Jess Damon, one of the main characters of the crime drama series In the Dark, did not die in the show but faked her death to escape from the police.
She was last seen in season 3, episode 6, where she revealed that she was alive and on the run. However, she decided to stay “dead” and let her best friend Murphy move on with her life.
In this article, we will explain more about the series In the Dark, what happened to Jess in the show, and why Brooke Markham, the actor who played Jess, left the show.
Explanation of “In the Dark” Series
The CW’s mid-season 2018–19 crime drama In the Dark was conceived by Corinne Kingsbury. Murphy Mason, a blind twentysomething, works at her parents’ guide dog school throughout the series. Jess Damon, her school roommate and veterinarian, and Tyson Parker, a young drug dealer who protected her from a horrific mugging, are her sole companions.
Murphy thinks she finds Tyson’s body one night, but it vanishes before the cops arrive. Murphy investigates the crime herself while dealing with her colorful dating life and her hated work when they don’t appear interested. She falls for Max Parish, who covertly works for Tyson’s drug lord. Murphy drags her friends and acquaintances into crime.
The fourth and last season airs June 6–September 5, 2022. Criticism and audience reactions were varied, although the series was lauded for its disability and diversity portrayal.
What Happened to Jess in the Dark?
Jess Damon was one of Murphy’s closest friends and allies throughout the series. She often helped Murphy with her disability and supported her in her investigations and relationships. She also had a romantic relationship with Vanessa, a cop who was involved in Tyson’s case.
In the season 2 finale, Jess killed Nia Bailey, the drug kingpin who threatened Murphy and Max’s lives. She then fled with Murphy and Max to avoid being arrested by the police. However, in the season 3 premiere, Jess was knocked out and dragged away by an unknown assailant. Murphy, Max, and Felix tried to find her but had no clues about her whereabouts.
In season 3 episode 6, it was revealed that Jess was alive and hiding in a remote cabin. She contacted Murphy through a burner phone and told her that she was okay. She also explained that she had faked her death by using Nia’s body as a decoy and setting it on fire. She said that she did it to protect Murphy and Max from being implicated in Nia’s murder.
However, Jess also decided to stay “dead” and cut off contact with Murphy. She told Murphy that she loved her and wanted her to be happy. She also said that she was sorry for everything that happened and hoped that Murphy would forgive her someday.
Why Did Brooke Markham Leave the Show?
Brooke Markham, the actor who played Jess Damon in In the Dark, left the show after season 3. She announced her departure on Instagram on June 23, 2021. She wrote:
“Today is my last day on In The Dark. I am so grateful for this experience. I have learned so much from this show- about myself as an actor & as a human being. I have made lifelong friends & memories I will cherish forever.”
She also thanked the cast, crew, writers, producers, network, fans, and her character Jess for being part of her journey.
She did not give a specific reason for leaving the show but hinted that it was a personal choice. She wrote:
“I am proud of what we have created & I am ready for what’s next.”
She also expressed her support for the show’s continuation and wished everyone involved good luck.
The show’s creator Corinne Kingsbury also confirmed Brooke’s exit in an interview with TVLine. She said:
“Brooke made a personal decision to leave at the end of Season 3.”
She also said that Brooke’s departure had a big impact on the show’s storyline and direction for season 4. She said:
“It changed everything… It changed how we were going to end Season 3; it changed how we were going to start Season 4; it changed what Season 4 became about.”
She also said that Brooke’s exit allowed them to explore new themes and dynamics for the remaining characters.
“We really leaned into this idea of grief… We really leaned into this idea of how do you move on when you lose somebody who’s so important to you? How do you honor them? How do you keep them alive in your heart? How do you let go when you need to let go? How do you forgive yourself for things that you’ve done?”
She also said that Brooke’s exit gave them an opportunity to introduce new characters and relationships for Murphy and the others.
“We brought in some really fun, interesting new characters that I think the audience is going to love… We brought in some really great love interests for Murphy and for Felix and for Max.”
She also said that Brooke’s exit did not mean that Jess was gone forever. She said:
“Jess is always going to be a part of this show, whether she’s on screen or not… She’s always going to be in Murphy’s heart. She’s always going to be in our hearts as writers.”
She also said that she was open to the possibility of bringing Brooke back for a guest appearance or a cameo in the future. She said:
“I would love to have Brooke back at any point… I love Brooke. I think she’s an amazing actress. I think she’s an amazing person. I would welcome her back with open arms at any point.”