The slow burn of Mean Right Hook paid off as the episode ended with half the Defenders interacting with each other. There were a ton of great character moments, but those final two scenes really delivered.
Mean Right Hook played out a lot like the respective next seasons for each of the Defenders standalone series. Matt Murdock was struggling trying to rectify his desire to do good as an attorney with his burden to help the defenseless as a vigilante. He even started to repair his fractured relationship with Foggy.
Jessica Jones’ latest case led her to a suspect wanted in connection with the earthquake that rocked Hell’s Kitchen. Cage was back in action clearing up the community on numerous fronts and Danny & Colleen decide they need allies to battle The Hand. Of the four, Jessica’s subplot proved the most interesting as it offered a taste of what a post-Killgrave Jessica Jones season could look like next year.
Just as important though is the fact the Iron Fist scenes aren’t the weak link. With a singular focus and a lack of goofy supporting characters wasting time, Iron Fist’s subplot has been surprisingly captivating. Maybe he’s just a character that works best in smaller doses?
I really appreciate the work done throughout this episode in building on the foundation done in the various shows. The supporting characters don’t just vanish because the end game is to bring Cage, Daredevil, Iron Fist and Jessica together. Trish, Foggy, Claire and Misty get necessary screen time and remain a huge component of Defenders. Mean Right Hook also sees the return of several Marvel Netflix supporting characters to further the shared universe vibe.
Director S.J. Clarkson occasionally dips back into the color transitions from last episode, but primarily uses a tower viewer style shift between characters. That adds a neat New York flavor to these shifts reminding viewers how important the setting is to the series.
But it was the final two scenes that really paid off Mean Right Hook. The Iron Fist/Cage battle played out much better than the typical hero vs hero fight. Cage was doing his regular help the little guy while Danny was obsessed with stopping every Hand associate. Iron Fist connecting with a Tyson-esque right hook on Cage made for a great visual.
While not as violent or action heavy, Jessica’s introduction to Matt Murdock as her attorney made for a killer ending. The Defenders are starting to come together and things are getting very interesting.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: Netflix