Friend or foe?
Warning: This post contains spoilers for Jessica Jones Season 2.
Marvel’s Jessica Jones has been a revelation for women ever since it premiered in 2015. Not only did it present us with a deeply flawed and traumatized protagonist, it dealt with her history and insecurities head-on.
In Season 2, we still have a host of varied, complicated women; from Carrie Ann Moss’s struggling Jeri Hogarth to Rachael Taylor’s unraveling Trish to our newest character, played by Janet McTeer. It’s a pivotal role with DEEP complexity and physicality, the likes of which is rare for women in action shows – especially women of a certain age.
McTeer is first introduced as Dr. Leslie Hansen, a scientist linked to the ominous IGH, but we quickly learn that there’s far more to her. She has abilities like Jessica’s, but dialed up to 11; with her super strength comes a rampant rage – a dissociative disorder that’s a side effect of the experiments IGH actually conducted on her.
When that switch flips, she becomes incredibly volatile, but with an almost childlike fixation on the source of her distress. McTeer communicates all this with a clenched jaw and unwavering gaze – and that’s before all the stunt work.
“That was fun, you know, the idea of being someone who works really hard to control her emotions, control herself,” McTeer told Mashable at the Season 2 premiere in New York. “She doesn’t know how to do that particularly but she tries very hard in all kinds of different ways and doesn’t always succeed.”
And then there’s that Episode 6 reveal, the shaky word a disbelieving Jessica says after tracking her quarry back to the house where she lives: “Mom?”
At first, turning this new character into Alisa Jones feels like a bit of a MacGuffin for Jessica’s quest to figure out exactly who or what she is. The tragic loss of her family is one of Jessica’s most formative experiences, like so many other superheroes. It’s infuriating to think her mother was alive this long and that their paths never crossed. Alisa didn’t even seek her out.
Episode 7 addresses all of that in flashbacks, but it’s still maddening. Especially with an ostensibly retconned dead boyfriend plot for Jessica that ends up being her mother’s fault (that jacket reveal though…:crying emoji:).
As the season builds to a climax, it’s hard to reconcile those revelations with a forced mother-daughter vigilante bonding subplot. Sure, there’s a tenderness to Alisa tending her daughter’s bullet wound that we haven’t seen Jessica experience before, but Mama Jones is a ticking time bomb and combustion is all but inevitable.
By now, we know how this ends: Alisa goes rogue (Jessica with her, for a time) and there’s no reeling her back in. By the final episode, she’s lost the only person who could help her scientifically and joined Jessica in the dead boyfriends’ club – she also murders a detective in a surge of violent energy reminiscent of Kilgrave himself.
“I’ve never seen a woman play a part like this,” McTeer said. “I’ve seen men do it very often but you know, I’m a middle-aged woman, so that was fun. Hard, harder than playing it when you’re 25 because it’s very physical, but still great.”
“You do something like this and you hope someone will go ‘Oh, that’s a good idea, let’s do another one!'” she added. “‘Does an FBI agent have to be a man? Let’s make it a woman. Does that person really have to be a man? Let’s make it a woman.’ I’d like that to happen more.”
If any show was going to do it, it’s this one.
Jessica Jones Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.
From Latex Strippers to Killing Hitler: Inside Netflix’s Wildest Series
Sex isnt included in the title of Love, Death & Robots, the new animated Netflix series from directors David Fincher and Tim Miller (premiering March 15). But that doesnt mean there isnt plenty of R-rated eroticismnot to mention myriad Hitler deaths!to be found in this 18-episode anthology of sci-fi shorts about the strange, surreal and sinister.
Created by Miller (Deadpool, the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate), who also serves as an executive producer alongside Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac, Netflixs Mindhunter), Love, Death & Robots is a deliberately diverse affair rife with violence, humor and a healthy dose of sensuality. No matter that its installments are all computer generatedits for adults only, peppered with full-frontal female nudity, intermittent profanity and a dark, demented view of the world, both now and in the future, which is where most of its vignettes are set. Delivering bleakness and black comedy in distilled form via stories that rarely last more than fifteen minutes, its like Black Mirror for the ADD-addled video game crowd.
Interactive games are certainly evoked by two of the six episodes that were provided to press in advance, as both boast the photorealistic environments and admirably lifelike and emotiveif still clearly artificialhuman faces and figures found in AAA title cutscenes. Theres something startlingly authentic about the way vehicles move and physical spaces are rendered in Sonnies Edge, the shows first episode, even though its grimy blacks, greens and reds define the action in somewhat familiar sci-fi terms. Thats true of its narrative as well, about a young, facially-scarred combatant preparing to compete in a fight to the death against a male opponent. The Real Steel-ish catch is that shes not the one doing the actual brawling; instead, she uses mind-meld technology to pilot a giant reptilian creature (its head stretching backwards into a deadly spiked tail) against her adversarys brutish beast………………………………………………………………………”
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann | Netflix
A detailed look at the disappearance of 3-year-old Madeleine McCann, who vanished while on holiday with her family. The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Only on Netflix March 15th.
Someone Great – Netflix Trailer
Aspiring music journalist Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) has just landed her dream job at an iconic magazine and is about to move to San Francisco. Rather than do long distance, her boyfriend of nine years (Lakeith Stanfield) decides to call it quits. To nurse her broken heart, Jenny gathers up her two best friends Erin (DeWanda Wise) and Blair (Brittany Snow) for one outrageous last adventure in New York City. From writer/director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson (creator of MTV’s Sweet/Vicious) SOMEONE GREAT is a hilarious and heartfelt story of friendship, love, and what it means to let go of your twenties and enter adulthood. Watch Someone Great April 19 on Netflix!
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