DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Defenders contains more spoilers than the number of times Matt has barged into an interrogation room pronouncing himself as a suspect’s lawyer. That happens quite a lot. Enter at your own risk.
Welcome back, Defenders of New York City! Episode 2 of The Defenders gave us mere mortals not one, but two interactions between our foursome. Danny and Luke met for the first time and went toe-to-toe, with the former getting the final punch. Then, we saw Jessica and Matt in their initial interaction when our Daredevil proclaimed he was representing Jessica after she was arrested by Misty. Basically, I was in a Marvel coma after experiencing too many feelings. I’d say the best part of the series thus far is seeing all of these worlds collide, and mesh well at that. We’re seeing just how all of their stories intertwine, and it doesn’t feel forced or rushed. It really is all connected.
Alright, ready to dive into Episode 2 of The Defenders?
We open with New York City in disarray post-earthquake. Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) is standing on the roof of his apartment building, listening intently to all the chaos down below. We can see he’s struggling with his desire to lend a helping hand. Suddenly, he hears an altercation between two men and two kids, which culminates in a single gunshot. Matt springs into Daredevil action, leaping from building to building toward the fight. He swiftly takes out the gunmen in question, and walks away, having saved those kids’ lives. Daredevil is back, baby!
Later, Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor) is left an unwanted gift from the previous night’s earthquake – her car is trapped in a sink hole. Who needs Folgers when you’ve got sink holes to wake you up (not my best joke, sorry)? Anyway, we see Trish in radio show action during Trish Talks, as she reaches out to her listeners for their reactions to the earthquake. One woman, who is a geologist, tells Trish that the city’s belief that it’s a shallow quake is incorrect. As she begins to cite her evidence, the line is cut. Trish’s bosses decide to pull the “earthquake talk,” and they run something else in its place. Trish is irritated, and I don’t blame her.
Meanwhile, Misty Knight (Simone Missick) arrives at John Raymond’s (the missing husband) apartment. Authorities have uncovered the plethora of explosives within, thanks to one Jessica Jones. Misty sees that our girl Jessica (Krysten Ritter) is being questioned on the nature of her visit, and whether she saw the apartment resident. Jessica is giving the officer attitude, and Misty calls her out on it. Jessica leaves in a huff, but not without nicking police evidence first. Misty tries to flag her down, but is unsuccessful.
Then, we see Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) and Danny Rand (Finn Jones) are back at their dojo, relieved to find that nothing was damaged from the quake. Colleen gives our Iron Fist a pep talk – he blames himself for what happened at the monastery and his failed fight with the mystery woman in Cambodia. Colleen tells him that while the man they tried to save perished, he did know who Danny was and told them to return to New York. Lead material, perhaps? She also believes they should find others to help them. Like, a team perhaps. Maybe a team of Defenders.
Now, Colleen reveals she has a game plan, and it involves stopping by a workshop where tsukamoto swords are crafted. Maybe their guy from Cambodia payed this workshop a visit. Worth a shot!
Later, Matt returns home and attempts to bandage is bleeding knuckles. His frustration grows, and he knocks his first aid kit aside in said frustration. Then, he opens the trunk containing his Daredevil suit. We see the famed devil’s mask and boots. Someone is thinking about springing back into action…until Foggy calls him.
Next, back in Harlem, Claire (Rosario Dawson) is tending to the wounded while Luke Cage (Mike Colter) is removing debris. You know, the really heavy stuff that only someone with his strength can lift. Who needs cranes? Claire comments on how most people, when they’re released from prison, pop open a beer and relax. Not our Luke. He plans to figure out who’s hiring the young men of Harlem to execute dangerous acts for large sums of money. Luke plans to visit a bar that evening where crime usually hangs its hat. However, Claire name drops another familiar establishment that’s the new place for crime to “hang.”
Meanwhile, Alexandra (Sigourney Weaver) is enjoying a private New York Philharmonic Concert. A string quartet is passionately performing a Brahms piece. Sandra (Emily Dorsch), a representative of the Philharmonic, thanks Alexandra for her generous donation, and offers to honor her at their next gala. However, Alexandra prefers more intimate settings. Then, Madame Gao (Wai Ching Ho) arrives with bad news. She tells Alexandra that while executing their plan, they’ve run into a wall. Not a figurative one…a literal wall. Said wall contains inscriptions from the K’un Lun. That’s where Danny trained. Everything is already connecting, y’all! Basically, no one can destroy it. Alexandra then states that perhaps the wall is actually a door. Clever!
Later, we see Jessica is Nancy Drew-ing at her local library, obtaining more information about the company that sells those explosives. She is growing increasingly frustrated as she notices that said company would continuously change names throughout time, with no real description of what they do. Jessica asks for help from the local librarian, who informs her that she must go elsewhere for more information. However, Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) arrives with a message – one involving a warning. Jeri urges Jessica to drop the case she’s pursuing. Yes, she did well by notifying the police of the explosives, but the case is much more complex and more dangerous than she could ever imagine. Jessica, as usual, ignores her.
Meanwhile, Matt is having drinks with Foggy (Elden Henson) at Josie’s. Man, I’ve missed these two together, especially at Josie’s. Just like old times. Our currently estranged best friends are asking each other about their lives, keeping everything at arm’s length. Finally, Foggy opens the can of worms – he notices Matt’s knuckles and knows Daredevil fought the previous night. Matt gets up to leave, thinking Foggy will pass judgement again. However, Foggy drops a folder of open cases in his lap, cases that he feels will keep Matt so preoccupied he won’t even think about donning the red suit. Matt asks, “What if this doesn’t work?” Foggy, who tells him he won’t judge, replies that at least they tried. This is progress.
Later, Luke returns to his old stomping grounds, and finds Turk Barrett (Rob Morgan) is up to his usual tricks. Luke takes him outside for some forceful questioning. Turk informs him that these young boys are being employed by a man known as the White Hat – white suit, alligator shoes. Very rich. Then, Turk drops a location that said White Hat can usually be found. Luke takes this and runs with it. Time to go bust some baddies!
Meanwhile, Danny and Colleen are at the sword workshop, hoping to find someone they can talk to. They initially notice the place is deserted, until Colleen sees a trail of blood leading into another room. Our pair stumbles upon an array of blood spattered dead bodies. Danny notices, after touching one of them, that they were just recently killed. He believes The Hand may be behind it. Then, our Iron Fist finds an ancient painting of none other than K’un Lun.
Then, Luke goes to the location Turk gave him. He sees the elusive White Hat from afar, herding a plethora of young men into a battered van. He calls Misty and is about to inform her of his location when he spots Cole. Then, he hangs up on Misty and decides to take matters into his own hands. That’s the Luke Cage way.
Next, Jeri pulls Foggy aside outside her firm and gives him a special task. Foggy is charged with keeping tabs on Jessica – if she’s in trouble, which she will be, his job will be to make sure said trouble doesn’t affect their firm in any way. Basically, he’s a defender (heehee) of lawyers. Interesting.
Meanwhile, Jessica is talking to Trish on the phone when she notices someone has broken into her office…again. She needs to figure out how to throw up a magical barrier so this can stop happening. Perhaps one Stephen Strange could be of service? This is the crossover we need, Marvel. Anyway, she initially sees Malcolm (Eka Darville) is within, but then she notices one John Raymond (Alex Moggridge) is holding a gun to her friend’s head.
Then, Danny and Colleen hear someone enter. Well, someones. They take cover and observe. A group of men clad in hazmat suits are sanitizing the death scene – cleaning off blood from the bodies. Colleen makes an executive decision to take them down. That’s my girl!
Meanwhile, Jessica tries to pacify a paranoid John. Our missing husband claims he’s just in over his head, and that he loves his family. This feels like a suicide mission. He knows they’ll be after him. Right on cue, the door bursts open and Elektra (Elodie Yung) immediately launches into attack mode. Jessica goes on the defense (she is a Defender, after all) and we bear witness to a duel I never thought I needed until now. However, right when Elektra diverts her attention to John and tries to kill him, he saves her the effort and shoots himself in the head. Then, Elektra escapes. Jessica tries to chase her down, but to no avail. Misty sees Jessica outside her building and places her under arrest.
Later, Danny and Colleen knock out the whole crew of hazmat dudes. One of them manages to escape, but not before Danny can pin him to the wall outside. Danny pulls off his mask and we see it’s Cole. Just when Iron Fist is about to use his fist, Luke steps in. Guys, this is our first interaction! Then, the two duke it out. Danny launches blow after blow, but nothing seems to land or penetrate our rock solid Luke. I found this scene to be quite funny. Luke doesn’t even break a sweat. However, Danny’s fist turns gold and we know it’s all over. He lands a punch on Luke’s cheek, and the blow rockets him into a steel door. Man down! Colleen flags down Danny and the two escape. Luke takes cover as the police arrive, and they arrest Cole.
Then, we see a pair of elderly hands in handcuffs. However, the face of this prisoner is hidden, until Alexandra pulls off the hood and we see it’s Stick (Scott Glenn). Alexandra even refers to him as an “old friend.” Now my question is – how do these two know each other?
Later, Misty interrogates a handcuffed Jessica. She admits that our super girl has been a thorn in her side for too long. Jessica has tampered with evidence, committed petty larceny, the list goes on. But, before they delve in to the nitty gritty, Matt arrives on the scene, claiming to be Jessica’s representation. Interaction number two!
Holy guacamole, Batman (wrong universe, I know)! The Defenders just gets better and better. What blows me away, as I mentioned earlier, is the intricate world building. Everything flows together so effortlessly. Of course, the highlights are our Defenders finally meeting one another, even if it’s in groups of two. Details of the enemy at large are binding our heroes together, and I’m here for it.
What do you think Alexandra wants with Stick, and what’s their history together? Will Foggy eventually find out that Matt is representing Jessica? How is Alexandra connected to The Hand? Will we get an Elektra vs. Matt fight scene in the show’s future? I can’t wait to find out.
The Defenders is now streaming on Netflix.