TV Quibbles: The Defenders Season 1, Likes and Dislikes

The devil, the detective, the ex-con, and the kid with the iron fists join up to stop a looming threat.

To keep this review from getting too long I wanted to do my top likes and dislikes of the first season.

Premise

To put it quickly: Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand must come together as a group known as the Hand brings forth a plan to destroy New York. Despite their range of abilities the clashing personalities is a recipe for arguments and disaster.

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Likes

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When the Defenders need to come together in the most urgent times they’re able to put their differences aside and work as a team. Expect to see Luke Cage shielding Jessica Jones from bullets and Daredevil alerting the team when danger is near. They fail. They take hits, but they continue to keep fighting.

Growing Chemistry

Fighting aside, watching the characters interact is one of the most fun parts of the show. Despite it’s more serious tone, a light-heartedness comes in when Danny tries to explain to Luke what his abilities are and how he got them. Jessica finds Matt all kinds of weird but over time creates a soft spot for him. Granted the group doesn’t meet until the end of the third episode, the rest of the season takes time building up the trust.

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Side Character Love

Claire Temple deserves all the awards. Always has. She’s her own superhero despite not being super strong or have a glowing fist. From Daredevil to Luke Cage, she has connections and is there when medical attention is needed.

Then there’s Colleen and Stick, fighters who are also there to help the Defenders out in tough situations. From the ones putting themselves in the line of fire to the others sitting on the sidelines just hoping they survive, it’s good to see the other characters and their feelings about their loved ones doing what they do. Characters you didn’t expect to interact with bond in different ways.

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Matt and Foggy’s relationship is one of my favorites and despite Foggy not very happy about him fighting, he knows it’s a side of him he can’t argue with.

Mystic Magic

Along with Doctor Strange, it’s nice to see magic being more incorporated in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From the history of the Hand to the explanation of Danny’s fist, it’s a nice change from serum and chemical exposure. For me, it’s more interesting, but for others maybe not.

The Hand has a big part to play. They’ve been around for centuries after being formed from the five original members or the “five fingers of the hand.” They’re able to resurrect themselves and others while being the reason for some of the world’s worst atrocities. Like Pompeii.

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This may be a good part for me to point out I didn’t watch Iron Fist prior. For others who didn’t either, they do a good job of catching you up with basic information for all the characters. As for what the show explains it’s easy to follow.

High Stakes

It becomes pretty clear to the main characters how dire the situation is early on. While Danny and Matt are aware of the Hand and what they do, Jessica and Luke do not. All Jessica wants to do is help find a missing husband and ends up getting pulled into a situation where all life in New York is at stake. Luke just wants to help the people of Harlem but kids getting involved with the Hand to clean up their messes is enough reason for him to push past the skepticism of Danny’s glowing fist.

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Not only is it state-wide but for people they personally care about. It gets to the point where loved ones have to stay hidden inside the police station in case the Hand comes for them. They can’t even talk about the Hand or let anyone know too much.

I do get a bit tired of characters not letting others know because they already “know too much.” All Misty Knight wants to do is help, but even being a cop they just can’t get to the point of telling her much.

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This may be a good Segway into my dislikes.

Dislikes

In the Dark

Continuing on from my last point, this just doesn’t deal with hiding information from loved ones who may get hurt. This is from each other.

Matt is more secretive than the rest. Not only does he not want to tell them who he is, but he withholds information you know will create more tension later on once everyone finds out. Elektra died, but came back to life, and she’s my ex-girlfriend. Not a hard thing to say but that’s just it, he doesn’t.

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The Immortal Iron Fist

This has nothing to do with Danny Rand as a character. Although he does call himself that a lot…I expected to see his fist more. Danny is a key role in the plot: the Hand wants him and the power he possess to open a door to immortality. Not Danny himself, most of them say he’s the worst Iron Fist yet. But in situations with large groups that fist can come in HANDY. Heh.

Like I said, I didn’t watch Iron Fist. I don’t know the exact stakes, but from what the Defenders said all I know is it takes up a lot of energy. But so does continuously fighting.

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The Five Fingers of the Hand

The show explains what the Hand is, how it came to be, and what it’s goals are. The main one being: life. They want to live forever and for the main five, have. Is it bad for me to say I expected more?

Alexandra is the leader and dying. She needs a certain substance to continue on, which causes her to move plans ahead faster than they intended. Their plan is under New York and the building they constructed. But they need Iron Fist. They seemed to plan it rather well.

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Other than that: how did they last this long? From what we learn one is constantly trying to take another out. Most want to take out Alexandra for her job. Sure they have one goal but they’re power-hungry. Marvel doesn’t have a good tract record for villains and even though I didn’t mind Alexandra, she could’ve been more.

Overall

It’s easy to say if you never watched any of the shows or know anything about the characters, you can probably watch this. A quick introduction is given to each of them, including what they tell each other as they meet. However knowing the history and connection with others will help.

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It’s a fun watch. With twists and turns you won’t know what to expect from any of the characters. Even the Hand and their plan is a mystery for a while which I didn’t mind.

However, this is the start of a team. Like the Avengers, they don’t get along at first. Danny is the only one on board the whole team concept. Characters clash. The bickering is there throughout the season, but it’s what I expected.

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In the end, each character is dealing with their own investigations until it brings them together. They’re able to put personal feelings aside and come together to save New York and potentially the world from the Hand and their future plans. By the last episode you’ll see them care for one another and be rooting for them ’til the end.

 

 

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