SPOILERS: THE DEFENDERS - 6 Things That Worked And 4 That Didn't

<font color=red>SPOILERS:</font> THE DEFENDERS - 6 Things That Worked And 4 That Didn't

The Defenders is now on Netflix and the show we've all been waiting years for definitely delivers. Well, mostly! Here are the things that both did and did not work in this team-up between the heroes...

The Defenders finally hit Netflix yesterday and if you're anything like me, you'll have already finished making your way through the eight-part series. Meeting back up with Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist is a lot of fun and while the show is far from a disappointment, it's not perfect! 

While The Defenders does a lot right, it has a lot of flaws and what you'll find here is an in-depth look at all the things which both did and did not work in the series we've been waiting for since 2014. 

It goes without saying that spoilers follow but even if you haven't had a chance to watch the show yet, you'll find this feature a good way of preparing for what's to come and what to expect from The Defenders' first adventure together. So, from big twists to the action and more, click through for more.


Didn't Work: The Hand's Master Plan



We first met The Hand in season one of Daredevil and the clandestine group of villainous ninjas would later return to Hell's Kitchen and then took on a key role in Iron Fist. During that time, we got an awful lot of hints about what they had planned for New York City but no definitive answers. As a result, it began to feel like Marvel TV had no idea what they were going to do with them when The Defenders finally hit the online streaming service. Sadly, this show just confirms those suspicions.

It's here we learn that they've run out of the elixir which brings them back from the dead and that they plan on destroying the city by retrieving some of it from a graveyard full of dragons bones deep underground. The five fingers of The Hand are already hundreds of years old and all they want to do is extend their lives even further. That's it. No Beast, no master plan to control the world, and no goal which justifies the huge amount of screentime they've had in the past. Simply put, they're wasted. 


Did Work: Iron Fist Finally Kicks Some Ass



I didn't hate the first season of Iron Fist but there's no getting around the fact that the show didn't make good use of its lead or his amazing abilities. Thankfully, The Defenders does a significantly better job of portraying Danny Rand's abilities and rather than using the Iron Fist sporadically, he actually gets to utilise it for entire fight scenes and feels a lot more powerful as a result. That's how the character should have been portrayed from the start and it's good to finally see that Danny is confident in his abilities. 

While Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage all deliver when it comes to kicking ass, it's arguably Iron Fist who most frequently steals the show even if he does make a ridiculously stupid decision in the penultimate episode when he tries to take down Elektra and winds up being used by her to open the door to the graveyard full of dragon bones. Seriously, how could he not see that was coming? 


Didn't Work: Elektra Is The Real Big Bad



Alexandra is dying of natural causes and with the last of The Hand's elixir used to resurrect Elektra, she needs what's beneath New York City now more than ever. With The Black Sky by her side, she very nearly succeeds...until Daredevil's old flame murders her in cold blood and declares herself the leader of The Hand. If this iteration of the evil group had been anything like their comic book counterparts, this would have worked but the talented fighter breaking bad is more baffling than shocking.

After all, why would she be interested in living forever? That's never fully explained and considering the fact she has her memories back by this point, it would have made more sense for her to wipe out the hand and take them in a new direction. The show clearly needed someone for the team to fight, though, so Elektra is shuffled into this role despite the fact that it really doesn't work as well as it probably should have done. 


Did Work: The Defenders Finally Assemble



When the four heroes do finally come together (and it takes a surprisingly long time), it's an awful lot of fun. Just like The Avengers, getting to see these very different characters share the screen is pretty much a dream come true. Luke Cage and Iron Fist aren't Heroes for Hire just yet but watching their friendship develop is awesome, especially when they acknowledge their different backgrounds and we get to see exactly what Luke makes of Danny's tale of punching a dragon in the heart!

It's also good to see Luke and Jessica Jones put their differences aside after their last meeting and while romance appears to have been taken off the table for them, the door does at least seem to be open to another team-up down the line. However, it's Jessica and Matt who arguably steal the show with their snarky back and forth but there's simply no beating seeing the four of these characters together fighting side by side. If anything, The Defenders could have done with more of that! 


Did Work: The Action



I've already mentioned the fact that Iron Fist is finally given the opportunity to unleash and kick some ass in The Defenders but the action, in general, is stellar from start to finish in the series. Daredevil and Danny Rand's martial arts are obviously impressive to watch but it's nice that some serious power also factors into proceedings thanks to Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. The way they interact with The Hand is definitely something different and it's to the show's credit that it finds ways to make them vulnerable despite being so strong.

The four heroes get a few chances to fight side by side and those scenes really impress, particularly in the finale (even if the music chosen for that sequence really doesn't work). Daredevil's final battle with Elektra might just be the best one in the entire eight-part story, though, especially as there's an added level of emotion involved. 


Didn't Work: The Supporting Cast



While it's nice to see the supporting players from the worlds of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist here, they fail to make any sort of impact for the most part. Colleen Wing and Misty Knight wind up doing some good stuff near the end (which I'll get to a little later) but the likes of Foggy Nelson, Trish Walker, and Karen Page are all just here for the sake of it and end up spending most of their time sitting in a waiting room and fretting about their friends.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that The Defenders didn't waste time focusing on another of Karen's investigations or Trish counselling Jessica every few minutes and it would have been nice to see them given more to do. Inevitably, Claire Temple is thrown into the mix during the final battle but she doesn't do anything too ridiculous or try to play superhero - despite being a very normal person - as she has in some of these other shows. 


Did Work: The Punisher Lays Low



Before The Defenders premiered on Netflix, there were rumblings that Jon Bernthal's Frank Castle would make an appearance in the series. While it would have been interesting to see him thrown into the mix, the second half of Daredevil season two proved that The Punisher is a character who needs to be handled with care as his sudden appearance in full costume on that rooftop when he started gunning down members of The Hand felt forced and, well, totally unnecessary.

Frank showing up out of nowhere here would have been fun but it wasn't needed and it's good that Marvel decided to keep the focus on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. However, despite this, I really can't fault them for that awesome after-credits scene (well, trailer) featuring the fan-favourite vigilante ahead of the debut of his solo series a little later this year. 


Did Work: Daughters Of The Dragon



The Defenders goes some way in developing the friendship between Colleen Wing and Misty Knight and that's exciting for the future. Before we get to that, though, the show deserves some credit for the way both of them are handled here. Yes, it's a little convenient that Misty has been promoted to a position where she covers all of New York (making it easier for her to be included in the story) but it's good to see Colleen back in action and putting her demons behind her once and for all.

However, by far the biggest surprise - and this is what I was talking about earlier - is when Misty loses an arm and the stage is finally set for her to get the robotic prosthetic used by her comic book counterpart. That's even alluded to here when Colleen mentions that Misty is in a state of the art hospital and while it's probably still too soon to start talking about a Daughters of the Dragon spinoff series, it feels like we could be heading in that direction. 


Didn't Work: The Ending (Mostly)



Daredevil sacrificing himself to save the rest of team and New York City definitely feels like something Matt Murdock would do and the hero seemingly being buried beneath The Hand's headquarters alongside Elektra is easily something you can imagine happening in the comic books. It's a touching moment mired in tragedy but the fact that the show spends the next twenty minutes or so trying to make us believe he's actually dead is ridiculous. Daredevil season three has already been confirmed and it's obvious that a character like this would not die.

As a result, the big reveal that a badly injured Matt is being cared for by nuns (and specifically his mother, Sister Maggie) falls flat even if it is now clear that Elektra is still out there somewhere. That's better than her being killed off anyway and while it does leave things in an interesting place for Daredevil's return, it's frustrating to think that his new friends - and his old ones - believe he's dead as that's a plot point season three really doesn't need to waste time dwelling on.


Did Work: A Self-Contained Adventure



There's no getting around the fact that it's annoying how far from the Marvel Cinematic Universe The Defenders feels, especially when it feels like an earthquake in New York would draw the attention of The Avengers. Regardless, the show deserves some credit for being a self-contained affair as it really does feel like that's going to make it easier for more of these team-ups to happen again somewhere down the line.

An argument could definitely be made that the show should have done more to advance the stories of each hero as it does feel a little inconsequential at times but they are all in different places by the time all is said and done so that's something. Jessica has finally reopened Alias Investigations, Matt Murdock is assumed dead and in the care of his mother, Iron Fist is ready to be New York's hero, and Luke Cage...well, nothing much has changed for him but he does seem ready to head back into action to save Harlem from Mariah and Shades so that's something!

What do you guys think did and didn't work in The Defenders? Do you agree with these points? As always, be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments section down below. 


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