Netflix & Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 2 Recaps by Penny; Episode 13 (Finale) – “AKA Playland”

Alisa is in the middle of nowhere as Jess wakes up at last on the couch in the RV Alisa swiped, so Alisa finds a spot to pull over so they can talk. As soon as they’re parked though Jess tries to book it, leaving the RV and finding herself in the middle of nowhere. Alisa tells her they’ve left New York behind and asks Jess to go on the run with her so they can be together. Before they can talk further a car drives up to them and Alisa runs back into the RV. They’re checking to see if Jess needs any help but she convinces them she’s just taking a fresh air break and everything is fine.

Trish has recovered from the violent seizure she had last episode and is more or less alive and well. Blood tests show that Malus’ serum is fully purged from her system and a nurse tells her she’s used up a few lives today, in what I assume is a wink-wink-nudge-nudge Hellcat reference. Trish tells Dorothy she’s worried that everything she’s done to stir up the IGH hornet’s nest that set all these events off in the first place might get Jess hurt or killed. Dorothy tells Trish she’s human, don’t beat herself up over her mistakes. Meanwhile, Malcolm is at Jess’ place, finishing up some paperwork and some other things. When he’s done he leaves his key on the desk and calls Linda Chao to confirm an appointment he apparently has with her. And back at the RV, Alisa continues to try to get Jess to agree to go fugitive with her. She gives her the Uncle Ben treatment, suggesting they start over somewhere as heroes.

Malcolm is giving himself a little makeover, cutting his hair and slipping into a very nice and professional looking suit, and I may be a lesbian but…. well… damn. He goes to his meeting with Chao and after he heads to meet Jeri and gives her information that will help Jeri fight the buyout. Jeri, now armed with damning info on both her partners, meets with Chao and Benowitz. After telling them what she has on them, she tells them she’s changed her mind about fighting the buyout, BUT, she’ll be accepting it only on her own terms. If they want their dirty secrets kept, they will double the payout, and all of her clients go with her when she leaves the firm and starts her own. If they refuse, Benowitz’ wife finds out he’s been fucking men and Chao’s money-laundering goes public. They cave. Jeri pays Malcolm for his work, and laments that she can’t hire him as a PI while he’s unlicensed. She tells Malcolm she’s creating her own firm with her clients, including I, Ron Fist’s company, and Cheng arrives to meet her, revealing she CAN use Malcolm because he’s just hired him.

Oh Malcolm. I know Jess treated you like shit but you’re SOOOOOOOO much better than working for this tool.

Jess and Alisa are back on the road when they come across a pretty bad car accident. Jess tells Alisa to stop and they jump out to rescue a family from one of the vehicles. As she does this, Alisa tries to free the other driver from his truck. As Jess finishes getting the family to safety the truck pulls a Pinto and goes boom. Jess starts to panic but Alisa and the driver are okay, as she managed to get him free before the boom boom. Seeing her mom playing hero has convinced Jess. She’s all-in with her mom’s plan. Jess hugs her mom, and then phones Garcia to ask him for a favour. He drives out to meet Jess at a diner, and tells her he’s happy to make them some ID’s and passports and all, but he’s worried that Jess isn’t really safe with Alisa and wants her to be careful. As he’s saying this though, something out the corner of Jess’ eye catches her attention, and she spots a guy nearby with a not fully concealed ankle holster peeking out from his pant leg. She realizes the cops followed Garcia here, gives him a goodbye kiss, and dives into a passing gravel truck to ditch the cops. When she makes it back to the RV, they decide to head north, hoping to cross into Canada by train.

Once they’re back on the road they spot a roadblock, and realize Train To Canada isn’t going to work for them. A phone starts ringing, and Jess finds it. It belongs to the child of the family they saved and the call is from Costa. He tries to reason with Jess, telling her that her mom is too dangerous and beyond saving, but Jess hasn’t crossed the moral event horizon yet and can still get her life on track. He wants her to be smart and bring her mom in. Jess crushes the phone in her bare hand. Alisa though has been eavesdropping, and her heart sinks as she finally realizes the only thing Jess is going to get out of running away with her is dead. Jess insists she’s not giving up on Alisa’s plan, and has one of her own. Costa is frustrated and goes to talk to Trish, asking her if she can think of somewhere Jess and Alisa might go. She gets Light Bulb face, but tells him nah brah. After he leaves she starts getting dressed.

Jess has driven the RV to the abandoned amusement park where they used to vacation, which we learn is called Playland, (which as a Vancouverite makes me giggle). Jess leads Alisa to a sailboat at the boardwalk and says they can swipe it and take off. Alisa just looks at her sadly and breaks into the park. She starts up the Ferris Wheel, asking Jess to leave while she still can before it’s too late. As she hops onto a seat, Jess hops on with her, continuing to try to convince her to stick with the original plan as the wheel turns. Alisa won’t budge. She’s done running and she’s done hurting Jess and putting her at risk. She tells Jess she’s meant to be a hero, and the only good thing Alisa has ever done was Jess. Alisa is tired of her suffering, her temper, her out of control mood swings, of everything. She just wants the peace of death. Jess isn’t ready to give up on her mom and is about to keep trying to talk Alisa down, but is interrupted by a bullet pulping her mother’s head. Jess turns to figure out where the shot came from and sees Trish there holding a gun. She flips out and leaps off the wheel and knocks Trish on her ass, taking the gun. Trembling with rage, in tears, Jess points the gun square at Trish’s head. Sirens are off in the distance and getting closer, and Costa apparently followed Trish, not buying her no earlier.

Still trembling with rage, Jess lowers the gun, looks Trish square in the eye, and says “run” in a voice that will give you nightmares. Trish books it. Jess stops the Wheel when Alisa’s seat loops back down to the bottom, and climbs into it, sobbing and cradling her mother’s body. Costa and the cops approach her guns up. Jess doesn’t resist, making it clear she’s putting down the gun. As she’s surrendering, Costa sees the body, and sees Jess is completely broken and sobbing, and puts the wrong 2 and 2 together, assuming that it was Jess who put her mother down. He tells his men to stand down and tells Jess she did the right thing, and offers his condolences. Jess doesn’t even bother correcting his assumption.

As the finale draws to a close, Jess is trying to just be a PI again, catching cheating spouses in the act and the like. On her way home from such as case she ends up stopping a robbery and saving some lives. Once she gets home, she finds Trish waiting outside her apartment. Trish awkwardly tries to make peace, not wanting to give up her best friend and insisting that she did what had to be done and Jess HAS to know that putting Alisa down was the only outcome that would save Jess’ life and anyone else that got caught in front of an Alisa mood swing. Jess agrees that much is probably true, but it should have been her doing it, not Trish. It wasn’t Trish’s place, and Trish could have chosen to stay out of it instead of once again meddling, and now because Trish couldn’t just fuck off and let Jess deal with her mother, all Jess will ever see looking at Trish now is her mother’s killer. She tells Trish to leave and closes the door behind her. Trish sighs and turns to head to the elevator. As she does someone in the hallway bumps her and she drops her phone, but catches it with her foot and uses said foot to send the phone back up to her hand. Trish smiles and it seems Malus’ treatment worked after all.

Jess leaves her apartment, locking it up and heading to the elevator herself. Malcolm is standing at the door to his apartment and looks like he wants to talk but Jess completely no-sells him as she passes him without so much as a side-eye. She heads down to Garcia’s place and joins him and his son. As they eat and talk, Jess opens up, telling Garcia that this whole experience with Alisa coming back from the dead for all intents and purposes has forced her to take a good long look at her life, and admit that she’s been afraid of living all these years since the car crash, afraid of having a real life or any real connections, and that just existing and keeping herself all walled up isn’t living and while she admits she isn’t even sure HOW to start living instead of existing, she wants to try with them, if they’ll let her. Garcia and his son both smile and I’m going to assume that’s a yes, and we end on Jess’ first genuine smile over two seasons of this show plus Defenders.

So that’s Jessica Jones Season 2. And in the end it proved it knew where it was going despite how uneven this season has been. In the end all the zigzagging plot threads did lead somewhere. They all gelled in the end and set up the next chapter in Jess’ story, showing her going through the emotional wringer and coming out finally ready to take her first real steps towards healing. And in the end the show overcame some infuriatingly bad writing in some spots to prove it doesn’t belong in the depths with I, Ron Fist. There was no actual villain, no season long Big Bad like with Kilgrave, but there was plenty of drama and pathos and story so it worked in the end aside of the speedbumps of sloppy writing. And the much anticipated Kilgrave cameo worked and made total sense in the context of what was going on in-universe, rising above the fanwank we feared it would be.

All in all I’d recommend giving JJ S2 a watch, and if I had to rank it I’d put it above I, Ron Fist and DD season 2, and about tied with Defenders, but still below seasons 1 of JJ and DD, Punisher, and Luke Cage. It’s not AMAZING, but it IS watchable and if you watched season 1 it’s enjoyable enough.

Well folks, that’s it for me for now. See you in a week or so when I start my annual Wrestlemania countdown!

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