Warning: Contains spoilers for this episode!
The Defenders is Marvel’s ambitious project that brings together 4 of their street level heroes to face off against one common enemy. This 8 episode mini series has been building up for years, starting from 2015’s Daredevil to 2017’s Iron Fist. Marvel and Netflix aimed to tell an action packed and compelling story while at the same time making every hero feel vital and important to the plot in this Avengers-like crossover.
This first episode of the much anticipated series does not deliver much in the way of action. In fact, there is only one true action scene, and it happens within the first few minutes. Iron Fist and Colleen Wing are hunting what appears to be a member of The Hand only to discover that the real threat is back in New York. The story then turns its attention to Luke Cage. The last time we saw Luke was in his own solo series where –Spoiler- he was being returned to Seagate prison in Georgia. Of course, he wouldn’t be of much help in this series if he was locked up, so Foggy Nelson is sent to quickly have him released. This makes the ending of Luke Cage feel a bit less impactful in my opinion.
Where this episode truly shines is whenever Matt Murdock and Jessica Jones are on screen. This episodes gracefully builds on where these characters left off after the events of their solo series. Murdock has retired as Daredevil and has returned to his career as a public defendant. Meanwhile, Jessica Jones is drinking. A lot. Possibly because of her experience with Kilgrave or possibly to establish to new viewers that her character likes to drink. We see Jessica waking up hungover at a random bar and also drinking coffee with whiskey in it immediately after.
Sigourney Weaver’s character is also introduced in this episode as Alexandra, the leader of the ancient organization known as The Hand. We don’t get much about her in this first episode as her character is very mysterious. By the end of the episode The Hand has hinted at a possible city wide catastrophe but the motivations behind them remain unclear.
This episode in my opinion, feels more like a prologue than an actual fleshed out episode. However, it is only the first episode and it does a fairly decent job of catching us up on what the heroes have been up to since they last appeared, while at the same time, reintroducing them to new viewers who haven’t seen any of their solo shows. Let’s hope that the story picks up in the next episode now that all the pieces have been set.
Written by: Jesus Coyotl