The Defenders

Netflix's Marvel Super heroes get the team up treatment in this series. Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Daredevil come together to take on the plot of The Hand in New York City

Season 1

Roy

I suppose this episode needed to happen for the people who for some reason haven’t seen the other Netflix Marvel shows but they didn’t need to make it so boring. Also, Defenders wasn’t made for the people who haven’t seen the other shows. Sigourney Weaver was the only good thing I watched, but unfortunately it was solely because of her presence, not for anything she did: I know I am not expecting too much from her because she is Sigourney Weaver, but I just wasn’t feeling her role after this episode. This episode is completely skippable. Also Danny Rand might be the new Lori Grimes.

3/10

Matt

Just in case you have been living under a rock you're in luck because this episode is all about reintroducing all of the netflix Marvel characters. So good news if you're just joining us on the Marvel Netflix boat, bad news if you have watched all of the separate shows. The saving grace of this episode is the introduction of the new villain played by the ever wonderful Sigourney Weaver. I’m not going to bother touting her virtues, you know she’s awesome.

5/10

Tommy

We start the huge Netflix Marvel team up show in quite the slow fashion. There is not much to get you engaged here as we are just following up on where all the individual defenders are with their lives. Sigourney Weaver is nicely menacing and how she stacks up as a villain is interesting but aside from that and a few nice scenes where we see side characters like Fozzy doing their thing there’s not much of note. It does feel nice to see these characters again especially Jessica as it feels like it has been so long since we’ve seen her.

6/10

Episode Score

46

The Defenders

Roy

Nothing is happening. This is boring. +1 for Danny getting punched by Luke Cage.

3.5/10

Matt

At the moment I feel like the kids in the Simpsons, wondering when Poochy will get to the fireworks factory. There seems to be a little too much build up for my liking but on one hand I do feel like if I was binge watching the series, probably as intended I would be having a more pleasant experience. Speaking of pleasant experiences watching Danny get a smack down from Luke Cage left me with a big old smile on my face so not all is lost for the defenders. I also have to compliment a nice cliffhanger ending for this episode

7/10

Tommy

Things ramp up a bit in this episode and although there is a little bit of that feeling of wanting things to just get to the meet up already, there is enough here that keeps things entertaining. For instance for those of us who don’t enjoy seeing Danny Rand there is a great cathartic scene in there. Also one usual device that is used to stall out the plot is instead used to set up a great encounter that ends the episode and keeps things hype for the one to come. There’s not much else to say as we are still in the set up phase of this team up but things are escalating and it feels good.

7/10

Episode Score

58

Roy

Danny Rand. How do you forget that you are a billionaire? I am looking forward to Jessica Jones shutting down his poppycock more than I am the Defenders actually existing. Which I suppose they finally have at the very end of this episode, after a passable fight scene. Netflix Marvel shows have given us magnitudinously better fight scenes, I am thinking in particular of Daredevil. The rest of the episode… uhh… I guess the Defenders’ respective investigations are converging on the bad guy or… something. Jessica Jones can save this by telling Danny like it is. Don’t fail me Jessica.

4.7/10

Matt

The dialogue between Luke Cage and Danny Rand this episode addressed some of my complaints about Iron Fist’s nivatey and this was a welcome approach. It’s also helped to lay the foundations of a possible budding friendship between the two. The real treat was seeing the Defenders assemble (or “Defend) in the hallway fight scene which was choreographed quite nicely.

7/10

Tommy

We get the team up in this episode and although there is quite a bit of set up. The fights that happen at the end are quite worth it. The interactions between the characters is nice and I like that the show has the smaller characters to draw on when these interactions begin to wear out their welcome. The season continues its ramp up and we get treated to a legit fight sequence and it shows that the Daredevil directors are the best of the netflix shows for this action.

7.5/10

Episode Score

64

Roy

It took half the season for this episode to happen, which should have been the first episode. The crew is finally together but they haven’t been doing a whole lot of defending. Jessica Jones throwing guff left and right is about all that kept me watching. I like her calling Danny Rand out on his rubbish. Despite everyone and special guest Stick being together they can’t even defend a restaurant. In fact, it was they who did the most damage to the restaurant. Not all that sure what I am watching or what it is supposed to be about. I might be putting Defenders up to an unfair preconceived standard, but with a title like that I feel that certain expectations are justified.

3.7/10

Matt

There are some really good character moments in this episode. Like my previous review I have to give props to the interactions between Danny Rand and Luke Cage. The showrunners are drawing these two characters together into a budding friendship which is natural and welcome. Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones is an enjoyable foil for the morose Matt Murdock. Her condemning zingers are on point and Ritter delivers her lines expertly. We get some more action and a menacing Sigourney Weaver with Elektra in tow and the great sarcastic wit of Stick. I think this episode works well, it would have been great if it had happened a little earlier on in the series.

7/10

Tommy

Basically all of this episode takes place in a restaurant and we just get the characters interacting with one another and despite the lack of action sequences the banter is on point and everyone has their moment. It’s fun to watch them interact and react the way they do to things. The ending seems to suggest a ramp up in the plot and this episode seems to serve to cement the team up so hopefully we won’t have much more faffing about. There’s also a cool scene establishing one of the other “fingers of the hand” so how he will enter the scene will be interesting given this build up.

7/10

Episode Score

59

Roy

Defenders started out very well this week; Brahms Symphony 1 is one of my favourites. Unfortunately, Brahms didn’t stick around for long and was quickly replaced with doldrum. Last episode had the Defenders sitting around a restaurant arguing. After a brief, uninspired fight scene, this episode had them standing around a warehouse arguing. Luke Cage captured one of the five powerful leaders of the enemy organisation… off camera. With no explanation. What is the point of that? If they don’t show things like that what am I supposed to look forward to watching? I sure can’t think of anything.

2.9/10

Matt

Sometimes I think Netflix shows need to be binged in order to enjoy them. The Defenders is probably on that list because this episode was pretty dull. Daredevil suits up, which is cool. Jessica gets off some great lines. Otherwise not much really happens and the strangest thing is that the Luke Cage abduction is completely abandoned as he just suddenly returns with a his captor under his arm. It was such a weird way to disregard a plot thread that is borders on either laziness or a very forgetful writer.

5.5/10

Tommy

So Luke cage manages to capture one of the fingers of the hand offscreen. In a show that is about a superhero team up that is shorter than a normal season of a Marvel Netflix show, one would expect to do away with more of the set up and have more of the action but it seems like that is not the case. This episode is quite dull with the Defenders more or less just stuck in an abandoned building and gathering up their buddies into one place for protection and though it was good to have those characters interact and speculate about the others. Ultimately it just feels a little bit unnecessary for a show like this. I don’t recall too much of the stuff that happened on the villain side but I think it was just a bunch of bickering about the Black Sky and how Sowande is captured. Anyway the episode is not at all memorable and it doesn’t have a cool fight scene to keep you distracted either. Although Jessica Jones continues deliver in entertaining quips.

5/10

Episode Score

44

Roy

The Defenders have gone from fighting amongst themselves with word to fighting with fist. Specifically Iron Fist. He lost easily because he sucks, of course. I don’t have that much else to say here. It has all the same problems the previous episodes had and offered absolutely nothing new.

3/10

Matt

If you enjoyed then five to ten minutes of bickering in The Avengers films and wanted an hour long episode made of those themes. Then you're in luck because that is exactly what you get in this episode. I was waiting the whole time for the time to come together, tell stick to fuck off and act heroically. That didn't happen, instead we got an hour of circle jerking with no clear resolution on any of the conflict raised by the charecters.

4/10

Tommy

Bickering is what is most prominent in this episode and although I enjoyed the scene where the rest of the defenders fight and subdue Iron Fist, it doesn’t lead to much of what we wanted out of the show. There are some somewhat shocking developments that happen in this episode but it all lacks a sense of grandeur that these character deserve. That might be the point but it leaves me with a sense of dissonance that I didn’t get with characters like Little Finger on Game of Thrones. Anyway that’s about it for this episode as the aforementioned bickering makes up like 90% of the episode.

5/10

Episode Score

40

Roy

Defenders is approaching CW levels of drivelry. How did Netflix’s Marvel’s’ shows go from Daredevil to this? It is a farrago of inanity that is much more effort, into which, than it is worth going.

1/10

Matt

My feeling right now is let's just get this done. For a superhero team up show that I was patiently excited for this year I can only describe my viewing experience as consistently bored. Too much boring dialogue and choppy fight scenes are only adding to the misery and I am now wondering how such a perfect concept could go so wrong. At least the CW keeps the action sequences engaging.

4/10

Tommy

I really want to say that this show is good but it is just not living up to the expectations. It’s no Batman V Superman but there are some flaws that stand out here. The most glaring fault for me is the execution of the action sequences especially when compared to Daredevil, the action is cut in a way that is quite disorienting and makes the action harder to get into. The dialogue also falls short with some bizarre choices like when a character says “This is not how we do things” in relation to a coup and then a few lines later says “This isn’t our first coup”. There’s also a line where Misty says “How long do you want me to stall?” which is odd to me as wouldn’t the answer always be as long as possible? This line is also rendered completely meaningless as Luke Cage seems to do all the stalling at least for now by just bending a pipe to block the door. There’s also the breakout at the police station which was handled in a rather dull way that didn’t make much sense. I was hoping that these last two episodes would make the slog worth it but it looks like that is not the case.

4/10

Episode Score

30

Roy

‘Phoned it in’ doesn’t even begin to cover it. A fight between the Defenders and the Hand should have been easy entertainment but it was so inordinately boring. I could go on all day about why but I will leave it at that because it just isn’t worth it. Nothing that happened here was worth it. It is making me angry just thinking about it. I also have to deduct points for this episode being longer than the other episodes.

1.1/10

Matt

It’s done! In summation I am incredibly disappointed with this series as a whole and I don’t believe that binge watching it would have helped in the slightest. The series finally had an so so superhero fight scene that I found neither engaging or well choreographed. The fake out death at the end felt obnoxious at best. Ultimately what this series lead to was a very boring prequel to a better Defenders show, and that really sucks because it should have been more than that. Take all the talented writing and acting from Daredevil and Jessica Jones, ignore most of it and you have the Defenders. Marvel/Netflix should have had a slam dunk her but they fucked it up and there's no getting around that.

3/10

Tommy

The Defenders wraps up with this episode and the story should give us some pause of thought for the ramifications of what went down. There are some cool elements that are set up for future shows but as an ending in and of itself, this finale is fairly lackluster. We get a nice battle where everyone’s powers do play a role and are satisfying to see though it is quite videogame esque where tons of minions are just thrown at the protagonists for the sake of it. This episode is the best of the season but it wears the others like a huge weight and as such cannot maintain its entertainment value.

6/10

Episode Score

33

The Defenders had a lot of hype going for it. That hype sustains the first few episodes as we waited for an entertaining show that never came. Jessica Jones is the best thing about the show but even she is not strong enough to lift the dead weight of the Iron Fist and his story. This point can't be understated as the Iron Fist is so integral to what the Defenders do that they don't really do any such defending. Squabbling though is quite a large part of the show as both The Hand and The Defenders argue almost relentlessly.

The fight scenes are also very lacklister especially given the pedigree that we have come to expect from Daredevil and the characters themeselves aren't treated with much care here either with Jessica Jones especiially being poorly utilised given what we know of her powers. Another issue is that rarely do we see these characters working off of one another and utilising each others abilities in satisfying ways. Practically all fights are just individual skirmishes that happen and the camera will cut to whatever is the most interesting thing is happening at that point in the fight.

The Defenders was billed to be a show that brought together the fantastic shows that Netflix and Marvel had made together (Iron Fist being the exception here) in a grand spectacle much akin to the Avengers but more down to earth. Not only does this season not live up to that hype in anyway it also completely fails to be an entertaining spectacle.

Season Score

47