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Critics say Jessica Jones' final season pulls the punch for a Netflix conclusion
Alias Investigations is about to reopen for business, but does the third and final season of Marvel’s Jessica Jones (debuting next Friday, June 14) do justice to the last of the Marvel Netflix shows to be canceled? The reviews are starting to pour in, and the consensus looks to be down the middle.
There's plenty to love in Season 3, but there's also plenty to dislike. It's definitely a step up from Season 2 (just as Daredevil's third season was an improvement over its sophomore outing), but the superhero series is still plagued by the pacing issues that come with a 13-episode order. Nevertheless, if you've stuck with and grown to love the characters these last few years, most say it's worth coming back for a third helping of Krysten Ritter's cynical, alcoholic, and super-strong private investigator.
In addition to Ritter (who makes her directorial debut this season), you've got Rachael Taylor (Trish Walker/Hellcat), Carrie-Anne Moss (Jeri Hogarth), Eka Darville (Malcolm Ducasse), Benjamin Walker, Jeremy Bobb, Sarita Choudhury, Tiffany Mack, Jessica Frances Dukes, Aneesh Sheth, and Rebecca De Mornay.
When it comes to the plot, Jessica and Trish will have to put their differences (and vigilante styles) aside when confronted with a dangerous madman, who is legally represented by Hogarth. Unfortunately, production began on Season 3 before Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Punisher all got the ax, so if you're expecting this universe to be wrapped up in a pretty little bow, we've got bad news for you.
Melissa Rosenberg returns as showrunner/executive producer. Jeph Loeb, head of Marvel TV, is an executive producer as well.
No need to do any detective work. We've tracked down the critic reviews for you:
"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." - Merrill Barr, Forbes
"By the end of the 13 episodes, nearly all of the show’s characters have become more crystallized, focused versions of themselves, but it doesn’t quite feel as if they’ve truly evolved the way one might expect to see in a season of cape television. But because the show’s waxing and waning narrative mimics the steps forward and backward someone can take along their path to emotional healing, one could argue that this is entirely intentional and that Jessica Jones isn’t interested in moving onto something new just for the sake of it." - Charles Pulliam-Moore, Gizmodo
"Unfortunately for fans of the Defendersverse, this show — and this corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, for that matter — fails to go out with a bang, rather limping into the night with a whisper. When it comes to Jessica Jones Season 3, an overwhelming chunk of the season is entirely forgettable, lost in the ether while it tries to find footing and decide what it wants to be." - Adam Barnhardt, ComicBook.com
"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 scrutinized 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." - Natalie Zutter, Den of Geek
"This season — which was set to be showrunner Melissa Rosenberg‘s final season anyway — is a dark story, probably the least comic book-y of Netflix’s already grounded and gritty pocket of the MCU. It doesn’t always work and does suffer from the same pacing issues that have plagued, well, pretty much all of these shows. But when it hits, it hits just like its main heroine; violent, flawed, and willing to go where her more moral superhuman peers wouldn’t dare." - Vinnie Mancuso, Collider
"Like the seasons that came before it, this run of Jessica Jones is good but nowhere near great. In fact, the first two seasons felt so much more in line with the comic book that this series feels less like a superhero show and more like any number of generic network crime series. Krysten Ritter and Rachael Taylor are solid in their performances but are not given strong enough material to elevate this to even being on par with what came before it. Pulling the story in too many directions ends up feeling like set up for a fourth season and beyond which feels anticlimactic knowing this is the last run for this character." - Alex Maldy, JoBlo.com
"Confident in its self-contained narrative while never going anywhere near the sublime heights or excitement of the show’s first season (but still an overall better binge than the Season 2 dud), Jessica Jones Season 3 is a textured story brimming with intrigue but little pizzazz. Your enjoyment will really depend how much you still care about these characters after all this time." - Eric Francisco, Inverse
"Jessica Jones' sophomore season didn't hold up, due to issues ranging from poorly written new characters to the lack of a narrative throughline. But like Daredevil's final season, Jessica Jones Season 3 is a return to form—and then some ... We've seen Season 3's themes and narrative arcs many times before. But when this superhero comfort food is done well, it can resonate with viewers nonetheless. And that's the case with Jessica Jones Season 3." - Michael Rougeau, GameSpot