First things first: I loved both seasons of Daredevil, and I thought Jessica Jones had a superb debut season. However, I couldn’t make it past the pilot episodes of both Luke Cage and Iron Fist (I know the former is critically acclaimed but it still bored me to tears). Nevertheless, I had high hopes for The Defenders, and while this crossover wasn’t mindblowing as I wanted it to be, it was still highly entertaining.
The main problem with the show is that our big bad’s masterplan is never truly explained. There’s some mumbo jumbo about New York turning to rubble, but the stakes are never clearly defined (even in the season finale when everything comes to a head). It just feels like the writers didn’t properly think everything through, and we’re left with somewhat of a half-baked narrative. Of course when the scripts aren’t up to par, the show’s cast is on hand to salvage the material.
Charlie Cox and Krysten Ritter in particular are tremendous here, and they reminded me how much I’d missed watching Matt Murdock and Jessica Jones on my TV again. Newcomer Sigourney Weaver is also a standout – she’s a brand new baddie who’s both vulnerable and cutthroat, and Weaver brings a real sense of majesty to the role. It’s inspired casting in every single way.
But the true highlight is Elodie Yung’s astounding turn as Elektra. Yung was the highlight of Daredevil’s sophomore season, and she’s just as badass here. Stealing every one of her scenes, she’s ferocious in the kickass fight scenes, and bursting with charisma in the quieter more emotional beats. The fact that Netflix has yet to give her her own spinoff show (really, The Punisher?) just boggles my mind.
Bits from New York
– I loved everything about Alexandra training Elektra. So darn vicious.
– The hallway fight in episode four isn’t as spectacular as Daredevil‘s, but it’s still a hoot to see our four heroes kick ass together.
– Jessica running over Elektra made me chuckle.
– My favorite television moment of the year: the bombshell with Elektra stabbing Alexandra from behind with her sais (so satisfying after she eyed her iconic weapons for six episodes), and then prophetically uttering the epic line “His name is Matthew. (She shoves Alexandra’s body to the ground). And my name is Elektra Natchios. You work for me now. (She chops off Alexandra’s head). Any questions?” I have seriously rewatched the scene a gazillion times and it’s epic every single time.
– Also interesting to note that Elektra also killed Stick in the same episode. That’s two huge game-changers in one. I also loved watching her singlehandedly beat up all The Defenders and jump out the window with Iron Fist on her back. What a woman!
– Jessica stealing a beer from the homeless guy in the train cracked me up.
– It’s always fun to see Claire kick ass. Colleen on the other hand is exceptionally annoying.
– Misty losing an arm was absolutely brutal wasn’t it?
– Notice the big sweeping shot with all our Defenders fighting in the finale. It’s very reminiscent of a similar iconic shot in The Avengers. However, the colors are way too dark and they rob the scene of its impact.
– The hip hop song choice in the final fight was really bizarre.
– I didn’t get the show’s final image until I researched the fact that the nun caring for Matt at the end is none other than his mother. Woah! Bring on Daredevil season three!
Trish: You know what your problem is?
Jessica: Sentences that start like that.
Foggy: People call me Foggy.
Luke: And you let them?
Jessica: (to Matt) Okay, you are the most full of shit lawyer I’ve ever met, and I think we should appreciate the magnitude of that statement.
Matt: I still hear neon.
Luke: Who hears neon?
Jessica: My blind-but-maybe-not lawyer.
Danny: I’m the Immortal Iron Fist.
Jessica: Come again?
Danny: Sworn protector of K’un-Lun.
Jessica: What are you on? Lithium?
Jessica: I’m the first to admit when I’m in over my head, and this is way past my threshold.
Luke: What are you talking about? Bulletproof. Blind ninja. Whatever it is you are.
Stick: There’s another organization. We call ourselves the Chaste.
Jessica: Ugh! These names are killing me.
Jessica: I don’t know what it is that makes you care so much about other people, but that’s not me. It was good to see you. Let me know when they fit you for a costume.
Jessica: Jesus, am I the only one left who doesn’t know karate?
Matt: I’m just saying, you know, I’m glad we found each other.
Luke: I’m not hugging you.
Jessica: (to Elektra) You started this. Ever since you burst into my office, my life has become one big kung fu party.
Jessica: Nice ears.
Matt: They’re horns.
It’s quite flawed, but it’s also a pretty enjoyable ride. Here’s hoping the next crossover will be be even better.