Spoilers ahoy for all of Jessica Jones season two.
Jessica’s mom. I didn’t buy her. I thought she was miscast. I thought she was a conceptual failure.
It seems like they tried to replicate the story structure that worked so well in season one with Kilgrave: have something that caused monstrous trauma in Jessica’s past come back to face her. But they already did that last time to far better effect. Mom wasn’t an enemy, she was just fucked-up. That dynamic didn’t work without an enemy to confront, the magic wasn’t there and it all turned to gibberish.
The episode with Kilgrave confirms this: just having him back, rattling around Jessica’s head made it the best episode of the season.
The scene with Mom and Jessica driving around in the RV having the same conversation about whether Jessica could keep Mom from wigging out that they had in the previous episode, and the episode before that, and the episode before that, summed it up. Jessica was saying, “I’m so confused! I don’t know what to do!” This seemed to be the writers speaking directly to the audience.
Instead of relitigating Jessica’s origin story they should have moved forward. Like the tragically cancelled Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Jessica is a detective who doesn’t really solve cases that we ever see, she just gets drawn into massive conspiracies involving her own shit.
I get that they were trying to upend the usual narrative of superhero stories but you don’t get to do that and also have your characters randomly encountering an overturned truck filled with burning propane tanks. Three long years between seasons and the best they’ve got for the signature action sequence of the season finale is an overturned propane tank truck?
And that after Leoben from Battlestar Galactica, the hippy scientist who never doubts the ethics of his work over the course of decades, suddenly decides to blow himself up—with some flammable tanks?
It does need to be said what a great job Krysten Ritter does with this very mediocre material though—she inhabits Jessica convincingly throughout.
Anyway, finally, Jessica and Mom go to the amusement park, ride the Ferris wheel and have the can-Jessica-keep-Mom-from-wigging conversation yet again.
Then Trish apparently teleports from her hospital bed, somehow skipping the several days of driving it took Jessica and Mom to get there, and shoots Mom. This was the second-stupidest thing I’ve seen in a TV show this year (the stupidest being the Terran Emperor getting command of the Discovery on Star Trek Discovery).
No showdown, no action, just Patsy with some really good aim.