Welcome back to ‘Jessica Jones’ for the third and seemingly final season, and also the final season of any Marvel series on Netflix (and the last we will see of any of the Marvel/ Netflix heroes for the next few years until a clause they had with Netflix finally allows Marvel to use the characters again in 2 or 3 years). Diving right in, the first 3 episodes of the season, titled, ‘AKA The Perfect Burger,’ ‘AKA Your Welcome,’ and ‘AKA I Have No Spleen’ have the same job as the opening episodes of any of these series, to bring audiences back into the world, remind us where we left all the characters at the end of the previous season and set up the stakes and the plot for the coming season.
Episode 1 reminds us that Jessica and Trish are still estranged after Trish killed Jessica’s mother, insisting it needed to be done, while Jessica has leaned into the “hero” gig because she feels it is her last connection with her mom, who encouraged her to use her powers to help people. Meanwhile, Jeri Hogarth wants Jessica to end her life before the ALS gets the best of her, which Jessica refuses to do, so Jeri decides to take other actions, including visiting an old friend named Kith who she had a romance with in her youth. All the while Malcolm is still on Hogarth’s payroll, and while he is racking up experience and has started a relationship with one of Hogarth’s younger associates, Malcolm is not happy with the work, finding the moral grey area hard to work in, especially with cases like one involving a drunk-driving celebrity baseball player, who Malcolm is tasked with helping, paying off his victims. Eventually, Malcolm snaps and t-bones the drunk’s car to hurt the man’s career and get him off the streets, and it is clear he is not all that happy in Hogarth’s employ.
The plot of the season really gets moving though when Dorothy Walker (Trish’s mom) reaches out to Jessica claiming Trish has gone missing, wanting to hire Jessica to track down her daughter, which Jessica eventually reluctantly does, though she does not yet know if she is ready to reconcile with Trish. This situation is made even worse when she is going through Trish’s stuff and finds a letter to Jessica where Trish still insists she was right in killing Jessica’s mom.
Jessica tracks Trish to a hotel where she spots the woman across the street having an encounter with a man with a gun, and Jessica uses her strength to leap between the buildings, smashing into the room and saving Trish, who we quickly learn does not need saving, as she now has abilities thanks to the surgery from last season. The man gets away and Trish tells Jessica she has it handled, and can be the hero now leaving Jessica free to live her own life.
Her head full of those thoughts Jessica (of course) goes out drinking and meets a man named Erik Gelden, who swears he can make Jessica a hamburger that will be the best she has ever had. Intrigued, Jessica invites him back to Alias Investigations where they set aside the dinner prep and start tearing each other’s clothes off in the office, just as they hear a knock on the front door. Jessica answers and is immediately stabbed in the gut by an unknown assailant, going down just as the episode ends.
The second episode focuses on catching up with Trish following the finale of Season 2 starting with when she first discovers she has abilities. She spends the year between the seasons training to be a superhero, knowing she wants to use her powers to do good, after having her first taste of making hard choices when she killed Jessica’s mother at the end of Season 2, a deed she still believes was right. After her first experiences trying to be a vigilante, she realizes she needs a disguise as criminals and the populace still recognize her because of her fame, and after a fun scene where she goes to a costume shop to try on different costumes (including the Hellcat costume from the comics, to which she says “Hell no.”), she finally settles on a mostly blue-black costume, with a yellow undershirt and a scarf she wears around her face to hide her identity.
However, one of the first criminals she assaulted who saw her face decides to sue her for assault, and after hiring Hogarth’s firm to protect her interests, Trish figures out she has to sell her nice apartment to get some funds, and move into a new apartment closer to the people she wants to help, even if Dorothy thinks the new apartment is a huge step down (though Dorothy does have a nice moment where she rolls up her sleeves and helps Trish clean the place up).
We learn Trish starts stealing client files from Hogarth, who specializes in defending criminals, and even comes face-to-face with Malcolm, who she reveals her identity to and who allows her to take the client files because he is also torn by the moral ambiguity of the firm. Eventually, Trish goes after a man that she has to stake-out for many days, which is why she “disappears,” thus forcing Dorothy to hire Jessica to find her. Their stories meet up once more when Jessica tries to save Trish when her target pulls a gun on her, and she tells Jessica to stand down, as she has got the hero thing covered now. By the end of the episode, Trish learns Jessica has been shot, and is asking for her, but is disappointed when a bed-ridden Jessica simply wants the name of her target so she can investigate, and still refuses to make up with Trish.
The third episode brings the focus back to Jessica, who we learn has lost her spleen in the attack, and has to take numerous medications to survive now, a regimen that is enforced by Jessica’s new assistant Gillian. Jessica uses Hogarth’s company to track down Trish’s target, Andrew Brandt, who is trying to sell the statue Trish was trying to obtain from him. When Trish tries to track Jessica, Jess realizes her friend is spying and toys with her, but unfortunately she is still healing and collapses on the street, leaving Trish to call for medical help even while taking the leads on Brandt Jessica had gained.
The two women briefly meet up after Jessica steals the statue from Brandt, and Trish argues they should be working together, but Jessica won’t hear of it, though she does acknowledge Trish’s skills and need for a win. After Jessica finds Brandt, she leaves him for Trish to turn in after learning Brandt did not attack her, and she heads home, meeting Erik there who has come to check on her. And in that moment, Jessica realizes her assailant was not actually there to attack her, but rather Erik, and the episode ends with Jessica demanding to know who wants to kill Erik.
Not a bad beginning for the season, lots of mystery and intrigue, and suspense, especially with Jessica so vulnerable following her attack, and her desire to not be a “victim” following what happened to her. And it is nice to see the show taking its time in bringing Jessica and Trish back together, instead of just rushing the whole thing so they can team up to fight the bad guys. Still, there’s a lot left to be explained and the main villain still needs to be introduced, so I am looking forward to the next crop of episodes to see where the show is going next.