|So, That Hpapened
Because the spoiler situation was getting out of hand, I just barreled through episodes 3-8 of The Defenders yeseterday. It's all a bit of a blur, but here's what I think.
Overall... pretty good. The biggest problem with the story is the last episode, which makes the entire process WAY MORE COMPLICATED than it needs to be, with bombs and swords and elevators and maybe going back and cops and arrests and people staying behind and whatnot. ANd the biggest problem is that none of this action works with the stated incredibly deep hole the dragon bones are at the bottom of. They shortcutted a LOT of shit about that hole, and it showed.
The "death" and mysterious escape of Daredevil at the end is some pointless bullshit to move matt into a place where they can do a thing from the comics. It's cheap, it doesn't make any sense, and it's irritating.
On the other hand, I'm happy to have the entire Hand, with the possible exception of Madame Gao, off the table. Gao was the only entertaining one of the whole bunch.
So, plot aside, let's look at the characters. How did they fare? Where did they come out of this compared to where they went in?
Iron Fist has been given 21 hours of television, and in none of them has he shown a single admirable or redeeming quality. He's naive and impetuous and dumb all of the time, including and especially in the final two episodes where he's wrong and stubborn and does exactly what he's not supposed to do. On the upside, during these last eight episodes, people kept telling him how dumb and wrong he was, but I still don't know how I can bring myself to watch a Season 2 of Iron Fist.
They tell us, mostly without showing us, that Matt's experience in The Defenders has changed his general outlook on going it alone and being Daredevil. Then they undercut the whole thing by having him go back for Elektra and "die".So, yeah. Kind of a wash.
To the extent that anyone in this had a character arc at all, which isn't much, Luke sort of kind of had a thing about who he is and what he does now that he's out of prison and has these powers. It's not a terribly big or consistent arc, but it was sort of there.
Jessica started the series as Jessica and ended it as Jessica and I wouldn't have it any other way. She sorta kinda gives a shit sometimes and mercilessly mocks everyone around her, which may not be growth, but fuck knows it's what this show needed whenever she was on screen.
Colleen took like eight steps backwards in The Defenders. She was one of the few interesting things to come out of Iron Fist, but was treated horribly by the writers of The Defenders - given beats and interactions with other characters that fell flat or just made no sense. All the most awkward "stop everything for a character to tell another character they have value" moments in the series, and there were many, fell on or near Colleen. Blech.
Treated almost as badly as Colleen, but got slightly better things to do and is a way better actress, so the character didn't suffer nearly as much. But still, mostly awful beats and moments for the Night Nurse.
Was a cop, lost an arm because in the comics she lost an arm and so she had to lose an arm.
KAREN AND FOGGY AND TRISH:
Foggy had the only real growth in the show - coming to accept Matt's need to be Daredevil - and then he feels bad about it because of Matt's stupid fake death. Karen was definitely in some episodes of The Defenders, that's for sure. I'm fairly convinced Trish was in some episodes, too.
Still the single most admirable human being in the Marvel Netflix Universe.
Gonna miss him, but at least they killed him before they could completely de-assholing him.
I ended Daredevil Season 2 thinking I was probably sick of Elektra. The last two episodes of The Defenders made me sure of it. As a mostly void vessel for Alexandra's plans and misplaced maternal instinct, she was acceptable. As whatever the fuck that was in the last two episodes? No. No thank you. Stay in the hole, Elektra. Stay in the hole.