The Marvel Culture Universe is finally dead on Netflix. After 13 mostly fantastic seasons of Marvel shows, “Jessica Jones” brings it all to an end. Its final season has a captivating antagonist, an exploration into how morality isn't black and white and Jessica Jones' (Krysten Ritter) journey to becoming a hero, leaving the audience with a satisfying ending.
The season’s plot revolves around Jones pinning down a genius serial killer, Gregory Salinger (Jeremy Bobb), while coping with Trish Walker’s (Rachael Taylor) newfound career as a superhero. Salinger’s academic background and meticulous nature make him a formidable foe for Jones and Walker. Evidence of his murders is nearly impossible to find, and it’s even harder to confirm that he’s involved in the murders.
Salinger’s damaged psyche is unsettling as he stalks his victims and kidnaps them. They’re taken to different areas where he sets up a professional photoshoot. Here, he tortures them to capture the moment they admit they live a lie surrounding their abilities. This includes powered individuals and naturally talented people saying they cheat in life by taking advantage of others through their abilities. Salinger’s strategy to antagonize Jones helps keep heat off him in the media due to the lack of evidence against him and the fear of superhumans is supported by the public. He plays the victim and accuses Jones of assaulting him because he believes Jones has a God complex.
After Walker kills Jones' mother at the end of season 2, Jones must learn to work with her again, creating a tense relationship. This is a challenge for them. Walker’s knee-jerk reactions frustrate Jones since Walker jeopardizes investigations into villains by jumping straight to violence and giving herself a negative reputation, considering the many people she leaves in critical conditions. Despite this, Jones protects Walker’s secret identity as Walker commits these actions in disguise. Walker sells products on her show on the American Retail Network as her civilian cover. By bringing in secret identities, the show has a rare chance to explore this struggle, considering the only other Marvel characters who have the same problem are Spider-Man and Daredevil.
Jones and Walker also struggle with their views of morality. Walker views every situation as black and white, much like Captain America. But unlike him, she jumps straight into violence while she interrogates criminals until they admit what they’ve done. Jones understands that certain situations are complicated and attempts to explain this to Walker, causing tension between them. When Walker grows more violent, Jones worries she’ll become a villain, considering Walker views the murder of criminals as neccessary to rid the world of evil. This slowly transitions into Jones and Walker discussing the morality of killing criminals and arguing about who has the authority to make decisions over another’s life.
With this being the final season, a sense of closure is needed. Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) looks for some herself as her struggle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis slowly progresses. She finds and meddles with the life of her old college fling, Kith Lyonne (Sarita Lyonne). Hogarth uses Malcolm Ducasse (Eka Darville) to dig up dirt on Lyonne’s husband with disastrous results, including Lyonne’s husband commiting suicide and blaming Hogarth’s firm. Hogarth reassesses her life choices, viewing the extortion of Lyonne’s husband as a major mistake she’s made. At the same time, these results cause Ducasse to question if his work with Hogarth is worth the paycheck after reevaluating several horrible actions he’s been forced to cover up for the firm’s clients.
The final season of “Jessica Jones” closes a noteworthy chapter of ambitious television with strong, satisfying conclusions. Ethical dilemmas and a masterful villain lift “Jessica Jones” into greatness one last time, proving the show is never afraid to dive into the darkest corners of life as a reminder that even heroes are only human. With a true closure for the final season to air on Netflix, the MCU can finally put these shows to rest with a sense of achievement.
Contact Caleb Barbachem at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.