5 Point Discussion – Defenders Episode 3: ‘Worst Behavior’

by Sage Ashford

This 5 Point Discussion addresses Defenders Episode 3: “Worst Behavior”, currently streaming on Netflix.

It’s going to take the entire season before they realize they work best as a team, isn’t it?

1. We open the third episode with a bit of a flashback, revealing what happened to Elektra’s body after she was kidnapped. She was immediately brought to Alexandra, and it’s at this point we finally get to see something that’s played a major part in the plot of both Daredevil and Iron Fist: how the Hand revives people.

How it works exactly isn’t important, but before they resurrect Elektra, it’s revealed that the ability to bring people back to life is limited, and this revival will be their last. Obviously, this is leading towards the ultimate destruction of the Hand–or at the very least, all the immortal folks within that have been impossible to finish off. But it does raise questions. If the process had a finite number of times it could be done, you’d think they would have been more selective in how they used it, right?

So why bring back Nobu in Daredevil?  He clearly wasn’t the top of the totem pole, and he died like a schmuck in season one. Why bring back Harold Meachum when Ward was just as morally corrupt at the start of things and even easier to control? Learning this, many of their actions feel like a waste of resources in hindsight.

2. I joked in my discussion post of Episode One that Claire would just be the character to unite them all, and it’s almost what happened. Claire’s time with Danny and Colleen made it easy for her to identify anyone with powers as strange as “a glowing fist”. It almost feels contrived, but it unfolds in such a logical way it’s hard to be upset about it.  Particularly since it’s not like Danny and Luke Cage wind up getting along at first…

3. Because heroes can never just put their differences aside until shit gets real serious, it takes Luke barely five minutes after meeting Danny to rip him a new one for beating up Cole, the kid he’s been trying to protect since episode one. The whole thing leads into a discussion about “privilege” that I haven’t decided how I feel about yet.

On the one hand, Luke is absolutely right. Though the series didn’t quite have the balls to just call it “white privilege”, the optics have always been bad when the rich assholes like Batman or Iron Fist descend on the streets and start beating up people who are just trying to make a living.  Being honest, the whole first season of Iron Fist is basically a story of how much you can get away with when you’re a billionaire white dude. And in the real world, there’s never been a better time to have discussions about race, and this is as visible a show as you’re going to get for that opportunity.

Still, in the context of the show it’s hard to argue with Danny. The Hand leaves destruction in their wake whereever they go in order to reach their goals. Danny’s absurd level of privilege is definitely something that needed addressing…but it probably could’ve waited until after making sure there was a world left to have privilege in to begin with.

But, because I can’t stop going back in circles, Luke was also right about how Danny needs to be aware of the people he’s stepping on. At one point, Danny mentions that Luke isn’t seeing the bigger picture. This is ironic, both because he’s wasted an entire season fighting low-level chumps, and because he just got one of the innocents he should be protecting put in jail. So he’s technically correct, but you can’t be a hero if there’s no one left to save–you can’t forget the little guy.

4. The whole discussion between Luke and Danny leads to Danny deciding to put his powers as a billionaire CEO to use to track down the heads of the Hand organization. If you really want to be “that person”, the fact that Danny literally spoke to one random person in his organization and they basically pointed him to the location of the leader of the Hand is completely silly. If it were that easy to find them, you’d think Stick would have done something about it years ago. But I’m letting this go, just because I’m glad we didn’t have to see any of the Meachums.

What I can’t let go is that Danny literally walked into a boardroom of people who he had zero proof had committed any wrongdoing and essentially declared war on them. Things at this point went full-on comic book, as Alexandra revealed herself by sneaking up on him and basically proving she could kill him any time she wanted, only seconds before the boardroom revealed themselves to indeed be the Hand. The only logic I can use to explain all this away is that the group has become so close to their goal that they literally do not care about secrecy on any level anymore.

5. While Danny’s fight scene this episode consist of throwing down with Meg from Accounting and Finance and Paxton from Human Resources, Matt (also known as “this series’ coolest character”) gets the big throw-down scene this week. As the heroes, one by one, found their way to Midland Circle, the hideout of the upper-level Hand members, Alexandra just says ‘fuck it’ and sends the Black Sky/Elektra at the group.

What’s noteworthy here is that it doesn’t seem like Elektra’s been given any extra powers outside of the initial revival. She’s just an excellent fighter in general, but Matt keeps up with her with very little struggle outside of the end. It’s heartbreaking to watch though, since the poor guy doesn’t even recognize it’s her at first until his super-senses catch her scent. I can’t imagine what it’s going to do to the poor guy once he learns what’s happened to her.