[Review] Jessica Jones Episode 3×01: “The Perfect Burger”

written by Kiara Williams

Is heroism always so thankless?


Our favorite “third-rate Joan Jett wannabe” is back and doing odd jobs with the help of Detective Costa in order to make ends meet, but it comes at the cost of her own psyche. Between being insulted after completing her jobs (and sometimes before she even takes them), her assistant Gillian being the absolute worst, and dealing with the lingering effects of her biological mother Alisa’s death, it seems the only bit of light in Jessica Jones’ life is her upstairs neighbor/ex-boyfriend Oscar’s son, Vido. Even stoic Jessica likes Vido and wants him protected at all cost.

Speaking of Alisa’s death, it looks like Trish, the person who killed her last season, is missing, according to her mother Dorothy. Dorothy comes to Jessica looking for help to find Trish, and Jessica adamantly turns Dorothy down. Dorothy clearly doesn’t know everything, since she says that Trish had “nothing to do with” Alisa’s death. Oh…oh, hun.

By the way, saying that someone has no good traits outside of their adopted sister is not a good way to get someone to help you. If I were Jessica, I would’ve thrown her out, too. But a job is a job, and typically a job involves doing things you don’t enjoy for money. Heroism isn’t much different.

So of course Jessica changes her mind.

Jessica finds Trish trying to find evidence of a criminal’s bad deeds. Jessica saves her from getting shot by tackling her out of danger, protecting her the way that Dorothy had said that she had always done. However, now that Trish has her own powers to rely on, she says that she can be the hero now so Jessica doesn’t have to. Jessica never did want this, after all.

This episode has pushed the idea that Trish is a moral compass, initially for Jessica specifically, but then Trish implies that she may be a moral compass for everyone now that she wants to be a hero. That’s a tall order for one person to handle, and I can’t help but think that there was some contempt for Jessica as she said this. In Trish’s eyes, Jessica couldn’t do what she needed to do when it came to her mother, she can’t separate good and bad, and now Jessica is treating Trish like what she did was wrong. How dare she, right? Okay, Trish wasn’t that bad, but I still feel as if she’s not taking Jessica’s feelings into account at all, and Trish’s sudden need to be the world’s moral compass is going to lead down a bad path, I suspect.

Speaking of morals, Malcolm is working for Jeri Hogarth, who’s representing Cody Willamett, a privileged athlete who constantly drives drunk and injures people. He gets away with it because Malcolm, as Hogarth’s subordinate, keeps fixing all of Cody’s problems. However, Malcolm is tired of seeing innocent people get hurt by his client’s lack of care for others. He decides to take matters into his own hands and crash his car into him, giving Cody what could be a career-ending injury. What else could Malcolm have done without potentially losing his job, but also preventing Cody from continuing to harm or possibly kill others?

Also, it’s not lost on me that the black man is the one who sees how much wrong the rich, white athlete is getting away with and is the one to stop it.

Later on, Jessica has a conversation with a guy at her favorite bar, people-hater and burger enthusiast Erik. It almost leads to sex, but Jessica is penetrated in a different way when she gets stabbed by a masked assailant at her door. Jessica is left with her blood spilling into the hallway, but with a look of determination in her eyes.

“Get the bad guy.”

This episode wasn’t the most exciting, but it was a good way to set up all the characters’ arcs before the plot really kicks off. It’s like all the runners getting to the starting line before the gun goes off, and it’s leaving me anxious to see what’s next.


Jessica Jones Seasons 1-3 are available now on Netflix. Kiara can be reached on Twitter @DJPrincessK.

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