Jessica Jones season 3 features an entertaining Captain Marvel Easter egg that hints at what the show could have been. Jessica Jones season 3 is the end of an era for Marvel Television, bringing the successful partnership between Marvel and Netflix to a close. Jessica Jones was the only show cancelled before airing its final episodes, although that came too late to influence the story. Fortunately, the showrunners were already tying up loose ends.
One major loose end is Trish Walker, Jessica's sister, who has always dreamed of being a superhero. In the comics, she's a third-tier Avenger known as Hellcat, but in Jessica Jones, Trish has always lived vicariously through Jessica. Season 2 presented Trish with an opportunity to gain powers of her own, and she subjected herself to a risky and dangerous experiment. As a result, season 3 picks up with Trish having become a vigilante in her own right.
The second episode of Jessica Jones season 3, "AKA You're Welcome," sees Trish train as a hero and attempt to put together a costume. She picks up a range of potential outfits from a costume shop, and runs through them, presenting the show with an amusing opportunity to signpost some of Hellcat's traditional comic book looks, including her trademark orange bodysuit. Then, in a surprise twist, Trish tries on a costume that's clearly inspired by Carol Danvers' Captain Marvel - complete with a blonde wig.
This is far more than just a random Easter egg; in Jessica Jones, Trish takes on a role traditionally occupied by Carol Danvers in the comics. There, Jessica is best friends with Carol, and has absolutely no relationship with Hellcat at all. In fact, Carol was even part of the first drafts of Jessica Jones season 1, albeit presumably under the Ms. Marvel title.
"Back when it was at ABC Network, I did use Carol Danvers," Rosenberg revealed back when Jessica Jones premiered back in 2015. "But between then and when it ended up on Netflix, you know, the MCU shifted, and it also shifted away from the universe in the [comic] book. So in the book, the powers are very out in the open and the themes of that are about ‘the other,’ and in the cinematic universe that’s not the mythology. So there was a lot that I had to move away from, just in terms of sheer plot, and Carol Danvers got her own movie." There's a sense, then, in which Trish's bit of cosplay gives a tease of what Jessica Jones could have been like with Ms. Marvel in it.
It's important to remember that Carol Danvers wasn't quite so popular back when Rosenberg was working on the first drafts for Jessica Jones for ABC back in 2010. Although she was still one of Marvel's most notable female characters, Carol didn't really become an A-list superhero until the Kelly Sue DeConnick run, which began in 2012, and saw her take up the Captain Marvel identity. That probably explains why Marvel Studios was originally happy for Carol to show up on the TV shows rather than in the movies.
Of course, given the MCU timeline, it's unclear just how Captain Marvel-inspired cosplay wound up in New York City. Jessica Jones season 3 is set in 2017, a year after season 2, and well before Carol Danvers returned to Earth in Avengers: Endgame, meaning nobody should have really known she existed. It's probably best to just accept a minor continuity problem and enjoy the joke.
Jessica Jones season 3 is available on Netflix now.