DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Defenders contains more spoilers than the number of times Luke Cage says “Sweet Christmas.” Which, to be fair, hasn’t happened in this series yet. Regardless, proceed with caution.
Welcome back, Defenders of New York City! Episode 3 of The Defenders gave us a glimpse into how Elektra was revived from the dead via The Hand, and her connection to Alexandra. We were also blessed with more interactions between our foursome, complete with a stellar fight sequence toward the end. It’s all connected, and the gang’s all here! I’m finding The Defenders is leaving me in a constant state of “geeking out.” So many wonderful things, and I’m certain there are more to come.
Ready to dive right in to “Worst Behavior?” Just please, center your chi first. Or whatever.
We open with a flashback: several months prior to the current events of the series. Alexandra (Sigourney Weaver) is enjoying a deluxe lunch compliments of the restaurant’s chef when White Hat (Babs Olusanmokun) enters with a message. They have Black Sky. So, White Hat is affiliated with The Hand? Seriously, Marvel isn’t joking when they say that everything is connected. Anyway, Alexandra’s ears perk up at this and she immediately leaves the restaurant.
Later, we see a body wrapped in cloth being carried into a warehouse of sorts. Alexandra pulls back the cloth to reveal the face of a very dead Elektra (Elodie Yung). She is indeed Black Sky. The members of The Hand get to work in bringing her back to life (cue that Evanescence song). After they work their magic, we see Elektra lying in the same tomb from Season 2 of Daredevil.
After some time passes, we see a hand creep into view and remove the lid of said tomb. Elektra emerges, covered head to toe in a mysterious liquid, like a newborn baby. She no longer has the power of speech, and cowers in fear when Alexandra tries to pacify her. When Elektra tries to swat Alexandra away, the latter fights back, thus launching a brief skirmish between the two. Nice to see that Alexandra can hold her own.
Then, we see Elektra clothed, sitting at a table with Alexandra. Our latest Big Bad tells Elektra that she is a weapon of great significance. She also mentions that, like Elektra, she has seen the other side of life, the darkness that awaits us all when we perish. Alexandra hopes to never see that darkness again. Interesting – so she’s died before?
Later, Elektra is taken to The Hand’s armory, where she picks her poison in terms of weapons. Alexandra then commences Elektra’s training. Initially, she fights one man, and is shown to be a little sloppy and slow of instinct. As time passes Elektra improves. Her final training sequence involves her taking out a dozen Hand warriors in the dark, with no weapons in her possession. She kills them all. You go girl! Alexandra hands (heehee) Elektra her fighting outfit, and she’s now a Lady in Red. She’s ready.
Next, we see a handcuffed Stick (Scott Glenn) standing alone in a room. Alexandra begins to interrogate him on Danny Rand’s whereabouts. Stick claims ignorance. Then, our villain ushers in Elektra to aid Stick in the talking process. She puts a blade to his throat. He smells her presence and immediately knows it’s her. Stick tries to tell her that Alexandra is full of s***, but of course Elektra is no longer Elektra. Not really. Alexandra also pushes her blade against his chest, and now Stick is surrounded.
Suddenly, our favorite mentor slashes out at them, knocking the pair aside. We see blood spewing, spraying over the space. Once Stick makes a break for it, we see his own hand is left behind. Yes, the man cut off his own hand so he could escape. Talk about painful.
Meanwhile, Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is unimpressed with Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox). Matt tries to pry her about what she saw in her office, but Jessica won’t budge. She’s not an easy egg to crack. Then, Matt mentions that he read her file, and about what she did to Kilgrave. He asks her if this case involves anything of the supernatural variety. Jessica, presumably thinking he’s a mere mortal, brushes him off. She leaves in a huff. So unimpressed is that one.
Once she leaves, Jessica phones Malcolm, asking him about what John said to him before she barged in. Of course, Matt is listening in with his super hearing. Super hearing powers, activate!
Then, we see Luke Cage (Mike Colter) arrive home after his altercation with Danny. He applies ice to his fist. Claire (Rosario Dawson) asks him what happened. He fills her in on the story, and mentions that he fought a kid with a glowing fist that successfully punched him. This gets Claire’s attention, as she obviously knows Danny.
Later, Luke and Danny Rand (Finn Jones) are at Colleen Wing’s (Jessica Henwick) dojo. Claire decided to bring the two heroes together to forge a truce. She reminds them that they’re fighting on the same side. The boys each blame the other for instigating the fight. Sometimes superheroes can be whiny babies too. They’re just like us! So, Claire and Colleen leave them to talk it out.
Meanwhile, Jessica is visiting the deceased John Raymond’s wife Michelle (Michelle Federer). Jessica asks Michelle if she’s hiding anything regarding her husband. Michelle tearfully replies that her husband didn’t have secrets – his interests only involved his family and his job. Jessica vows to continue working on the case, even if the police have declared it solved.
Later, Jessica realizes she’s being followed. We see Matt trailing behind her. However, Jessica is able to thwart our Daredevil and thus begins following him. She notices him dip down a side alley, where he moves with ease and casts his walking stick aside. Then, Matt effortlessly scales a cluster of buildings and out of sight. Jessica snaps a photo of him, taken aback by the display. Guy’s got moves. Then, she gets a phone call from the architectural firm John used to work for, and sets up a meeting at the company’s facilities.
Meanwhile, Luke and Danny bring up the wonderful things Claire has said about the other person. In all honesty, Claire’s very presence essentially assembled The Defenders. And her compliments. Luke saved Harlem, Danny worked to harness his chi.
Then, the duo decides to open the can of worms that is the events from the previous night. Danny tries to emphasize just how dangerous The Hand truly is. However, Luke doesn’t believe that attacking everyday Joes like Cole is the way to go about it. Cole just needs a job – he’s ignorant of the inner workings of The Hand. Danny disagrees, saying that everyone involved needs to be brought down. I’m Team Luke here. Luke reminds Danny that his privilege has allowed him to fight The Hand and walk away unscathed. Others, like Cole, are not so lucky. As tensions mount, Luke storms off, saying he doesn’t think a team up between the two would work. No, just talk it out, guys! You can do it!
Later, Luke pays Cole (J. Mallory McCree) a visit in jail. Luke asks Cole why his bosses wanted him to clean up those bodies. Cole claims ignorance. Then, he tells Luke that “they” are listening. They’re everywhere. Cole urges Luke to buy his mother a lottery ticket and tell her he’s thinking of her. Cole is led away back to his cell. Methinks Cole knows something is going to happen to him.
Then, Colleen finds Danny meditating after the incident with Luke. He wonders if maybe Luke was right – he has billions of dollars and endless resources at his fingertips. Why fight the lowest tier when he could take it to the top? Colleen reminds Danny that he’s not a business man. Danny decides that perhaps he should become one. He does own 51% of Rand Enterprises, after all.
Later, Danny and Colleen make a pit stop at Rand Enterprises. Although he is unable to talk to Ward, the company’s accountant (Andrea Cirie) sits down with them. They mentions they’re looking for The Hand, and if Rand Enterprises had any monetary interactions with them. The accountant finds a lead for them – Midland Circle Financial. Danny tells Colleen he knows what he must do, and he has to do it alone. So antihero of him.
Then, we see Jessica is at the late John Raymond’s architectural firm. She’s pretending to be a business owner who needs to revamp the space. The architect (Zack Robidas) with her guides her through her “vision,” and shows her samples of the firm’s work. Jessica asks to see something from the current year. Said architect unveils Midland Circle Financial – the very same company Danny is visiting. All of it is connected, you guys. So connected.
Meanwhile, Luke is visiting Cole’s mother Delores (Debbi Morgan). They chit chat amicably. She thanks him for saving her during the earthquake. Luke gives her the lottery tickets from Cole, which makes her smile. Then, Delores receives a phone call during their chat. Luke finds a wad of cash labelled “Midland Circle Financial” as he stashes the tickets where Delores told him to put them. Suddenly, Delores begins to sob uncontrollably, and falls into Luke’s arms. Turns out, Cole was killed in his jail cell. Now, she has no children. That’s more heartbreak than one person can bear.
Later, Colleen is alone at her dojo. She hears a noise and grabs her sword, ready for whatever comes her way. We see Stick stumble toward her, bleeding heavily and clutching the stump where his hand used to be.
Then, Danny is at Midland Financial. He is escorted upstairs to a boardroom, where Danny was promised he’d be able to speak to the CEO. Alexandra enters just in time for the big speech. Danny mentions that The Hand slaughtered his parents and are responsible for much of the crime in NYC. He vows to cause them as much pain as he feels. Alexandra is unfazed by his threats. See, he’s here! No need to interrogate Stick. Then, we see the table of presumably board members brandish their weapons. So it begins.
Danny fights them off with a nimble speed and accuracy. Then, the door is busted down by none other than Luke Cage. He decides to join Danny in his fight. Finally, we get a glimpse of some Defenders’ action! We see bullets riddle Luke’s body. But, like a bad***, they ricochet off of him.
Meanwhile, Jessica enters the lobby of Midland Financial. Matt follows her in, and urges her to drop the case. He tells her that it’s more complex than she could ever imagine. Jessica mentions that she saw him in the alley, and took a photo to prove it. Matt reaches into her pocket and breaks her phone instantaneously. Then, he hears a gunshot from upstairs, thus sending our pair into the fray to take on danger together. Dream team! Matt nicks Jessica’s scarf and wraps it around his eyes. Trying to stay anonymous, perhaps?
Later, the duo finds Luke and Danny upstairs as they’re in the midst of fighting off The Hand. Luke and Jessica are reunited! I hope we get more scenes with them. After questioning who their respective buddies are (Danny and Matt), they realize there’s no time for chit chat as Alexandra has unleashed more of The Hand’s skilled fighters. It’s Defending time! Watching this fight sequence was stunning. Seeing all four of them in battle in tandem was glorious.
Suddenly, Elektra emerges. Jessica recognizes her, but Matt hasn’t…yet. Elektra immediately gravitates toward him, and launches the first punch. The pair fights, each displaying some killer moves. It ends when Matt, who’s on the ground at this point, recognizes Elektra’s scent. Of course, he saw her die. This has to be a shock. Danny runs to Matt’s aid, fist glowing, and he punches through Elektra’s sword. This sends her flying through a window. Danny helps Matt to his feet and they escape.
Now, our final shot of the episode is comprised of each Defender getting in the elevator together, leaving behind a sea of bodies in their wake. That’s how it’s done, folks. Hats off, Marvel.
Guys, The Defenders knows how to pack their punches…literally. So many wonderful tidbits in this episode. We’re setting up Alexandra to be a formidable villain, especially with Elektra by her side. Well, the shell of Elektra at least. Not to mention, we’re slowly building the relationships between our heroes. I’m really digging that aspect of it, and how they aren’t initially fond of one another. I imagine when they find out Matt used to do the horizontal tango with Elektra that many, many jokes will be thrown his way courtesy of the remaining Defenders. My favorite line of the episode: when Jessica tells Matt she’d punch him so hard he’d see. Very Jessica of her.
Do you think Elektra remembers Matt, or are her memories completely lost? How long until Jessica finds out that Luke is with Claire? Or until they all realize they know the same person? What is Alexandra’s exact objective? Guess we’ll have to keep watching to find out.
The Defenders is now streaming on Netflix.
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