The Ballad of Helen Morgendorffer
I watched and wrote about Daria recently and was struck by something fantastic that happened right under my nose.
Don’t you see! Jeri Hogarth IS Helen Morgendorffer!
The Ballad of Jeri Hogarth
After her longtime husband Jake Morgendorffer finally succumbs to the stress that has blanketed his life since the 60's causing the inevitable heart attack his doctors warned him about, Helen Morgendorffer finally realizes what she’d always known deep down. Family has made her weak. With Daria and Quinn out of the house and in college, Helen cuts ties Lawndale, with her daughters, and with her whole life so she can can finally put the single minded focus on her legal career; where it should have been all along.
With that, she contacts a few friends who can pull a few strings and land her a job in NYC. Now unfettered by concerns like crazy teachers, mother/daughter fashion shows, and caring whether her oldest has any friends other than that weird Lane girl, it doesn’t take long for Helen to prove herself and ascend to partner, making piles of money in the process scruples be damned. To make the transition from to her new life complete, and because putting “Morgendorffer” on a building would be way too expensive, Helen changes her name to Jeri Hogarth.
Feeling freer than she ever has in her life, Helen, now Jeri, is finally able to explore her deeply repressed love of women, and begins a relationship with a compassionate doctor named Wendy. Sweet, brilliant, beautiful Wendy was everything that Jake was not. Where jake was self centered and boorish, Wendy was tender and compassionate. Where jake was insecure and repressed, Wendy was open and encouraging . Helen had forgotten what it was like to feel so very loved. Not wanting to waste any time, Jeri asks for her Wendy’s hand in marriage. It was sudden, but felt so right, and this time, Jeri would be giving a last name rather than taking one. She had never felt more happiness than on the day Jeri and Wendy Ross-Hogarth professed their love for one another at a small ceremony in Martha’s Vineyard.
Then, during one of her cases, Jeri runs across a private eye named Jessica Jones; she is someone that is as tenacious and unrelenting as Jeri is. Their relationship is difficult and antagonistic at first. Yet… there’s something else there that Jeri can’t help but be stunned by. Something so familiar in Jessica’s cold, cynical, and detached view of the world. Something so intensely personal in Jessica’s desire to be surrounded by the sick and sad of the world as well as this drive to invite as much odd trouble into her life as possible, much of which stemming from interactions with her much more popular sister. To Jeri, everything about Jessica ignites this drive to protect and even mother her on occasion. From her oft emotionless face, to her deadpan delivery and rampant sarcasm, to the way she isn’t ever afraid to stand up to Helen, I mean Jeri, for what she believes in. There’s something about Jessica Jones… She is so much like someone that existed in another life…