We gave it an A-
Just like last episode, “Ashes, Ashes” starts with some eccentric music. But rather than “sneak up on the Royal Dragon” heist music, this one is slower and sadder – it’s what Alexandra’s listening to now that Elektra’s gone. We’ve all been there – listening to classical music alone because we’re sad the assassin we brought back to life has gone off on her own.
Alexandra should cheer up, honestly. At least she’s faring better than her old comrade Sowande, whose head is now lying on the floor of Defenders HQ. The other heroes are upset at Stick for killing him, but the old warrior insists they got what they needed out of the warlord. Stick points to Sowande’s exact phrasing, that Iron Fist was “the key to what the hand desires.” Stick explains what we viewers have already figured out: These ninjas don’t mean that metaphorically. The Hand literally needs the iron fist to open a door. Apparently, the iron fist isn’t just a weapon – sometimes, it can be used to seal away important things.
As ever, Stick is nothing but practical. If the Hand needs Iron Fist to achieve their goal, then the logical thing to do is to keep him as far away from them as possible. For some reason, Danny takes major offense to this, and starts screaming that the Hand is poisoning their minds against him with fake news. Other characters roasting Danny might get tiring, but honestly everything that comes out of his mouth is so whiny and petulant, rolling your eyes is the natural response. Again, the Defenders process this disagreement in the most Marvel way possible: by getting in a fistfight. At one point Danny and Luke collide in an explosion of force that shakes the compound, but it turns out a Jessica Jones punch to the head is much more effective.
As the three conscious Defenders regroup, Luke and Jessica finally address why it took them until now to reconnect. Jessica admits she’s bad at keeping in touch, but also points out that Luke could have called her too. Speaking of awkward romantic pasts, Matt is once again being shifty about Elektra, reluctant to disclose that she accompanied him the last time he went to Midland Circle. Jessica rightfully chews him out over hiding stuff from them again. Since Raymond was the architect who built Midland Circle, she and Matt decide to follow up with his family while Luke stays and watches Danny.
Elektra wakes up in Matt’s apartment after a nice dream about their past life. Having seen the Daredevil costume in the dream, she looks for it when awake, but only finds the card from her own funeral. She’s cleared out by the time Jessica and Matt arrive. I love this little scene because it’s mostly Jessica and Matt talking about how crappy their apartments are (when Matt apologizes for the mess, Jessica tells him “you should see my place”). Jessica Jones has one of the most accurate descriptions of New York living I’ve ever seen — you live in whatever crappy hole in the wall you can afford and try to avoid rats. Matt does notice the chest out of whack, which shakes him up, but once again he keeps his internal thoughts from Jessica. (recap continued on page 2)