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The third season of Jessica Jones is only days away, more than a year after the second season went live. Season 3 also marks the final season of both Jessica Jones and the Netflix branch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. All five series were cancelled to the shock of superhero fans everywhere, as it seemed Iron Fist was the only one in immediate danger. Jessica Jones is the last show standing, and all eyes will be on its last season to see how it wraps up.
There was a surprising lack of fanfare in the weeks leading up to the June 14 premiere. A big question going into the season is whether it will fittingly wrap up the last show standing and leave the legacy of the Marvel Netflix shows on a high note, or fizzle out? Season 2 wasn't overwhelmingly well-received, especially compared to Season 1. Fans already knew that David Tennant wouldn't be back to reprise his role as the chillingly compelling Kilgrave, so he wouldn't elevate the story.
What about Trish now that she's discovered her superpowers? What about Jessica and Trish's relationship, after Trish killed Jessica's mom? And what of Malcolm and Jeri and the rest? Fans will have to wait until June 14 for the last 13 episodes of Jessica Jones to premiere, but critics have gotten a look at Season 3. Here's what the critics are saying about Jessica Jones' third season.
Merrill Barr of Forbes has some praise for the third season, but holds some reservations about how it stands as the final chapter of the series:
For what it's worth, the final season of Jessica Jones is trying the best it can to take the show in an interesting direction that, at its core, pits Jessica and Trish against each-other. Perhaps, if this wasn’t the final season of the series we would be having a different conversation about where the new arc falls within the series’ overall story. But, as a final season arc, it simply doesn’t hold the kind of water it needs to, to take the show to the kind of satisfying conclusion fans are going to want.
Considering how Season 2 ended, the relationship between Jessica and Trish as well as Trish coming into her powers were bound to take a lot of the spotlight in Season 3. This critic doesn't have anything bad to say about the arc itself, but rather isn't thrilled that it doesn't end with a sense of satisfying finality.
Merrill Barr went on to absolve the creative team of any guilt for issues with Season 3, or the way the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Netflix wrapped up as a whole. Here's how he put it:
But, the truth is, in the end, this isn’t the fault of any of the direct creative talent involved in the series as much as it is the fault of corporate dealings that never really let the Netflix Marvel shows get off the ground after their initial seasons. The truth of the matter is all but one of the shows had stellar starts and weak endings. And those weak endings happened because the shows were hamstrung following a disappointing attempt to make a TV-level Avengers happen.
Samantha Nelson of The Verge was a fan of how Jessica Jones Season 3 set up Trish's arc, and gave special mention to the episode that leading lady Krysten Ritter directed herself. She also notes that Season 3 is an improvement on Season 2, which is widely considered to be inferior to the popular Season 1. Here are her thoughts:
Jessica Jones’ second season was a disjointed mess, and creator and showrunner Melissa Rosenberg has learned from her mistakes. The plots and themes of season 3 are much more tightly interwoven, even if they’re not all created equal. Trish, who gained superpowers through a near-deadly experiment at the end of season 2, sets out to test her abilities and become a hero in her own right. The phenomenal second episode, “You’re Welcome,” directed by Ritter herself, entirely follows Trish starting with the end of season 2, and ending where her plot and Jessica’s intersect in episode 1. The episode nods to the comic book version of Trish’s character, Hellcat, but it also chronicles Trish’s development, and gets her to a place where both Jessica and the audience can forgive her for killing Jessica’s mother in season 2.
Over at MEAWW, Aharon Abhishek has a different perspective on Season 3 as Jessica Jones' last shot at leaving a mark on audiences. While Abhishek notes that it's a shame there won't be any more Jessica Jones in the future, he sees a silver lining:
It is a pity we won't see more of Jessica Jones after this season, but Netflix's move of canceling the show after the third season probably gave the world, Jones' best challenge yet. Ritter shines as Jones and the gritty, action-adventure is definitely worth the watch.
Even if Jessica Jones Season 3 isn't the best of the best that the Marvel shows on Netflix ever had to offer, being "worth the watch" is still decent praise. Everybody seems to agree that Krysten Ritter is the highlight of the show and never failed to rise to the occasion.
Natalie Zutter of Den of Geek revealed that Jessica winds up in some situations that likely mean Krysten Ritter got to flex her acting muscles and show a different side of her character. Here's how Zutter puts it:
While the first two seasons played it closer to the vest with more personal stories, for its swan song the Netflix series expands its narrative scope, placing the notoriously aloof PI squarely into the court of public opinion. With her every move scrutinised on social media, from hunting down a serial killer to slowly letting Trish back into her life, Jessica must decide how beholden she is to the people she’s protecting versus when she should revert to trusting only herself. It’s a natural progression both for this series and in context with the last few years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it sure takes its sweet time getting there.
Over at Gamespot, Michael Rougeau suggests that the concept of power is what really drives the third season and the decisions characters make. Jessica has always been superpowered, but used her powers more to strongarm people who get in the way of her investigations than fight crime a la Daredevil. Rougeau had this to say about Jessica Jones Season 3 and power:
This season is also largely concerned with power as a concept--what individuals are willing to do to get it, what they do with it once they have it, and the effect it has on the lives of the people around them. This emerges through Trish's new super-powered activities, but also through Jessica's relationship with her new villain. At least one other powered character is introduced early on, and all three have to make hard choices about the responsibilities of the life they've chosen--or that chose them, in some cases, including Jessica's.
Not all critics enjoyed the focus on the ensemble of Jessica Jones Season 3. In fact, Screenrant's Kevin Yeoman went so far as to suggest that the only real way to get something worthwhile out of the third season is to focus on Jessica herself and one more character. Take a look at his critique of the season and suggestion for how best to enjoy it:
Though it began as the one Marvel/Netflix series with the most potential, Jessica Jones has seen its quality dip precipitously with each subsequent season. And while Krysten Ritter is again terrific as the title character, and [Jeremy] Bobb brings an unsettling quirkiness to his turn as an absurdly evil serial killer, the series’ other characters and subplots serve as little more than unnecessary obstacles to what is essentially a short, but darkly entertaining cat-and-mouse thriller. Viewers can still get something worthwhile out of Jessica Jones season 3, all they have to do is fast forward past the parts without Jessica Jones or Gregory Salinger.
Well, at least the villain sounds promising! The ensemble of all the Marvel Netflix shows could be a bit of a mixed bag, so there was never going to be any pleasing everybody.
CinemaBlend's own Nick Venable also isn't the biggest fan of how the ensemble cast was used in the third season, but he still has some good things to say about what's in store for viewers. Check it out:
Season 3 is an improvement on the second, with a triggering villain that speaks to the times. However, the admittedly engaging development of Rachael Taylor’s Trish 'Hellcat' Walker and Eka Darville’s Malcolm Ducasse comes at the expense of interesting things happening to Krysten Ritter’s Jessica Jones herself.
Find out for yourself if Jessica Jones Season 3 is a fitting final chapter in the Marvel Netflix saga. The third season was already in production when the cancellation news broke, although the cancellation was far from surprising considering Netflix had already axed other Marvel series. Honestly, once Daredevil was cancelled, it felt like there was no hope for any other Marvel show on the streaming service.
The third and final season of Jessica Jones premieres Friday, June 14 at 12:01 a.m. PT on Netflix. It's only one of many offerings on the streaming service this summer, so you have plenty to look forward to even after you've finished Jessica's last adventure. (Unless the show is rescued by Hulu, that is.)