AKA Hellcat is the eleventh episode of the third season of the television series Jessica Jones.
Trish revisits her troubled childhood with Dorothy while plotting to stop Sallinger and stamp out evil across the city.
Many years ago, a much younger Trish and Dorothy Walker rehearsed lines. Walker was only 10 years old at the time. They needed a big break as they had sold everything down to the floorboards, and Walker’s father’s child support barely covered groceries. Dorothy grew angry and demanded better from her.
Back to the night that Gregory Sallinger killed Dorothy. Walker had found her body in her apartment, and while on the phone with Jones, she demanded that Sallinger pays for his actions. Walker looked to her mother and said: "I’ve got this." She kissed her on the cheek and then left. Walker made her way over to Sallinger’s apartment, where after taking down the officers outside his building, she broke down his front door.
Sallinger charged at her with a kitchen knife, but she evaded his attack and revealed her true identity to him. Walker disarmed Sallinger and knocked him to the ground, where the fight continued. Sallinger grabbed the knife only for Walker to disarm him again and continue her attack. She jumped on Sallinger’s back, clawed his face, and then grabbed the knife. She held it to his throat and that’s when Jones stepped in and stopped her.
They retreated to a nearby hotel, where Jones washed Walker off, as she began to cry as reality had set in, and she realized that her mother was actually gone. Afterward, they laid in bed, where Jones accredited Dorothy for Walker being who she was. Jones then got a call from Costa, who told her to turn on the news. It was a press conference. Hogarth had announced a reward for the identification of the masked vigilante. Walker asked Jones if Sallinger ID'd her, but that’s why Jones was leaving, to find out. She asked Walker not to go anywhere until she got answers.
Dorothy led 10-year-old Walker into her audition wearing a red wig. While the call was for a girl with blonde hair, Dorothy discovered that the show’s EP, Devlin Hoskins, had hair like an orangutan. A cattle call was about catching someone’s eye and that’s what Dorothy was hoping to do with the wig. Dorothy then ripped up the sides and skipped the long lines of the actress also auditioning for the part. She called out to Devlin Hoskins and introduced him to Walker, with whom he seemed intrigued by and invited her in.
Walker woke up in her hotel room to the sound of her neighbors fighting. Ducasse arrived moments later with a bag of her clothes. He mentioned how he was sorry for her mother’s death. Despite doing everything right, Sallinger still won, which deeply frustrated her. Ducasse assured Walker that the bad guys didn’t always win. But for her, they won enough for her not to want to be a vigilante anymore.
The fighting next door continued to the point that Walker began banging on the wall. The man next door barged into her room without so much as knocking and demanded that Walker stop. She informed him that she could hear him beating on who she assumed to be his wife. It’s when he said that she deserved it that Walker attacked the man. She kicked him into the hallway and beat him until he submitted.
Jones returned later with Gelden, who came to apologize. Not only did Walker not accept his apology, but she also punched him in the face. Walker had no idea what Gelden had done for her. Just outside the door, Gelden made a call, asking for any game. Inside, Jones explained how he helped with the Sallinger situation. Sallinger wanted her to destroy the evidence that proved he killed Nathan Silva. Walker was angry and upset to learn that Jones did this on her behalf as she was willing to go to jail for killing Sallinger.
Walker entered the hospital and made her way to Sallinger’s room, which was heavily guarded. However, Sallinger told the officer to let Walker through. While he may have made a deal with Jones, Walker was still angry. Although, were she to kill him, she wouldn’t make it very far. She got closer to Sallinger and assured him that the police wouldn’t protect him forever.
He revealed to Walker how it tortured Jones to do what she did just to keep Walker from going to jail. That would be in vain should Walker choose to kill him. He accused her of killing just to make herself feel powerful. Himself, on the other hand, killing was just a byproduct of his work, which Walker referred to as torture porn pictures. He remarked that she must not have seen his latest achievement, which he left in an obvious place.
Walker rushed over to her mother’s apartment, where there was an officer on guard. She claimed that she needed something from inside of her mother’s. Walker looked around the apartment for the photo she knew Sallinger left of her mother.
10-year-old Walker agreed to a role on "That’s Our Girl" as the best friend named Surprise. Dorothy was not pleased as she would’ve never signed off on the arrangement. A girl name Carrie Leigh Hirsch got the lead. She had much more experience than Walker. However, experience and talent were not the same. Walker was born to be the lead. As for the table read, there wouldn’t be one as Carrie Leigh was getting over chicken pox. Dorothy took this as an opportunity for Walker to steal the lead role. She wanted Walker to call the writers and offer to read the lead, just for the table. Dorothy pinched Walker on the arm when she said she didn’t want to and demanded that she call the writers back.
Walker looked through all her old family photo albums, where she found the photo that Sallinger had taken of her mother. Walker cried as she looked at the photo. As she left the building with the photo, she was approached by Omar, the doorman, who gave his condolences.
Walker headed over to Gelden’s apartment. She knocked on the door as she remembered that he said he wanted to make it right. She recalled that Gelden blackmailed people, and wanted to use that to repay a debt. She really wanted to go after Sallinger, but in the meantime, there were others out there who could still hurt people. Gelden could use his power to find them. Maybe Walker could save lives by taking them down.
The look on Gelden's face, she could tell that someone came to mind. It was a dirty cop. Officer Carl Nussbaumer, he revealed. He was guilty of killing some drug dealers, who were really just poor kids. Gelden had a file full of proof; intel from illegal immigrants, ex-cons, snitches, none of whom would testify. Nussbaumer paid Gelden off twice, meaning he must’ve been guilty. Walker wanted to get him to admit to his crimes on video. Even if it wouldn’t hold up, she would put it online to trigger an investigation. Gelden was reluctant but ultimately agreed and decided to join Walker on her mission. It was up to Gelden to get Nussbaumer to meet him at an isolated location.
As planned, 10-year-old Walker read the lines for the lead of "That’s Our Girl". The entire room applauded as the table read came to an end.
Gelden and Walker reconvened that night before the meet up with Nussbaumer. He could tell that Nussbaumer had arrived as the headache set in. Nussbaumer entered with his gun drawn. He called out Gelden by his name. He had learned everything about him since their last encounter. Walker interrupted as she sighted the names of Nussbaumer’s victims. David Corderas, age 16. Shot in the back of the head. Rui Avedo, 14. Hit and run. Marquel Booker, 19. Again, shot in the back of the head. Aaron Martinez, 21. Accidental overdose. As Nussbaumer proceeded into the abandoned factory, Walker disarmed him and took him down. He came at her with a taser, and she turned it on him.
In the midst of the fight, Nussbaumer no longer appeared as himself. To Walker, all she saw before her was Sallinger. She took the taser and hit Nussbaumer in the face, then continuing to site names. Tyrone DeGrasse, 19. Died in the back of Nussbaumer’s squad car. Gelden recorded from his phone as this occurred. When Nussbaumer charged his way, Walker kicked him in the back and Nussbaumer hit his face on a steal beam and fell to the ground, where Walker ripped off his badge. Nussbaumer started bleeding from the back of his head. He died there on the scene. Walker was panicked, but Gelden found amusement in Nussbaumer’s death. Gelden explained that the pain in his head was gone. It was as if the world just changed. It felt lighter and better. Walker and Gelden immediately vacated the premises.
Walker met with Burchill at the funeral home. As he left to reschedule his next appointment, Walker got a New York Bulletin alert; Officer Carl Nussbaumer had been beaten to death. They were looking into a person of interest. That’s when Jones arrived. Walker headed outside as the funeral planning was too much to bear. In that time, she was approached by detectives Imada and Defford. They were investigating officer Nussbaumer’s murder. They had some questions for her, starting with how fast Jones could heal. Walker answered that she doesn’t heal too fast. However, judging from their line of questioning, it sounded like Jones was their person of interest, which didn’t sit well with Walker.
Walker rushed over to Gelden’s apartment to inform him that the cops suspected Jones of killing Nussbaumer. They couldn’t let her get blamed for this. Gelden suggested that Walker rough up another bad guy to throw suspension away from Jones. They’d time it so that Jones was someplace visible when it happened. And then Walker would tell her victim that she also attacked Nussbaumer, who would tell the cops.
That way, Jones had an alibi and they could take down another bad guy. However, when their mark revealed that the masked vigilante attacked him and Nussbaumer, Jones would know what they did. Walker agreed to own up and take all the blame because at the moment, Jones suspected Gelden of killing Nussbaumer. She and Jones had already lost so much, she didn’t want Jones to lose Gelden too. With a plan in motion, Gelden searched for their next mark.
After the reading, Dorothy and 10-year-old Walker watched as the writers discussed their next choice in action. Dorothy figured they were planning to make Walker the lead. When Walker expressed the slightest bit of joy, Dorothy grabbed her hand very intensely and told her to act like an adult and lead by example. A hundred people could have a job on that show for years, but they only fed their families if Walker did her job perfectly every day. When Walker showed signs of having second thoughts, Dorothy accused her of being selfish. The world gave her a gift and it was up to her to give it back. Hoskins then approached and offered her the lead, just as Dorothy said.
Walker looked over Jace Montero’s file as she and Gelden scoped out Montero’s latest project. He spent most of his time in the trailer. Gelden blackmailed him a few years ago. The headache he gave Gelden nearly put him in the hospital. Along with being a developer, Montero was a repeat arsonist. The property they were developing used to be a landmark building, until it went up in flames.
People died, but it freed Montero up to build whatever he wanted. Twelve people died total. In three different buildings Montero owned. No one had been able to pin it on him, and he just bought the old building in Queens. Which would surely burn as well. Walker thought that Gelden’s power was amazing. He could change the world, but he simply wanted an alibi for Jones. What he would do after that, he wasn’t sure. Walker and Gelden watched as Montero arrived on site. However, before they could act, they had to make sure Jones was someplace public.
10-year-old Walker performed on stage before a live studio audience. She was joyfully greeted backstage by her mother. While there was nothing official, Hoskins informed them that it was possible they could be picked up by ABC. Dorothy wondered if they would be changing the name of the show, as they had already changed the name of the character to Patsy. Dorothy suggested "That’s Our Patsy" or "Here’s Patsy". Dorothy looked Walker in her eyes and told her that she was proud. She then gave her a hug.
As Walker prepared for her mother’s service, she gave another look at the photo Sallinger took. Then there was a knock at the door. Walker mistook the knock for Jones, but it was actually Hogarth, who revealed that she knew Walker was the masked vigilante. Walker had been stealing her files and assaulting her clients. On top of that, Walker was looking at a long list of felonies for also assaulting a couple officers and maiming Sallinger.
Walker raised her leg and held Hogarth against a steal beam as she too was particularly responsible for Sallinger killing her mother. Hogarth claimed she would destroy the footage in exchange for a favor that would require Walker’s gifts. She needed Walker to steal something from a man named Demetri Patseras. He was trying to hurt someone Hogarth cared about, and he was a bad person. Hogarth arranged to have the specifics sent to Walker after the funeral.
After the service, Walker was questioned by detective Defford on Jones’ whereabouts. Walker then returned home, where she called Gelden to inform him of the warrant out for Jones’ arrest. Walker wanted to go after Montero that night, but with Jones in the wind with no alibi, Gelden didn’t think it was a good idea. She reasoned that Montero would tell the cops it wasn’t Jones anyways, even if she didn't have an alibi. And just to back up Walker’s story, she planned to drop Nussbaumer’s badge on the scene of the Montero attack. Walker wanted to meet across the street from the construction site, but with the possibility of the police watching Walker to see if Jones reached out, they decided to wait until the morning.
The following morning, Walker and Gelden were about to meet up as planned. However, as they were approaching the meet up spot from opposite directions, Gelden took cover and called Walker to tell her to keep walking as she was being followed by Jones. Gelden then called the cops in order to get Jones off Walker’s trail.
That night, Walker barged into Montero’s trailer and demanded a confession for the fires he started. Rather than confessing, Montero grabbed an aluminum bat and started swinging. Walker dodged his attacks, disarmed him, and then began to beat Montero until he confessed. She repeatedly asked how many died. He eventually revealed that 14 people died in those fires.
She then mentioned how he was worse than Nussbaumer and that he was to tell the police that she did this. She continued hitting him. Much like with Nussbaumer, Montero appeared to her as Sallinger, which only increased her rage. She only stopped hitting him after Gelden entered the trailer, but by then, it was too late as Montero was dead. Gelden left, as did Walker, but not before throwing Nussbaumer’s badge down. As they were leaving the site, Walker asked Gelden if he felt it, if the world was better. From that, Walker believed she could make the world better, recalling what her mother once said to her of owing the world. While Gelden was done, Walker wanted to continue, telling him that she already knew who was next.