Jessica Jones’ second season is packed full of enough new twists and turns that by the end of the 13th and final episode, tacking on even more new details would have been overkill. Instead, the show lays the groundwork over the entire season for the introduction of a classic Marvel hero who, from the looks of it, may be destined to become Jessica’s next enemy.
Every core member of Jessica Jones’ cast is given much more to work in in the new season that reveals new depths to their characters and personalities in different ways. Hogarth has a health scare that makes her take stock of her life and worldview, Malcolm finds new resolve to become a proper private investigator, and Jessica discovers things about her past that force throw her into an existential crisis.
But it’s Trish Walker’s story arc that actually holds the most clues about what we can expect if and when Jessica Jones is greenlit for a third time around. Put simply: Hellcat’s on her way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but there’s a very good chance that she may be something of a villain when she eventually arrives.
When we first see Trish (who was known as “Patsy” when she was a child star; Patsy Walker is her name in the comics) back in Jessica Jones’ first season, she’s already somewhere in the early parts of her own journey toward becoming a costumed vigilante. Though she doesn’t have any of Jessica’s powers, she does share her adoptive sister’s innate urge to fight for justice. By the end of the season, she’s become more than able to hold her own in a brawl—particularly after taking a drug that temporarily gave her enhanced strength.
That brief taste of being able to do the incredible physical feats that Jessica can do sticks with her—and as the new season unfolds, it’s clear that part of the reason Trish becomes involved in Jessica’s investigations is that she misses the feeling of being a hero. Trish’s intentions are largely noble, at least right up until she crosses paths with a new version of the drug that augments her strength and gave her the ability to see in the dark. Unbeknownst to Jessica, Trish quickly develops a dependence on the drug that, in addition to making her strong and confident, also brings out wild rages that make her reckless.
From the moment Trish first takes a hit from the inhaler, it’s clear that she’s going to run out of the miracle drug before the end of the season, and when she does, she seeks out the same unethical geneticist who experimented on Jessica in hopes that he can give her powers, too.
It isn’t exactly made clear what the geneticist injects Trish with, but it’s explained that the concoction includes FVRCP, a vaccine commonly used to treats cats for rhinotracheitis, calicivirus (both respiratory illnesses), and panleukopenia (distemper). Though Trish knows that the experiment is dangerous and could potentially kill her, she agrees to it and it’s only because Jessica interrupts the procedure halfway through that Trish doesn’t end up dead.
She’s quickly rushed to a hospital where she’s treated and goes into recovery. At first, it seems as if Trish is out of commission for the rest of the season, until she suddenly shows up in the very last episode to shoot and kill Jessica’s long-lost mother right in front of her. Trish has her reasons for doing it and they’re very solid reasons, but Jessica’s unable to see Trish as anything but the woman who killed the last member of her family. The two part ways with tension, and it seems unlikely that their relationship will ever be the same.
The real payoff to Trish’s journey, however, comes in one of the season’s final moments, as she walks away from Jessica’s office. While waiting for an elevator, she is bumped by a woman in a stroller, causing her to accidentally toss her cell phone into the air. Acting on pure instinct, Trish manages to flawlessly catch and balance her phone on her foot and then toss it right back up to herself. See for yourself:
The implication is obviously that the next time we see Trish, it’s a safe assumption that she’ll be sporting a number abilities similar to her comic book counterpart Hellcat’s super-strength and cat-like reflexes. What’s even more promising, though, is that Trish is becoming Hellcat just at a point in her life when her closest ally (and the ideal person to help her transition into her powers) sees her as a monster.
Only time will tell just how Jessica and Trish will cross paths again, but when they do, it’s almost certain that it’s going to involve a fight plucked right out of the comics.