While certain narrative threads where starting to get a bit played out in the last episode, by the end of episode 4 things really started moving along. The core elements of the season have begun to take form with Jessica’s attacker finally revealed. We learn more about Hamburger Guy, like his name is Erik, and that he owes some very unpleasant people a lot of money. We also find out that Erik has an ability which allows him to sense when people around him feel guilty. But the more guilty they are of something bad the more painful his sense becomes causing him to suffer from extreme migraines. It’ll be interesting to see if they go into the extent of his powers and how he acquired these abilities in the coming episodes.
Throughout the episode Jessica and Erik track down three people he blackmailed since one of them is likely to be the person who attacked Jessica. The first encounter was with an extremely guilty and terrible man and after they dealt with him Jessica remarks, “That was the most heroic thing I’ve done all year, and it took under two hours.” While this is a funny line, I think it’s important for several reasons. Jessica has always been more effective when she’s working with someone else.
Whether it’s with Luke or Malcolm (in earlier seasons), having somebody she can rely on and who compliments her shortcomings has always pushed her in a good direction. This is probably why Jessica makes the choice at the end of the episode to let Trish help her out. She’s knows that having someone else work her cases in the past has been beneficial. Jessica is also incredibly stubborn so it shows a lot of personal growth for her to be able to swallow her pride and accept Trish’s help. It’s also made a bit easier since Sallinger won’t be expecting a third powered individual to get involved.
Speaking of Sallinger, we now know who it is that Jessica has been pursuing and the potential threat that he poses. Sallinger appears to be a very intelligent and unhinged individual. He’s a serial killer with a deep hatred for super powered individuals which will only fuel his hatred for Jessica. Having a major villain this season be a deranged serial killer is an interesting development that I didn’t expect. Since at its core, Jessica Jones is a show about a private investigator it fits very well with the genre and has a lot of potential. It’s also a very unique threat that Jessica hasn’t faced before. As far as we know, Sallinger doesn’t have any special abilities which separates him from the villains we’ve seen in previous seasons. However, this narrative thread could easily become a little outlandish since Jessica, Trish, and Erik all have powers and they’re up against a regular human.
One potentially important part of the episode was when Sal Blaskowski accidentally got impaled during her fight with Trish. Of course Blaskowski was the one to grab a crowbar so Trish isn’t entirely to blame. But what makes this moment important is that it’s the first time Trish has faced the unintended consequences for her actions as a hero. So far she’s been striving to become this hero and help people and even though Blaskowski is a criminal who she would like to put behind bars, it’s Trish’s actions that nearly kill her. With Jessica’s mother, killing her was the only way to be sure nobody else would get hurt. Trish can live with that. But this was not how Trish wanted things to go down.
However, the moment is cheapened a little bit when we find out that Blaskowski didn’t die. Trish is incredibly relieved when she gets the news, and rightfully so, but it appears to absolve her from what happened. Almost as if Trish believes that since the women didn’t die, she got what she deserved. It would have been nice for Trish to be faced directly with the reality of how dangerous and unpredictable fighting crime can be. Hopefully this continues to be explored in the coming episodes and Trish at some point has to face the consequences of her actions.
5 apples out of 5.
A very strong episode that address a lot of the concerns I had after episode 3 about where the season might be heading. Sallinger poses a unique threat that, at the very least, will keep the show feeling fresh and forces Jessica to think and act in ways she never has before in order to take him down. Erik also adds a fun dynamic for the show and has been a great character for Jessica to play off of. I am curious though if going forward we’ll learn more about the extent of his powers and how he acquired them.
- Erik’s snark has been on par with Jessica’s this season and I’m really digging it. Especially the exchange he had with Jessica when she says, “So you’re a gambler and a blackmailer.” And he responds with, “Yeah, but that burger though right?”
- There was a great exchange between Hogarth and Kith when Jeri tries to convince her that she can do better than a University Quartet and Kith responds saying, “I’m really not. And I’m absolutely fine with that. Are you?” It emphasizes the differences between these two characters and highlights Hogarth’s rather twisted world view.
- Even though there’s a serial killer on the loose I feel like Kith is in the most danger of any character right now. Hogarth is about to mess up her entire life.