Almost from the moment Rachael Taylor was cast as Patricia "Trish" Walker in Jessica Jones, fans of the comic book heroine hoped they would get to see Hellcat grace the MCU and while the first season of the Netflix series didn't quite take the character there, Season 2 contains some developments that might just be teasing Hellcat for Season 3.
Spoilers for the second season of Jessica Jones below!
All through Season 2 of Jessica Jones Trish finds herself looking for something more. On her radio show Trish Talk she's seeking not just improved ratings but more stories about the super powered -- particularly Jessica's (Krysten Ritter) history with the shady IGH -- as a way of propelling herself into the realm of serious cable news. In her personal life, she turns down a marriage proposal because she doesn't want to be with her boyfriend Griffin, she wants to be him because of his success. But going even deeper, Trish spends the season yearning to be extraordinary in a different way. After Will Simpson (Wil Traval) shows up and is subsequently killed trying to protect Trish from the monster killing those with ties to IGH, Trish pockets the inhaler containing ability-enhancing drugs and soon finds her using it herself.
The inhaler elevates Trish from extremely competent fighter -- she's been trained in self-defense -- to having enhanced strength, speed, agility and sharpened senses, superpowers if you will. Of course, they have a cost. Trish ends up addicted to the formula and when it runs out she's so desperate to regain those powers that she goes so far as to abduct the doctor who experimented on Jessica and gave her powers, Dr. Karl Malus (Callum Keith Rennie), and makes him do the same to her. Fortunately for Trish, Jessica interrupts the process, likely saving Trish's life in the process. However, viewers soon see, she may have gotten what she wanted after all.
Not only does the nurse at the hospital tell Trish "You just used up two of your nine lives, Miss Walker," but her final scene in the season, as Trish is leaving Jessica's apartment building her cell phone is knocked from her hand, with Trish catching it on her outstretched foot with markedly cat-like reflexes. The hint? That either Dr. Malus' experiment, Simpson's inhaler, or some unholy combination of the two have given Trish the super powers she's so craved.
These new powers might just create the opening for Trish's comic book alter ego, Hellcat, to make an appearance as part of Season 3 for the Marvel Television series. It would almost be a cruel tease not to as Trish's journey is almost as central to Jessica Jones' second season as Jessica's story is. In fact, it's Trish's pursuit of the IGH story that leads Jessica down a road that not only lures out Dr. Malus but reveals that she wasn't the only survivor of the car accident that killed her family. Jessica's mother survived as well, though IGH's brutal experiments left her uncontrollable. That instability is, in part, what leads Trish to kill Alisa Jones (Janet McTeer) and drives a wedge between Trish and Jessica. Without Jessica in her life, there's really no one to stop Trish from diving headlong into being a vigilante superhero herself.
It's something that, in retrospect, Taylor herself may have hinted at in an interview with Inverse ahead of the new season.
"At the forefront of Season 2 is Trish's appetite for more," Taylor said. "She wants to be more than what she is. She wants power. Jessica has power."
And when asked about Hellcat? Taylor admitted that she wondered how that would play out.
"I'm sure [showrunner] Melissa [Rosenberg] could cook up some grounded version of that in the future," Taylor said.
Jessica Jones Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.
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