As we pass the half-way mark for ‘Jessica Jones’ Season 3 with episodes 7 – 9, titled, ‘AKA The Double Half-Wappinger,’ ‘AKA Camera Friendly,’ and ‘AKA I Did Something Today,’ I cannot help but feel a little bit sad that the big-bad of the season already seems to be struggling to keep up with Jessica and Trish, and seems a little underwhelming due to his lack of physical powers and ability to fight back against the ladies. Still, the story is pretty compelling nonetheless, and the twists in these episodes are certainly enough to keep one engaged and hungry for more.
For Jessica, these episodes are all about getting Salinger, especially since the cops cannot hold him without more evidence, and Hogarth has stepped in to be the man’s lawyer to help her struggling firm. Jessica’s quest for justice starts with a road trip with Trish to the man’s hometown, where the pair are convinced the death of Salinger’s brother by a tractor was no accident.
Despite learning that the brother’s death actually was innocent enough, Jessica and Trish learn that Salinger’s best friend, Nathan, disappeared when Salinger was in their teens (Salinger was jealous of the young man’s natural wrestling talent), and they discover that the youth’s body buried beneath his parent’s gazebo in their backyard, which conveniently enough was built by Salinger and his wrestling buddies the day after he killed Nathan. The reveal is pretty shocking, but the good news is that this was Salinger’s first kill, and he was not nearly as careful then as he is now, and there is still DNA evidence on the body, which Detective Costa is all too willing to claim from the locals and take to New York.
Back in town, Jessica has asked Malcolm to keep an eye on the serial killer, and they track the man to a wrestling practice where he coaches kids (which is so weird), and Jessica confronts Salinger, taunting him with news about Nathan while besting him on the mat, making him look foolish in front of his own students, and clearly provoking him into doing some new, darker deeds against Jessica and Trish. Which of course the man does, sending out a video to Jessica taunting her about his next victim, which Jessica, Trish and Costa spend the day trying to find and save, even using Dorothy and her contacts to put Jessica on the air to reveal her thoughts on Salinger and warn the new woman about his attack. Sadly, though they find the woman and keep her safe, she was never the target, as Salinger instead kills Dorothy in her own apartment, leaving a bruised and bloody dead body for Trish to find later in horror (Salinger thought Jessica would find her adopted mother, as it was meant as a strike against her, not knowing Trish was the masked vigilante).
Trish, enraged, rushes to Salinger’s apartment and beats him to within an inch of his life, but is stopped by Jessica, who knows they need to do it the right way, though she is worried that Salinger saw Trish’s face and can reveal her to the world now, as apparently he had camera’s set up to record Jessica beating him, again not realizing Trish was also a superhero. The police take Salinger to the hospital, and after his surgeries (Trish had clawed his face) he blackmails Jessica into destroying the evidence from Nathan’s body or else he will reveal Trish’s superhero identity to the world (which, due to her vigilante activities, would land her in the Raft prison, from which Jessica would never see her again).
Jessica begrudgingly decides to do what Salinger asks in order to protect her sister, enlisting Erik’s help to do so. Luckily for her, Erik knows a dirty cop named Nussbaumer who helps them into the crime lab, where Jessica destroys the evidence (some of Salinger’s hairs) and moves a fan to make it look like negligence on the part of the lab techs. She reports back to Trish, who is in hiding and grieving in a hotel room, and Trish is furious, punching Erik for being too cowardly to be their original witness against Salinger in the first place, and telling Jessica she ruined their one chance at a win, and that she would gladly go to prison to put Salinger behind bars, especially after he killed her mother.
Later, Jessica and Trish start to make funeral arrangements, with Jess eventually making it back to Alias where she passes out on her couch, awakening to find NYPD officers with a search warrant for her, learning that Costa has been put on leave after the failure to get evidence against Salinger and that Officer Nussbaumer has been found beaten to death. Not surprisingly, Jessica is the number one suspect.
Meanwhile, Hogarth has decided to take on Salinger as a client to up her visibility and credibility, much to the horror of Jessica, Trish, and Malcolm, who ends up quitting/ being fired when he confronts both Zaya and later Hogarth about the decision to defend a serial killer. Hogarth decides she wants to unmask the “Masked vigilante” (aka Trish) and makes it her quest to see it done, first putting Malcolm on the job and later putting out a bounty on the woman, incensed when she realizes the hero has been targeting her clients.
Eventually, Zaya comes across footage of Malcolm speaking to the masked hero in the office, and doctors it to protect Malcolm, but Malcolm eventually comes clean with Hogarth, which is what leads to the aforementioned firing/quitting scenario. In Hogarth’s love life, Kith is back as her son reveals to Hogarth that they are meeting heavy legal problems because of Peter’s illegal deeds with the scholarship fund, so Hogarth reaches out to Kith and promises to take care of things, an offer which Kith reluctantly accepts, explaining that one donor, in particular, is out to get them because Kith and Peter had outed him for his own dark deeds years before.
All in all, things are moving pretty quick now, and it is clear that Salinger is not long for this world as Trish is ready to kill him and the NYPD is clearly on to him, even if they do not have the evidence yet. The new wrinkle of Nussbaumer does make it seem like either Trish or Erik may have snapped and gone after the man. My money is on Erik now that he seems to want to be on this hero kick now, especially after revealing his origin story to Jessica about how he first discovered his powers and learned his father had been abusing his sister, which he revealed and was rewarded with his dad going to prison, his mom overdosing, and Brianna being mad at him because it was not his truth to tell, which just shows that Erik does not know how to make good, heroic decisions even if his heart is in the right place. (Hence the best choice for who might have killed the dirty cop). Also, RIP Dorothy Walker, she was a great character who brought a lot to the show, and any scene with her was always full of amazing chemistry with Jessica and Trish and great drama, and it was nice this season to see her help out and care a bit more for Jessica and Trish, instead of just seeing the uglier sides of her like we had in the past.
Looking forward to the final run of episodes, see you back here soon for our review of Episodes 10-12!