After months and months of hype and excitement, Netflix finally released the episodes of The Defenders and I couldn’t wait anymore and started streaming the episodes as early as I could.
It starts off with an action scene in Cambodia where Danny Rand has to fight a mysterious woman. This series takes place months after the happening of the first season of Iron Fist where Colleen alongside Danny hunt down clues which can lead them to the ancient organisation, The Hand. Back in New York, Luke Cage is freed from prison as his former inmates cheer. Matthew Murdock moves on with his life after Elektra’s unfortunate demise, or at least tries to. And Jessica..well, Jessica drinks. Episode 1 is spent on reintroduction of some of our favourite characters, the sidekicks, the weaknesses and the personal ties.
Now, let’s talk about the antagonists. Sigourney Weaver disappoints severely from her very first frame. The director/writer evidently try to fill up the void created by kingpin’s absence and she’s meant to be the badass of the show, but it just doesn’t come naturally to Sigourney as was the case when it was about D’Onofrio. Where is that vulnerable yet so menacing look? It made me miss Kingpin a lot more than I should’ve. It still isn’t clear to me what Alexandra (played by Sigourney) does for a living or how is she so resourceful in the first place. She is extremely rich and listens to live music and always has a handful of servants and bodyguards at her disposal. The individual scene for each defender in the making is characterized by their respective coloured background. Like for example, Matthews scenes are given a reddish touch, Jessica’s blue, Luke’s yellow..welp, you get the gist.
Moving on, I hated how they used Madam Gao in the show. So wise, cunning and shrewd, she was once one of my favourite characters until Iron Fist happened. While that show ensured her doom and reduced her to some kind of fortune teller, this one makes her a mere secretary of Alexandra. Sure she can summon her own chi now, but where’s the wit? The intelligence? The manipulation?
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!
So, the story goes this way, once upon a time, centuries ago, there were five disciples in the mystical place, K’un-Lun who were cast out by the elder monks for being over ambitious, as they wanted to win over death. These five ‘fingers’, Gao, Alexandra, Bakuto, Sowande and Murakami are the founders of The Hand. Now with the help of the Iron Fist, they plan their return to K’un-Lun. Stick and his army, The Chaste have been trying to stop them but all of them are now dead except our old man.
For me, Daredevil will always be the best in screenplay, action and easter eggs. Speaking of action, here the routines are pretty cool. So much better choreographed than Iron Fist, but less coordinated than Daredevil. Elektra’s action scenes are top notch.
As her comrades start to lose their faith on her, Alexandra finds herself gradually losing grip over her leadership. She is unable to manage the human weapon, The Black Sky.
Much of the main plot revolves around the Iron Fist, but Finn Jones just doesn’t vibe. I feel bad, because he tries so hard but lacks the charm to convince us just enough. The banter between our defenders serve as the much needed comic relief. When their paths finally cross, and they bond over dinner, I couldn’t be more thrilled of what was coming next. Gotta hand it to the director for not making it feel way too crowded..but the story’s way too simple and predictable and lacks the severity.
At one point, Murakami tells Alexandra that her weakness is that she never is willing to get her hands dirty. I share the same complaint, for I’d love to see Sigourney in some good old action packed scenes. How she became the leader of the pact, is beyond my understanding. She’s the least influential ‘Finger’ amongst the group or maybe it’s just my bad habit of over expecting again. Stick’s the same old, charming, necessary evil he has always been and gets a well deserved ending. It is unbelievable how a small, frail woman like Elektra is able to take over the Hand who are supposedly operating for ages. After episode 5, things seem to be a little dragged because of a baseless excuse of a story. Clair Temple is unbearable as always and Colleen is just as wasted inspite of having so much of potential. In the last episode, our beloved New York is on the edge of destruction (yes, once again!) and the defenders/heroes/martyrs make a last ditch to save the city. Finally the show picks up pace and is exhilarating! All I’m saying is, I couldn’t be happier when the defenders teamed up but the whole thing could one or two episodes fewer, and I’d not seriously mind. The last face off between Elektra and the Daredevil was much needed as it provided closure. It makes me empathize with Matt, more than ever and I close to tears when Foggy and Karen await his return..but he doesn’t. Much like in the comics, we see Misty Knight and Colleen Wing bond and hopefully, they make something out of it in the near future. Last but not the least, the chemistry between Jessica and Luke just gets hotter and hotter every second and..man, I love it.
One thing still remains unclear to me as who was the mystery man Stick had once visited in the first season of Daredevil, consulting about The War. Who is Maggie? Is she Matthew’s mother?
In the end, it isn’t as good as I wanted it to be, but it doesn’t suck either. The next time, Marvel and Netflix rush to unite the Defenders, I’d advice them to have a good screenplay and a better director.
Did you like Marvel’s The Defenders ? Tell us in the comments.