Marvel’s The Defenders: Fighting Ninjas and Saving New York

Title: Marvel’s The Defenders Season 1 Episode 8: “The Defenders”
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Superhero
Platform: Streaming – Netflix
Director: Farren Blackburn
Writers: Lauren Schmidt Hissrich and Marco Ramirez
Rating: TV-MA
Release: August 18, 2017
Cast: Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, Finn Jones
Feature image: Source


“Sweet sister!”  Luke Cage – The Defenders

Luke Cage (Mike Colter), Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson), Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), and Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) argue over blowing up the Midland Circle building. Luke is firmly against it, the thought of doing this causes Luke to exclaim, “Sweet sister!” Jessica and Claire are on the fence, while Matt and Collen are firmly for it. They are able to convince Jessica and Claire, who are able to persuade Luke with the argument that it is the only way to stop the Hand. Luke has one major stipulation, no innocent civilians can be harmed, only the Hand. Everyone agrees to that. Luke: “Let’s go do something crazy.”

Down below, Elektra Natchios (Elodie Yung) admires the dragon fossil. Madame Gao (Wai Ching Ho) wants to get the substance quickly before Luke, Jessica, and Daredevil can stop them. She tells Elektra that getting the substance will cause parts of New York to crumble, killing many. Gao: “It’s just a city. They rise and they fall. You’ll see many more.” Danny Rand (Finn Jones) listens in the shadows.

Back upstairs, they look over the John Raymond’s blueprints; they determine they have to attach the C4 to the beams that hold up the building. They don’t have a remote charge, so once they set the charger, they have to get out of there. The Defenders will go below to rescue Danny while Colleen and Claire will plant the C4. Colleen is insulted that the people with abilities are going to rescue Danny without her, but Claire convinces her she needs Colleen’s fighting abilities to protect her.

Outside the building, the police converge. Captain Strieber (Ron Simons) is barking orders. Misty Knight (Simone Missick) gets a report that someone took the C4 out of the evidence room. She looks at the building and realizes what is about to happen. Strieber orders an evacuation of a two-block radiance and he calls for the bomb squad. Misty offers to help and he thanks her by threatening her job again.

“That was the epicenter…of everything.”  Trish Walker – The Defenders

At the police station, Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor) and Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) talk about Jessica and Matt. Trish beams as she talks about Jessica, she might not do every day friend stuff, but she is there for the big stuff. Karen is more guarded about Matt since Trish doesn’t know he is Daredevil. Trish tells her about her bosses stopping her from talking about the quake and thinking that maybe the Hand had something to do with it. Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) interrupts them to announce that all units are heading to Midland Circle. Karen wonders why; Trish answers, “That was the epicenter…of everything.”

The Defenders are walking down the hallway looking for an entrance to get them to the hole. Matt feels the wall and asks Luke to tear it open because it hides a secret door. Luke easily pulls apart the wall, and it reveals an elevator that can take them below. They stare down the deep hole. Even Matt can’t tell them how far it goes down. Jessica says that two weeks ago no one could have told her she’d be with these two fighting ‘ninjas’ and saving New York. Matt: “For whatever it’s worth, I’m glad you’re here.” Jessica: “What?” Matt: “The circumstances could be better. I’m just saying, you know, I’m glad we found each other.” Luke: “I’m not hugging you.” Matt gets sentimental for a moment, but Jessica and Luke snap him out of it.

While Colleen and Claire are looking for the beams to attach the C4 to, Colleen tells Claire she has saved as many lives as the people with abilities have. They find the beams and begin to place the C4 on them. They hear a noise; it is Bakuto (Ramon Rodriguez), he knows that Colleen is up there. Claire tries to get Colleen to stay still, but she won’t, she goes to face her sensei. Claire’s phone goes off, it is Misty trying to find out what is going on inside. Bakuto and Colleen begin to fight while Claire talks to Misty. Misty isn’t having any of this, but realizes they are in trouble when she hears the clang of swords. Misty shoots a lock and enters the building. (Why is the rest of the police department having such a hard time entering the building? Why does she go in alone? Why isn’t any of this making any sense?)

On the way down on the elevator, they discuss how the odds are against them. Luke comes up with a plan. When the elevator reaches the bottom, only Jessica is in the elevator. Elektra and a small army of the Hand are waiting for them. They are holding Danny as a hostage. Jessica tells Elektra she came down there to talk. With Jessica stalling, it gives Luke and Daredevil a chance to spring out of nowhere. It allows Danny to break free. Now the four Defenders, with a rap beat in the background commence to kick arse.

Upstairs, Colleen and Bakuto continue to fight. Misty is there now and shoots some of Bakuto’s men. Bakuto gets the upper hand on Colleen and puts his blade against Claire’s neck. He is going to kill her to take Colleen’s new family away from her so that she can return to him. Misty jumps in and saves Claire but loses her arm to Bakuto’s blade. This enables Colleen to chop off his head. Bakuto had set off their timer, so they have less than ten minutes to get out of the building.

Down in the hole, Luke tells Danny to “light up.” He activates the ‘Iron Fist’ and the Defenders really kick butt now, except for Elektra’s butt. She is holding her own against the four of them. They finally knock her down. Matt with his super hearing can hear the timer and tells his friends to get out of there. He informs them he is going to stay down there to talk to Elektra so he can save her. He whispers something to Danny. They don’t have time to change Matt’s mind, so they get on the elevator and leave. Now Matt and Elektra begin a long and tedious fight. Matt tells her he loves her and she tries to act as if she is indifferent. Her not killing him tells him otherwise. She does throw a blade to cut the escaping elevator’s cable but Jessica quickly jumps up (or flies up?) to grab the cable and keep the elevator from falling back down. She orders Danny and Luke to quit staring and start climbing. Once they are out of the elevator, she lets it drop. Madame Gao finds Murakami (Yutaka Takeuchi) dying. He asks her what this is, she tell him it is the end. Jessica, Luke and Danny make it up to the building to find Claire, Colleen, and Misty. The cops finally get in. Soon everyone is running out of the building to get out. The explosives go off and the building begins to implode. Down in the hole, Matt and Elektra are still fighting and talking. They realize that time has run out. Elektra apologizes for all the pain she has caused Matt. They kiss as the earth falls down upon them.

Luke takes Misty to an ambulance. Danny tells them what Matt whispered to him, “Protect my city”.  Danny tells them that Matt never planned on coming out of there alive. Back at the police station, the Defenders’ friends wait for them. Jessica walks in and hugs Trish. Luke and Claire walk in. Danny and Colleen soon follow. Foggy and Karen wait until they realize Matt is not walking through those doors. Foggy hugs Karen. The worse has happened.

“Get Maggie. Tell her he’s awake.”  A Nun – The Defenders


Trish is on the air giving the official version of what happened at Midland Circle. Jessica walks in, once Trish is off the air she tell Jessica that people should know what Jessica did to save them. Jessica just wants it to be over; Trish reminds her that she saved so many people, but Jessica can only think of the one life they lost.

Foggy is at Claire’s apartment. He tells her that since the police didn’t make a report about that night, there aren’t any charges for the DA to file; the Defenders along with Claire and Colleen are in the clear. Luke offers his condolences to Foggy for his loss. Claire walks Foggy to the door; he tells Claire that he feels guilty for giving Matt his suit and letting him go out there. Claire tells him that Matt was determined to get out there. He loved the city more than he loved his own life. She tells Foggy that he shouldn’t feel guilty. Claire advises him to continue to fight the good fight in Matt’s honor.

Misty is lying in her hospital bed, short of one arm. When she wakes up, Colleen is there. She tells Misty that she is sorry, Misty tells her it isn’t her fault. She kindly tries to assure her that it’s the job. Colleen: “Danny…uh, wanted to say that he has connections…at this hospital, and it’s a state-of-the art kind of place, so…” Misty: “Connections?” Colleen: “He owns it.” She assures Misty that they will get her up and running again. Misty sadly listens.

Jessica is day drinking at a bar alone. Luke walks in and joins her. He is checking up to see how she is doing. Jessica tries to act her usual tough self, but she looks a bit shaken. Luke comments on how it took the earth shaking for them to see each other again. Jessica mentions what she did to him in the past. He tells her that they have to move on. One of them could have been lying dead in that hole; he is glad that it wasn’t she. They drink to that. Luke: “Try stayin’ in touch Jess. You got friends. One of them is in Harlem.” Jessica: “Yeah, maybe we’ll grab a coffee sometime or something.” Luke thinks about it and leaves while Jessica wistfully watches him walk out the bar.

“Anything becoming clear.” “New York. It’s starting to feel like home.”  Colleen Wing and Danny Rand

Colleen walks into her dojo while Danny is meditating. She asks him if he is thinking about Matt. She warns him not to beat himself up about this. Danny remarks on how much Matt loved the city and how he sacrificed himself for it. He tells Colleen about how the monks in K’un-Lun taught him that from tragedy can come clarity. Colleen: “Anything becoming clear.” Danny: “New York. It’s starting to feel like home.” Colleen chuckles and kisses him. Danny looks content.

Jessica goes home. Malcolm is covering up the bullet holes. He thinks that they could be back in business soon. Jessica agrees and tears the paper that was covering the front of her door. Instead of it covering a hole, it was covering the glass that says ‘Alias Investigations’. Jessica appears to be ready to join the world again.

Karen is at church quietly crying over Matt. Foggy sits down on the pew with her. Karen isn’t going to write a story on the incident at Midland Circle, someone could figure out that a missing lawyer and missing superhero was the same person. She holds out hope that maybe Matt survived. Even though both of them don’t really think he did, Foggy agrees with her.

Danny sits on a roof looking over the city, his fist glowing.

A badly bruised up Matt Murdock is laying in a bed. He begins to move. A nun who is sitting near his bed tells someone, “Get Maggie. Tell her he’s awake.”

­­­­­­­Surprise, surprise, the Defenders defeated the Hand, having to pay the heaving price of losing one of their own, Matt Murdock…except he isn’t dead. Who saw that coming? That’s okay because I didn’t expect him to die. I did think that if one of the heroes died, it would be Claire, but she came out fine, better than Misty did. She might not feel that great if Luke and Jessica ever decide to ‘go for coffee’.  I thought they might let Claire die to open the path for a Luke Cage, Jessica Jones reunion, but if that reunion happens, it’ll be messy, as life often is. I enjoyed this episode despite the problems it had. You could say the same for the season.

The fight scenes were better this episode, I don’t like it when they fight in dark places, but this time I had a better idea who was fighting whom. The fight in the garage in the last episode was underwhelming, but the fight in the hole was exciting. Not as good as the big fight in episode three, but it was exciting. The fight between Matt and Elektra in the end, dragged on too long. With the type of relationship they had, it would have been better for them to stop fighting earlier, and made love while the earth collapsed around them.

After Elektra killed Alexandra, the Hand became irrelevant to the story. With Sigourney Weaver leading the way, the Hand seemed powerful and mysterious, with a life of its own. Once she left the story, the Hand became stock villains; they were just the type of people you fight in a garage, not the type who can secretly rule the world. It was a mistake when they killed Mahershala Ali’s character Cottonmouth off of Luke Cage. That show suffered greatly for it. The Defenders didn’t suffer as much for killing Sigourney Weaver’s Alexandra, but it did suffer for it. Elektra becoming the main villain didn’t work. Elodie Yung doesn’t have the presence of a Sigourney Weaver (which is no fault of Elodie Yung), but once she killed Alexandra, her character didn’t make sense. Why was she still evil after she got her memories back? Her character didn’t feel authentic after that. Elektra is more an anti-hero than she is an outright villain. It just didn’t work for me.

What did work were the interactions between the Defenders themselves. I enjoyed every scene when the Defenders were just interacting amongst themselves. I already liked Mike Colter and Krysten Ritter together from Jessica Jones, but the pairings of Luke Cage and Danny Rand, and the pairing of Jessica Jones and Matt Murdock was money. I want to see Heroes for Hire right now! I want to see Jessica and Matt mingle in each other’s shows. I also liked the brief interactions between Jessica and Danny. When I think about it, Jessica was great with everyone.

I enjoyed the season. It faltered at the end, but the main reason I watched it, the superheroes themselves did not disappoint. The fight scenes were generally awesome. I loved Sigourney Weaver and wish she had made it to the last episode. They rehabilitated Danny Rand, for me that alone is amazing. If they do a Defenders II, I’m in.

Episode: B

Season: B+

Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Editor-in-Chief
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