Jessica Jones Season 3 Redeems Another Defender

Jessica Jones and the Defenders

Jessica Jones season 3 redeemed the story of one of her fellow Defenders. The release of Jessica Jones season 3 marks the end of an era for Marvel Television; the successful partnership between Marvel and Netflix has come to a close. Showrunner Melissa Rosenberg was always intending to depart after this season, meaning Jessica Jones comes to a satisfying conclusion.

But, while Jessica's story may end without any real loose threads, that wasn't the case for the other Marvel Netflix shows. Both Luke Cage and Iron Fist ended on cliffhangers, and that was particularly the case for the Hero of Harlem, who chose to become a crime lord in order to prevent a war between rival gangs. It was generally believed Luke was being set up as a potential future villain, an idea that was reinforced by Iron Fist season 2. With the two series cancelled, it looked as though that would never be explored.

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In a surprise twist, Jessica Jones season 3 features a cameo from Mike Colter's Luke Cage that suggests he hasn't actually fallen from grace at all. Troubled by all the bad press Jessica Jones and her mysterious vigilante friend are getting, Luke decides it's time to pay Jessica a call. He shows up at her door, to Jessica's delight, and offers her valuable advice to work out what to do about Trish Walker. As far as Luke's concerned, true friendship means being willing to take someone down if they go too far. He's well aware that he, too, is faced with that risk, and Jessica is one of the people he trusts to deal with him should that risk become a reality.

It's fascinating to see how the dynamic between Luke and Jessica has changed. Both have become very different people since their first super-powered one night stand, and the scene carries the feel of two old friends rediscovering one another. Luke cuts a much more suave and sophisticated figure, entirely comfortable in his expensive business suit, while Jessica's come to acknowledge the importance of friendship, her brusque edge feeling more reflexive and less meaningful. There's a touching warmth between the two, and for all they've trod some very different paths, they clearly value each other's advice.

The scene is a smart and effective one on Marvel's part, because it confirms that Luke Cage hasn't fallen - yet. He became a crime lord to avoid a bloody and violent turf war, and he's still retained his moral edge as boss of Harlem's Paradise. At the same time, though, the dialogue suggests that even he isn't entirely convinced he won't yet be corrupted by his position, and need to be taken down; that fits perfectly with Colter's predictions for season 3, should it ever happen. Essentially, this brief scene puts Luke's entire arc in stasis, meaning Marvel can comfortably revisit it should they ever be able to get another network or streaming service to pick the show up.

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