Sarah Shatz/Netflix
August 18, 2017 at 07:00 PM EDT

Marvel's The Defenders

TV Show
Action, Crime
run date
Mike Colter, Krysten Ritter, Charlie Cox, Finn Jones
Current Status
In Season
We gave it a B+

Following last episode’s climactic fight, the gang is looking for cover. They settle on a nearby Chinese restaurant, and as they batten down the hatches, the Defenders continue to learn more about each other and their powers. Danny sees how strong Jessica is when she single-handedly moves a table to barricade the door, while Luke learns that Matt can “smell neon.” The owner of the restaurant is very unhappy with the situation, but Danny buys him off by paying his rent for the next few months and ordering one of everything from the menu. Sometimes it really does seem like Danny’s wealth is a way more useful superpower than his glowing fist is.

As the heroes stand around discussing what the hell just happened to them, we get some truly incredible Jessica Jones lines. Upon being informed that the ninjas they just fought call themselves “The Hand,” she asks with a priceless expression, “What are they really called?” As Matt tries to come up with a game plan, she reasonably asks, “Is there a plan where I get my scarf back?” Of course, Jessica Jones packs more than just good comebacks; she’s also a pretty smart detective who’s good at resolving conflicts. When Matt and Luke start getting testy, she breaks them up and tells Matt she figured out he’s “the devil of Hell’s Kitchen. Devil Boy. Whatever.” That gets him to open up and finally take her scarf off her face, allowing the heroes to sit down for a well-deserved meal.

Elektra, too, is rattled after her battle. Looking in the mirror, she realizes that her original death wounds are still visible. Alexandra tells her, “Your life is new. Your body, however, is not.” In other words, Elektra got resurrected Beric Dondarrion-style — life is back in her body, but there has been no healing or redemption. However, it seems her new life might hold some secret to prolonging Alexandra’s, as the Hand boss calls the Black Sky her “only hope.” So far, I’m pretty intrigued by this dark, almost matriarchal relationship developing between the two. Maybe it’s just a classic Palpatine/Vader situation, but Alexandra does seem to genuinely look on the new Elektra as an achievement, the culmination of her life’s work.

Even so, the Black Sky may not be enough. Having learned just how dangerous the Defenders are, Alexandra goes to ask for help. In perhaps the most self-consciously “prestige TV” shot of the series thus far, she asks for help from a mysterious man who is taking the insides out of a pig while they talk in a fancy apartment. This man (who we will soon learn is named Murakami) is dismissive of the Defenders as a threat but agrees to help Alexandra. Apparently this means the “five fingers” of the Hand are reuniting, and to celebrate, they share a strange-sounding motto: “We serve life itself.” (Recap continues on page 2)

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