In the first episode of the season, we saw a shocking attack on Jessica. The second followed Trish through the changes she’s been going through since Malus’ treatments starting showing their effects. For episode three, we shift back to Jessica and her injuries, summed up decently by the title “AKA I Have No Spleen.”
The episode backtracks a bit, replaying Jessica demanding the name of the man she and Trish fought back in episode one. As Trish storms off again, Jessica muses on being used to her powers. Jessica’s doctor has an amusing bedside manner that’s really not going to work on this jaded and bitter PI as he explains the new changes in her life. She’s about as good a patient as you’d expect, but her own actions and reactions show that the doctor’s right about her being careful for a bit. He also explains that, were she a normal, she’d be dead.
Malcolm is still suffering some after-effects from his own recent actions, and Zaya is worried about him. Aside from the stubborn male thing, Malcolm actually has a legit reason or two not to go to the doctor for this. They talk about the future and the difficulty of working for Hogarth. Malcolm has a plan, although the way he is desperately clinging to it makes it sound to me like he’s not going to last as long as he needs to.
Jessica wakes from a bad flashback to see someone standing over her, and things don’t go well for a moment or two. Imagine waking up someone who is both cranky and has superstrength. Detective Costa gives her some good advice that she’s likely going to ignore, and they have some differing perspectives on Jessica’s current situation. I really like Costa, which makes me worry for him given the general tenor of the show. Elsewhere, Hogarth has gotten Kith, her ex from long ago, to join her for lunch, but it’s not a smooth social success. There’s a lot of bad emotion between these two. Kith has a lot of questions, and Jeri, for once, is amazingly open and honest. They talk about Jeri’s losses, Kith’s bad times, and introduce a running bit of banter about an old tape.
To no surprise at all, Jessica leaves the hospital Against Medical Advice and makes her way home under a voiceover about what a hero is supposed to be. Getting back to her home/office, she and Gillian have some words about office security and taking care of themselves. Gillian is just as snarky as Jess, and easily holds her own, which I enjoy watching. Gillian has some home care set up for Jessica in spite of herself and her boss both, and it’s a fun exchange to watch. Jessica, dealing with her new meds, finds out she has to get something to eat, and finally ends up eating the titular burger from the first episode. Once again, she’s impressed in spite of herself. Her voiceover about being strong and getting back to work is somewhat undercut by her passing out at her desk. Later, she’s roused by Malcolm, who comes by to check on her, drop off a few things, and talk about Hogarth. Jessica, despite trying to hold it together, is dealing with some serious flashbacks, hinting at deeper PTSD, which is just what she needs more of in her life.
Jessica and Trish meet up at the apartment where they met up in mid-fight. Jessica once again shows skill can be more important than power, easily finding some things Trish missed. They continue to argue, about Jessica’s health, who the bad guy belongs to, and the right way to handle things. The two sisters are worlds apart here, and considering what they’ve been in the past, it’s a bit hard to watch. Hogarth talks to Malcolm about workplace romances, gives some cautions, and then sets him on a new target: Peter Lyonne, Kith’s husband. Class act there, Jeri.
Jessica pursues the one slim lead they have on Andrew Bryant, the man she and Trish sort of fought together/over. It was a confusing situation. As Jessica gets nowhere, Malcolm does his own work and gets his job done, although not as smoothly as he’d prefer. Drinking away her stress at home, Jessica gets a visit from Erik, the burger guy. They have some good banter and seem to fit well together, although he goes home. Trish puts in an appearance at her new job, and seems to be doing well without really trying that hard, which gratifies Dorothy and confuses Trish a tiny bit.
Gillian wakes Jessica in the early afternoon, telling her that Gillian is going to lunch and Jessica has a client in the office part of her apartment. Making her way out at a slow lurch, Jessica finds Jeri is there. They talk about their current medical issues, and each lets on they care a bit more than they like to admit. Jeri gives Jessica a tiny bit of help, and they go their separate ways. Jessica keeps pushing herself, goes a bit too far, and ends up having a setback. Fortunately, Trish is lurking nearby and gets her some help. Kith comes to Jeri’s place and they talk over old times, that tape again, and seduction by cello. Malcolm diligently works on his new assignment, finding a few surprising things and leading to an unexpected conversation with Zaya.
With some déjà vu, Jessica once again wakes up in the hospital with her joke-telling doctor. After yet another flashback, Jessica agrees to stay for a while this time. She heals better than human, but she’s not up at Wolverine’s level. Hogarth and Kith enjoy some afterglow, and Jeri learns some surprising things. Kith is very much in control of this scene, and it’s fun to see Jeri struggling to process and keep up.
Not one to stay down, Jessica hits the streets again, and shows she’s clearly not at her best. I like that they show that, while she has powers, she has limits as well and she’s hitting them hard. She goes to follow up on the lead on Bryant, and falls back on her usual enhanced breaking and entering techniques. She and Trish are after the same thing, and cross paths again, although they have very different methods. They meet up soon after and continue to argue about how to proceed. Trish is self-righteous and nasty, saying some things she will probably regret later. They once again part ways, not under the best circumstances. Jessica uses her superior experience to run down Bryant’s location.
She finds her target without a lot of trouble, but that’s about the only thing that goes right. The more she talks to him, the more she realizes this isn’t the brutal mastermind she’s looking for. His own ignorance and… racism? about supers speaks pretty well toward him not being behind the attack. Annoyed, Jessica calls Trish, fills her in, and gives her a little peace offering.
Hogarth keeps pushing Malcolm on his current task, and she’s not making it any easier on him by not telling him what’s going on. Then again, maybe she won’t quite fully admit it to herself. Jessica has another meeting with Costa, and the more I see him, the more I like him. He actually has the balance down of how to show her some compassion without completely freaking her out or alienating her. Eventually, after some updates and speculation, he leaves. Jessica has one more item to deal with. She’s initially almost flirty with her next subject, before revealing once again that, powers to one side, she’s a formidable investigator, ending the episode on a big reveal.
What I liked: It’s not the easiest thing to show someone both superpowered and vulnerable, but they manage it here. I like Gillian, and Erik seems like a potential new good thing in Jessica’s life. There’s a widening gulf between Jessica and Trish that I don’t like, but they’re showing it well. Costa could be a great influence on Jessica if she’d let him. There’s a good guy in Malcolm if he’d get out of his own way.
What I didn’t: I think almost every time she’s on screen, I want to smack Jeri. She’s selfish, self-involved, abuses her power, and has serious control issues. She’s a beacon of darkness, dragging down people like Malcolm and probably Zaya.
They did well here, and I like the way they are setting the plot in motion, and the big surprise about the attack on Jessica. I’ll give this a 4 out of 5.