“A.K.A Customer Service is Standing By” introduces the third season’s big bad as the stakes get higher.
This Jessica Jones Season 3, Episode 4 recap for the episode titled “A.K.A Customer Service is Standing By” contains spoilers. You can check out our spoiler-free thoughts on the entire third season by clicking these words. You can also check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these ones.
So, it turns out that lovable, handsome Erik is in debt to some bad people — hence the stabbing. It also turns out he has something of a superpower of his own. Based on proximity, he can sense the bad things people have done or are about to do — it’s all very Bruce Willis in Unbreakable. But it results in leads, so what can you do? Trish continues to stick her nose into the whole business, getting annoyed at being pushed out.
As for Jessica, she’s becoming increasingly frustrated with pleasantries and is perfectly content to rough up crying women. Trish, in her silly discount ninja outfit, interrupts Malcolm, making it clear that her crusade is against Hogarth’s clients. She sees an ally in him because she believes he’s more morally upstanding than he pretends to be. Any excuse for more free-running, I guess.
As a side note that isn’t specifically related to “A.K.A Customer Service is Standing By” but applies to the third season overall, I’m not entirely sure I buy Malcolm’s characterization here. A fair amount of time has supposedly passed since the conclusion of the previous season, but he’s undergone such a reinvention here that I’m not sure it’s really taking. Hogarth getting more sinister is easy to accept; she always walked a fine line between hero and villain. But Malcolm, despite a darkening path in the second season, doesn’t really fit his current role.
Speaking of Hogarth, she and Kith get frisky at a concert.
Anyway, Trish and Jessica make parallel paths in their investigation. Trish intervenes in a shakedown of Erik and accidentally causes grievous injury to the matriarch figure, Sal, to whom he owed the moolah; Jessica, meanwhile, tracks down her stabber. He also happens to be the third season’s big bad. His name is Gregory Sallinger, based on the Marvel character Foolkiller; a creepy, schlubby serial killer with delusions of grandeur. He’s difficult to buy into as a tough guy, but the whole point of his character is that he isn’t. He’s basically an incel; the voice of the privileged who believe themselves to be a subjugated underclass and blame everyone else for their problems. But he’s clever, as quickly becomes apparent in “A.K.A Customer Service is Standing By”, as he quickly gets Jessica off his case and leaves various sinister bits and bobs at the Alias Investigations office.
“A.K.A Customer Service is Standing By” ends with Sallinger lovingly eating an apple, a corpse with a slashed throat sat drained on the couch behind him. This guy seems fun.