After a few false starts, Jessica has a bead on who stabbed her at the end of episode one. While her foe isn’t someone with powers, which is a nice change for her, he’s incredibly smart and possibly her most dangerous foe yet. Dealing with this and Trish’s new career as a masked vigilante is going to keep Jessica busy, to say nothing of the soap operas raging over at Jeri Hogarth’s office. There are enough things going wrong that I’m sure much of the cast is saying, “I Wish.”
The episode starts with Jessica doing a voiceover about things being dead and buried. Her noir funk is derailed when Trish comes by, wanting to know what the plan is to go after Salinger. Jessica is cautious, while Trish is being ridiculously optimistic. Jessica goes over what they know so far, and tries to get Trish to take the threat seriously. They talk about what to do in very general terms, and Jessica mentions Trish is their secret weapon since no one knows about her. Salinger, meanwhile, does some work in his darkroom and shows he might be brilliant but he’s no “stable genius.” After his strange interlude, Salinger shows he’s very tidy, methodical, and well-organized as he finishes up where he is and leaves.
Trish and Jessica set up to keep an eye on Salinger, and bicker some in the process. They also talk about how he pays his bills. At Hogarth’s, Kith paces, shocked and furious over the news that her husband, Peter, has been embezzling from the fund named after their deceased daughter. That really is pretty low. Speaking of low, Jeri takes every opportunity to tear Peter down, flatter Kith, and generally show how helpful she can be in this mess she created. Jeri reminds me of a cat that brings you a dead mouse. The cat is pleased and thinks you should appreciate it, but you never wanted the mouse in the first place. As Kith tries to deal with some family issues, Peter comes storming in, making a lot of accusations and arguing with both Kith and Jeri. Kith leaves the room, Peter and Jeri exchange barbed comments, and Jeri offers some free legal advice. How unlike her.
Jessica wonders about having to prove yourself over and over when Trish calls her and reports on what Salinger is up to. Trish has a lot of enthusiastic suggestions, and Jessica wisely shoots them all down. They meet up, and Trish pushes about doing things her way. Salinger leaves after a bit, and Trish somehow persuades Jessica to come around to Trish’s way of thinking. Trish’s plan isn’t horrible, but it’s about as subtle as Jessica on a bad day. Malcolm does a bit of working from home when Jeri calls him to update him about her meeting with Peter. They both agree it’s better if Malcolm isn’t in the office for the day. They plot out a few things, and Malcolm starts covering their tracks. It’s sad how he’s adapted to that kind of thing so quickly.
Trish continues her prowling while Jessica follows Salinger and ruminates about being a loner. That’s a subject that should be dear to her heart. Salinger buys a paper, reads it, and goes people watching. It becomes quickly obvious the sort of scene Salinger is watching, but not why. Shortly, Erik shows up, surprising Jessica. She’s even more surprised when Erik talks to Salinger, and then goes off with someone under really questionable circumstances. This leads to a confrontation in a dingy room where several things come out. It’s a complicated scene, and it takes them a few minutes to work out why each other is there. It’s a very complicated situation, and no one is really happy with what they learn.
Malcolm has a conversation with Zaya that doesn’t go well. Zaya is both worried and a bit suspicious, and tries to connect Malcolm’s sudden day off with Jeri’s odd behavior. Malcolm bluffs her, and she accepts his story. The chat does at least end on a good note. Those two are good together when they’re not getting in their own way. Jessica gets back to her office and finds an unlikely alliance starting between Trish and Gillian. She’s really not sure she likes this development. Then again, Jessica doesn’t do wonderfully well with change. Leaving that strange scene behind her, she approaches Malcolm and gives him a new job. Erik isn’t sure about bringing in Malcolm, but Malcolm is sharp and shows some of his skill. When that part of things gets settled, Erik tells Jessica something she doesn’t want to hear about Malcolm. While Erik attends to some personal needs, Trish tells Jessica what she’s learned from studying the fruits of her search of Salinger’s place. Gillian makes an understandable suggestion, but jaded Jessica knows it won’t work, at least not yet. Trish and Jessica have another argument and Trish stalks off. Gillian, seeing all this, makes a cutting observation that sounds like something from her backstory we haven’t learned as yet, and walks out.
Things get worse over at Hogarth’s firm. Zaya comes into Jeri’s office, bearing bad news. Some of Jeri’s extremely questionable acts have come back to haunt her, and spill over on other people. It’s not good, and is going to upset a lot of Jeri’s schemes. Jeri takes off, leaving a surprised and frustrated Zaya behind her. Trish and Jessica are back to arguing, returning again to the subject of Trish shooting Jessica’s mother. After a lot of raised voices, Trish stalks off again. She does that a lot this season. Erik comes out and, after commenting about family, asks Jessica if she wants to talk. Jessica has other plans. Jeri finally gets hold of Kith, but doesn’t get the reaction she hoped for.
The next morning, Erik wakes up and he and Jessica have some very entertaining banter. I really like these two together. They talk about an unlikely aspect of his powers, and then move on to Salinger. Jessica feels responsible, but disputes the term hero when Erik uses it. They talk about how to dispose of bodies in a crowded city, and that part of things really sells me on the two of them together. Their morning after talk is about body disposal, and they both just go with it. After some more talk about how they’re going to move forward, Jessica leaves with an amusing parting shot. Trish has dozed off on duty, and Jessica wakes her, then walks her through an important discovery Jessica made comparing two sets of pictures. Trish isn’t sure what to do next, but Jessica comes up with a unique idea. The woman is smart, but I do worry about her mental health.
Malcolm and Zaya discuss the big scandal rocking the firm, which Malcolm knows a lot more about than he’s telling. Zaya is worried about Malcolm, but confident he didn’t do anything wrong. After they hang up, Malcolm’s side job from Jessica starts getting more complicated. Malcolm is doing the best he can, but the odds are really against him here. Things do not go his way. Also having a bad day, although deserving it a lot more, Salinger gets an unsettling special delivery. His reaction to the odd package is far from normal, although he tries to hide that and use the police against Jessica. It’s not a bad idea, but the cops show up ridiculously quickly for what the complaint is.
The plan works, and Salinger leads Trish, and through her, Jessica, to a very out of the way place. They see where Salinger is probably hiding some important things, but Trish doesn’t like Jessica’s division of labor. I also think the hiding place is equally brilliant and risky. Brilliant in how it works, but there’s a good chance of Salinger not being able to get to it unless he has some very special arrangement. Jessica goes to investigate, and once again has underestimated Salinger. Jessica gets herself in trouble, and Trish goes back to help. Weirdly, neither of them seems to have used their cameras here, which would have been a really good idea.
In the aftermath, Jessica and Trish make strides towards patching up their rift, which was nice to see. They deal with what’s coming next, and Jessica has Trish take off before embroiled in the aftermath. The show ends with Erik getting a very unwelcome surprise visitor. Don’t you just hate it when people drop in unannounced?
What I liked: I like Erik, and I really like him and Jessica together. This version of the character has a very interesting power, although it reminds me a bit of the Malibu Comics character Night Man. It was nice to see Jessica and Trish take some steps toward healing their rift. I’m curious as to what led to Gillian’s little outburst. I loathe Salinger, but he’s a smart, difficult foe for our heroes.
What I didn’t: Jeri is a poison that spatters on all around her. She’s dragging Malcolm down to her level, and has come through Kith’s life like a bulldozer. I didn’t like how things went with Malcolm. That guy can’t catch a break, and I’m worried he’s going to do something stupid afterwards.
It was a good episode in an enjoyable series. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5.