Jessi began as a second Zzyzx experiment known as 781228 XX. With a gestation period and programmed development similar to 781227, she too has extraordinary abilities. When she was created, and how she was prepared and used at Zzyzx are not revealed. Kyle and Jessi have similar automatic abilities with electronics and computer programming and even Hungarian; and their telepathy can be seen as resulting from having shared their brains with the Zzyzx mainframe. The "error" of 781227 making moral decisions was discovered only months before she is accidentally released; and developing that trait is part of her story. Her reflexive use of superhuman strength violently is opposite of what we see of 781227 at his "birth". Kyle believes that it was their very different early setting and treatment that make them so different.
Family and Relationships
- Brian Taylor - father by his claim, and he is responsible for this "experiment"
- Sarah Emerson - source for embryo
- none - programmed to believe Emily Hollander is older sister; not taken as foster child or adopted by Tragers
- Kyle - telepathic bond, programmed infatuation, deepening friendship, and eventual romance
- Declan McDonough - first romantic attraction and dating
Season 1 and following
.Julian Ballantine, an executive at Madacorp, receives an automatic computer alert that 781228 has escaped from Zzyzx. He calls in Emily Hollander to act as a secret agent to find 'XX' before anyone learns of her existence. When XX is found hiding in a shipping container, where she has been compulsively drawing everyone she has seen, Julian learns that 'XY' (Kyle) is also alive.
XX is cleaned and kept in a sound-proof room at Madacorp, while Julian finds out more from hard-drives retrieved at Zzyzx. While he and Emily are discussing this, XX is responding to them even through the soundproofing and one-way glass. Julian knows that XY took valuable data from Zzyzx, and Julian plans to get it from Kyle by using 781228 as a "mental hacker". Ballantine is able to program her memory to make 781228 into "Jessi Hollander", Emily's "sister".
To practice fitting in with others, Emily takes Jessi to the community bonfire beach party. Jessi and Kyle are again aware of each other without knowing why, but this time both see the other. When a boy accidentally bumps into her, his attempts to apologize, and the fire, remind her of the hunter's attack. Jessi has him by the throat too, but Emily pulls her off just in time and takes her away. Emily asks her what happened, and Jessi is only confused.
As arranged by Emily, Jessi begins her psychological therapy sessions with Nicole, but has nothing to talk about. Kyle is drawn to the office door, as he had been to the door at Zzyxz; and Jessi tells Nicole "There's someone out there." Nicole tells her that she can make her own decisions. She meets Declan before leaving, and "like any normal teenage girl", she falls in love. When Ballantine is telling Emily on the phone that "her sole focus should be on Kyle," Jessi is making another picture of Declan. Alone in the apartment, Jessi studies romantic old movies on tv. She gets a chance to practice with Declan by sneaking out to attend Open Mike Night at The Rack.
Emily has enrolled Jessi in the same school as the Trager kids. On the way in, Jessi is again aware of Kyle. Declan is in one of her classes, and she tells him that she wants to do more kissing. Lori invites Jessi over as her "frien-emy", and Jessi is drawn to Kyle's room. She is in his tub when they finally meet, and she thinks they have met before. When she is gone, Kyle notices that she had fixed Josh's radio. Jessi says later "Sometimes I can just do things."
Emily comes into the darkened apartment to find Declan and Jessie on the couch. When Emily makes him leave and says she cannot see him, Jessi has a headache while the lights flicker. Lori is taking some pity on Jessi, and invites her to the Alterna-Dance. Lori shows her the necklace Declan had given her. When Emily comes in, angry that Jessi defied her, and tries to force her to leave, Jessi has a fit of rebellion and all the lights blow out. When Lori is out back cleaning up, she is knocked down, getting a large ugly bruise on her face and scratches where her necklace was snatched off.
After a therapy session when she tells Nicole that Emily scares her, Jessi is able to make her own hand write as she saw Nicole's hand writing: "Jessi lacks empathy, is socially manipulative, and has no remorse." Emily is frustrated with Jessi's behavior and complains to Ballantine, who says "A computer with a glitch, bring her in." Emily finds Jessi sitting on the floor, crying, remembering what Nicole had written. She is miserable, not understanding why she does what she does. "I want to change," she says, holding Lori's necklace in her hand. Back at school, Lori opens her locker to find her necklace hanging inside.
Reprogrammed to love Kyle, Jessi wants to go with him on Lori's outing to the murder site in the woods. Seeing a tree there, she has a flashback of throwing the hunter's knife. After following Kyle into what he knows is the ruins of Zzyzx, she argues with Amanda about Kyle. Her anger seems to set off a ground tremor that closes doors and traps Lori. Wandering alone, Jessi finds the room where her gestation tank had been. The tremor released methane gas, and Jessi has terrifying memories of the fire when she was first alive. Kyle goes back in and finds her sitting against a wall as if waiting to die. He is able to get her out to safety. Later when they are all back at The Rack, she tells Kyle "When you reached out for me and took my hand, it was the first time I didn't feel alone."
In the apartment, Jessi listens at a closed door over masking noise to get the combination of Emily's wall safe, but has a severe headache as Kyle did when trying too hard. In a session with Nicole, Jessi tells her about seeing a fire. Asked to draw "what you feel", Jessi starts dotting with a crayon and Nicole is shocked to see that she draws as Kyle does and also includes the strange symbol. Alone in the apartment, Jessi learns about Emily's daughter Paige. She finds Paige at a party and makes friends with her by making pictures. When Emily comes to pick up Paige, she knows who did the drawings and is scared.
Jessi and Kyle are chosen to compete in the Hands on a Hybrid competition, giving Kyle an opportunity to find out more about her. They find that by touching, Kyle can see her memory and help her remember her early days. Both are so shocked at what they see, that their combined energy blows them away from the car. While together in a medical tent, they learn that neither has a navel and so have the same origin. Lori learns that Jessi had attacked her to steal the necklace. Jessi gets Paige into the apartment to threaten Emily to know the whole truth about herself. When the police get to the apartment to question her about Lori, she has run away.
Back in the woods near Zzyzx, she has more flashbacks of the hunter she killed. Despondent about her bad actions, Jessi is about to jump from a cliff to her death. Kyle arrives in time to gain her confidence by promising to help them both find out more of the truth. Jessi is fascinated by the photo from Adam's box of what looks like herself and Kyle but was taken twenty years ago. Together they solve the puzzle of the Latnok ring as a map. They find JP's Diner, the restaurant where the photo was taken, and a clue about a missing phonograph recording. While sitting at the table, Jessi reads Kyle's mind without his cooperation, and she tells him that he shouldn't trust her to not take what's in his mind.
They follow the map to find Adam comatose in the Latnok "safe house" cabin. Linking the three of them together to get a communication from Adam also makes it possible for Jessi to steal from Kyle's mind what Ballantine wanted. Hating herself for betraying Kyle, Jessi runs to a cliff at a very high waterfall and succeeds in evading Kyle's efforts to stop her from jumping to certain death.
SPOILER ALERT ! (but of course, there are another twenty episodes, with Jessi as a main character)
Having told the Tragers the whole story, and having their cooperation, Kyle determines to use the CIR at Madacorp to destroy their entire computer system. He is stunned to see Jessi already there, alive and tortured by the information she stole from Kyle's mind. While she is in the CIR chair, Kyle manages to connect with her. She says she doesn't like who she is. He tells her that she cannot escape who she is, she must choose to be a better person. She lets Kyle transfer the information back to his mind.
Emily Hollander tells Jessi how to escape, but Jessi is locked in the elevator with Nicole. Nicole urges Jessi to help Kyle fight back against the CIR. Together, with Stephen's help, their combined energy blows out the computer system for the whole company and causes a city-wide blackout. While Jessi is recuperating from the drain on her system, Kyle tells her that he couldn't have done it without her, she did a good thing. She says it feels nice to do something good for a change. Kyle tells her that the girl in the photo looks happy, and she can be like that one day.
Living with Taylor, Jessi returns to school. She wants to skip out on Career Fair, and leads Kyle up to the roof. She feels like "busting out and doing something amazing," but Kyle says that she needs to work up to things. Too impatient, she jumps off the roof, and is later overjoyed with her popularity, because Hillary caught it on camera and posted it on the Web. Jessi wants to be noticed. To show that she really can do special things, Jessi runs across a swimming pool in another clip. She defies Kyle's urging to control her impulses, and they argue. Brian visits the Tragers to ask for help with Jessi. He says Sarah was "beautiful, and brilliant, and stubborn, impetuous, and volatile." He asks Kyle to not abandon Jessi: "She deserves better." Challenged by Hillary to jump from the roof again or admit it was somehow a fake, Jessi is about to jump, when Kyle is able to make her fall back onto the roof instead. Jessie begins sneaking out of Brian's apartment at night by jumping off the ledge and later climbing back up.
Jessi is wanting to help, and gets the alarm code to let Amanda sneak out and meet Kyle at The Rack; but from jealousy of Amanda, she also tips Carol Bloom about the meeting. Jessi feels that Kyle is not spending the time with her that she needs. Brian discovers that she has been going out at night to train herself. He tells her that he has big plans for her, and they will begin training. Jessi leans back on her pillow and discovers the 45rpm record missing from the diner jukebox: She Could Be You. Jessi plays it, thinking about her mother, then takes it to Kyle to listen to. Kyle is very busy, and even Nicole won't talk with her.
She turns more to Brian, as he has been telling her to do. They begin vigorous training, physical and mental at the same time. As Adam says, "If she's anything like her mother, she'll get carried away, she won't know when to stop." Indeed, Jessi strains so hard that she gets a nose-bleed. To make up for neglecting Jessi, Kyle takes her with him to the University of Washington where Sarah was a student. In a demonstration of computer hacking for Stephen's class, Jessi races to beat Kyle, and does. Mark, Stephen's teaching assistant, recognizes her as identical to photos of Sarah as a pool champion, and Jessi tries to match her record. She tries too hard to again beat Kyle by changing his pool shot, and her nose begins to bleed, as it has been doing in training with Brian. When Kyle tries to get her to leave, a fight starts in the bar. Outside, Kyle sees that her hand was badly cut. Jessi is able to heal the cut by concentrating. As Kyle is telling her that she is pushing herself too hard, trying to do too much too fast, the way that Sarah had died, Jessi collapses.
Josh calls in Jessi to replace Kyle for a multiple study session. She punishes Josh for errors with push-ups. Kyle asks her to "read" him, and she scolds him for "pushing" the way he told her not to do. When they find out that Kyle somehow cured Andy of cancer, Jessi is still fussing at Kyle for both exceeding his abilities and not being strong enough. Back at school, Jessi offers to try to help Declan's ankle, but Kyle must not know. She posts the questions to an important test on the Web, similar to what her mother had done in college, and believing that she is helping people. Kyle has to fix the trouble she causes, which includes Josh and Amanda. Declan meets Jessi in the woods, where he sees her levitating a rock and learns that her work-outs start with a half-marathon run. His ankle feels a lot better, but not for long.
Jessi starts to resent that Taylor doesn't care what happens to her and only wants to impress Latnok. But she is also excited to hear that they are going to show Latnok what she can do. Kyle meets with Sarah, who begs him to prevent Jessi's involvement with Latnok. Kyle finds Jessi in her final day of training. Jessi is ignoring him, until Kyle tells Jessi that Sarah is alive. She is stunned, and does agree to miss the meeting with Latnok to meet Sarah at the Trager's. While waiting there, she helps Josh win radio give-aways to pay for Prom, and talks with Lori. Lori says she doesn't want to be angry with her anymore, and cuts Jessi's hair to be more like the photo of her mother. When Brian comes to demand she go with him, Nicole and Stephen run him off. Jessi is thankful to be rid of him, knowing that her mother is coming.
When Sarah doesn't come, Jessi leaves and goes back to JP's Diner. Kyle finds her there and tells her that Sarah did not come. Jessi is sticken with misery from no one caring about her and being alone with no family, causing the building to shake and lights to flicker. Sarah arrives, but Jessi has already caused her own heart to stop, collapsing in death. Kyle is frantic and kneels down to her. He summons all the power he has to restart her heart, even knowing that it could kill him too.
Later, Jessi and Sarah talk about why Sarah had been afraid to meet her. Jessi is happy to know that her mother wants to get to know her, and they have a nice walk together. They go to Brian's apartment to pack Jessi's things, and Sarah says she wants to leave Seattle. To be with her mother, Jessi agrees.
Jessi goes to thank Kyle, and helps with Amanda's prom dress to do something nice for him, realizing it would be their last time together before leaving with Sarah. Kyle doesn't want her to leave, but Jessi is too scared of losing her mother to say anything. Taking Amanda's prom dress to her at the gym, Jessi warns Kyle that the decorations are ugly, knowing he would find a way to help. She stays to help Amanda get ready, joking in the Trager sarcasm. Jessi enjoys her new sense of humor and knowing she was part of the prom by being helpful.
Her last moments with Kyle before returning to Sarah are again on the roof of the school. Jessi explains that she is going with Sarah because Amanda told her that "when you care about someone, you want to put their feelings first." Kyle is weeping as he says "I'm going to miss you, Jessi," and she says "No matter where I am, we're always connected." Jessi helps Kyle joke again about her being "Smarter" "Stronger" "Faster", and they embrace fervently, with more than friendship for both of them.
Jessi says "You better get back in there, and make some more memories. Kind of hard to come by, for people like you and me." Kyle says that Jessi should come too; but she looks away as if toward Sarah, and turns towards the edge. He knows what she is going to do, and says "A last hurrah." Jessi turns to him for one last longing look, and mutters sadly "Last hurrah." Stepping relunctantly but resolutely, Jessi goes off the roof again. As Kyle hears her running, he tries to stop crying to return to the party.
Continue to Jessi season 3