This 5 Point Discussion series follows The Defenders, currently streaming on Netflix, and specifically, Episode 7: “Fish in the Jailhouse”.
1. The beginning of the episode is a flashback to some point during Daredevil, where Elektra starts talking with Stick about how Matthew isn’t going to become a murderer for him. Stick eventually points out that she’s making excuses and that she’s usually more useful, and she’s only letting Matthew off the hook because she’s in love with him. It’s at that point that I realized that Elektra basically killed the two characters responsible for trying to manipulate her and take away her agency. Now there’s a “strong female character” I can get behind.
2. After all of them are knocked out by Elektra, Matt, Luke, and Jessica wake up inside the police precinct. Considering we’re literally a single episode away from the finale, this grinds all the momentum of the story to a very loudly screeching halt. I wasn’t against all of them taking their friends to the precinct for protection, but this time it just broke the logic of the story. How’d the police find them?
More importantly, since they were found in a building with two dead bodies, they are being given far too much freedom. At that point they should have all wound up in jail cells, because they couldn’t give an answer to explain what really happened that didn’t sound insane. Other than bringing Misty back for twenty minutes, there really wasn’t any reason to have our characters wind up here at all.
3. Both Karen and Foggy mention in this episode that Matt’s actions over this series are eventually going to cause the police to put two and two together about who he is. And considering he already suited up in order to help Jessica save Trish, that’s probably not too far from the truth.
….So of course Matt breaks out of the precinct along with Jessica and Luke, with the hope that everyone will believe he was kidnapped. I have legitimate problems with this whole set-up, as the Supporting Cast of Daredevil was right–Matt is playing too fast and loose with his secret identity. More importantly, I’m not sure how you explain away breaking out of a police precinct after this is over. I imagine even once the Hand is stopped it’ll be done in such a way that literally no one is going to believe them. So why re-introduce the cops at all? To waste more of the series’ runtime?
4. This episode finally gave me what I’ve been wanting since the beginning: a show down between the Defenders (minus Danny) versus the Hand (minus Alexandra). It’s everything I hoped for in a choreography sense. Luke and Jessica aren’t real fighters, so we see them trying to leverage their powers in this fight versus the much more experienced Madame Gao, and later Murakami. Meanwhile, Matt goes head to head with Murakami and Bakuto, and somehow manages to actually hold his own until Colleen arrives to help the group. I’m not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the way Daredevil became the most talented fighter in a group that has a guy who killed a dragon with his kung-fu. I’m not sure if that’s awesome, or stupid.
5. Elsewhere, Elektra and Danny finally get to have a heart to heart. I’m not really sure what Elektra’s after, unless she just took on Alexandra’s dream of seeking immortality. She tries to convince Danny to work with her, but Danny turns her down even after learning she’s not really with the Hand because unlike her, he doesn’t respect his own agency and prefers when people tell him what to do. I wish I was lying about that exchange, but I’m not sure what else you can pull from a scene where Elektra points out they’ve both been lied to and manipulated, but she was willing to cut the strings while Danny wants to remain “loyal”.
The rest of the episode is “obvious”. Danny is brought directly in front of the key to what the Hand has been looking for, is told what it is and still lets Elektra goad him into using his fist to do battle with her, and she easily manages to get him to open the doorway with it. Again I want to point out that while Matt only ever had trouble with Elektra because he was trying to get her to stand down, Danny can’t even bring her down when he wants to kill her. At this point, I’m about as impressed with Shou-Lao the Undying as I am a tutorial stage in a video game.