Netflix released season 2 of the Marvel series Jessica Jones on March 8th (International Women’s Day), giving fans the chance to start their weekend binges early. But given that season 1 dropped back in 2015, viewers may need some refreshers before diving in. A lot has happened in Jessica Jones’ world since her debut, including a spinoff show for Jessica’s brief love interest Luke Cage, two more MCU series set in the same world (Iron Fist and The Punisher), and the miniseries The Defenders, which brought Jessica back to reluctantly team up with Luke, Iron Fist, and Daredevil.
In season 2 of Jessica Jones, Jessica is hunting for clues to her past. Here’s a quick guide to everything you need to know going in. (Spoilers for Jessica Jones season 1.)
So I’ve forgotten season 1...
Ah, that’s too bad. Jessica Jones’ first season is stellar and worth a rewatch, but here’s a quick recap. The hard-knock, heavy-drinking heroine spends her days working as a private investigator and coping with trauma from her past. While looking into a case, she discovers a connection to Kilgrave, a man who can control other people with verbal commands. Jessica has a personal tie to Kilgrave: years before, he kidnapped her and used his powers to keep her as a companion and plaything. Now he’s back, and interested in reacquiring her.
Kilgrave uses human puppets to spy on Jessica or act as human shields, including Luke and her neighbor Malcolm. Jessica eventually defeats Kilgrave, but questions about how she got her powers to begin with remain. Her adoptive sister and best friend, Trish, starts digging into IGH. Which leads us to season 2…
What’s IGH again?
IGH is the company that paid Jessica’s medical bills after a car crash. Jessica was once a normal kid with no powers. But her parents and younger brother were killed in the crash, which left her seriously injured. IGH somehow acquired her and took over from there; its involvement appears to have given Jessica her supernatural strength, and what the company is and how that happened is at the center of season 2’s mysteries.
Did I miss any plot if I skipped The Defenders?
Not really. The Defenders takes place over just a couple of days, and it’s a side-story with little bearing on Jessica’s life. Perhaps the most important piece, aside from her meeting the rest of New York’s vigilante-hero gang, is that she patched things up with Luke after a bad breakup. But while the end of The Defenders has heavy implications for other characters in this connected universe, Jessica gets to return to life as usual.
What’s Luke up to these days?
Defending Harlem, mostly. Netflix plans to release season 2 of Luke Cage this year, so don’t expect to see him around much in Jessica’s world. Maybe these crazy kids will figure it out one day, but for now, they’re both preoccupied.
What about Iron Fist, Daredevil, or The Punisher?
If you’re just looking to get the full Jessica Jones story, you can safely skip these shows. The only connection to Jessica Jones is in Iron Fist, where Jessica’s sometimes-ally, sometimes-enemy Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) turns up. As a high-powered attorney, she sometimes works for Danny Rand, aka the Immortal Iron Fist. She’s also connected to Daredevil through his sidekick and good friend Foggy Nelson, who’s currently working at Jeri’s firm, which lets him pop up briefly in season 2 of Jessica Jones.
Where’s Jessica at with everyone else?
Keeping track of Jessica’s personal life can be a bit of a chore since she always seems to be pissing someone off. Malcolm is recovering from being a junkie and Kilgrave-puppet by keeping himself busy as part of Jessica’s investigation company. Trish continues to run her talk show and recover from her bad choices in men.
Jeri and Jessica, meanwhile, are currently on rough terms. In season 1, Jeri selfishly freed Kilgrave to further her own needs, only to immediately have him turn the tables and ruin her life by murdering her wife. But Jeri still has a lot of use for Jessica, and Jessica tends to get herself into enough trouble to need Jeri’s help, so the two continue to tolerate each other — even as they’re using each other and resenting their mutual connection.