Krysten Ritter brings Hellcat to ‘Jessica Jones’ in her directorial debut 

Krysten Ritter, Melissa Rosenberg and Rachael Taylor film the final season of "Jessica Jones."  Photo Credit: Netflix/David Giesbrecht

The actress directed the episode that brings Patsy's Hellcat to life in the final season. 

Krysten Ritter, Melissa Rosenberg and Rachael Taylor film the final season of "Jessica Jones." 
Krysten Ritter, Melissa Rosenberg and Rachael Taylor film the final season of "Jessica Jones."  Photo Credit: Getty Images for Spike TV/Kevin Winter

Patsy Walker gets the spotlight she’s been longing for in the third and final season of Netflix’s “Jessica Jones” — and we’re not just talking about her newfound powers.

In “A.K.A. You’re Welcome,” the New York City-set series delivers an episode told entirely through Trish’s perspective. It also just so happens to mark Krysten Ritter’s directorial debut.

“Getting to direct that [episode] was an amazing opportunity. I’m so excited that I got to put my stamp on the show in a larger way,” says Ritter, who plays Marvel’s Jessica Jones.

Ritter brings to life a nearly four-minute hero evolution sequence featuring actress Rachael Taylor tumbling and crashing to the pavement below her as she trains to ultimately become Hellcat, her character’s comic book counterpart.

Krysten Ritter directed the second episode of "Jessica Jones" season 3. 
Krysten Ritter directed the second episode of "Jessica Jones" season 3.  Photo Credit: Netflix/David Giesbrecht

Trish pushes her genetically altered body to its limits, using a vacant New York City playground as her gym. The time-jumping sequence starts with Trish unable to hold her own weight on the monkey bars and ends with her landing a back-flip off a concrete wall. “YES!” Trish cries out.

“It’s cool you mention that sequence because we had a template on the page of the progression of her starting out small and things getting bigger, ultimately ending with the flip,” Ritter says. “But, the location team was so amazing and found a perfect location under a bridge with a concrete wall. We went out there ourselves and really figured out what we could do. I loved the look of those monkey bars, so we could find a way to show her strength.”

The park montage was Ritter’s second day in the director’s chair, and it just so happened to be a 90-plus-degree afternoon last summer.

“It was very hot that day and we had been given a safety speech in the morning by my assistant director about what to look out for with heat exhaustion. Sure enough, an hour or two later, we look at him and he’s the one with heat exhaustion,” she recalls.

“My second day directing my poor first AD went down and I had to just get my storyboard and go ahead without him. I ended up doing two camera setups that day, in the heat, no first AD. That’s sort of going to be urban legend from now on.”

The introduction of Trish’s powers has been highly anticipated by fans, many of which praised Ritter and Taylor for the series’ dedication to showing her evolution.

“Already in love with season 3, episode 2 of ‘Jessica Jones’ and I am 10 seconds in,” one fan wrote on Twitter. “Directed by Krysten Ritter, narrated by Rachael Taylor, and we are getting Trish’s superhero journey!!”

At this point in the season, Jessica is still at odds with Trish over the death of her mother — and rightfully so. Though much of the episode features Trish flying solo, her internal monologue keeps the pair’s storyline propelling together.

“Now what?” Trish says after coming down from her new-power high to realize she has no one to share it with. “That’s what I’d ask you, but you’re still putting the pieces back together. So, I’ll use everything I’ve gleaned from you over the years,” she continues while Googling “how a hero fights crime in NYC.”

This crime-fighting version of Trish that’s been long in the making isn’t as comparable to Marvel’s Hellcat as Jessica Jones is to her comic-strip character, at least when it comes to physicality. Trish dismisses the yellow-and-black Hellcat costume while trying to find her signature look at Halloween Adventure on Fourth Avenue.

Settling into a new persona, Trish chooses a simple black hat and mask.

Her new abilities “cause a totally new dynamic to form,” Ritter says. “Some tension, some frustration. Trish has always been jealous of Jessica’s powers.”

“Jessica Jones” season 3 is currently streaming in full on Netflix.

Meghan Giannotta