Because Salinger needs to stay alive until the finale, Trish only beats him to within an inch of his life. But he lives! Aside from television reasons, it is not really clear to me why they can’t just kill him right then and there — like, I know we want to catch him by the rules and whatnot, but keeping him alive will obviously create complications for all our heroines, masked and otherwise. Plus, they have that evidence linking him to one of the bodies in the tank so … case closed, no?
Jess and Trish get a little role reversal, as Jess plays caretaker to Trish’s oh-shit-I-did-some-violence spiral. Jess reports that Salinger will be able to ID Trish as soon as he wakes up, which would make Trish a wanted felon. We also learn from Costa that Trish “clawed half his face off with her bare hands,” which at least means we know more about Trish’s superpowers! There will be no immunity for the “masked vigilante,” so it’s time to get Patsy somewhere that isn’t one of the 160 countries where her television show is syndicated. Also hunting Trish down is Hogarth, who calls her a “monstrous powered creature” and vows, once again, to unmask her.
Over at Hogarth and Associates, Jeri bombards Kith, her ex, by selfishly declaring her love yet again. Kith doesn’t want anything to do with Jeri, but she needs a lawyer, and in the New York City of Jessica Jones, there is exactly one law firm, so she’s a client now. But in gaining a client, Jeri loses a staffer: Malcolm covers for his ex, says that he doctored the break-in footage, and quits — or he gets fired (it’s sort of a jinx-y situation). I’m not sure why Malc thinks it’s a good idea to give over this footage that will almost certainly reveal Trish’s identity, but he does it anyway because of his newly rigid understanding of what it means to Be A Good Person. I will say this: I hope that, even though he’s returning to Jessica’s employ, Malcolm can keep wearing those extremely fine-looking coats.
Does it shock you to learn that Salinger had photo equipment set up in his apartment and documented Trish’s assault on film? And that he has a picture with her face clearly visible, which he will release to all the world unless Jess destroys the only evidence linking him to the train-yard corpse pile? Salinger also reminds Jess that Trish would go away to “the raft,” the scary floating prison for supers. Though she’s very sociable and popular here in New York City, she would likely not fare so well in that environment, and Jess would definitely never see her — her only surviving family member, for real this time — ever again.
Jess gets back to Alias in time to convince Gillian not to resign. Erik swings by because he wants to talk, and I write in my notes, “I miss Luke.” Erik is so sorry that he didn’t put Salinger away for kidnapping. WHAT A TIMELY APOLOGY. Erik will help Jess break into the police crime lab because he knows a dirty cop: Officer Nussbaumer, who murders drug dealers and steals their stashes and money. Officer Nussbaumer is very underwhelmed by Jess: “Look lady, I got powers, too. I got a badge.” At this point we see, yet again, that Erik is a dum-dum who does far more harm than good. He reveals his face to the cop (literally the opposite of what Jess told him to do) for basically no reason (if Jess wanted to rough him up against a fence, pretty sure she could’ve handled that herself without an assist from Migraine Man), just because the bad cop gave him an even worse headache than before. The boyfriends have really dropped in quality on this show, I gotta say.
This cop does get Jess into the crime lab. Before she goes in, Erik tells her that he used his powers for good one time: When he was in college, he found out his dad had “the darkness,” and I write for fuck’s sake he was molesting the sister wasn’t he — and YUP. “Father-daughter time.” Erik cornered him into confessing. The day Dad went to prison, Mom overdosed, and Brianna blamed Erik. “She said it wasn’t my truth to tell.” Umm … she is correct! It wasn’t! Did he seriously not even talk to her before taking that action on her behalf? That is not how victim advocacy works, buddy, and if you want to help people, you should start by listening to the people you say you’re helping. Give survivors agency. I can’t tell if we’re supposed to like Erik or not? Because this show is usually so thoughtful about sexual violence, but this is real sloppy — it’s just turning a girl’s trauma into a plot device in a man’s life.
Costa is at the lab overseeing this evidence personally, because he is a good and menschy dude in a world full of trash. To get them out of the lab, Jess breaks a sewer pipe and liquid waste pours into the lab. Gross! She huffs and puffs and blows Salinger’s hairs away, then sets up a fan to make it look like casual negligence on the part of the lab staff. When it’s over, she asks Erik if her “aura” has changed, and he insists she’s all good. THANK YOU, HUMAN MOOD RING.
Trish is dealing with her stress and grief by doing a bunch of push-ups in the motel room where she’s supposed to be hiding out. When Erik shows up, she just sucker punches him. I don’t mind. He walks out immediately, so … glad you came? Anyway, Trish is furious that Jess made this decision without consulting her. “You obliterated my only win in a long, agonizing list of losses,” she says.
While Trish makes funeral arrangements, Jess goes back to Alias, where she is greeted by Costa, who has just been placed on leave for fraternizing with a super but failing to catch a serial killer. For what it’s worth, he’s glad the masked vigilante is still out there. Jess passes out on her couch and is woken up by the arrival of other members of the NYPD, here with a search warrant: Officer Nussbaumer was beaten to death. Who do we know with the strength to do such a thing besides Ms. Jones? Is the useless non-boyfriend responsible for this shitshow? Or is it maybe time to cue the It’s Patsy theme?