written by Kiara Williams
So I had my mental boxing gloves laced up for most of this episode, and it started right at the beginning.
SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT
Professional Victim Gregory Salinger (because does he even have a day job?) walks out of jail to meet a gaggle of reporters waiting for him. He does his absolute best to make himself look like the saddest sob story ever, and my eyes roll so far out of my head that someone’s using them for beer pong now. The worst part of it all is the fact that Salinger isn’t by himself for his press conference. Of friggin’ course Jeri Hogarth is Salinger’s lawyer. It’s not lost on me that Jeri is representing a guy who hates supers right after being accused of protecting supers. I see you, Jeri.
Jessica and Trish are outside waiting for Salinger, and Jess sends Trish away once she feels the conference turn to being about her. Trish’s anonymity as a super is still advantageous to both of them. Salinger mentioned being assaulted by a second super, but he doesn’t know that it’s Trish. Salinger points Jessica out in the crowd, and she has no choice but to flee the scene while a herd of reporters trail behind her.
Hogarth is angry that Salinger went off on his tangent against Jessica (and powered people in general), but Salinger claims that she needs him more than he needs her. (And I wonder whether Salinger really needs her at all. He has a law degree, doesn’t he? I’m sure he would study the kind of law that would keep himself out of jail anyway, right? He’s been serial killing for a long time.)
I have no idea how Jess was able to avoid the reporters after the press conference, but she winds up at Jeri’s office by the time Jeri gets back there. Jess questions Jeri’s decision to represent Salinger since he’s, y’know, killed people. Hogarth defends her decision because “due process” and “the law” or whatever. Meanwhile, I’ve been ready to Sparta-kick Salinger off a cliff since he started whining about people with advantages making the world unfair, because you just know, you know, that this man probably hates any and every marginalized population. The show never outright says it, but Salinger is the kind of dude who says that feminism is bad and black people should just listen to the police, and he can meet me in the Starbucks parking lot for an ass-kicking, tbh.
Anyway, thanks to Fuckboi Extraordinaire, Jess is all over the internet and news again. (It hasn’t been mentioned since we met Erik, but Jessica did toss a dude across the beach back in Episode 3×01.) Gillian is trying her best to cover for Trish, and her bluntness is pretty helpful in this situation: “Ms. Jones doesn’t like anyone enough to take on a partner.” Jess and Trish decide to look further into the death of Salinger’s brother, and they head to Wappinger Falls, which definitely sounds like a town with sixteen total people in it.
Unfortunately, the internet is everywhere, and the police have seen the video of Salinger’s press conference. They trust the word of their hometown boy over the weird powered lady, so Jess can’t get her hands on the case file for Donny Salinger’s death. Jess runs to the restroom and texts Trish to cause a distraction. Trish puts her acting skills to use and has a “meltdown” outside of the station to lure the police out and let Jess take the file she needs.
Jess and Trish hole up in a motel to look over the case. They can’t find anything about Donny himself, but Trish finds a lead on a missing-persons case from Gregory’s senior year in high school. Jess and Trish head over to see the parents of the missing boy, Nathan. Nathan was gifted at wrestling and was going to put his skills to use in college before his disappearance, according to his dad. Nathan’s mother, however, wants nothing to do with this conversation about her son and just wants Jess to leave. She actually calls the police to get Jessica out of there.
Completely ignoring the cop, Jess goes to the backyard and flips over the gazebo there. After punching the ground several times like a badass, Jess digs up a duffel bag with Nathan’s remains in it. Gregory Salinger has never been able to stand someone having something that he felt he “deserved”. He believes that working hard is the only criteria for getting things, and anyone who gets something he wanted didn’t deserve it. Remember when I said that Salinger likely has a giant hate-boner for minorities as well as powered people? I would like to point out that Nathan was a brown kid. And I’ll leave it at that.
Costa is trying to get jurisdiction over the body, which totally should have DNA all over it. Jess returns the file to the cop from the police station, who now kind of respects Jess now, and Jess and Trish head back to Hell’s Kitchen. Trish also drops a line about whether being a hero counts if no one knows you are one, and that’s foreshadowing if I’ve ever seen it. Trish is gonna do something irrational soon, isn’t she? Sit down and follow directions, Trish. I will get the spray bottle, I swear to God.
And because Trish cannot sit down, there is camera footage of her from when she broke into Malcolm’s office, and Zaya has seen it now. The video also shows that Malcolm had a calm conversation with the masked thief, so Malcolm had to know who it was. Jeri and Zaya also put together the stories of several of their clients who say they also encountered a masked woman at some point, so now Jeri thinks said masked woman is after her specifically. Good job, Trish.
Malcolm, who is now working with Jess and Trish, is still working his way out of the Morally Gray Pit and is tracking Salinger’s movements. Jess has been tracking Malcolm’s phone, though, and follows him and Salinger to a kids’ wrestling class. Salinger spots Jessica in the door and invites her in to talk to him. They taunt each other, and Jess goads Salinger into showing her some wrestling moves. Jess’ takedown of Salinger is the most cathartic thing I’ve seen all season. She even gets the cliché background cheering from the onlooking kids, as well as the cliché foot on Salinger’s chest. It felt really good, though…
…aaaaat least until I remembered that we’re only halfway through the season, and Salinger has way too much time to do way too much damage.