The Defenders: Fish in the Jailhouse review S1 Ep. 7

After the previous terrific episode, Fish in the Jailhouse felt a little disappointing. As far as penultimate episodes go, this played out like a chi-less Iron Fist punch.
Daredevil Marvel Sixth Scale Figure

Part of the problem was the emphasis on Danny Rand’s importance. The Iron Fist was essentially the prince in the castle awaiting a rescue from his pals. While Defenders has done a lot to redeem Iron Fist in a team setting, isolating him doesn’t play to his strengths and feels like the weaker moments of his standalone series.


A lot of the episode was spent in the police station with Jess, Matt and Cage licking their wounds from Elektra’s beat down. At this point in the season, another regrouping and strategy session felt a little redundant.


Fish in the Jailhouse spent too much time rallying the troops and reaffirming allegiances. Karen’s pleas to get Matt to ditch his alter ego was well-meaning, but annoying at this stage. Don’t you want us viewers to have any fun, Karen? We already know Misty is an ally and it seemed a waste of time for her various interrogations. Besides, Foggy got the best line of the episode calling Jessica ‘Super Joan Jett.’

The best moment featured Jess, Matt and Luke riding the subway to get to The Hand. Jessica ‘borrowing’ a beer from the passed out homeless guy definitely didn’t earn her any hero points. Captain America definitely has stealing from the homeless in the Avengers by-laws.

The Defenders - Fish in the Jailhouse review - Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Claire, Daredevil and Colleen

They faced off with the three surviving Hand lieutenants. This should have been a big moment, but it lacked something from previous fights. Some of that had to do with the way Director Félix Enríquez Alcalá staged the battle. There was way too much editing and messy close up perspectives — all the things that were absent in previous great fight scenes that showed up at the worst possible time.

This battle ends in a stalemate with the arrival of Colleen … and Misty and Claire. The gang’s almost all here. I was excited about the prospect of Misty getting to take part in some fun. And I was instantly annoyed when she stayed behind and Claire tagged along. I was over Claire in Iron Fist and she just seems like a hostage in waiting here. What can she bring to this fight against the deadliest members of The Hand besides snark? Jessica has that category covered just fine.

The Defenders - Fish in the Jailhouse review - Iron Fist

Elektra meanwhile focused on suckering Danny into unleashing his Iron Fist. At this point, it’s not clear if Elektra is in full control of her faculties and made a full heel turn or is just corrupted. I like that ambiguity. Seven episodes in now, it’s obvious that Elektra > The Defenders so the prolonged fight with Danny lacked suspense. Since Danny is dumb, he fell for Elektra’s bait and opened a portal to the dragon’s den?

Fish in the Jailhouse was a surprise disappointment. The series was in a great place, but this episode just didn’t deliver. Hopefully, the season finale will get things back on track.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio and Sarah Shatz/Netflix

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Next Episode: The Defenders