Hey, guys! This is Sarah and I will be providing you with recaps and reviews of The Defenders mini series. I will try to keep them free from snark, but I will probably fail a bit when it comes to Danny Rand because it is Danny Rand. Also HERE BE SPOILERS. I repeat once more for the people in the back: HERE BE SPOILERS!!! That being said, I am going to dive right in and get to the recapping.
This first episode is definitely a slow burn. However, the slow burn primarily stems from catching all of us viewers up on the four members of The Defenders. Despite the slow burn quality of the first episode, the 50 minutes went by rather quickly due to the scenes that were devoted to each main character.
The first scene we get thrown our way is one that takes place in Cambodia. We are immediately taken into a fight sequence down in the sewers between a mysterious man and what could only be a resurrected Elektra (Elodie Yung). I mean, it was hard not to guess that it was her given promotional material, but here we are. Just as Elektra is zooming in on the kill, Danny Rand (Finn Jones) flies out of nowhere and starts fighting her. However, she is obviously the better fighter and successfully manages to off the mysterious male opponent. Danny tries to pursue Elektra, but does not succeed. He comes back and, with the help of Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), they are given important information by the dying man: “The war you’re fighting…is not here. It’s in New York City.”
Cue the title sequence where it is now New York City that is represented. Gee, you think the showrunners want us to notice how big of a character NYC is? Because you would have thought we would have figured that out in the other Marvel/Netflix series…
We move on to Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) passed out in a bar. Surprised? Not me. She gets kicked out of the bar now that the sun is up and runs into her friend, Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor), who delivers the information that several people are still interested in interviewing her after what happened with Kilgrave. Of course, Jessica has no interest. She just wants to leave that incident behind and get on with her drunken cluster that is her life. Later on Jessica comes back to her apartment office where she is met by a typical disgruntled teen and her mother wanting to know if Jessica can find her husband. After some snarky comments about her husband cheating, Jessica enters her office to hear her phone ringing. She thinks nothing of it until an altered voice tells her not to looking for this missing architect aka the husband that has gone missing. Of course, if you tell Jessica not to do something, she is going to go do the thing. So, Jessica is now on the case…
Onward we march to Luke Cage (Mike Colter), who is shot in marvelous warm colors. We see that his prison sentence has been miraculously cut short and he is being released. Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) has done some weird legal shenanigans to shorten his time. Luke is ready to move forward, which apparently means finally taking Clair Temple (Rosario Dawson) up for coffee aka sexy time. It doesn’t take long for Misty Temple (Simone Missick) to pop up on his doorstep and give him the lowdown on what’s been going on in Harlem since he had to finish up his time. Several boys have gone missing doing some mysterious courier work. The most likely suspect would be Mariah, but Temple thinks that it is a new player in town. Luke goes to investigate.
Then we move onto our final Defender, Matthew Murdock (Charlie Cox) aka the Daredevil. Now that he’s given up the horned devil superhero gig, he’s actually kicking all the butt in the courtroom. Afterwards, he runs into Karen (Deborah Ann Woll) and they go have a very awkward dinner. He lies to her about missing being the Daredevil, but confesses to his priest the truth. He misses it.
After we get a chance to meet with each one of The Defenders, we get a chance to finally meet the mysterious Alexandra, played by Sigourney Weaver. Not much has been revealed about the character so far, but now we get a basic idea as to her motivation. She is dying. All of her organs are on the verge of collapsing and she has weeks, possibly months to live. That being said, this gives her all the motivation she needs to speed up her plans as the leader of the Hand. Madame Gao (Wai Ching Ho) does try to slow her down, but she acquiesces to her boss’s demands. Gao’s primary concern is that this plan will not be smooth and will be too noticeable, but Alexandra has no chill. She wants New York City to fall. As Alexandra is about to set forth her plan, she reassures a mysteriously appeared Elektra that she will see more cities fall. This would be the start.
The last five minutes of the episode are dedicated to an earth shattering earthquake that shakes all of New York City. And all of The Defenders feel it. Jessica feels it when she has tracked the mysterious caller to his apartment filled with explosives. Car sirens go off in Harlem. Danny and Colleen feel it and see a giant crack form in the ground when they land their helicopter. Matt can’t see it, but he can hear the chaos and feel the shaking all around him. This earthquake signifies something to all of The Defenders, but what? We will have to find out in the next episode.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND MUSINGS
- I am digging the sweeping scenes that the director did in this episode. It really conveyed the sense of chaos, but also really focused on the city of New York. Given that NYC is a significant character this season, that choice was probably for the best.
- The usage of colors for each character did not go unnoticed. Luke Cage’s scenes were all warm and rosy while the others were darker in tone. I don’t want to get too analytical, but I would definitely say that Luke being the most mature and optimistic of the bunch has a hand in that.
- Why does Alexandra have to be a sick person with nothing to lose trope? WHY?
- Elektra being rendered a mute fighting slave may or may not cause me to flip a table if it continues all season…
- All in all, a really good introductory episode for new and old viewers alike.