Trish Walker used to be the person who pushed Jessica to be the best version of herself, but in Jessica Jones season 2 that’s all gone out the window.
I loved Trish in Jessica Jones season 1. She had overcome an abusive mother, the perils of celebrity, and drug addiction in order to become her own person. She cut ties with her mother, she used her platform to make a radio show where she felt like she was helping people, and she stayed sober.
In season 1, her focus was on being able to take care of herself and encouraging Jessica to do something — anything — with her powers. She was a good person.
She’s not anymore.
The worst part is, this is not out of character for her. Trish is extremely driven and headstrong; she doesn’t like being told she can’t do something. She’s already susceptible to addiction, so pairing that with an intense desire to help people and a fear that she’s not good enough, it’s no wonder she went off the rails.
As much as I hate to admit it, Jessica’s presence in Trish’s life was the main driving force for why Trish went crazy this year. Jessica has powers! She can protect herself! She has the ability to do something and chooses not to! Trish Walker literally cannot comprehend the scenario and so she decides to take matters into her own hands.
But that’s no excuse for what she’s done. At the end of the day, Jessica is not responsible for Trish’s actions. Jessica has already lost everything — her family, her privacy, her anonymity. All she’s got is her whiskey and her computer and a nagging sister who doesn’t understand how dangerous it is to be a powered person.
Trish would take all those consequences and more just to have a drop of power. As my friend Nasim wrote, Trish’s character is indicative of a white savior complex. She thinks she knows best and will not listen to those around her when they tell her she’s wrong. We see this when she forces the ashes of Jessica’s family on her, despite knowing her sister’s trauma surrounding the accident, and we also see it when she encourages Malcolm to take a hit off of Simpson’s inhaler, despite knowing he’s a recently recovering addict.
She’s so keen to show everyone around her how okay she is that she’s willing to destroy them in the process. “How can you tell me there’s something wrong with me, when there’s clearly something wrong with you. Never mind the fact that I put you in that position to begin with.”
I was hoping Trish would learn her lesson by the end of the season. She’s done some pretty stupid things this year, including risking her life to be injected with chemicals she doesn’t understand in order to gain powers. What was done to Jessica was horrific and wrong, but at the end of the day it did save her life.
Trish had a good life — money, influence, friends, love, health — but she wanted more. I don’t fault her for being ambitious, for wanting to help people. It would have been commendable if she hadn’t taken it to such an extreme. But she did, and now she looks like a whiny little brat who would be willing to give up everything that made her who she was in order to be something “greater.”
And the worst part? It’s working.
The culmination of Trish’s narcissism and arrogance was when she showed up to the theme park and shot Jessica’s mom in the head, right in front of Jessica.
I barely have the words to explain how disgusted I am with this character and her current arc.
Jessica wanted her mother to stay in her life because it was her mother. She also saw the good her mother could do with her powers, just like when they saved that family and the truck driver from the burning car accident. But Jessica never, not once, forgot how dangerous her mother was. And if Trish had just talked with Jessica, had given her time to explain the situation and had truly listened, she would’ve known that.
At the end of the day, Jessica’s mother was willing to give up a life she fought so hard to keep in order to ensure her daughter’s safety. She alerted the cops to their position so they could either take her in or take her out. It was a heartbreaking decision to make, but it was a decision she came to on her own. Jessica didn’t like it, but she knew it wasn’t up to her. It was her mother’s choice.
And Trish took that choice away from both Jessica and her mother. How does that make her better than Kilgrave? I recognize that his destruction was far worse and much more widespread, but at its basis, they both made decisions for Jessica without consulting her. Kilgrave was an evil bastard with mind control powers. Trish is her sister, her best friend. She knew how traumatized Jess was over losing her family the first time, and yet Trish thought the best solution was to shoot Jessica’s mother in the head right in front of her?
It’s a wonder Jessica didn’t beat the shit out of her when she had a chance. I certainly wouldn’t have blamed her. But Jessica is all the better for keeping her rage in check.
I was desperately hoping this was the lesson Trish was going to learn. She made the wrong play and she lost her sister because of it. Jessica’s line about looking at her and only seeing the person who killed her mother cut deep, but the pain of that statement was washed away by the euphoria that Trish has started to come into her powers.
After everything she did, after all the pain she caused, she still got what she wanted. In her mind, it was all worth it if it means she can now call herself a powered person.
Are we supposed to be happy for Trish? I don’t think so. I’m not sure if everyone else feels the same vitriol toward her as I do, but I think we’re supposed to be mad at her for the pain she caused Jessica, and even Malcolm.
I won’t go as far as to say that I’ll never forgive Trish. I’ve watched Game of Thrones. I know the most horrific characters can become the most sympathetic. But it won’t be easy for Trish. She’ll need to suffer a great loss and learn an incredible lesson before she realizes what she’s done to those around her. Before she feels worse for the pain she’s caused than for the anger someone feels toward her. She’s still an arrogant, self-centered narcissist.
Maybe when she can finally admit that to herself, I’ll begin to forgive her. Jessica Jones season 3 will need to work wonders if they expect me to feel anything other than hatred toward Trish Walker. But, believe it or not, I want to. I want her and Jessica to be family again. I want Trish to fight side by side with her sister when she’s needed and to willingly step back when she’s not. Hopefully the show will get her to that place sooner rather than later.
Either way, I look forward to writing a followup to this article once I’ve watched Jessica Jones season 3. Here’s to hoping I have some kinder words for Trish when that time comes.