We’ll be doing individual episode reviews for The Defenders which will culminate in a final season review. Although Netflix has released all episodes, some viewers may still want to savor the show one episode at a time. Each review is written as the episodes are seen without knowledge of any future episodes and as such, all theories presented about what lies ahead are pure speculation. The episode reviews may contain spoilers so discretion is advised while reading them.
In one of the more exciting cold openings this season, the show opens with Matt Murdock, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones along with Colleen Wing and Claire Temple debating on the plan they hatched up last season to take down the Hand. The plan involves a far less than subtle approach by blowing off the Hand’s headquarters in New York City, the building named Midland Circle itself. Luke is initially opposed to the idea labeling it as an act of domestic terrorism. Matt on the other hand is pushing a lot more towards it, only highlighting his brutal transformation to a man who’ll do whatever it takes to keep the city safe even if it means causing an explosion right in the center of it. Of course Luke eventually caves in but it’s another of the finer ways in which the philosophies of the team members collide.
One would expect the finale to conclude with an epic action sequence, the outcome of which is the good riddance of evil and the city, safe. That’s true in parts although the climax is over a good 15 mins before the show ends. The three members of the team descend into the bottom of the abyss to take down what’s left of the Hand’s forces and rescue Iron Fist. The fights are decent even though they something to be desired. In one of the better 360 shots on the show, the camera pan returns to capture all four heroes fight under the dungeons. Weirdly, we break into rap music for a small chunk of the fight, as if to drive home the point how cool the Defenders are. While it’s no substitute for a hallway fight, it nevertheless serves as a good way to get the team together.
We do get another fight sequence cramped in a narrow area of sorts between Colleen Wing and her Sensei. Yet again Bakuto goads Colleen into joining him in his mission and fulfill her longtime desire of wanting to belong somewhere. Misty Knight somehow makes it to the location and ends up having her arm chopped off by the Sensei, who in return ends up losing his head. The result is of course to tease Misty Knight’s future transformation from the comics in which she ends up with a bionic arm and joins Colleen Wing to team up as Daughters of the Dragon. And now that both are confirmed for the second season of Iron Fist, it seems likely that she’ll end up getting her hand from a billionaire Buddhist monk.
In one of the bigger sequences across the show, the building explosion does go through leading to the tall structure falling down, evoking some faint memories of 9/11 even though the CGI leaves a lot to be desired. All make it out alive except Matt and Elektra. Matt had stayed back to fight her, hoping to revive her memories and love for him and refusing to let her just die in combat. If anyone has heard of Daredevil’s season 3 being confirmed, there’s no way anyone was going to buy Matt Murdock being buried in there for good. The final shot all but confirms this.
In a rather strange move, reminiscent of how Luke Cage ended, the main events are done before the final few mins of the show. We then proceed to sort of vaguely setting up the upcoming seasons of these individual heroes as they go along their own journeys. Luke and Jessica express hope for staying in touch in the future which means either of them could be expected to cameo in the other’s series. Iron Fist, inspired by Daredevil, swears to protect the city as his own and in a rather evocative shot, is seen posing as the devil of Hell’s Kitchen would. And Foggy’s law firm ensures that the entire mess is taken care of as though the events never even happened (that includes rather weirdly the building blowing up). I guess if the Avengers can blow up entire cities and get away with it, an empty building shouldn’t raise much eyebrows. It is after all, the world we’re living in.
We’ll be putting up a complete episode-wide review shortly, covering the show as a whole. Stay tuned to read it and Like us by clicking or tapping the Like button below. It couldn’t possibly do any harm.
Fun Fact: With all eight episodes now done, we can safely confirm The Defenders go about doing their business without once using that name.
Overall Score: 8.0 out of 10.0