The newest release in Netflix’s The Defenders franchise, the third season of Jessica Jones follows New York sleuth and part-time superhero Jessica Jones (Kristen Ritter) as she tries to help those in need and get her life back on track. As usual, Jessica struggles to keep things from getting complicated. This season pits Jones against a serial killer who seems to always be one step ahead of the heroes. Even with her powers and some new allies at her side, Jessica will have to pay a high price and use all of her skills in order to set things right.
As is par for Jessica Jones, the highlight of the new season is the interaction between the characters, their dialog and the toll their collective exploits take on their personal lives. Though it is set against the backdrop of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and superpowers are par for the course, the crux of the show is about flawed characters making hard choices and the consequences of their actions. This isn’t a show about superheroes saving the world from utter annihilation, it’s about supers dealing with trauma and hardship, and what it means to be a hero. As it turns out, this is a winning combination. The superhero elements keep Jessica Jones from becoming a plodding drama, while the deep character and story elements prevent the show from being a run-of-the-mill action and crime series.
Season three doesn’t live up to the high bar set by the first season of Jessica Jones, few seasons of any The Defenders show do, but it is worth the watch. Like many of the new generation of premium shows, the middle of the season lags and the plot meanders a bit more than it should. Still, the third season winds up in a good place by the final episode, and some of the mediocre episodes are easy to overlook when considering the season as a whole.
It seems likely this is the last season of Jessica Jones. It’s been clear for some time that all of The Defenders titles are winding down, in anticipation of Disney’s new streaming platform, and this is as good a note as any for Jessica Jones to finish on. The season’s back half touches a bit on the other shows in the franchise, though it won’t do much to provide closure to any fans who have outstanding questions about their favorite Defender.