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Carrie-Anne Moss, Rachael Taylor and Krysten Ritter in Jessica Jones Season 1, 2015, Netflix, Marvel.

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Here’s what happened in Jessica Jones season 1

It’s been a while, so let’s start at the beginning

Myles Aronowitz/Netflix
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Jessica Jones returns to Netflix with a second season on March 9, more than two years after the debut of her first. That’s a long time to keep the events of a TV show — even a Hugo and Peabody Award-winning one — fresh in your head.

So let’s take a trip down memory lane before Jessica Jones season two hits Netflix.

[Obvious warning: This post will contain spoilers for Jessica Jones season one.]

What was the first season of Jessica Jones about?

Key art for Jessica Jones Season 1 Netflix

Jessica Jones season one was about the eponymous, super-powered private detective confronting and defeating Kilgrave, a serial rapist and murderer who had once used his mind control powers to force her to serve as his lover and companion.

The major players of her supporting cast included Trish Walker, her foster sister; Malcolm Ducasse, her neighbor; Will Simpson, a police officer-turned-ally; Jeryn Hogarth, a lawyer who sometimes hired Jessica for her investigative skills; and Luke Cage, another budding vigilante.

The show’s story kicked off when Kilgrave resurfaced in New York City and attempted to convince Jessica to come back to him of her own free will. Failing that, he tried to destroy any person she cared about so that she would agree to be with him. At the climax of the first season, Jessica snapped his neck. And though she did it in front of many witnesses, was not charged with the crime.

She may not have been tried for super-powered murder, but Jessica’s supernatural abilities — and her willingness to use them on bad people — are more of an open secret than a hidden one now.

Do I need to know about The Defenders?

The events of The Defenders, Marvel’s Netflix miniseries that brought Jessica together with Luke Cage, Daredevil and Iron Fist, do not appear to have had a huge affect on Jessica’s status quo. She’s still doing the same stuff in the same place with the same people. (Minus Luke, who has his own series now, with a second season on the way.)

Let’s cover the events and characters that look like they’ll be directly relevant to season two.

Who is Jessica Jones?

David Giesbrecht/Netflix

We don’t know a lot about Jessica’s origin, but it looks like Season 2 is going to dig into those questions. We do know that she’s an orphan who developed superpowers after the car crash that killed her family. Now she’s grown up into an alcoholic, misanthropic private detective who quietly uses her extreme strength — including the ability to leap to and land from a height of several stories — to give herself an edge in her profession.

Who is Trish Walker?

David Giesbrecht/Netflix

After her family was killed, Jessica was adopted by Trish Walker’s manipulative mother, who saw the addition to their family as another way to prop up her semi-famous daughter’s image as a kind-hearted child star. Trish and Jess formed a tight bond: Jess tried to protect Trish from her mother’s abuse, and Trish kept Jess’ superpowers secret.

As adults, Trish has always encouraged Jessica to use her powers to help people, even trying to get her to become a costumed vigilante. Ultimately, Trish has a strong drive to help others, just as a superhero does. This tends to manifest in her investigative journalism; her public support of New York City’s vigilantes on her radio show, Trish Talk; her regimen of combat training ,and her own strong and sort-of-secret desire for superpowers.

Who is Will Simpson (Nuke)?

Myles Aronowitz/Netflix

Trish came right up against what happens when you wish for superpowers too strongly when she dated NYPD officer Will Simpson in Jessica Jones season one. Simpson was initially pulled into the plot of the show by becoming one of Kilgrave’s mind control victims; after discovering that Trish and Jessica were trying to put Kilgrave away, Simpson wanted to help.

Unfortunately, it turned out that he wasn’t the most stable crayon in the box. Simpson is the television equivalent of a Marvel supervillain known as Nuke, a bit of a fractured mirror of Captain America — a soldier addicted to drugs that gave him superhuman strength and incited violent rage. While Simpson had left the medical experiment that first exposed him to “Combat Enhancers,” the threat of Kilgrave motivated him to return to the mysterious Dr. Kozlov to obtain more of the pills.

Going back on the drugs drove Simpson to violent and abusive means in his attempts to protect Trish and kill Kilgrave, and after he committed several murders, Jessica and Trish (who’d taken one of his Combat Enhancers) had to team up to take him down.

What is IGH?

The last time we saw Will Simpson in season one was when Dr. Kozlov and a team of soldiers from a company called IGH recovered his body for “questioning.” In their quest to figure out how to stop Kilgrave, Trish uncovered that IGH has some kind of connection to Jessica’s powers — the company had paid for her medical bills while she was in a coma following the car crash that killed her family. Considering that the new season appears to be digging into the origin of Jessica’s powers, IGH may be quite relevant indeed.

Who is Malcolm Ducasse?

David Giesbrecht/Netflix

Malcolm began Jessica Jones as Jessica’s drug-addled neighbor, who would often wander into her apartment/office by accident through her perpetually broken front door. Halfway through the season, we discovered that his life was even more tragic than it seemed. He’d been a driven social worker, until the day Jessica saved him from a mugging.

Unbeknownst to either of them, Kilgrave, who was stalking Jessica at the time, saw the whole thing. Perhaps feeling jealous or insulted by the attention Jessica had momentarily paid to Malcolm, Kilgrave enticed him to act as his spy in Jessica’s apartment building. And to keep Malcolm dependent on him, even in times when the mind control had worn off, Kilgrave forced him to become a junkie — and became his only supplier.

Jessica uncovered this connection in season one, and helped Malcolm kick both his drug habit and Kilgrave’s mind control. Malcolm has since installed himself as her assistant at Alias Investigations, appearing in that role during the course of The Defenders.

Who is Jeri Hogarth?

David Giesbrecht/Netflix

Jeri Hogarth began the show as an occasional employer of Jessica. The high-powered lawyer would rely on Jessica’s methods to reach particularly slippery opponents of her clients or dig up information that would help her argue their cases. But it was her personal life that came into focus during season one.

Jeri was trying to get an amicable divorce from her wife, a process that was complicated when her wife discovered that Jeri had been having an affair with her secretary, Pam, for months. Seeing Kilgrave as a solution to her problems and the key to her personal happiness, Jeri attempted to bargain with him to enthrall her wife to sign the divorce papers.

This backfired wildly. Instead, Killgrave enthralled Jeri’s wife to murder her by “a thousand cuts.” Jeri was rescued by Pam, who accidentally killed Jeri’s wife in the struggle — not that any of this could be explained to the police. Hogarth tried to use her legal acumen to free Pam, but her former secretary cut all ties, disgusted that Jeri had tried to coerce a loved one into something they didn’t want, and shocked that she endangered all of them by involving Kilgrave in the first place.

Jeri has made frequent cameos in further Marvel shows on Netflix, including Daredevil season two, Iron Fist and The Defenders. But there haven’t been a lot of updates on how her life is going, or how her wife’s death (and her secretary’s hand in it) have affected her legal practice.

We’ll have to wait and see if Jessica Jones’ second season explores all of this when it hits Netflix on March 9.


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