Maybe it wasn’t quickly, but things certainly escalated big time in Ashes, Ashes with some major shocking developments.
In hindsight, we probably should have seen it coming. The Netflix shows have done a better job than Big Brother of establishing a expect the unexpected status quo. With the exception of the main headliners, anyone else is fair game including the main villain.
Unlike Luke Cage, I don’t see Defenders suffering with Alexandra’s death. The writers hadn’t done a sufficient job in making her a true villain. If anything, she was corporate America perfectly willing to step on anyone to get what she wanted. But with super powered opponents, we needed someone with more of an obvious evil side. Fully possessed Elektra definitely is a better fit on that front.
Alexandra’s Hand allies doubted her plan too and it was hard to argue. Worst of all, Alexandra kept coming off sympathetic. It’s hard to root against a villain who wants to find a miracle cure, especially when that’s not hurting anyone.
Realizing Danny’s Iron Fist is the key to The Hand’s plans, the gang decided to bench him. This almost seemed like a meta way to address the Defenders fan base’s apathy for Danny. Naturally, Danny wasn’t down with that plan and fought his allies before finally getting knocked out.
I’ve continually been impressed by the direction of the series. Stephen Surjik kept that trend going with some nice big screen style wide shots that looked more like Defenders the movie rather than a TV show.
Jess and Matt did some investigating and learned the architect was planning to blow up what lies beneath Midland Circle. I appreciate everything coming full circle from Daredevil’s second season. For newcomers overwhelmed at the thought of watching five seasons to understand everything, DD Season 2 and Iron Fist are all you need.
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A restrained Danny suggests he and Cage could be the street level front line heroes. I’m just saying it’s not too late to just do a Power Man & Iron Fist spin-off… Heroes for Hire seems like such a timely and relevant show nowadays.
Elektra learns her real name and discovers her grave. But maybe the biggest was her memories of the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen. Stick figured if The Hand needs Danny’s help in finding the magic resurrection juice in K’un-Lun no one can have him. Stick probably would have killed Killgrave by the third episode of Jessica Jones …
Good thing (?) Elektra arrives for the save and battles Stick to a standstill long enough for Matt and Jessica to arrive. Hey, she remembers Matt! Just before she kills Stick. Not so good.
That’s just as well. Stick had served his purpose and getting a Coulson death will help solidify The Defenders. After trashing the Defenders, Elektra makes off with Danny to fulfill her purpose.
Ashes, Ashes was a subtle reveal of two deaths. Alexandra was in full on brow-beating mode puffing her chest out about getting the job done to her Hand lackeys. She didn’t even see Elektra’s sais coming until they came through her chest. This was a pretty surprising death. With her status, I assumed Sigourney Weaver was going to be around all season and beyond.
I like that twist almost as much as Elektra now running The Hand. Alexandra probably shouldn’t have revealed Elektra needs the same substance to stay alive too. No point in splitting the resurrection formula.
Ashes, Ashes was a great episode with solid character bonding, high quality fight scenes and two big deaths. Let’s get on to the next episode!
Rating: 9.7 out of 10
Photo Credit: Sarah Shatz/Netflix