Jessica Jones showrunner Melissa Rosenberg explains the evolution of Malcolm, and whether he'll come back into the fold next season. Like the other Marvel-Netflix shows, Jessica Jones has a batch of recurring characters that the lead hero keeps at arm's length. Season 2 introduced some new faces that we'll likely see again, but Jessica's core team continues to consist of Trish Walker, Jeri Hogarth, and Malcolm Ducasse. And while the two seasons of the show so far have seen the evolution of the titular character and her journey to overcome her trauma, Malcolm has walked a similar line.
Kilgrave returns in Jessica Jones season 2 as a manifestation Jessica's psyche, but he could have easily done the same thing for Malcolm. Back in Jessica Jones season 1, Malcolm as a barely-functioning heroin addict being manipulated by Kilgrave. Like Jessica, he's had to overcome intense amounts of abuse and attempt to forge his own path. And in the new season of the show, we finally see the character step out of his savior's shadow and attempt to form his own identity.
We spoke with Jessica Jones showrunner Melissa Rosenberg about the latest season of the hit show, and specifically asked what the future holds for Malcolm now that he's working with a rival PI and displaying a much more assertive attitude. For Rosenberg, Malcolm's story has been about coming of age and pursuing a personal path:
"Malcolm's character arc for the series is really a coming of age story. I think he's evolving into being his own man. Part of that is to go out into the world and have different experiences and train with some different people and learn from different people. I think that's a good moment for him. A door was left open. We'll see whether or not he comes back into the fold."
Jessica Jones season 2 ended with Jessica beginning a new relationship while leaving her two biggest ones behind. Malcolm was a good friend, employee, and influence on Jessica as she tried to create something real following the death of Kilgrave. But working for Jessica Jones is no easy feat, and Malcolm ends the season essentially at odds with his former friend and boss. Similarly, Trish and Jessica are on the rocks (for obvious reasons), with Trish's eventual transformation into Hellcat being set up for Jessica Jones season 3. Whether Trish and Jessica can become friends again is unknown, but Jessica and Malcolm may be living two different lives for awhile, based on what Rosenberg told us:
"[Jessica is] like an older sister to him and in fact, I think a nice moment for them is when they're talking about her little brother who died, and that Malcolm would be the same age he is now. It's just really nice. She's like the older sister. But, yes, that same dynamic of, he wants to be trained, he wants to come into the fold of their business. There's a lot of tough love going on there."
Rosenberg's comments about the sibling relationship between Jessica and Malcolm explains a lot about how they feel about it other. It also means that no matter what happens between the two they'll probably come back together when times are tough. Likewise, Trish and Jessica should be able to make up thanks to their sisterly bond. After all, Jessica more or less forgave her mother who did some truly reprehensible things. Jessica Jones season 3 will start with our hero having fewer friends, but Malcolm's journey may lead him back to Jessica sooner rather than later.
Jessica Jones seasons 1 & 2 are now available for streaming through Netflix.