When we first met Krysten Ritter’s superpowered private eye, Jessica Jones, her universe essentially consisted of the few square blocks that led from her ratty Hell’s Kitchen office/apartment to the nearest dive bar. But through the course of her first season and on into the team-up series The Defenders, her world widened outward, introducing her to new allies — like the mighty Luke Cage (Mike Colter) — and new mysteries. The just-released trailer for Jessica Jones‘s sophomore season, hitting Netflix March 8, indicates that she’s going to continue to explore fresh territory rather than retreat to familiar surroundings. “The general theme of Season 2 is about digging deeper into her past traumas to face [the future],” showrunner Melissa Rosenberg confirmed to Yahoo Entertainment when we spoke with her in the fall. “There’s also the question of her seeking emotional connection and realizing she’s been shut off from that.” Based on the trailer, here are some of the ways that Jessica’s past will inform her present this season.
She’s part of the Marvel universe, like it or not
A lifelong loner, Jessica experienced the highs and lows of being part of a super-duo when she and Luke joined forces in Season 1. That partnership later paved the way for her membership in the super-team the Defenders. But if you think she’s relishing that opportunity, think again. “Now all this super-vigilante s*** keeps coming at me,” she complains early on in the trailer for Season 2, which Rosenberg says picks up not long after the events of The Defenders. Jessica is also less than charmed when a wide-eyed kid asks excitedly whether or not she’s spent quality time with Captain America. Given her general distaste for the superhero community, don’t expect a ton of Marvel cameos over the course of these 13 episodes.
That said, Rosenberg does tease that “die-hard Marvel fans” should be on the lookout for some surprise visits from unexpected characters. “We don’t start with, ‘Oh, we need this character,'” she says about the writers’ general approach to drawing from Marvel’s extensive library. “Because then it doesn’t end up being an organic story. So as we develop characters, we sometimes go to Marvel and they say, ‘Oh this kind of reminds us of this particular character,’ and I go, ‘Oh, they’ve got some interesting stories,’ and we’ll blend them in. It’s a fun library from which to draw, and we do it as much as we can and are able to.”
She’s going to learn some unpleasant facts about herself
Opening the door to her past means letting in demons and doubts that Jessica has previously kept on lockdown. The true source of her powers is one of those buried secrets, and it sounds like the answers — provided by new cast member Janet McTeer — are going to leave some scars. “You were brought back from the dead — the powers were a side effect,” McTeer’s mystery character tells her midway through the trailer while also insinuating that Jessica is not the only one of her kind. Online speculation has it that another Season 2 newcomer, Ingrid (Leah Gibson), who isn’t glimpsed extensively in the trailer, might be a relative of sorts. Described as a “street-wise” nurse, Ingrid may be a cover name for Typhoid Mary, a powerful telekinetic who has regularly tangled with Daredevil in the comic books.
Her business is on shaky ground
Jessica’s detective instincts are top-notch, but her business savvy could use some work. Due to its owner’s personal obsession, Alias Investigations has never been much of a moneymaker, leaving it open to a hostile takeover. Sure enough, she and her (unpaid?) assistant, Malcolm (Eka Darville), are approached by an outside buyer eager to use the levers of capitalism to short-circuit the competition. It’s a different challenge than Jessica has faced before, in that she can’t just punch it away. “Season 1 set a high bar, so we looked at that bar and went, ‘Let’s throw a different bar over it and do something completely different,'” Rosenberg says of how the second season strives to shake up the status quo. “You have to — you can’t just keep trying to do the same thing over and over. You’re always taking a risk any time you’re pushing yourself in that way. I just hope that the audience goes with us.”
“An enormous trauma was resolved by the end of the first year,” Rosenberg says of Jessica’s season-long pursuit of her rapist, Kilgrave (David Tennant), which ended in his apparent death. “It still lives on, but at least it’s been processed emotionally. She now lives with it in a way that’s more comfortable than she had in the past.” But those emotions are stirred up all over again at the end of the trailer, when a pronounced purple hue and pair of clapping hands indicate that Kilgrave has crossed back over to the land of the living in some fashion. His potential return allows the writers to continue exploring the aftermath of sexual trauma, a subject they skillfully navigated in the first season. “Going in, we didn’t intent to create [a dialogue] on domestic abuse and rape, but it began this conversation,” Rosenberg says. “What you hope to do as a storyteller is get people thinking and talking about subjects like this. You always hope to contribute to the culture in a positive way, and we did that. It was unexpected and incredibly gratifying.”
Season 2 of Jessica Jones premieres March 8 on Netflix.
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