[Review] Jessica Jones Episode 3×04: “Customer Service Is Standing By”

written by Kiara Williams

Being a super and being a hero are two different things, huh?


We start off this episode with Erik the Burger Hookup doing his best Houdini impression and escaping from the bottom of a suburban pool. This is his punishment for not paying back Sal, his bookie. Erik seems to have a problem with gambling, and he’s been trying to blackmail people in order to get the money he needed, but he hasn’t been able to get it fast enough. So it’s very much his fault that Jessica has no spleen, since her assailant was actually targeting him. Jess figures that one of the people who Erik blackmailed is the one who stabbed her, narrowing the suspect list down to three. That’s an awfully convenient, round number.

As it turns out, Erik is also a super! Kind of a third-tier super, but still! Erik can detect “evil” within people, and he’s been using this power to get money out them without even knowing what bad things they did, just that they’ve done them. However, it causes awful headaches – the worse the person, the worse the pain – and the only way he can dull the pain is with gambling, alcohol, or sex.

Sex, too, huh? Do you think it’s because the blood in his head is all going to his…

Never mind.

But the hookup-in-progress in Episode 3×01 is why Erik’s Douche Radar wasn’t working properly when the stabber came around. So now he’s going to help Jess track down the three people he blackmailed in order to track down Jess’ unlicensed spleen surgeon.

Trish also comes over to Jessica’s place to tell her that Brandt is in jail and her assailant is still out there, which isn’t new information. It wasn’t hard to see that this wasn’t the real reason she was there. Trish asks Jess for a team-up again. Jess turns her down again, of course. “I don’t need your help, and you don’t need mine.” Well, Trish certainly needs Jess’ help. Not so sure about the other way around, though. Trish is kind of the worst.

She immediately proves me right by acting on info that she overhears from Erik after leaving Jessica’s apartment complex. Erik is about as subtle as a brick to the face while screaming on the phone about “Blaskowski” – the last name of his bookie Sal. Trish notes that info to put to use later. She’s like a kid who can’t stop touching the shiny things in a store, I swear.

Jess and Erik visit the first two people on the list, getting some baddies arrested but not The Baddie they’re looking for. During the course of this adventure, Erik begins to reveal his very black-and-white thinking. If you can’t rid the world of all danger, why bother? It’s an all-or-nothing thing with him. Jessica is a hero, Trish is a bad hero, but Erik is very much not a hero. He’s just a dude trying to survive, and I understand that, but what I don’t get is his idea that any progress towards stopping dangerous people isn’t worth it if you can’t get rid of all danger and evil. It’s a selfish ideology meant to justify him not wanting to even try. So his leaving after visiting their second suspect was sort of welcome, though I hope he comes around at some point.

Meanwhile, Jeri Hogarth is still adjusting to her ALS, and in this episode it involves someone coming over to inspect her apartment to make sure it’s safe for her as her ALS progresses. She eventually (politely but firmly) throws the poor woman out because she just can’t deal with the idea of changing her world to such a degree. Jeri’s attempts to break up Kith’s marriage is not only starting to look like a last effort for love, but also a last attempt at control in some part of her life. So when Malcolm finally finds some dirt big enough to possibly end Kith’s marriage, Jeri gives him permission to release it. Malcolm negotiates a raise out of it, so now he’s just swimming in the murkiest of gray waters.

Erik finally goes to pay his bookie, but he’s three hours late, so Sal tosses him back in her pool, this time fully intending to drown him. But Trish, doing something helpful for once, followed Erik there and swoops in to save him. Erik is able to escape, and Sal makes a last attempt at attacking Trish and ends up impaling herself on a shovel. No, seriously, was Trish cursed by a witch? She keeps making things worse somehow!

Jessica, without Erik the Douche Detector, goes to the home of the final suspect on their list. His apartment is seemingly empty, so Jess breaks in and begins examining his things. The suspect, Gregory Salinger, appears and begins lecturing Jessica about how he wants to kill powered people for his own narcissistic reasons. He wants respect from supers, so he’ll gain it via stabbings. I mean, I guess? I wasn’t expecting an incel as a villain this season, but here we are. Salinger calls 911 to make Jessica flee, and she finds Erik at her door when she gets home. He doesn’t really do much beyond inadvertently revealing that Trish was his rescuer and hoping Jess doesn’t die now that she’s alone.

So now Jess is stuck asking help for Trish, and I figured the show would go in this direction, but why right now, after everything Trish has screwed up in her hero adventures? Well, if it makes Trish better somehow, make it happen, show; I’m begging you.

Now that we have an established villain, hopefully we’ll really get moving with the plot now!


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

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