Defenders Review Part 3: Take Cover & They All Fall Down

We’re halfway through Netflix’s The Defenders. How will the show fair past the midpoint? Let’s find out.

 

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Episode 5: “Take Shelter”

We open the episode with a truly GREAT fight: all four heroes and Stick against the hand. I’d argue it’s even better than the hallway fight a couple episodes ago. Everyone gets to show their stuff and it feels more like the heroes are working together rather than fighting out of sync. Unfortunately, things tend to go downhill after this fight.

The first misstep is shoving all of the side characters away in a room. I can see the point, they want to protect their loved ones and a police precinct would be safest, but this sidelines them. The show is called The Defenders, but each individual show had excellent characters other than the main hero who contributed immensely. Having them all locked up doesn’t give them much opportunity to shine or show off what made them such great characters. This does change somewhat later, but for now it’s a little depressing.

BAKUTO’S ALIVE?!?!?!?!? …yeah, no real surprise there. His body did “vanish” so he obviously survived and it was only a matter of time before he came back. I am happy he’s back and with the hand, mainly for one reason: to light a fire under Colleen.

Colleen was the best aspect of Iron Fist. She was a skilled fighter, a complex character, and far more interesting than Danny Rand. To see her being sidelined is rather disappointing mostly because she should be with the other four. I’d argue she’s just as capable as the rest of them (at least on par with Stick), has a ton of experience and expertise when it comes to the hand. Hopefully with Bakuto here, she’ll get her chance to intervene during the final confrontation.

It’s great to see Matt finally suiting up again, but we get some strange moments because of it. The team captures and blindfolds a leader of the hand (White Hat) and it’s clearly stated that he won’t reveal anything via force. In light of this, they decide to take off the blindfolds (don’t ask why) and have Matt torture him while in his Daredevil garb. Kind of seems like a bad move there. Funnily enough, the way the information is revealed is when White Hat attempts to make his escape.

Overall, a strong start to the episode, followed by a lot of disappointment. There were some elements involving Alexandra, but we’ll get to that next episode.

Episode 6: “Ashes, Ashes”

There is such a satisfying feeling I get as I watch Danny getting defeated by Matt, Luke, and Jessica. It almost makes me forget how awful Iron Fist was. Emphasis on almost. It’s a good fight scene and sets up another great moment.

I’ve really been enjoying the relationship being built between Luke and Danny. While both confused by one another at first, these two out of all four hero characters have the most semblance of a friendship. Even when tied up and filled with contempt, Danny can’t help appreciating Luke’s company and insight. It makes me hope that these two will crossover in their respective shows more from time to time.

Then there’s Alexandra. Honestly, for a character to receive this much focus, contributing little to nothing to the grand scheme of things, and then just killing her off feels like such a waste. For a series that has brought us such great villains like Wilson Fisk, Kilgrave, and Cottonmouth, it’s such a waste of Sigourney Weaver’s talent. Don’t get me wrong, Weaver is great in the role, it just feels like Alexandra had more to contribute to the story but was killed off an episode too soon.

You may have noticed a lack of discussion of Elektra. She has her own string of problems…but it’ll be best to talk about her towards the end of the series.

Overall, we got two episodes that have a lot of sizzle, yet no steak. With the team divided and the end in sight, will our heroes be able to save the day? Well find out next week as four heroes enter and only three come out. Until next time, this is Xander signing off.