Saturday, August 26, 2017

TV Show Review: The Defenders

The Marvel and Netflix partnership was an exciting prospect at first but lost steam leading up to its first big phase finale. Daredevil was pretty cool and Jessica Jones proved it was more than just one series. I enjoyed Luke Cage but felt it faltered near the end, still, I was pretty happy with the superhero series until Iron Fist was a huge disappointment. The biggest problem with The Defenders is that for their first team-up, the villain is from Iron Fist though jointly shared with the least interesting part of Daredevil. Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) has given up the life of a masked vigilante and works as a pro bono lawyer helping settle big lawsuits. Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) denies her newfound celebrity despite encouragement from her best friend Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor). Danny Rand (Finn Jones) Searches for the Hand with Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick). Luke Cage (Mike Colter) is in jail until his new lawyer Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) gets him out.

Back in Harlem, Luke meets up with Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) where they pick up where they left off in their relationship. Detective Misty Knight (Simone Missick) investigates the mysterious criminal organization and warns Luke Cage. A new villain has arisen to lead the hand, Alexandra Reid (Sigourney Weaver) who has obtained the Black Skye weapon in the reborn body of Elektra Natchios (Elodie Yung). It takes a while to get going as the first episode introduces them and the heroes don't really encounter each other until the second episode. Luke Cage and Danny Rand encounter each other and the Iron Fist shows that Luke Cage can be hurt if hit hard enough. 

Matt Murdock is hired by Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) to be Jessica Jones lawyer in case she finds herself in any trouble. Jessica uses her investigative ability to figure out the Matt is a bit more than he lets on. Danny confronts the Hand and is attacked needing the help of Luke, Jessica, and Matt. The three tussle with men in business suits until Elektra steps in. Matt fights her trying to reach out to her and it works somewhat since she doesn't kill her. The relationship between Elektra and Daredevil is central to the series. The group recovers at a Chinese restaurant as a lot of exposition helps explain what the heroes are up against while they also introduce themselves to each other.

Stick (Scott Glenn) shows up trying to recruit Daredevil into the Chaste, the group that fights the Hand. Alexandra has him capture but he slices off a hand to escape. He explains a bit more about the upcoming battle and Alexandra shows up. She has gathered her own group including Marvel series regular villain Madame Gao (Wai Ching Ho) who shows off some impressive abilities. There is a lot more punching and fights scenes that are sometimes entertaining to watch and will be the only reason I revisit this series, but it all leads back to a massive hole beneath New York that Daredevil had discovered in the second season. The final fight leads to a big explosion which takes down Elektra and Daredevil, though they show Matt having survived.

The Defenders seemed like it would be my favorite television show with superheroes let off the leash no longer constrained by ratings and allowed to tell a long story, but this freedom work against the team. The plot plods along, Sigourney Weaver's villain isn't as menacing as I thought she would be and she is taken out by Elektra never fully explaining how she got into power. I am a loyal Marvel fan so I'll stick with it, especially considering Punisher is next but I would like to see something a little more exciting in the future. Now that the origins are out of the way, I'm excited to see where each heroes story goes, though I hope for big changes to Iron Fist. Daredevil is my favorite but Luke Cage and Jessica Jones are also pretty awesome and I'll be checking out the source material in the future. I'd like to see them take on other villains from the other heroes as well.

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