Marvel’s Jessica Jones
As cops in hazmat suits pull chunks of bodies out of that train yard, Jess thinks to herself: “Mom would’ve loved this.”
“Not the corpses,” she clarifies, “or my near-death encounter with a shitwad psycho. But finding said shitwad. Exposing him. That’s the stuff of heroes. That’s what Mom wanted. Maybe I want it, too.” Jess is feeling so heartened by this whole experience, she’s even letting her bare arms see sunlight. Trish, as usual, has the very bad idea of going to Salinger’s place without a warrant, even though that kind of sloppy mistake is how someone like Salinger would weasel out of this whole situation. “I think you’re having too much fun with this,” Jess says, correctly. Wonder what is going to have to happen to Trish for her to realize that this superhero gig isn’t all fun and games and punching whoever you want whenever you feel like it.
Not having the best morning ever: Erik, who regains consciousness to find himself duct-taped to a chair in some unidentified awful place. Usually Salinger stages these victim photo shoots in the victims’ homes — so important to get subjects in their natural element! — but not this time. Here, he assures Erik that the killing is really “incidental” to the artwork, which is such a douchey art-major thing to say and also probably not that much of a confidence booster, as far as Erik is concerned.
It is WILD that Salinger, a white man, is all about railing against powered people for having “cheated” the system and enjoying perks of life they don’t deserve. Jess might have superpowers but she still makes 78 cents on the dollar, Gregory. Salinger is also feeling quite indignant about the fact that Erik is attractive. Just in case you were wondering if Salinger was an incel: He is 1,000% an incel. Salinger wants to know how Erik found out about him, and Erik tries his very best to keep his power (which, AHEM TRISH, is actually quite the weakness in this particular situation!) to himself, but when Erik approaches, his irrepressible badness just oozes out his pores and makes Erik’s brain basically melt inside his skull until he is literally crying blood. So, jig is up on that one.
Before that happens, it seems like Salinger is mostly about torturing his victims through self-indulgent rants about his sad childhood. He had a brother who was an artistic genius, according to his dad. Salinger thought when Donny died he would become the favorite but, wouldn’t you know, Dad just said he wished it had been Gregory who died — and then he stabbed Gregory in the chest at the funeral luncheon! That explains a lot, although if I learned anything from watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, eventually you have to stop blaming shitty parents for how rude you are as an adult.
Jess goes to the one place she is not supposed to go — though staying away from crime scenes is really not her thing — and runs into Detective Costa there. Jess says there are eight photos in Salinger’s book, so the victim list is one short. Costa makes a big public show of how he couldn’t possibly give her the list but, because he is extremely menschy, he slips it to her on the sly. I really hope nothing bad happens to him!
As Jess gets yet another ride from Trish I write in my notes Is Trish’s superpower always being able to find convenient street parking? They get back to Alias to find Trish’s mom awaiting them. Jess outs Trish as a powered person by throwing her out the window and it’s pretty great, I have to say. Trish essentially word-vomits that being super means she can protect other vulnerable people from those who would hurt or exploit them, the way she couldn’t protect herself from her own mother. This goes over about as well as you’d expect.
Jess is also back working with Malcolm, who returns to Berry’s street corner to pummel the daylights out of the pimp who suckerpunched him and wait for Berry to follow him back home, because that’s all healthy and fine. I love that Jess describes Erik’s superpower as “he sees evil in people or something.” (Malc’s reply: “Bet he’s fun at parties.”) Malcolm has fancy facial-recognition software, thanks to his high-rolling job with Hogarth, and they find a match for that eighth victim photo: The improbably named Caspar Marx, a famous chef who is apparently still alive! Berry returns and ultimately has a “business transaction” with Malcolm that, again, I’m sure his girlfriend will completely understand and not think is an issue at all. That said, I am extremely here for these gratuitous shots of him doing rage-y weightlifting while shirtless.
Jess uses Trish for a ride to Caspar’s kitchen (wait, does Jess not know how to drive? How very New Yorker of her) but makes her wait in the car because “uh, Patsy.” Caspar tells Jess this very ahh, troubling/kinky story about how Salinger almost murdered Caspar over a medium-well steak. Caspar thought the whole thing was some elaborate BDSM-foreplay thing (sans consent, not cool!), but when he kissed Gregory, Gregory flipped out “like he’d never been kissed by anybody before.” Caspar gives Jess the address of the old restaurant, which is where Salinger has Erik captive.
Jess and Trish show up just as Salinger is busy “asserting fairness in an unfair world” to kick his ass together. Teamwork! They save Erik, who should really get to a hospital, but he can’t because “there are too many people there” and the exposure risk to assholes who will make him feel even worse is too high. In other disappointing news, there’s no DNA on any of the body parts and the police are holding Salinger on trespassing. What they need is another witness, because Jess is a superperson with a rap sheet. It’s Patsy! But alas, Trish can’t out herself, so they are in a bind. Jess goes to Hogarth for legal counsel and says that Erik, who she refers to only as “my blackmailer,” could get Salinger on kidnapping. But: Erik would have to do a year in prison which, given his powers, would definitely kill him. So this, too, is a non-starter.
Berry comes to Jess’s place and is so relieved her brother is alive and honestly, that is some weird sibling energy. Like, Folgers commercial weird. Naturally Erik’s injuries are in accordance with the Inviolable Rules of Television Health and Medicine and have zero negative effect on his attractiveness — it’s just like, a subtle gash on his face? After all that? Ooookay. He and Jess snuggle because she’s such a good person that “you’re like aspirin to me,” which is a real dorky line but it works. I write Girl you’re on a deadline here!!! But sure, spoon away. Erik’s A+ pillow talk is that Salinger talked about how his plan was to “bring pain to power” and that this whole interaction “might have unleashed him.” Would none of the events of this season have happened if Erik had just paid his gambling debts on time?
Hogarth tries to swing by Peter’s shiva where it is OBVIOUS she is unwelcome. She crosses paths with the son who tells her “You seem awful” before knocking the tray of bagels out of her hand. She falls and injures her wrist; ALS is already making her bones more frail. To his credit, the son is horrified by the fact that he caused her harm (even though he’s got his own disaster to deal with) and sobs over the spilled bagels. I, too, cry when perfectly good bagels go to waste.
You could say Hogarth has finally achieved that elusive work/life balance: Her personal life is in shambles, and at work, her old firm has poached her biggest client. Rand Enterprises is two-thirds of her business. Well … it was. Maybe she should consider getting Jess to keep her on retainer again?