5 Point Discussions – The Defenders Episode 8: ‘The Defenders’

by Sage Ashford

…Really?  The title of the episode is the name of the show?  Alright, if you’re sure…

Since this is the last episode, I’m going to run these final five points down in terms of characters and where it leaves them going forward into “Phase 2” of Marvel Netflix.

1. Misty lines up with her comic self a bit more now, as Misty gets her arm chopped off when she gets in the way of a swordfight between Bakuto and Colleen. At the very beginning of this season, I was talking about how I wasn’t sure Misty needed to be exactly like her comic book counterpart, but it looks like that’s exactly where they’re headed. With Rand being one of the largest corporations in the Marvel Universe, it wouldn’t be difficult at all to get her a cybernetic arm, though. A relationship with Danny is hopefully out of the question as the two don’t seem like they’d have any chemistry, but at this point it would be a waste not to do a Heroes for Hire series.

2. Between his own first season and now eight episodes of Defenders, it feels like Danny’s almost unsalvageable as a character now. I’m not sure how or why, but the creatives created a show that was basically “Iron Fist Season 1.5”, yet gave all the best fight scenes to Daredevil. And character-wise Danny remained a naïve child that thinks he’s much more charming than he actually is. And he’s surprisingly useless in this final episode, too. After waking up in the bones of one of the dead versions of Shou Lao the Undying, Danny tries to shut the Hand down, but nearly gets taken out by Murakami before he gets saved by Matt, Luke, and Jessica. Ugh. Nothing short of a purposeful character reboot can fix this guy at this point. But speaking of Luke and Jessica…

3. This mostly wasn’t Luke or Jessica’s story, so the two of them remained the most unchanged in the face of this. Having said that…the Luke/Jessica teases are gross, and they need to stop. Luke has a great woman in Claire–one that was loyal enough to wait for him to get out of prison, even–but still they tease the Luke/Jessica ship pretty heavily over this episode. There’s even a “coffee” reference.

I’m a stickler for the comics, and there Luke and Jessica are in a happy relationship with a baby, and that’s cool. If they want to go for Luke/Jessica at some point, I’m not against it at all.  But Luke’s whole thing is that he’s a Good Man. Not a “nice guy”, but a “Good Man”, and seeing flirtatious hints of him being a cheating bastard thrown about sours that.

4. Matt’s end point is the most puzzling. After the bombs are set to go off, the rest of the team hauls ass out of the building…but Matt stays in an effort to get Elektra out. Speaking of her character, now that the series is finished, it seems like they lost the plot of Elektra’s character. There was such a cool twist with her killing Alexandra, but then there wasn’t really an endgame to it.  Anyway, Matt tries to save her, but instead they end up beating the hell out of each other because…the writers knew they couldn’t push for the happy ending without being cheesy, but they didn’t have anything else.  Matt makes it clear that he won’t leave without her, and while she admits she’s in love with him and doesn’t want anything else, they can’t leave because…?

There were absolutely better options than what actually happened. They could have actually left them together to enjoy a happily ever after, appearing cheesy be damned.  Murakami and Gao could have popped up and slowed them down, giving us one final two on two fight scene that surpassed anything from season one or two of Daredevil. Anything would have been better than “they fight for no reason until the bomb goes off, and hold each other while the building collapses on them”. Oh! But they don’t die, because Daredevil’s been cleared for season three.

5. One thing I’m pretty sure of is that Madame Gao is alive. Bakuto got his head cut off in his fight with Colleen, and Murakami got impaled by some metal after falling like a billion feet off the elevator. But Gao was completely undamaged, and it wouldn’t have taken very much of the substance at all to revive or de-age her so she could continue her work–and we saw them cart off at least one rib bone early in the episode. We never saw a body, so without confirmation from creatives, I would expect to see her again.

Well, that’s all of Defenders, done and dusted. All in all, it was a decent show that could have been great if they had structured it differently.  Still, though we’re done with Defenders, that’s not it for 5 Point Discussions.  I’ll be covering several shows for Comicon.com, so look forward to it!

Find the other 5 Point Discussions for Defenders below:

Episode One

Episode Two

Episode Three

Episode Four

Episode Five

Episode Six

Episode Seven