Marvel’s Jessica Jones
The extremely subtle Gregory Salinger has left $8,000 with Jessica Jones. All the bills are smeared with blood, and one has written on it — in blood — “FRAUD?” on one side and “HERO?” on the other. Huh, I wonder what Salinger is trying to say here??? Wish he could be clearer but I guess he didn’t get the family’s writer gene.
Though Jess has asked Trish to team up with her, they are both still fumbling their way into this new dynamic, where Trish has some powers — details TBD, apparently — but zero real experience, impulse control, or common sense, and Jess has a lot of powers, very little patience, and a whole lot of barely suppressed rage.
It is astonishing, bordering on non-plausible, that Trish is still so dense about the pros and cons of power-having. She knows that plenty of these superpowers are frequently debilitating and life-ruining. She knows that having powers does not make you invulnerable, but just creates new vulnerabilities. I’ve said this before, but the whole reason Kilgrave was interested in manipulating and abusing Jessica was because she had super-strength! Her powers made her a target, and her ability to physically do incredible things meant that she (while under Kilgrave’s control) caused incredible harm and also, not for nothing, death. And Jess understands that real justice requires a certain amount of rule-following, because you can’t put someone behind bars with, for instance, evidence you obtained illegally and/or a coerced confession.
Still, when Jess accurately describes Erik’s superpower as “shitty,” Trish interjects with pep and jealousy: “It’s still a power!” Trish is so annoyed that they have to do a stakeout and can’t just “dangle him off the side of a building.” Trish is out here calling herself a superhero even though she just admitted that “super-strength didn’t come with the package.” When Jess says that one advantage they do have, even though they are currently without “a body, a weapon, and evidence,” is that Salinger doesn’t know who Trish is, Trish just pouts and whines, “Nobody does.”
Trish is so hurt that Jess doesn’t trust her, but she has yet to earn that trust by behaving like a professional P.I. in literally any situation. She finally earns some points (both with hero Jess and recapper Jess) by savvily shutting off the power in Salinger’s building before she breaks into his apartment, so his security cameras can’t capture her while she snoops around for evidence. She finds this skinny binder full of extremely close-up photographs of people’s faces — gonna go out on a limb and say the people in that binder are dead!
While tailing Salinger, Jess spots him talking to Erik. While it appears that Erik is casually kidnapping a prostitute, he’s out here rescuing his sister Brianna, a.k.a Berry, from Salinger, who has threatened all of Erik’s loved ones’ lives.
They all go back to Alias together — and look at Gillian working after five! What happened to your work/life balance, Gillian? Jess drops Berry off at Malcolm’s because no matter how much he makes at Hogarth’s, Jess will always rely on him as a glorified babysitter. I cannot imagine this arrangement going over well with Malcolm’s girlfriend. Erik reports that Malcolm is giving him a patented Bad Guy Headache. Back at the office, the team figures out that the disappearances of all the people in the file span ten years, making Salinger a serial killer. Trish, again, asks why they can’t just go beat Salinger up until he confesses. Jess: “I would love to do that, but I’m not an idiot.”
Gillian, getting more involved in this relationship than is maybe healthy considering everything, demands Jess and Trish work things out and then bails.
“You don’t treat me like an equal,” Trish complains. “You don’t act like an equal,” is Jess’s totally fair response. Trish doesn’t understand why Jess can’t “let it go” and it’s like TRISH FOR FUCK’S SAKE, YOUR ORPHANED FRIEND HAD HER MOM BACK FOR LIKE A DAY AND YOU KILLED HER. Trish leaves and Jess licks her wounds by having sex with a freshly showered Erik. Erik gets the “opposite of a migraine” when he “makes a woman happy.” I vomit a little in my mouth at this description, but good for them!
Jess is thinking about how one gets rid of bodies in a crowded city, notices the handsaw is missing in one of the picture sets from Salinger’s apartment, and realizes he’s chopping them into bits. Jess tells Erik he can’t come with her because, “I won’t be able to protect you.” “Wow, good thing I just proved my masculinity all night,” he says, and Jess responds by telling him to make her a burger while she’s out. Ideal relationship, imo.
Jess gets Trish to ask her friend at the morgue for a body, and they use some spare parts to freak Salinger out — he knows they’re onto him, but also, he needs to hide that evidence, so he leads them to his hiding place. Also he calls the cops on Jessica for loitering, because he is that asshole. This is very gross and scary, but at least we learn that Trish can see in the dark now. Finally, a useful superpower! (I also love that Trish never misses an opportunity to say “I didn’t get super strength.”)
So down at this abandoned train yard is a tank that is full of vacuum-sealed body parts. Disgusting! Naturally, it is booby-trapped and Jess trips a wire so that kill-you chemicals start filling the tank and the door snaps shut above her. Trish gets to save Jess’s life, though this does mean losing Salinger, who slips away to kick the shit out of and kidnap Erik.
While waiting for the cops, these two do their best versions of apologies. Trish says, “I wish I didn’t kill your mom,” and Jess says, “I wish she weren’t a mass murderer.” Progress?
Over in Hogarth-land, someone is having a meltdown because her husband was stealing from her dead daughter’s foundation. I had forgotten that they had a son (presumably Hogarth either forgot this as well or just did not care), whose life will 100 percent be ruined by this revelation. Malcolm can’t go to work anymore because Peter, who already knows Hogarth was responsible for this, will recognize him as the “grad student” who visited his office recently. So Malc scrubs his computer of all the evidence while I wonder Isn’t his photo on the firm website?
Then Malcolm’s girlfriend tells Hogarth some very upsetting breaking news: Peter posted this confessional video accusing Hogarth’s firm of helping “powered felons” get away with crimes and stay out of prison. The camera pans down (who is filming this?) and reveals he is bleeding out in a tub and made this video mid-suicide.
Will it shock you to learn that Kith wants nothing to do with Hogarth anymore? Or that Malcolm is having a breakdown over his role in pushing Peter to suicide? And that’s before Brianna’s pimp suckerpunches him so that his employee can get back to work? Rough days all around.