[Review] Jessica Jones Episode 2×01: “Start At the Beginning”

written by Brandon Moore

Who do you call when you want a superhero with the snark of Iron Man, the fashion sense of Ghost Rider, and the affable charm of a brick? Jessica Jones! Join us as Season Two gets underway.


When we last saw our inebriated heroine, she was running around with Blind Ninja, Unbreakable, and White Privilege, and she was so absolutely done with the superhero shtick. As Season Two opens, she is still entertainingly cantankerous and finds it even harder to live a normal life when the whole city knows she’s a vigilante hero. What’s worse, she’s suffering from self-loathing at taking a life, even if that life belonged to someone as vile as Killgrave. Basically, things are pretty rough while Jessica continues to run Alias Investigations with her assistant, Malcolm.

Best friend Trish Walker does her best to move the plot forward. With her radio show running out of super-powered material to talk about, she begins to push Jessica toward learning about what was done to her to give her powers and, by association, confront the death of her family. I can’t decide if Trish is employing tough love or being manipulative and self-serving. No, Jessica hiding in a bottle isn’t healthy, and maybe Trish really thinks this is for the best. Still, dropping her family’s ashes off unannounced is kind of a low blow. The show makes it plain that Trish stands to gain a great story, yet I believe her sincerity. Whatever is really driving her, I expect it will be a messy mix of reasons, and this is the most compelling question posed in this first episode.

The rest of our time is taken up by rival investigator and smug pretty boy Pryce Cheng trying to muscle Jessica out of the business. He seeks help from Jeri Hogarth, who continues to be awful and is told by a doctor that she is Very Sick™. If these sound like afterthoughts, it’s because they feel that way in the episode. The first episode of the season certainly needs to set the stage for the conflict to come, but with such big questions left over from last season I found myself feeling antsy whenever we weren’t dealing with the core plot or relationships.

By the end, however, we’ve started on our way. Jessica is approached by a man who seems to have been given super-speed by the same lab that experimented on her. He claims those same people have sent another “super” to off him, and faster than you can say “Angry Helicopter Noises,” our yellow-clad speedster is suspiciously killed. This pushes Jessica to finally follow the leads Trish dug up as they send her headfirst into the next episode.

This was a weak opener for me. Maybe that’s because I was so anxious to jump in, but it felt frustrating that it took the whole episode to get Jessica to the point where I already was at the end of the first season – ready to dive into her past. That said, there are bright spots in the quiet character moments between Jessica, Trish, and Malcolm. I find Jessica’s struggle with mental and emotional distress to be real and relatable, and her snark is always fun. Her relationship with Trish is the biggest question mark presented in this early stage. Malcolm is pure and good and if anything bad happens to him I’m flipping a table. Despite me feeling cold toward this episode, these three shine. It is on their backs and my love for Season One that I find myself still eager for more.

Jessica Jones is available now on Netflix. Brandon can be reached on Twitter @BluThundur.

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