Can you believe it's been over two years since the first season of Jessica Jones premiered? Time flies when your network television and your streaming services and your local multiplex are all flooded with extensions of the Marvel franchise. So what happened to Jessica Jones in Season 1? Fans excited for the impending premiere of Season 2 may want to brush up their knowledge of the sarcastic superhero before the 13 new episodes drop on Netflix on Friday, March 8.
Jessica's been through a lot, but it might be difficult to remember every detail of her past, what with all the Civil War-ing and Defend-ing and Ragnarok-ing and Black Panther-ing that has happened in the months since her first adventure debuted way back in November of 2015. That batch of episodes marked only Netflix's second foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and has since been followed up by a second season of Daredevil as well as introductions to Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Punisher, plus one crossover event in last August's The Defenders.
But now Jessica is on her own again, after briefly teaming up with Matt Murdock, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand to take down the Hand — and, based on the trailers, it looks like Season 2 will be delving farther back into her past than ever to explore how she gained her powers in the first place. But before those answers are revealed, refresh your memory on what happened in Jessica's more recent past.
When Jessica is first introduced, the superpowered young woman isn't putting on tights and a cape and soaking up the admiration of the public while saving the world from aliens and mad scientists and dark elves. Although she tried the whole superhero out thing for a bit when she was younger, she has since hung up her costume and now works as a private eye — and an even more private person. The only people in her life are Trish Walker, her adopted sister and former child star turned radio personality; Malcolm Ducasse, her junkie neighbor (who turns out to have been brainwashed into spying on Jessica for Kilgrave); and Luke Cage, a local bar owner who Jessica has a personal interest in for mysterious reasons.
After two parents bring Jessica the case of their missing daughter, Hope, Jessica is brought face-to-face with her own traumatic past when it turns out that Hope has been kidnapped by none other than Kilgrave, Jessica's own former abuser: an egomaniacal man with the power to psychically coerce people into doing his bidding against their will.
The Devil You Know
Much of Season 1 works as an examination of the lingering effects of trauma, as Jessica tries to extricate herself from the hold Kilgrave used to (and continues to attempt to) have over her life. But she can't simply kill him, since she needs proof of Kilgrave's abilities in order to exonerate Hope in the murder of her own parents, a horrible deed Kilgrave forced her to carry out.
Meanwhile, Jessica is faced with her own past in two difficult ways. First, it's revealed that Jessica was involved in the death of Luke Cage's wife Reva, which is why she was surveilling him in the first place. Reva had buried a file that contained footage of Kilgrave's parents experimenting on him, and Kilgrave coerced Jessica into forcing Reva to give up the file's location before murdering her. Luke is deeply wounded by this revelation, since he had started a romantic relationship with Jessica before she revealed the terrible truth.
Second is a disturbing revelation about the origin of Jessica's powers. After cop Will Simpson (another of Kilgrave's victims and Trish's new romantic interest) is injured when he attempts to assassinate Kilgrave, he's revived by a mysterious doctor, who gives him pills that both heal him and give him super strength. They also make him go insane, and he attacks Jessica before being incapacitated by both Jessica and Trish. Trish learns that the doctor works for an organization called IGH — the same organization that paid for Jessica's medical bills after the accident that killed her family and gave Jessica her powers. This is a thread that will be picked up again in Season 2…
Tell Me You Love Me
Eventually, Jessica manages to capture Kilgrave and lock him in a hermetically-sealed room where his powers can't affect anyone. She attempts to manipulate him into revealing his powers on camera, even bringing in his long-lost parents to help. But Kilgrave manages to escape after murdering his own mother, who attempted to kill him to undo the monster she'd created. Distraught, Hope kills herself so that Jessica will finally have permission to end Kilgrave once and for all without worrying about Hope's fate hanging in the balance.
Kilgrave blows up Luke's bar with him inside, although his bulletproof skin allows him to survive the blast. He tells Jessica he forgives her for killing his wife and they go to find Kilgrave together… but it turns out that Kilgrave was controlling Luke the whole time and made him forgive her to earn her trust. Luke fights Jessica, and she incapacitates him by shooting him in the head. (Fortunately, unofficial doctor-of-superheroes Claire Temple is able to save his life, and the bullet breaks Kilgrave's control.)
In their final confrontation, Kilgrave has kidnapped Trish and has attempted to boost his own powers by taking a drug he forced his father to concoct before murdering him, made out of the remains of the unborn child he conceived with Hope. At first, Kilgrave's increased abilities appear to work on the once-immune Jessica. He commands her to smile: she does. He commands her to say "I love you": she does… to Trish, right before snapping Kilgrave's neck.
Is Kilgrave's reign of terror really over? (If so, why does he make an appearance at the end of the Season 2 trailer?) What's up with IGH, and how did they give Jessica superpowers? When will Trish officially become Hellcat, her comic book alter ego? Find out when the new season premieres on March 8.