The Defenders – Episodes 7 & 8 Review

Defenders P3

The Defenders comes to an end with a suitably action-packed final two episodes. Much like the earlier episodes, these don’t quite live up to some of the earlier Netflix MCU stuff, but it is very fun to watch, and well written. There is just that lack of a great villain stopping it still… Anyway, plenty good to talk about as well, so let’s take a look!

Synopsis:

Jones, Murdock, and Cage wake up in the police precinct as suspects for the murders of Sowande and Stick. They tell Knight about the Hand, but try not to go into the details or let her get involved much to the chagrin of her superiors. The remaining fingers of the Hand agree to let Elektra pursue her goals, hoping that she will grant them access to the substance they need to avoid death…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

Defenders P3 4

Getting ready for the final showdown!

Matt Murdock / Daredevil (Charlie Cox) – Daredevil knows he must stop Elektra and Hand at any cost, even if it means getting on the wrong side of the law as his actual self. He is also still convinced he can get through to her…

Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) – Jessica, still trying to come to terms with the bizarre situation she finds herself in, pushes forward to bring The Hand down and save New York…

Luke Cage (Mike Colter) – Luke Cage, much like Jessica, feels like he’s in way over his head, but he has little choice but to move forward and save the lives of those in New York…

Danny Rand / Iron Fist (Finn Jones) – Danny has been kidnapped by The Hand and finds out that only he can open a mysterious door buried deep under New York, and may soon have no other choice but to do it…

Elektra (Élodie Yung) – After killing Alexandra and assuming control of The Hand, Elektra is still focused on gaining the immortality-granting substance alongside the other three remaining “fingers of the Hand”…

Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) – Claire ends up along for the ride as everyone meets to defeat the Hand for good. Despite a lack of physical skills, her other abilities may be invaluable.

Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) – Colleen is still hell bent on taking down the Hand once and for all, and now she also wishes to rescue Danny from them before doing so. Luckily a trip to the Police lock up gives her the ability to do both…

Misty Knight (Simone Missick) – Member of the police department who is on Luke Cage’s side, but needs more evidence than he is willing to give…

Bakuto (Ramón Rodriquez) – One of the Five Fingers of the Hand and the man who mentored Colleen for many years. He wishes to have his old student by his side, or kill her trying…

Gao (Wai Ching Ho) – One of the Five Fingers of the Hand who is more reserved than a lot of her fellow “fingers”. That being said, when it comes to regaining her immortality or not, she is willing to put herself on the front lines…

Murakami (Yutaka Takeuchi) – One of the Five Fingers of the Hand, Murakami speaks only in Japanese, even to his fellow “fingers”. He wishes to regain his immortality, but is more than willing to risk his life in a fight.

Plus many, many more!

The Good:

Defenders P3 2

“Er… Freeze! … Mr. Mystical Sword guy…?”

As you’d imagine of a series finale involving four lead actors, there was a big climactic fight, and it was good! I had some problems with Episode 7 (see below!) but the finale at least delivered the big spectacle, but without going too big and betraying the idea of the Netflix shows being “street level”. The end with Daredevil and Elektra seemingly fighting until the building itself collapses on them was well done, not that I ever actually thought he was dead (obviously!) The final shot of the season, with him waking up in a nunnery and other nuns mentioning his mother from the comics needs to be contacted, was a great tease for things to come. (Born Again being one of only two Daredevil comic arcs I’ve actually read).

Once again the interaction between the leads was great, funny when it needed to be, but never at the expense of the tone. Jessica’s dry and sarcastic nature is always a scene stealer for me. The other three leads did get a post-fight set up for their continuing adventures, but for them it was pretty much “things continue as usual”, with the exception of Danny, who is now without a big enemy to take down and so seems to be hanging around New York.

Given the nature of the series, it was good to see Colleen, Claire and Misty get good roles in the finale, and Misty lost her arm to boot! More comic connections! Plus some of the scenes with Foggy and Karen, particularly at the end when they both think Matt is dead, were great, just because the two seasons of Daredevil did such a good job of creating a legitimate bond between them.

The Bad:

Defenders P3 1

I’m tempted to use this picture under the “Bad” section of all reviews. Pick either Luke Cage or Jessica Jones’ face and it’s normally what I look like when something I don’t like happens…

The main problem, as with a lot of MCU properties, is that there was no real central villain you could get behind. Alexandra was set up to be the series’ one, but she was killed in Episode 6, and to be honest never really worked anyway. Elektra took over, but you knew full well that she and Matt would share a “is she beyond redemption?” moment, so you never really felt she would be a villain. Gao is good due to how long she’s been around, and Murakami filled the role of tough henchmen (even though he was a boss) but again, none were that compelling. Bakuto? Yeah… no idea why he was brought back… but at least he’s actually dead now.

I don’t know who’s idea it was for the big fight in the parking garage in Episode 7 to be done in near-complete darkness, but whoever it was should be slapped. I couldn’t see who was fighting who for most of the scene! It was annoying as well because it showed Gao actually doing some things at last… At least the cave for the final fight in Episode 8 was well lit, that’s all I’ll say!

Overall Thoughts:

Defenders P3 3

Daredevil feeling like the odd-one-out…

This served its role well as a big finale. It has a big fight scene, some more fun interaction between the leads, and set all four off in their own directions in order to set up their next individual series. The only problem (beyond a badly lit fight in Episode 7) was with the lack of compelling villains, but at least it didn’t hurt the drama of the final battle. A good two-ish hours to finish the series off.

4 Star Watch

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s