tortured and stabbed Dorothy to death, then almost kills Salinger before Jessica stops her. She tells Trish if he dies, she is the bad guy.
However, Trish revealed her face. He uses this to his advantage, threatening to expose her if Jessica doesn’t destroy proof he killed Nathan, a wrestler he was jealous of in high school. He knows she’d do anything to protect Trish, and she does. She doesn’t feel good over this, but Trish is mad that Sallinger will get away with what he’s done. She develops what she says is a strong sense of justice, but it’s really another addiction. She was literally getting high battling bad guys, and the need to do that is getting stronger. What she doesn’t get is that it will hurt others, including Jessica.
It’s painful seeing how Trish has changed, but Taylor does a fine job being a woman who is certain she’s a hero, except in biref moments where she sees the truth but can’t accept it.

When a crooked cop named Nussbaumer is found dead, the cops think Jessica did it. She suspects Erik (Benjamin Walker) , the guy who can sense evil in people, until she sees Trish’s marked hands while she gives a eulogy at Dorothy’s funeral. In episode eleven (written by Jane Espenson), we see how Trish killed Nussbaumer, and then a developer who is also an arsonist, because she wants to kill Salinger over and over again, Trish does feel shock when she realizes she killed the cop, but her need for vengeance is very strong. It all goes back to how Dorothy manipulated Trish when she was young, and pinched her hard for disobeying.
Trish even tells Malcom she told a neighbor her dad hit her when she was seven, but it was a lie. He really hit her mom and left her bleeding. She admitted it was wrong but also right, and not quite a long jump to what she’s doing now. It’s also clear that Jessica has to confront someone she considers her sister…and that, unlike Dark Willow, Trish may be beyond saving.

This turns out to be a more compelling plot than Salinger, but he finally makes an attempt to destroy Jessica. He gets his “photo of truth”, and taunts her about how she likes behind a hero while also hating it. He even says her family died so she could get that power, and wonders if they died for nothing. She doesn’t crack, though, because she’s able to get his confession thanks to a hidden video camera. Case closed, right?
Nope. Trish actually kills him on his way to a hearing. It’s the point of no return.

Before we get to the end, let’s look at how Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) is involved. She came out “against” supers and defended Salinger to protect her image and her firm. She’s working hard to see who the other “masked female vigilante” is, and eventually sees it’s Trish. Thing is, she uses Trish for her own purposes. She still wants Kith back, and thinks Trish can help out when Kith is accused of fraud by a guy named Patseris. Trish winds up clobbering him, and would have killed him if his daughter hadn’t intervened. Jessica accuses Jeri of knowing that would happen, and she’s right. If there’s a flaw in this season, it’s now Hogarth’s been portrayed. Her motivation is based on her need for control even while facing death because of ALS. Her selfishness, though, is the real disease within her.
At one point, she almost helps Trish head to Thailand by hiding in a shipment of coffins, but it was a trick. It doesn’t make up for her past.
Hogarth may be a successful if not good person, but she should have achieved some redemption. Moss also does a fine job, and already some websites are hoping she might get Emmy buzz next year.
Malcolm (Eka Darville), meanwhile, has taken a lot of shortcuts while working for Hogarth. However, he draws the line on exploiting Trish to help Jeri. He winds up helping Jessica on her side. It costs him a lot, including Zaya, but at least he comes out alive.

In the end, Jessica realizes she has to bring in Trish, and make tougher decisions after that. She gets a visit from Luke Cage (Mike Colter), who tells her how it was tough sending his very bad and powerful brother to the Raft, the ultimate in supermax prisons. Sadly, she’ll have to do the same. It was a great idea bringing him back, but it would have been interesting if Matt Murdoch was involved, too.

Jess and Trish have their battle, and Jess tells her why she really got this way. It’s not because Salinger killed Dorothy, or the experiment that turned her into a Hellcat. It’s because Dorothy did make Trish who she was because of the abuse she got from mom and what she saw with her dad. All the time, Trish insists she’s the real hero, but Jess asks her who is next. Maybe it’s Jessica.
Then she stabs Jessica’s hand. That’s when it finally dawns on Trish….she is the bad guy.
As Jess sees Trish taken to the Raft, she makes some decisions. She hands her P.I. business to Malcolm, and pairs off Erik and Costa as a crime-fighting duo. She decides to chuck it all and leave for El Paso.
Then she hears a familiar voice: “Jessica, you’re right to give in. Give up. It’s someone else’s job now”. It’s the voice of Kilgrave, the monster who defined her life. Yes, she could give up, admit she’s never been a hero.

Then we see this….

The face of a woman who will not be defined by a purple man, a psychotic wrestling coach, her drinking habits, her past, her mouth or anything.
Sorry, El Paso. She’s staying put.
Malcolm is probably at her door, ready to say, “You took long enough.”
The perfect ending for an imperfect heroine…for now. We wish Krysten Ritter well in her new role as a mom, but we’re really going to miss her as Jessica Jones.

A lot of people will want to know what’s next for Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage or Iron Fist. They were part of the MCU, and did some good things. Maybe Hulu will take them in someday. Let’s hope so.

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Post Author: David Mello

Worked nearly eleven years at a radio station as a board operator, news reader, and assistant producer for baseball broadcasts. Have been a staff writer for Whedonopolis since July 2008