(Very minor spoilers for “Jessica Jones” Season 2 below.)
Driving the mystery of Netflix and Marvel’s “Jessica Jones” Season 2 is IGH, a shadowy organization with implied connections to Jessica’s past and present that viewers first encountered in Season 1.
The main characters mention IGH a whole bunch as the second season gets going, but the term “IGH” doesn’t get much explanation in the first few episodes. “Jessica Jones” Season one dropped back in 2015 and there’s a lot to remember from it. So if you haven’t had a chance for a re-watch, read on for a primer on IGH.
IGH, said to be a kind of paramilitary organization, first shows up in Season 1 as part of the story of Will Simpson (Wil Traval), better known as the supervillain “Nuke” in the comics. Simpson was introduced as a New York City police officer who was compelled by the supervillain Kilgrave (David Tennant) to kill Jessica’s adopted sister and best friend, Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor). Jessica stopped Simpson and snapped him out of the mind control — Simpson subsequently struck up a relationship with Trish and became obsessed with stopping Kilgrave.
Simpson later reveals he’s a former special forces operative who took part in a series of IGH’s military experiments, headed by Dr. Kozlov (Thomas Kopache). The research resulted in Kozlov creating drugs called Combat Enhancers, which were given to soldiers to increase their physical abilities, while dampening their pain sensations. The drugs had side effects, though, including blind rage incidents and a loss of control, and Simpson had left the program after such an incident.
Simpson had been off the drugs for some time, but as part of his effort to stop Kilgrave, he returned to Kozlov and IGH’s program to obtain Combat Enhancers. Instead of staying with IGH, Simpson stole some Combat Enhancers and went after Kilgrave himself. The drugs unhinged him and in contrast to Jessica, who wanted to capture Kilgrave alive in order to clear the names of people he’d compelled to commit crimes, Simpson wanted to straight-up execute him. When Kozlov sent an IGH operative to bring Simpson in, Simpson killed him, as well as another murder, and then try to kill Jessica, who stopped him with Trish’s help. The last we see of Simpson, he was being dragged off unconscious by IGH affiliated soldiers.
At the end of Season 1, Trish’s mother Dorothy Walker (Rebecca De Mornay), who adopted Jessica as a tween after her family was killed in a car wreck, showed Trish Jessica’s medical file. It turns out that IGH had paid for all of Jessica’s operations and medical bills while she was in the hospital. Trish hypothesizes that IGH might be responsible for Jessica’s superpowers.
Cut to Season 2. In the first episode, Trish has been busy tracking down more of Jessica’s medical records and she makes an important discover: some of Jessica’s files are incomplete. In fact, 20 days of records are missing between Jessica’s accident and when she regained consciousness. Those missing days, she thinks, are when IGH experimented on Jessica.
Where does this lead? You’ll have to watch the whole second season to find out.