Warning: Mild spoilers for Jessica Jones are ahead.
There’s a brand new superhero in Jessica Jones season 3 (the third and final season of the series), and no, it’s not some “hero of the week” like we’ve seen before. After risking her own life to finally get what Jessica has, Patsy “Trish” Walker (Rachael Taylor) finally has powers of her own during the final season of the Marvel television show.
This has been a long time coming, since in the comics Trish has a superhero alter ego, Hellcat, so we knew it was going to happen eventually. Now it’s finally manifested and Trish has exactly what she’s always wanted — but is it really what she wants?
The Power-up From Season 2
During season 2 of the series, Jessica (Krysten Ritter) and Trish start investigating the shady company that saved Jessica’s life after her car accident, which also happens to be the organization that was giving Trish’s one-time boyfriend, Will Simpson (Wil Traval), weird drugs. The company is IGH, and as Jessica and Trish get deeper into uncovering their secrets, Trish decides that she, too, wants to undergo the same experiments. She gets one of the IGH doctors to operate on her, but Jessica knows a procedure like that could kill her best friend/foster sister. Before everything’s complete, Jessica stops Trish from fully going through with it, but she has already been subjected to the IGH stuff. Though Jessica pulls Trish out alive, there’s some damage that’s already been done.
The end of season 2 has Trish realize that maybe her procedure wasn’t a total failure. While leaving Jessica’s apartment (after Jessica and Trish have a huge falling out because Trish kills Jessica’s mom in an effort to protect her. It’s a whole thing), Trish drops her phone but manages to catch it with her foot, suggesting that she now has some sort of heightened reflexes, if not more powers.
But What Are Trish's Powers, Other Than Catching Things?
When Jessica Jones season 3 picks up, Trish is fully embracing her powers but... her powers are kinda vague. It’s not like she can suddenly shoot lasers out of her eyes, leap over tall buildings with a single jump, or carry a magical hammer. She’s just... really good at like, parkour. Her abilities are, honestly, best described as cat-like. In a behind-the-scenes featurette released ahead of of season 3, Trish’s powers are described as the ability to “run up walls, she can fight, she can kick, she can jump off the side of a building and land on her feet.” She also spends a whole lot of time training with her new powers, making her a much more skilled fighter than Jessica since she’s actually working on turning her body into a weapon. While Jessica will always be stronger than her, without a doubt, Trish now at least has a fighting chance.
What About In The Comics?
This differs greatly from the Trish Walker — or, Patsy Walker — in the comics, however, the essence of the same character is there. In the comics, Patsy is a former child star (just like on the show) and did not start out as a superhero. She idolized the superheroes she saw, and according to her comic biography landed a job working for Hank McCoy — aka Beast from the X-Men. Patsy tags along as Beast heads off with the Avengers, proving herself useful to the team and is later invited to join them, taking on the name Hellcat. But, she still doesn’t have any sort of major superpowers.
At first, she’s just got somewhat of an ability-enhancing costume, that heightens her fighting ability and eventually learns to summon the costume to her so she can wear it. She’s also got retractable claws and grappling hooks on her wrists and after spending time in Hell (it's a long story!) she’s got some supernaturally-tinged senses. But it’s safe to say that Jessica Jones season 3 probably won’t send Trish to Hell, so you can cross those powers off the list for now.
The Sneaky Comics Reference In Jessica Jones
The biggest similarity between Patsy in the comics and Trish on the show is their costume, even though Trish is basically just doing Patsy cosplay. She is usually now seen wearing a yellow shirt with cat-eye sunglasses, a nod to the feline-inspired heroine. At least she tries on the actual costume at one point during a montage, but settles against a yellow spandex suit with a definitive, “hell no.”