Daredevil (Matt Murdock), Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist (Danny Rand) form the most reluctant superhero team this side of Hell’s Kitchen. But that’s what makes The Defenders such a good show. Despite their uncanny powers, each hero is a vulnerable human being simply trying to find his/her way in the world.
The amorphous Hand criminal organization is the common foe that brings this mercurial bunch together. This initially reluctant union eventually morphs into a team that is ultimately a funny and loyal force to be reckoned with.
Highlights by Episode
- The opening credits sequence is great. It’s cool to see the culmination of a few years of stand-alone episodes play out via eye-catching imagery representing the four street-level heroes, as the credits roll.
- I love the Matt Murdock court scene where he defends that ill-fated young man who is paralyzed due to corporate misconduct. It is great to see Daredevil’s alias kick butt in the courtroom.
- From Alien to Ghostbusters to Galaxy Quest to Avatar, Sigourney Weaver is the closest thing we have to a queen of science fiction. And she doesn’t disappoint here, dominating the screen at every turn.
- Daredevil returns to his vigilante ways, for a hot second. Despite his efforts to walk the straight and narrow path, his defending ways die hard.
- The Luke Cage vs Iron Fist alley fight isn’t half bad. And it is good to see Iron Fist actually use his secret weapon in a timely fashion!
- In another excellent scene where Murdock’s lawyer persona commands the screen, his interplay with Misty Knight and Jessica Jones in the police interrogation room is classic television.
- Enter Elektra. After watching her riveting training session under the watchful eye of the Hand’s leader Alexandra (Weaver), it is abundantly clear from this scene that the Defenders will have their hands full when they meet her.
- Stick is back! I love this character. The proverbial Jedi master to both Daredevil and Elektra, the shadowy Stick is as formidable as he is untrustworthy. But that’s what makes his character so compelling.
- Given today’s tumultuous socio-political times, there is a nice back-and-forth between Cage and Rand about each others’ motivations and tactics when it comes to fighting crime. Marvel always does a good job of touching on current events without being heavy-handed.
- With the now one-handed Stick as their unifying enabler, the team begins to form like Voltron!
- Looks like Cage and Jones have some unspoken thing. I wonder where the show-runners are going to take this (or not) given Cage’s budding relationship with the Night Nurse, played deftly by Rosario Dawson.
- We are blessed with this classic Jessica Jones one-liner: “I’m no black belt but let me know when this hurts!” For my money, she’s been the most entertaining aspect of the series thus far.
- Is it just me, or does Daredevil’s dogged attempts to awaken the brainwashed Elecktra/Black Hand eerily similar to the way in which Captain America tries to do the same with Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier in the movie of the same name? Apparently P-Diddy didn’t invent the remix!
- Ouch! The five fingers of the hand is chopped down (literally) by one, courtesy of Stick.
- She’s had one foot in and the other foot out of this emerging superhero team. But finally, it appears that Jones is all in!
- Damn Stick! Say it ain’t so. Say it ain’t so!
- I wasn’t feeling the Elektra character too much up until this episode. She totally kicks a_s in this one.
- Let’s just say this: beheading is clearly a recurring theme in this series. Not sure if there is any significance to it, but it really reminded me of Highlander (1986) in that way!
- The family gets bigger as Daredevil’s besties Foggy Nelson and Karen Page, super-detective Misty Knight, and Danny Rand’s partner/love interest Colleen Wing get knee deep in this Hand mess.
- Let the kung-fu fighting begin! If episodes 1-5 are a slow grind, there is more action in this episode than we’ll probably see when Floyd Mayweather fights Conor McGregor this Saturday.
- Alexandra’s demise is a buzzkill, similar to the drop in energy I felt when the Punisher departed season two of Daredevil and when Cottonmouth was surprisingly felled in Luke Cage’s first season.
- The zaniness continues. More fighting. More threats of double crosses. Elektra hasn’t lost a fight yet. Madame Gao showing fighting skills. It’s just insane!
- You can see the breadcrumbs being laid for Misty Knight and Colleen Wing to have prominent future rules in Marvel’s Netflix universe. Heroes for Hire anyone?
- OK, I really like this series now. Iron Fists lights up the hand, knocks down his foes, and a Wu-Tang Clan single begins to play in the background. How dope is that?
The Defenders is not the best Marvel/Netflix entry. I reserve that title for season 1 of Jessica Jones, followed closely by season 1 of Daredevil. However, the series is at least on the level of Luke Cage’s first season, which is quite fine by me.
Most importantly, The Defenders redeems Iron Fist to some extent. He’s still the weakest link on the team, but this show proves that he plays much better with others.
I am now cautiously optimistic for season 2 of Iron Fist, and of course, I can’t wait to see more Defenders…