David Tennant won’t say if he’s returning to Jessica Jones as the twisted supervillain Kilgrave in the show’s upcoming third season. Season 3 began filming this summer, although Netflix has yet to announce a premiere date. The main cast, including Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor, Eka Darville, and Carrie-Anne Moss are all set to return.
Season 1 saw Kilgrave and Jessica locked in a cat-and-mouse battle, months after she escaped from his sadistic mind control and returned to life as a private investigator. She ultimately killed him in their final showdown. In season 2, he returns as a malevolent figment of her imagination, goading her towards a psychotic breakdown. However, she surmounts him once again, and despite the loss of her mother and a rift with her best friend Trish (aka Hellcat), she decides to try to move forward and takes the next step in her relationship with love interest Oscar (J. R. Ramirez). Kilgrave, of course, is Jessica’s trauma incarnate, and trauma doesn’t simply evaporate.
As reported by Comic Book, Tennant appeared at Salt Lake City’s FanX convention, where he gave a quizzical but hopeful response to Jessica Jones fans hoping to see him in the third season.
On the potential of resurfacing in flashbacks, Tennant said, “Flashbacks, sure. Well, who knows.” Then, with a sizable grin, he added, “There’s no immediate plans. But if there were immediate plans, I’d be denying them. So you know, who knows?”
The former Doctor Who star has plenty of fan attention surrounding him these days, given his roles on Disney’s Duck Tales reboot and Netflix’s animated sci-fi adventure Final Space. As for the role of Kilgrave, for which he won a Saturn Award in 2016, Tennant attributed the impact of the character to showrunner Melissa Rosenberg’s creative adaptation. Like Jessica Jones herself, Kilgrave is considerably different in the comics. Rosenberg is scheduled to step down after the show’s third season.
Echoing many fans, Ritter, who makes her directorial debut this season, expressed her hopes for the character to become more of a hero and less broken. What makes Jessica Jones such a profound series is that it approaches healing from trauma as a journey, rather than something to gloss over with superpowers. Season 1 saw Jessica’s PTSD from being psychologically imprisoned and sexually assaulted by Kilgrave preventing her from living with any kind of ease. Following his death, she enters season 2 with more confidence, but still struggling with depression, alcoholism, and the inability to form meaningful relationships. Through flashbacks, the season also revealed that despite the loss of her entire family, she was in a much healthier state of mind before Kilgrave.
That doesn’t mean that the show can’t move forward without having Jessica extensively battle a hallucination. She already resisted the Emperor-Palpatine-style tauntings of his manifestation: that she’s a murderer, who’s as evil as he is by nature and therefore deserving of her merciless self-loathing. But Jessica’s role in The Defenders proved how much more she is than her damage, especially when she’s not isolated and wracked with self-doubt. With her apparent new openness to relationships, fans may finally see the comic book-foretold Jessica Jones/Luke Cage romance come to fruition. Letting oneself love and be loved is as crucial a step in moving on from the past as confronting it is.