‘Jessica Jones’: Is Season 3 the Last Season?

When Jessica Jones returns for its third season on June 14, the caustic detective with super strength will be solving her last case. Like all of Netflix’s Marvel shows, Jessica Jones has been canceled.

One might think, “Oh, that’s because they’re about to launch Disney+.” And while Disney+ is on its way, Jessica Jones will not transfer there, nor will the other Marvel Netflix shows like Luke Cage. Daredevil and The Punisher. When Jessica Jones goes, it will be a long time before the show comes back — if it comes back at all.

Why ‘Jessica Jones’ was canceled

Krysten Ritter
Krysten Ritter | Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Jessica Jones went by the boards for three reasons. The most direct reason is that after finishing season 3, showrunner Melissa Rosenberg jumped ship to Warner Bros. TV, which oversees those other comics guys, DC.

That being the case, the stars of Jessica Jones have been seeking new work from other shows and networks. Given that the Marvel/Netflix relationship was running its course, Netflix didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes as they were looking for other jobs.

Finally, there’s the all-important reason: Viewers. Or more specifically, the lack of them. Netflix rarely releases their viewership numbers, and when they do, its to promote sensations like Bird Box. But a third party company tracked social media buzz and found that the second season of Jessica Jones had far less response than the first.  

And on top of that, all of the Marvel series were declining. A fan base can be passionate, but it has to be large, not just vocal, to move the cancellation meter. Jessica Jones at least got a final season, while the other shows were canceled outright.

Why ‘Jessica Jones’ packed a punch

Jessica Jones was hardly the first Marvel series or even the first female-fronted Marvel series. ABC, which is owned by Disney, which also owns Marvel, had the still-running Agents of SHIELD and the all too-short lived Agent Carter. Jessica Jones was different.

For one, it didn’t spring from the movies, as Agents of Shield and Agent Carter had. Unless they were die-hard comics fans, many viewers had likely never heard of Jessica Jones before the TV series. The character came from a Marvel imprint called AIIas, which was designed for more mature content. In addition to Alias, Jessica Jones also appeared The Pulse and the third series with her own name. She’s married to Luke Cage and both are members of the New Avengers. No endgame there yet.

Moreover, Jessica Jones took a more realistic, darker tone than typically found in the MCU movies. The character is only about a half-step above Black Widow, in that Jessica Jones has super strength while Natasha does not, although both are fierce fighters. Jessica Jones also trafficked in noir tropes not frequently seen in Marvel, which made it feel unique.

The show was highly acclaimed too. Rotten Tomatoes‘ critical consensus on season 1 read, “Jessica Jones builds a multifaceted drama around its engaging antihero, delivering what might be Marvel’s strongest TV franchise to date.” Season 2 was a bit less acclaimed: “While Jessica Jones is a slower burn with less focus than its inaugural season, its enticing new character arc more fully details the most charismatic Defender.”

What the future brings for Jessica Jones and Krysten Ritter

The Netflix synopsis for season 3 reads: “When Jessica crosses paths with a highly intelligent psychopath, she and Trish must repair their fractured relationship and team up to take him down. But a devastating loss reveals their conflicting ideas of heroism and sets them on a collision course that will forever change them both.”

Lead Krysten Ritter posted a picture from the table read of the series finale on Instagram. “The final season of #JessicaJones is coming later this year and I am proud of how we complete JJ’s journey,” she wrote. “I can’t wait for you all to see it.” She directed one of season 3’s episodes as well.

Ritter will certainly have much to keep her busy in the near future. She is expecting her first child later this year.