The Defenders review: The Defenders S1, Ep. 8

Last episode made this more suspenseful than necessary, but The Defenders finished up strongly. It’s possible I was sold on this episode the second Wu-Tang Clan’s Protect Ya Neck started playing, but there was a lot more to like as well.

I’m still unclear of the logistics of building demolition, but I gotta figure imploding a massive skyscraper will result in some collateral damage. Or at least a nearby hot dog stand. But the Defenders never claimed to be safety inspectors so commence operation blow up Midland Circle.

It felt a little weird having so many key moments this episode occur with Danny out the picture. Defenders did a lot to restore some of his rep and it would have been nice for him to have a voice in the final game plan. Instead it was Claire and Colleen adding their thoughts. Jess, Daredevil and Cage are heading down to get Danny while C & C Bomb Factory set the explosives.

The Defenders - The Defenders review - Malcolm, Trish, Karen and Foggy

Elektra and The Hand were busy hanging out in The Dragon’s Lair presumably mining the resurrection juice from the dragon marrow. No wonder it’s in short supply. Police intelligence is as well, which is the only reason to explain how Karen — a reporter — would be allowed in a highly sensitive evidence room along with talk show host Trish.

Director Farren Blackburn delivered big time on The Defenders vs. Elektra and The Hand battle. The lead-in battles were important, but this one needed to be pretty close to epic. Blackburn managed to overcome the visual challenge of characters in dark suits fighting in a dark environment and pulled it off smoothly.


It also helped that Blackburn could break things up with the Bakuto/Colleen with Claire & Misty fight. I’m pretty sure it’s both awful and terrible that I cheered when Bakuto sliced off Misty’s arm. Bionic arm coming for you fools next season! Bakuto won’t be around to see it though since Colleen pulled a Mace Windu on him. I’d call the first Daughters of the Dragon team-up a success overall.

The Defenders - The Defenders review -Claire and Luke Cage

More than even some of the movies, this episode adapted a comic book dynamic incredibly well. Daredevil and Elektra are on a constant ‘it’s complicated’ status and it was fitting the final fight came down to them. Juggling the multiple story arcs of all these characters was a tough challenge, but this season has always been about Daredevil and Elektra.

When the dust settles, there’s no sign of Matt. There was a great scene with Karen and Foggy expecting Matt to follow Danny, Luke and Jessica into the police station. The final 15 minutes played out like an extended epilogue with The Defenders getting back to their normal lives. Luke and Jessica had a nice moment and I was kinda hoping for a till next time scene with Danny and Luke too.

With Daredevil presumed dead, Danny plans to take a more active role in protecting New York. But first, he honors his fallen friend by lighting Rand Tower red. That was a nice touch. Filling Daredevil’s shoes should provide a stronger focus for Iron Fist season 2.

The Defenders - The Defenders review -Trish and Jessica

Of course Matt’s not really dead. His battered body is at a covenant where one of the nuns calls for Maggie — the name of Matt’s mother in the comics. Is that the same for the show?

Defenders seemed to put a cap on the overarching Hand story arc for now. This final episode did a great job of stoking interest in the next chapter of the solo series as well as the next time these heroes reunite.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: Sarah Shatz/Netflix

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