Last episode ended with Jessica shockingly being stabbed. I swear, that hallway outside her place must have some of the worst psychic energy in this version of New York. But, instead of continuing from Jessica’s very bad end to her date, “AKA You’re Welcome,” shows us a lot of the events in and around the first episode, “AKA The Perfect Burger,” from Trish’s point of view. This works both from a story point of view and because Krysten Ritter, who plays Jessica, directed the episode.
The episode starts off with the end of last season, and Trish discovering her powers. Like Jessica usually narrates her story, Trish does the voiceover work here as she muses on being a hero and what this could mean for her. She drives herself hard, training, and also reflects on the strain and changes in her relationship with Jessica. Trish also spends some time researching the heroes of New York City, Jessica among them. Later, we see her with her mother, and that goes about as well as it usually does. They argue about the time they spend together, Trish’s career, and Jessica, so all the usual greatest hits. They part under not the best of circumstances, also as usual, and Trish tries hard to find some trouble to get into. Eventually, she does, breaking up a small, streel level crime, and finding out why some heroes wear masks, especially ones with famous faces. Like Jessica in season one, there’s a costume montage, including her trying on a Captain Marvel outfit (nice nod to the rest of the MCU), and a vehement rejection of one that resembles her comic book look. Outright hero costumes don’t fare well in the Netflix/Marvel world. She reaches out to Jessica again, and even sees her ignore the call, just to make that sting more.
Trish tries a new version of a costume, and goes to work out. While she’s at the gym, she learns another lesson in the importance of a secret identity. Now with a new problem, Trish goes to Jeri, and they talk about current issues and the ever-prickly Jessica. The conversation shows how differently both of them look at the world, and some of Trish’s simplistic outlook. Things get a bit more awkward when Malcolm comes in, given his and Trish’s history. Trish and Malcolm talk over their history, what really happened with Jessica’s mother, and Trish does something really not great on her way out of the office.
Once she gets home, Trish looks at some options, and gets some unexpected and unwelcome company. After some argument, Trish is grudgingly impressed by her visitor’s doggedness and willingness to pitch in.
Trish tries her hand at something she’s not good at, and, in voiceover admits Jessica is better at some things than she is. After a lot of waiting around, she gets her chance to play hero, and does a decent job of it. Afterwards, she lingers to see what happens and is extremely self-satisfied. Trish tries to go back to Jessica once again, but overhears a conversation between Jessica and her now-ex boyfriend Oscar. That breakup happened offscreen and between seasons, I guess, and I’m very sorry it did. They were good together. Oscar is played by JR Ramirez, who was also Wildcat over on Arrow, so he has joined the growing list of actors who have done roles for both Marvel and DC.
At home, Trish pushes her workout and herself. She crosses a line with her trainer, which is all right in and of itself, but how she handles it later is decidedly not heroic, or even decent. Bouncing from one disaster to the next, she gets a visit from Malcolm, who tells her the matter she brought to Hogarth has been handled. Trish is curious and pushy, and was probably happier not knowing the details of what was done on her behalf. Their conversation goes past business matters to the personal, and neither of them are happier with themselves or each other. Malcolm makes a passing comment that hits home for Trish. On the heels of this, she starts something new, delighting Dorothy for once. It becomes clear almost at once that Trish’s heart isn’t in this, but she leans heavily on Dorothy to handle some of the details. Later, Trish does some specific research and writes, but doesn’t send, a few versions of the email we saw Jessica find on her computer in episode one.
Trish returns to her new obsession, and does some stalking. To her credit, she shows she has picked up a few skills, such as shadowing, breaking and entering, and searching a place. Looking around from her quarry’s place, she sees something that gives her an idea, and starts making all the pieces fall in place for what we saw in the last episode.
With some questionable judgement (but that’s not new for Trish), she decides to push matters along instead of watching and getting more intel. She certainly demonstrates she doesn’t have the patience to actually do Jessica’s job. After following her target doesn’t get her what she wants, although he does something highly suspicious, she decides it’s time for a confrontation. Trish breaks in to his place, does everything she can to call attention to herself, and chaos ensues. This is the fight we saw in the climax of episode one, complete with Jessica leaping in through the window and surprising the hell out of everyone. They argue, and Trish says some things that show her mindset really isn’t good right now. Jessica leaves, tossing off a snarky comment on her way out.
Trish hasn’t been where she was supposed to be during all this, and Dorothy ended up covering for her. Being in Dorothy’s debt is something to be avoided, and Trish has to deal with the fallout and the clumsy attempts to emotionally connect. Dorothy doesn’t come close to guessing what’s going on, although to be fair, it is a kind of unusual situation.
The family chaos gets interrupted by a different part of the family. Malcolm calls Trish, telling her Jessica is in the hospital and asking for her. Someone of Jessica’s abilities being in the hospital is worrying on its own, and Trish leaps to several wrong conclusions. She rushes to Jessica’s bedside, bearing gifts and hoping that the rift between them is starting to come to an end. Instead, she finds out exactly what Jessica wanted, and feels disappointed. Eventually, Trish stalks out, throwing away what she brought, and snarls the episode’s title to herself. Trish can be described many ways, but selfless isn’t among them. She definitely lacks the doing something because it’s right attitude most heroes have, and has a huge need to be thanked, acknowledged, and possibly rewarded. She’s setting herself up for failure here.
What I liked: It was a good view of what happened before through a different lens. I don’t like where Trish seems to be heading, but it was well written and acted. Malcolm and Trish are in very similar places, and neither of them seems to have a great idea of how to get out. I’d say Ms. Ritter did a fine job directing. They showed the big difference between powers on one side, and experience and skill on the other.
What I didn’t: As a comic book fan, it was a bit disappointing to see Trish’s comic book costume get the same treatment Jessica’s did in season one. Trish is making a bunch of rash moves, and it’s not going to end well for her. I really didn’t like how she handled matters with her trainer, and her tossing out the gifts at the end was just petty.
The “show us how we got here” trope has been used a lot, and I’m largely not impressed with it anymore. This was actually done well, and was another great episode of a good series. I’ll give it a high 3.5 out of 5.