“A.K.A Sorry Face” finds Erik in a bad situation, and Malcolm beginning to lose himself — and potentially his relationship.
This Jessica Jones Season 3, Episode 6 recap for the episode titled “A.K.A Sorry Face” 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.
It’s nice to have your hard work acknowledged, especially if you’re Jessica Jones — most of her attempts at altruism end in her accidentally assaulting someone or obstructing justice, but once you’ve been suffocated in a tank full of body parts you deserve some credit. Detective Costa is happy to give it to her, and with the evidence at the trainyard, there’s a good chance Sallinger’s days are numbered.
But then there’s finding him. As “A.K.A Sorry Face” opens, he has Erik held captive, accidentally torturing him through sheer proximity. This is where we get our first proper glimpse into his mindset. The language he uses is always related to fairness; superpowered people are “cheaters”, there are always winners and losers. It’s the classic patter of a man who can only deal with his own inadequacies by undermining the accomplishments of others. It’s all someone else’s fault; in his mind, despite being a serial murderer, he’s the victim.
Speaking of victims, in “A.K.A Sorry Face” Malcolm is nursing a ludicrous bruise after being duffed by Berry’s pimp, so he hits the corners to look for him. He isn’t difficult to find — he’s in his usual haunt. Malcolm batters him, but leaves Berry there; this isn’t a noble rescue, it’s revenge. As he explains later, she has to recognize the danger for herself and decide to return — if not, she’ll just scarper again.
Trish keeps disappearing too, but the ever-determined Dorothy manages to track her down at the Alias office. In a funny scene, Jessica reveals Trish’s powers to her mother. Admittedly it’s difficult to believe since thus far the only evidence we’ve really seen of them is the odd left hook and pointlessly toppling over furniture. But Jessica chucks her out of a window to get the point across. With the truth out, Trish is finally able to be honest with Dorothy about why she wants to use her powers to help people — she could have used the same kind of help herself, once upon a time.
Erik’s psycho sense means that simply being around a man as evil as Sallinger is killing him; luckily Jessica and Trish are able to find and rescue him in the nick of time. The problem is that there’s no concrete DNA evidence to link Sallinger to his crimes. The police can only hold him temporarily, and to keep him in custody Jessica needs to uncover more substantial proof. For help, she turns to Hogarth, who has been rapidly losing clients since the Peter Lyonne scandal. But her only solution would require Erik to expose himself as a blackmailer, and to go to prison for a year, something which, given his abilities, he isn’t able to do. Not if he wants to survive, anyway.
It’s a dilemma, then. Uncharacteristically, “A.K.A Sorry Face” ends with some closeness between the characters. Malcolm, having a crisis of conscience, finds that closeness in Berry, who gives him head while he ignores Zaya’s calls. (That will come back to bite him, I’m sure.) Jessica, meanwhile, shares some tenderness with Erik. Sallinger, even in captivity, is proving to be a much more dangerous adversary than anyone anticipated.