In this episode Salinger is released from Jail and Jeri has been retained as his counsel. Together, they hold a press conference on the steps of the police station. Jeri has clearly taken on Sallinger to bring attention to her firm and to develop better press coverage after losing the Rand client. Sallinger makes some statements regarding two vigilantes, which takes Jeri off guard. Sallinger then makes comments about women taking back the night. If you’re not familiar with the term “taking back the night,” it refers to a movement focused on bringing attention to violence against women. Particularly, how some women can be nervous to go out at night for fear of being attacked. Sallinger continues by saying that Jessica is a “feminist vindicator,” that she’s coming after him because he’s a “single white man.”
Later, Jeri and Sallinger discuss the conference. When questioned why he made comments about two female vigilantes, Sallinger tells Jeri that he was “appealing to the base.” Jeri replies that it was base. This is a clever touch of writing that is reflective of how incendiary certain phrases can be, especially as a sociopath is using them to manipulate the public as a whole. It’s clear that neither trusts the other entirely and they both chafe with having to rely on each other for this matter.
Sallinger tells Jeri that he has a law degree, and Jeri responds by asking how many murder convictions has his degree gotten thrown out of court. It’s worth noting how similar these characters are to each other. They both come from small beginnings and they both will do whatever it takes to get what they want. The conversation ends with Sallinger telling Jeri that she needs him more than he needs her.
Things get more complicated as Jeri discovers that a masked, female vigilante is targeting her former clients. She tasks Zaya to look into it. In the course of the episode, Zaya learns that her boyfriend confronted Trish as the masked vigilante and let her go with client information. If you haven’t noticed, things between Zaya and Malcolm are not going well. Malcolm continues to be unsure of what to do. At this point, it seems like he is working for Jeri, Jessica, and his own agenda. Malcolm started really strong earlier in the season but it seems as though the show didn’t know how to keep him involved in the story so he seems overly conflicted.
Jessica and Trish take a road trip to Sallinger’s hometown to see if they can find any dirt on his past. Their investigation leads them to the town police station where, to no surprise at all, the local cops don’t trust Jessica. After a Trish fakes a meltdown Jessica is able to get some documents and records to look over which leads them to the home of an older couple whose son went missing while Sallinger was in high school. Coincidence? I think not.
After visiting the couple Jessica flips over the gazebo in the backyard to find a body buried underneath. Jessica assumes that this is the first time Salinger killed, he was likely sloppy and left some evidence. As Jessica and Trish are getting ready to leave, the former unhelpful police offer asks Jessica for the stolen files back. The officer collects the files and says, “Sometimes you have to look the other way.”
If the episode had ended here it would have been perfect. Instead, we see Malcolm and Jessica following Sallinger to his volunteer wrestling coach job. The private eyes discuss how this monster can be allowed to be around children. Jessica asks Malcolm whose side he is on. Jessica must be as confused as the rest of us. He says that “There’s what I have to do to maintain a job and what I want to do. I need both to stay sane.” Oh Malcolm, if only this made your storyline more interesting.
Sallinger notices Jessica looking in through the gym door and motions for her to come inside the gym. Why she decides to walk into the room, I’ll never know. Sallinger and Jessica exchange a few words, then Sallinger challenges Jessica to wrestle him. He explains the rules and then they sort of wrestle. If this was designed to be a metaphor for the back and forth that Jessica and Sallinger have been doing, it fails altogether. Speaking of not being sure why someone did something dumb, Trish calls a newspaper with an anonymous tip to get herself photographed as she ran away. I suspect that will payout later, but I hope that the writers don’t throw away all the development that Trish has undergone as a character for the sake of moving the plot on to the next point.
4 road trips out of 5
This episode was interesting despite being a little tired. I know that Jessica is a detective so it makes sense that each season we have to go back and uncover some dark secret about the antagonist. Unfortunately, we have seen this before with just about every Netflix villain from Kingpin to Cottonmouth. The episode was partly filler but has moved certain characters into more interesting positions that will be fun to watch later.
Trish has a patsy meltdown. One text message is all it took and Trish causes a hilarious distraction. The self-reflection was very interesting as well. If 90% of your life is playing the cover, then…you are the cover. Here Trish talks about when the world discovered that she was a drug addict, and how freeing that was for her. She was finally able to just be herself. Not just someone who wants you “cray-cray” (See that throwback to season 2?)
Lack of Erik. It was fine that we let that character rest but his absence was felt. He brings a refreshing take on many of the same things we’ve seen before
Very sneaky guys. Jessica and Trish are caught three times during the episode. You all need to be a little more clever, especially while staring through a gym door during wrestling practice.