Who Is Shane Ryback In 'Jessica Jones' Season 2? The Character Is Not Who You Think
When Janet McTeer's character was revealed, everything we knew about Jessica's life was called into question. Everything we'd been told in Jessica Jones Season 1 was suddenly not fact. If her mother was alive, what about her father? Or her brother? So when Inez, a homeless ex-nurse for IGH, tells Jeri Hogwarth there is a young man who has the ability to heal, for a second, hope flared: Jessica brother? Sadly no. The man, Shane Ryback, was not related to Jessica. So who is he? Who is Shane Ryback? Or is he just a random extra character thrown in to pad out Jeri's story?
We don't know a lot about Shane Ryback. But he's proof of what fans suspected: IGH did this to a lot more people than we think. It's not just Jessica and the Whizzer and Alisa. Shane is another one, probably brought back from the dead. But instead of super strength, killer rages, or insane speed, he rolled the dice and came up with... healing.
It's an odd sort of healing and is definitely different than anything else anyone from IGH came out with. It's so strange that it seems actually sort of impossible. Especially when fans start digging into the Marvel comics and discover there's no powered person like that. Dr. Karl never made anyone like that.
But the real suspicions don't come right away, Jeri seems to really believe she has been healed. And Inez, who brought him to her, seems sincere. But once Jessica finds Dr. Karl and he says there was no one like Shane at the clinic, combined with Shane's weird and sort of shifty attitude when Jessica tried to question him about IGH... and the question becomes not "Is Shane in the comics" or "Are Shane and Inez just a pair of cons running a scam?"
Let's consider Inez, for a moment. She's been hanging around since the early episode, a red herring on the red herring that would eventually be revealed as Alisa. (This is too many red herrings, to be clear, and part of the Netflix Bloat problem that's keeping this Season 2 from being as good as it could be.) Inez at first seems like the real deal: someone who worked for IGH who somehow wound up homeless after she was injured and couldn't work.
But since being put in Hogarth's house things haven't been adding up. She requests ridiculous clothing, and she's clearly manipulating Jeri from the word "go." Even her return showing how she hasn't pawned off the jewels and meds is designed to gain Jeri's trust. She recognizes those pills, alright, and she knows that Jeri is dying, and terrified of it. And she recognizes that if she plays her cards right, this is someone who can get her lover out of prison. She just has to convince her it's worth it.
How exactly she and Shane are communicating, how he knew to pull that "it makes me sick" stuff to get Jeri to get him out isn't clear, but Inez must be communicating with him on the inside. And note that Inez has an out in case it's obvious too quickly that "Shane's powers" didn't work "It didn't work on everyone" warns Inez. That's another sign this is a con: Jessica and Alisa's powers never fail.
Jeri just wants to believe. It's terrible, being done to someone who is an equally terrible person. If Karen had lived to see this, if Pam, off in prison ever finds out, both would agree this is karma coming home to roost. But even so, the look on Jeri's face, when she realized she's been robbed, had and used by two people who she considered beneath her....that's a punishment she'll live with for the rest of her life.