SPOILERS: THE DEFENDERS Address 11 Burning Questions The Miniseries Leaves Open-Ended

<font color="red">SPOILERS:</font> THE DEFENDERS Address 11 Burning Questions The Miniseries Leaves Open-Ended

Marvel and Netflix's The Defenders wrapped up several pivotal plot threads connected to The Hand, The Chaste and K'un-Lun, but there were still many questions that were left unanswered...

After two seasons of Daredevil, and the freshman seasons of Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist, the 8-episode Defenders miniseries has come and gone.  While a lot of plot threads and mysteries were resolved, there were still a lot of questions that went unanswered. Perhaps even more frustrating is the fact that there were also several questions raised within The Defenders that weren't answered before the final credits started to roll.

Showrunner Marco Ramirez led the charge in addressing some of these lingering questions but Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter and Finn Jones also provide some clarification and cryptic teases for some issues yet to be resolved.  Perhaps they'll be addressed in each of The Defenders' solo shows but a few appear to be up in the air.


11. Did The Defenders Set Up BORN AGAIN For Daredevil Season 3?

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The  Defenders closed with a severely injured Matt Murdock waking up at a monastery, being cared for by a Sister Maggie.  Presumably, that's Matt's mother and seems to be a direct reference to 1986 Daredevil story arc from Frank Miller and  David Mazzucchelli.

Speaking to EW,  showrunner Marco Ramirez stated, "I can say that visually that shot at the end of Daredevil’s story was definitely an homage [to Born Again], as were a couple of other scenes, to the comics. That’s one of my favorite Daredevil images, so regardless of who any of the characters are, I went to the production meeting saying this is the image we’re going for, we’re going to feel like this, and that came from that image that I purposely borrowed from the comics."

10. What Happens To The Daredevil And Iron First Relationship Moving Forward?

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Daredevil's mentor tried to kill Iron Fist to keep him from falling into the clutches of The Hand. And that happened after their relationship was already strained when Danny learned that Elektra was the Black Sky and Matt had been keeping that particular detail a secret.  But at the end of the series, Matt asked Danny to protect his city? Does that mean Danny will start running around in the Daredevil suit (he's impersonated Daredevil a time or two in the comics), or will he finally don the Iron Fist costume from the comics?  
 
Charlie Cox, teased to The Hollywood Reporter, "I loved that moment [when Matt asked Danny to protect the city]. We had a lot of fun on the day, trying to make up all sorts of stupid stuff. (Laughs.) I remember trying to say things [that would break him], because obviously he has to keep a very straight face. ... And there are a few characters who dress up as DD at certain points in the comics."

"Peter Parker is another one. I think one of the nice relationships in The Defenders is the Matt and Danny relationship. Danny looks up to Matt a little bit, as a sensible older brother who has been doing this for a lot longer. At the same time, there's a mutual respect. Matt is very impressed with Danny's fighting techniques, and his skills, and his style. That friendship, there's definitely a lot of room for it to grow."

 

9. When/Will Matt Properly Grieve For Stick?

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If anything, the first two seasons of Daredevil illustrated that the relationship between Stick and Matt was everything but straightforward.  Though they disagreed on pretty much everything, underneath all their tension and angry shouting was the tenderness of a father-and-son relationship.  With Stick murdered at the hands of Elektra, Matt barely had any time to grieve before he had to charge down a three-mile long tunnel beneath Midland Circle.
 
Charlie Cox tells THR, "Yeah, it all happens quite quickly. I'm imagining it's something that when the dust settles, he'll have to revisit that grief. At the same time, the relationship with Stick was a difficult one for Matt. They were always at odds. Maybe it will be paradoxically quite freeing to him, to not be constantly wondering if Stick is going to show up again at the most inopportune moment. One thing that will happen is he'll have to realize how much he loved that man, and how grateful he is for everything he did. That will be quite a painful moment, I imagine."
 

8. Are The Hand Finished For Good?

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Aside from Madame Gao and Murakami, each of the other three (surviving) "Fingers" of The Hand met a very definite conclusion in The Defenders finale.  And unless some of the "substance" was smuggled out of Midland Circle before the tower collapsed, they're likely to remain deceased.  That means the five sects of The Hand are currently leaderless.  In this power vacuum, will new leadership rise or is The Hand over as we know it?
 
Marco Ramirez tells EW, "Well, in the Marvel world — and as Jeph Loeb, the Marvel TV head, would say — in the comic-book world, you can always find a way. The story finds a way, so who knows? But we definitely felt like we wanted this to be the end of this specific show, so while I don’t know if it’s the end of the Hand forever — who knows what will happen in the future — it just felt like it’s the end of this story in the lore. Particularly for Iron Fist, we wanted to close that chapter [of the Hand’s story]. I don’t know what the future holds. That’s a Jeph Loeb question [laughs] but for me and for the writers’ room, it felt right to end the story here."


7. Was The Defenders Mapped Out From Daredevil Season 1 Or Did It Come Together At The Zero Hour?

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While some elements of The Defenders harkened back to plot threads that first surfaced all the way back in Daredevil season 1, others, like The Chaste's original origin told by Stick (A young boy avenging the murder of his entire village) versus what we learn in The Defenders (the Chaste were founded by K'un-Lun), unequivocally contradict one another.  So did Marvel TV have an overarching plan in place, similar to how Kevin Feige and co. take a yearly summer retreat to map out the important story beats in the MCU?
 
Ramirez reveals, "It’s like, we knew in season 1 of Daredevil that Nobu wanted a specific building in New York City, and that was why it was important for the Hand to get their hands on this one building, and then in season 2, we revealed that they weren’t building up, they were building down. What they were digging toward we didn’t know, so when we started on Defenders, we knew it would be Defenders versus the Hand, and we didn’t know what they were digging for, and we could come up with anything, you know? It’s kind of a fun thing that TV writers do. Like on Lost, the whole season is about the Hatch, but what’s in the Hatch? We’ll figure that out next season! That’s how these things happen."
 
It almost sounds as if they were making things up as they went along.  That was painfully obvious with certain developments and revelations that unfolded in the show's 8 episodes.


6. Why Bring On Sigrouney Weaver Only To Give Her Character Such A Trivial Arc?

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Sigourney Weaver was unveiled as the bid bad of The Defenders at NYCC 2016 and the marketing material for the show hinted that she was an ancient figure who's been around since The Hand's inception.  Since we previously didn't get those same hints for Madame Gao or Bakuto, that led many to assume there was something particularly exceptional about Weaver's character.  it turns out that wasn't the case and we never even really got see what Alexandra was capable of as Elektra surprised many viewers with her betrayal.  
 
 Ramirez explains, "Well, part of it was just about giving the audience a little something unexpected. Audiences I think sometimes expect that a major storyline or major character is going to end in the ultimate or penultimate episode so they go, “Oh all right, something’s going to happen here at the end of the story,” so it just felt like a jolt, and it was exciting to write. The second part was really in a way we introduced Sigourney’s character a little bit to highlight Elektra’s story. I like to think that we wrote a really fun cool character for Sigourney but really it was also a way for us to say this is the journey that Elektra is going on."
 

5. Did Matt, Jessica And Luke Pick On Danny As Some Sort Of Meta-Acknowledgement Of Online Backlash For Iron Fist Season 1?

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Iron Fist and showrunner Scott Buck were absolutely decimated on social media as being the weakest link in The Defenders chain.  Jessica, Luke and Matt were quick to  pick on Danny and treated him as an annoying little brother which some fans took as the show 's attempt to address fan complaints. But was that actually the case?
 
Ramirez explains, "We were shooting the finale of The Defenders when Iron Fist season 1 was premiering, so by the nature of it, we couldn’t have reacted to it. Any interaction they have to Danny is all based on just the dynamics we wanted to build. It felt like, if somebody came in and said, “My fist glows with chi and I punched a dragon and turned into this,” there’s no way around the fact that Jessica Jones is going to say, “Bullsh–, you sound like a crazy person.” Even if the dragon were in the room with them, Jessica is going to be like, “I don’t believe that, what the f— are we talking about?”

4. So Will The Defenders Start Appearing Regularly In Each Other's Solo Shows? NYC Is Pretty Small

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The Marvel Netflix universe is nowhere as big as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, at least in terms of geography.  While The Avengers crisscross the globe regularly, each of The Defenders operate on the tiny island of Manhattan.  Matt, Danny, Luke and Jessica all know one another now and live just a short subway ride away from one another. 

If something goes down in their solo shows, does that mean Luke's going to hop in a cab and back-up Danny?  Will Jessica then fly uptown to lend Luke a helping hand? It doesn't sound like that's going to be the case.
 
Ramirez explains, "I think of them mostly as like people who were on the same bus when it got in an accident, and then they all filled out paperwork together, and they all went to the hospital together, and now they’re going home. And it’s kind of like, “This was a great adventure to have with you, I’d be okay with seeing you again, I’d also be okay with never seeing you again.” It’s more like a bond that happens in a crisis. People are intimate now, but it’s not like you’ll be inviting them over for dinner every Tuesday. [Laughs] We designed it so they could go back to their individual worlds, but it’s not like they’re apart permanently in any way."
 

3. What's Next For Luke Cage?

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The Defenders saw Luke Cage finally released from prison thanks to Foggy.  In some ways that's the most important development for the character as he's probably The Defender least likely to interact with The Hand should they ever resurface. As such, their downfall has little impact on his overall mission to protect Harlem and take down Shades and Black Mariah.  
 
Speaking to Moviefone, Mike Colter stated, "So what I want to explore, and what’s going to be really interesting for the second season [of Luke Cage], is seeing how he handles these newfound freedoms. What does it open up for him? How does his life change from now on moving forward? And what is it like to sort of be a person that when you walk down the street, everybody knows who he is."


2. Could Iron Fist Season 2 Turn Into Heroes For Hire Season 1?

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The show definitely went out of its way to give fans the initial first steps towards the classic friendship between Iron Fist and Luke Cage.  So will we ever get that Heroes for Hire series? Luke Cage season 2 doesn't appear to be headed in that direction but details on Iron Fist's second season are non-existent at this point.  Could it secretly be the first season of Heroes for Hire?  Such a reveal at NYCC would certainly create some strong buzz for Finn Jones' much maligned Danny Rand. 
 
Speaking to IGN, Finn  stated, "What we're seeing is the birth of this iconic comic book bromance come to life on screen for the first time and it's super exciting.I remember when I read the script, their scenes really stood out to me because [showrunner Marco Ramirez] did such a good job writing the scenes. It didn't feel cheesy or on the nose, it actually felt really relevant."

"It would have been so easy to just set it up and suddenly they're best buds from the get-go, but what I really admired about the way that they first meet is they don't see eye-to-eye. They come from very different backgrounds and there's conflict between them. It makes a really relevant relationship between the two. I'm super excited about this relationship, not only because it's a lot of fun but there's room for a lot of really interesting conversation along the way."   


1. What's Next For Jessica Jones?

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Just like Luke Cage and his abilities are now out in the open, The Defenders revealed that Jessica Jones is  just as popular, if not moreso.  Surprisingly, it seems her victory over the Purple Man (and more specifically, his abilities and hers) is a publicly known feat. 

Just as Luke Cage's first moments in The Defenders sets the tone for his sophomore season, Jessica Jones' initial scenes also provide a clue to her next solo outing.  The fact that the Alias Investigation phones are going to be ringing off the hook is something that Jessica's going to be struggling to deal with and accept. 
 
 Krysten Ritter teased to Bustle, "She keeps her circle small because she doesn't want people in her life, so there's no textbook on how to deal with new popularity or eyes on you, her phone ringing off the hook."  Ritter went on to add the cryptic tease, "The first season was in her head and the second season is in her heart. [The writers] have dug even deeper and made it feel just as big and just as impactful, just as personal."


BONUS: A Fews Questions That Still Haven't Been Addressed Yet

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Who was Stick talking to at the end of The Defenders Season 1? Comic book aficionados identified him as Stone but such a formidable fighter would have made more of an impact if he was confronted by The Hand and/or Elektra.  Perhaps Stick's assertion that The Chaste were all wiped out was misdirection?
 
Did Madame Gao survive the collapse of Midland Circle?  Daredevil made it out alive and there's a ton of fan theories that Gao used some of the substance to revive Matt and turn him into another Black Sky.  That would seemingly set Daredevil season 3 down a path for a Shadowland adaptation but The Defeners' imagery also insinuates that season 3 could tackle Born Again.  However Matt made it out of the cavern, chances are high that Elektra and Gao both played a role.
 
What Happened to K'un-Lun? While watching The Defenders, once it was revealed that The Hand wanted to capture Danny Rand and that they were originally residents of the mystical city, it seemed likely that the Iron Fist would somehow be used to open a backdoor to K'un-Lun.  A popular theory before the show started was that K'un Lun simply locked the door after The Hand attacked and that the door could only be opened by the Iron Fist.  With all the talk of The Hand referring to Danny as the key, it seemed that would be the case but it turns out that the fist was merely the key to securing some dragon bones.
 
Where was the Punisher? What happened to Jon Bernthal's Punisher following the events of Daredevil season 2? Is he still in NYC or will his solo season take place somewhere else in the U.S. or possibly even out of the country?  We'll likely have to wait until the character's solo season to find out, which was surprisingly teased to be released before the end of 2017.

 
What did you think of The Defenders? Let us know in the comment section below.    

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