Title: Marvel’s The Defenders Season 1 Episode 6: “Ashes, Ashes”
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Superhero
Platform: Streaming – Netflix
Director: Stephen Surjik
Writers: Drew Goddard and Marco Ramirez
Rating: TV-MA
Release: August 18, 2017
Cast: Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, Finn Jones
Feature image: Source

[Spoilers]

 

The Hand

Alexandra (Sigourney Weaver) listens to classical music on her old fashioned phonograph.  The record skips. Alexandra looks at it forlornly.

Elektra Natchios (Elodie Yung) dreams about Matt and her happily being together. A fire truck awakens her. She finds her obituary in Matt’s chest along with the location of the cemetery she was buried in.

“I’m a weapon, I’m not a key.”  Danny Rand – The Defenders

The Defenders

Stick (Scott Glenn) hypotheses that the Hand wants Danny Rand (Finn Jones) because he opens something for them. Danny: “I’m a weapon, I’m not a key.” Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) thinks they should hide Danny so the Hand can’t get him. Danny strongly objects, he doesn’t want to be on the sideline; he proposes that’s what the Hand wants because he is the only one who can destroy them. Luke Cage (Mike Colter) tells Danny to calm down, this only agitates Danny more. He turns to Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) for support, but she agrees with the group. Danny and Matt fight in a cool martial arts battle. Jessica tries to break it up. Danny won’t stop; he summons his Iron Fist and hits Luke in the chest, and he knocks everyone else down, including himself. Before Danny can get up and leave, Jessica knocks him out.

Jessica and Luke talk as Luke carries Danny. Luke says it’s a shame that it took all of this for he and Jessica to reconnect. She agrees, she admits she isn’t good about keeping in touch but she states that he could have called. Luke agrees with her. Stick ties up Danny with a constrictor knot. He figures they have an hour before Danny gets loose. They all agree that they need to go back to Midland Circle to find out what Danny opens. Stick asks Matt about the last time he was there. Luke and Jessica are surprised that he had been there before and are upset he didn’t mention it and the ‘big hole’. Matt didn’t mention it because Elektra was with him. Jessica and Luke aren’t happy with Matt keeping secrets from them. Getting back to the topic of Midland Circle, none of them think they will be able to get back into it now. Jessica thinks they might be able to get the information they need from John Raymond’s records. Matt and Jessica will go to his brownstone while Luke stays and babysits Danny.

Luke and Stick talk. He reminds Stick that what he did to Sowande was a homicide. Stick tells Luke that he will get rid of the body. Matt and Jessica stop at his place so he can change. She asks him how he can afford this place practicing pro bono. Matt explains that the big neon light keeps sighted people from wanting the apartment and he jokes that he roughs up people who are late with their rent for the landlord. The book Elektra took out of the chest is on the floor. Matt notices the obituary is missing. He doesn’t tell Jessica.

“The Black Sky has always been your prophecy, your vision. And you have failed.”  Madame Gao – The Defenders

The Hand

Alexandra looks at Sowande’s severed head. She figures that Stick left Sowande’s head in a box at one of his warehouses. The other three Hand leaders are upset. Murakami (Yutaka Takeuchi): “This is what mortality looks like.” Bakuto (Ramon Rodriguez) is upset that they didn’t even look for him. Alexandra reminds him that they haven’t always gotten along and some in this room had attempted to kill each other. Murakami thinks that the Black Sky has brought about this trouble. They wonder where she is. Alexandra lies and says she has her in hiding because if the Black Sky detected any disloyalty towards her, she would kill them. Madame Gao (Wai Ching Ho) states that she is loyal to Alexandra until they get the Iron Fist and get what they want from New York.

Alexandra is alone taking more pain pills. Madame Gao comes in, she and the others want to get Iron Fist without the Black Sky. Madame Gao: “The Black Sky has always been your prophecy, your vision. And you have failed.”  She continues that the Black Sky hasn’t captured Iron Fist, they are no closer to the substance or to K’un-Lun; they are only closer to death. Alexandra disagrees, she can’t believe Gao has so little faith. Gao tells her that she doesn’t believe in much, Alexandra should think over their proposal. Passing Murakami in the hallway, she bitterly tells him, “You were right.”

Elektra is visiting her grave. Alexandra visits her. She tells her that you aren’t Elektra Natchios, your better than her. Alexandra tells her that the man she battled is The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen; he let her die.  Alexandra confides to Elektra that she is dying. She and the other members of the Hand found a substance in K’un-Lun that brings them back from death. Alexandra used the last of their supply to bring Elektra back. Since she has brought her back, she realized that she isn’t alone. That seems to touch Elektra and they both say to each other that together they will serve life.

“Trust me, I’d face a dragon over Jessica Jones any day.”  Luke Cage – The Defenders

The Defenders

Jessica isn’t sure which brownstone is her client’s, she tells Matt they all look alike. She remembers Matt can’t see them and she apologizes. He asks her about the architect, Jessica says that he said that ‘they are going to bring New York down’, she now knows that he was referring to the Hand. Matt thinks he had the explosives to bring down Midland Circle. Jessica thinks they are at the Raymond’s brownstone. Lexi Raymond (Chloe Levine) answers the door. Matt introduces himself and says that they have some more questions. She lets them in.

They ask Lexi about her dad. She thinks he was a loser. Jessica tells her a tale about a ‘friend’ (Matt) whose dad was a boxer who was killed by the mob; his son felt like he abandoned him. He later found out his dad died so that he could stop being a criminal and make his son proud. Jess says that maybe Lexi’s dad was a good guy too. That opens Lexi up. She tells them how loving her dad used to be, but he changed. He worked more, he withdrew from his family, and he couldn’t sleep or eat. He would sit at the piano. Matt walks over to it and start playing, he notices that one of the keys isn’t striking. Matt and Jessica open the piano cover and find blueprints to Midland Circle. The architect was going to blow it up because something is beneath it.

After they leave the brownstone, Jessica and Matt talk about the blueprints. John Raymond was going to have the building implode over the building in the hole. Matt asks how Jessica knew about his dad. She tells him she researched him, figuring a blind crime fighting lawyer had a story. Jessica tells Matt that for them to work together, they have to trust each other. Matt says that’s the nicest thing Jessica has said to him. She tells him not to get used to it.

Danny wakes up and tries to get loose. Luke is reading his paper and says, “I’ll be right here when you get done.” He catches Danny up on what Matt and Jessica are doing at Midland Circle. Danny tries to convince Luke it’s a mistake that he’s tied up. Danny: “This city is at stake. You and me. Luke Cage and the Iron Fist…we belong out there. Together on the front lines.” Luke informs Danny that he doesn’t like to fight, but if he has to he’d rather fight smart. Luke jokingly asks Danny to tell him about fighting the dragon. Danny earnestly starts telling the tale and Luke cuts him off. Danny’s feelings are hurt; Luke feels bad so he lets him continue. Danny says that punching the molten dragon heart hurt. Luke tells him that he was once shot by a rocket launcher, he was shot in the face by a shotgun, and Jessica pulled the trigger. Danny: “Our Jessica?” Luke: “Trust me, I’d face a dragon over Jessica Jones any day.” He and Danny share a chuckle while Stick is in the background meditating. Danny asks what happened to them. Luke tells him that they had to go on different paths. Danny jokes that Luke is sounding like him. Luke playfully slaps Danny’s leg with his newspaper.

Danny talks to Stick, he is surprised that he is involved in this, their purpose is to win this war. Stick says he is a survivor. Danny gets the feeling Stick is making up plans as they go, Stick doesn’t deny it. Stick is lighting incense; he and Luke talk again. He knows that Luke was in the joint; he tells him to quit pulling his punches when the shit goes down; they will need him to do some real damage. Luke tells him he doesn’t want to fight, he’s there for answers. Stick confides that he was in the joint for ten years. It was no fun being blind in prison. He met people who taught him how to fight, they showed him how the world is really. These people were the Chaste, the only real family he had aside from Matt and Elektra. Stick continues lighting his incense; Danny’s hand begins to glow.

The incense Stick is burning is making a lot of smoke. It isn’t incense, it’s some kind of knockout smoke. It knocks Luke out. Stick is going to kill Danny so the Hand can’t use him. Stick: “You won’t feel any pain kid, I promise.”  When they get close to their hideout, Matt can hear what is happening, he and Jessica run. Before Stick can kill Danny, Elektra appears and stops him. They engage in a sword fight. Elektra wins. Matt runs in, she tells ‘Matthew’ that it is good to see him. Matt tells her she doesn’t have to do this. Elektra stabs Stick in the heart. She kicks Matt into the wall knocking him out. She and Jessica fight and she knocks her out. Luke awakens and tries to fight her, soon he is out again. Danny passed out from the smoke so Elektra grabs him and jumps out the window.

“And my name is Elektra Natchios. You work for me now…Any questions?” Elektra Natchios – The Defenders

The Hand

Alexandra is eating dinner. Murakami walks in planning on killing her. Before they can fight, Elektra drags in Danny. When he wakes up, Alexandra, Murakami, Madame Gao, and Bakuto are standing in front of him. Danny says the war isn’t over. Alexandra doesn’t bother to respond; she is too busy gloating over her victory over Danny and the other Hand members. When Gao mentions that she is worried about Iron Fist’s friends coming to get him, Alexandra orders Elektra to kill, “Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, whoever he is.” Elektra appears to leave. Alexandra begins to monologue about how she always wins and she has proved again that she is the only true leader. Then Elektra stabs her in the back. Elektra tells a dying Alexandra, “His name is Matthew.” She introduces herself to the rest of the Hand, “And my name is Elektra Natchios. You work for me now.” Elektra chops Alexandra’s head off and tastes the blood that lands on her face. Elektra: “Any questions?”

_________________________________

Elektra killed both Alexandra and Stick; her mother and father figures. The two people who molded her to be their weapon in the war between the Hand and the Chaste. Both cared about her in their own twisted way, but the way they dealt with her eventually led to their deaths. Elektra is free of their influences and that probably means trouble for the Defenders. She remembers who Matt is, so if Matt was conflicted before, you can magnify it now.

When the episodes are really good, it is due to the relationships between the characters. There were three scenes that spotlighted this. Luke and Danny talking while Luke is babysitting him. Both of their personalities were on display, and their personalities complement each other. When Luke playfully patted Danny on the leg with his newspaper that felt like something you would only do to a friend. I can’t wait to see some “Heroes for Hire” in both of their shows next season. You really wouldn’t think that Matt and Jessica would have anything in common. Him being a guilt ridden catholic, and Jessica being a cynical, streetwise detective, but they both have similar dry senses of humor. Both of them didn’t want to be involved in this, but under their tough exteriors beat the hearts of heroes. Their banter with each other is always amusing. The last couple is Elektra and Alexandra. They have had a strange mother and daughter relationship. Alexandra mixes maternal with homicidal tendencies. She loved the Black Sky but would get rid of her if she didn’t serve her purposes. It felt like during their scene at the cemetery that they had really bonded, but by then Elektra was herself again and had no need for Alexandra.

The action was great again. The standout scene was the Daredevil / Iron Fist fight. Since they are both martial artists, their fight was visually thrilling.

Grade: A-

 

 

 

 

Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Senior Contributor

Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Senior Contributor

A fan, enthusiast, and appreciator of sci-fi, comic books, and fantasy film and TV. kbeartv61@nayahscifi.com
Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Senior Contributor

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