Warning: SPOILERS for Jessica Jones season 1 ahead
The grouchiest of Marvel's Defenders will see her worst enemy return when Jessica Jones season 2 premieres in 2018. That's right, David Tennant is reprising his role as Kilgrave, as revealed by Entertainment Weekly.
But uh... didn't Kilgrave have a bad case of 'snappedneckitis' at the end of season 1? Well, yes. That said, you just can't keep a good bad guy down, and David Tennant is definitely one of Marvel's best at being the worst. So with that in mind, here are just some of the justifications Marvel and Netflix could have for his return, ranked in order from worst to best:
4. He's been brought back to life
This would be an incredibly cheap and unrewarding twist in Jessica Jones' plot, though it's not totally outside the realm of possibility. We already saw Elektra die at the end of Daredevil season 2, but we know she's back for The Defenders after being placed in that weird coffin thingy. It's possible some nefarious character would want Kilgrave back in action and could use some sort of magic/science macguffin to resurrect him. Still, Marvel doesn't reuse villains often, and it would undo the emotional satisfaction audiences got watching him meet his end the first season.
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3. It's someone pretending to be Kilgrave
We don't know who the main villain of Jessica Jones season 2 will be, but the Marvel universe is full of psychics and shapeshifters who could learn about Jones' history with Kilgrave and exploit that to gain the upper hand. The Netflix version of Marvel has been more grounded than the films, but it's been inching toward heroes and villains with more fantastical powers, so I'd say this is a decent possibility.
2. He's part of a flashback scene
We learned a good deal about Jessica's past with Kilgrave thanks to flashbacks in season 1, so it wouldn't be too surprising to see the same narrative trick pulled here. Perhaps an old friend/foe comes into Jessica's life, but she doesn't remember them due to being under Kilgrave's influence. A flashback could show us more of what life was like for her then, and set up this season's new conflict,
1. He's a hallucination
This isn't the real Kilgrave, but the specter of Jessica's past haunting her as she tries to move on now that he's dead. The first season of Jessica Jones relied heavily on themes of abuse and survival, so it makes sense that the second season would explore those concepts further and show Jessica dealing with post-traumatic stress. And, as with flashbacks, Marvel already used this trick in season 1, so it's not a foreign concept.
Tennant's appearance on set and the fact he's dressed in Kilgrave's trademark purple suit suggests Marvel isn't just re-using audio and visuals from last season or making him exist solely as a whisper in Jessica's mind. Whether it's real or imagined, it seems the Doctor Who alum will have a physical presence on our TV screens when Jessica Jones season 2 premieres in 2018.