WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Jessica Jones season 2
In the comics, Jessica Jones's closest superhero friend is actually Captain Marvel. The Marvel Netflix series couldn't go with that approach, though, since Carol Danvers is due to star in her own movie. Instead, Marvel TV added the character of Patsy "Trish" Walker into Jessica's supporting cast in season 1. That made fans sit up straight, given Trish is a well-known superhero in her own right over in the comics, who has long gone by the codename Hellcat and even starred in her own series.
But the Trish Walker of Jessica Jones was very different to fan expectations. Rather than be another superhero, Trish was actually a successful talk-show host - an ordinary woman, albeit one with a steely reserve and a deep commitment to her adopted sister. Excitingly, though, it looks as though season 3 will see Trish transform into Hellcat after all. Here's how season 2 sets that up.
Trish Walker's Desire For Powers
Jessica Jones is hardly the first superhero TV show to point out how hard it is for an ordinary human to grow up in a superhuman's shadow; that trope has been well explored by Supergirl, for example. But the case of Jessica Jones and Trish Walker is a troubled, complex one. Trish has watched with growing frustration as Jessica refuses to use her powers as a hero. She's infuriated by Jessica's reluctance to become a hero, and in one crucial scene says her sister doesn't deserve her powers. In Trish's view, Jessica is something special, something unique - and she is simply wasting her potential.
This initially caused Trish to push Jessica to step out of the shadows. Tragically, that brought Jessica to the attention of Kilgrave, and Jessica was left more scarred than ever before. In season 2, Trish decided that her sister had to be "fixed," that she had to face the demons of her past and defeat them. But still Jessica wouldn't budge, and Trish became increasingly frustrated.
At the same time, though, a potential solution was offered: Nuke's inhaler, filled with toxic chemicals that would grant temporary superhuman abilities on par with Jessica's. Trish threw caution to the wind, and took a single puff of the inhaler; it was enough to leave her addicted to the sensation of power, to the thrill of adrenaline. When the inhaler finally ran out, Trish was left with a burning desire to be on the front lines. She'd been forced to stand in the sidelines for so long, and now she'd had a taste of the thrill of superhero life. Nothing else could possibly satisfy her.
Trish Walker's Origin Story
Over the course of season 2, Trish learned that Jessica had undergone experimental genetic editing in order to save her life. The super-powers had been nothing more than an unexpected side-effect. The same had clearly happened before, as the first episode introduced the super-speedster who called himself the Whizzer.
The idea was simply too tempting for Trish. Betraying all her friends, Trish tracked down the procedure's inventor, Dr. Karl Malus, and forced him to repeat the experiment. This time, though, the goal wasn't to save a life - it was simply to grant her super-powers. Jessica interrupted the experiment when it was only partway through, and Trish was left in a critical condition. She came close to death at least twice, and her body was wracked with mysterious convulsions.
The final episode, "AKA Playland," offered intriguing hints that Trish might have gotten her wish after all. After such a traumatic experience, Trish was able to drag herself out of bed with surprising speed. Then, at the end of the episode, Trish drops her cell phone. She reacts instinctively, and incredibly manages to catch it on her foot, perfectly balanced - indicating that she now has superhuman reflexes.
Those final sequences have transformed Jessica Jones. Season 2 isn't just the story of Jessica's origin; it's also an origin story for the superhuman Trish Walker. Given her hunger for thrills and excitement, it seems inevitable that Trish will suit up as Hellcat in season 3.
Jessica Jones season 2 is available now on Netflix.