The Defenders 1x02 Review: Versus Mode
“Mean Right Hook”
Written by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich and Marco Ramirez
Directed by S.J. Clarkson
We pick up with Matt crouching on top of his building, listening to the fallout of the earthquake. He hears looting and people trapped. When he hears someone about to shoot a store owner, he can’t take it anymore and sets off running. Or, parkouring. Oh, it’s actually the store owner who was about to shoot looters. Matt beats up kind of everyone, then walks off. He wasn’t masked for any of that. Hope that doesn’t become a problem later.
Trish is frantically trying to find Jessica to make sure she’s okay after the earthquake. On her show, she helps calm down her listeners about the earthquake, because they’re having Incident flashbacks. One of her callers says it wasn’t actually an earthquake. She’s a geologist, and this was not an earthquake. It was too shallow. Someone upstairs makes Trish’s tech girl cut off that caller before Trish can learn more. Hmmm.
Misty is checking out the apartment full of C-4 that Jessica found. Jessica’s the one who called it in, and she isn’t having fun answering police questions. Misty is either amused or annoyed. She follows Jessica out because she stole one of the bricks of C-4. She does not catch up.
Colleen’s dojo wasn’t damaged in the earthquake. Danny wants to be ready if he runs into Elektra again. Colleen thinks they might have allies to help them against the Hand, but Danny thinks he needs to do this alone, since he failed K’un-Lun. Colleen knocks that attitude out of him a little. She wants to see if there’s anyone in New York who can help. Starting with a guy who works on swords, because the one they saw in Cambodia was very rare.
Matt gets back to his apartment and washes blood off his hands, then almost does a frustrated table-flip. He opens his closet and contemplates the trunk with his suit and gear. Then Foggy calls.
Luke is lifting debris off of things while Claire patches up wounded people. There weren’t any deaths in Harlem. Luke would like to go check out a shady bar to see if there are any leads on the kids who are in danger, and Claire is concerned that he’s going to be spending all his time doing things other people can, for free. She redirects him to a different bar. One called Trouble in Paradise (hey maybe that’s symbolic).
Sigourney Weaver is listening to a string quartet. She donated money to remodel it. The piece was a Brahms piece he wrote to prove he could write a piece in C minor just as well as Beethoven could. Gao shows up. Whatever they’re after, there’s a wall blocking it, and there’s no way to get through it. (Okay, I think the earthquake was caused by them breaking through to the bottom of the hole from Daredevil S2. That’s why speeding up would be dangerous; they’d have to make noise instead of...digging quietly, or something.) Gao still urges caution. Sigourney Weaver thinks it’s a door, not a wall, and that the Iron Fist is the key.
Jessica is doing legwork. She’s tracking back the ownership of the company that made the C-4, and it goes through numerous transfers of assets, all the way back to handwritten documents from 1820, and she still hasn’t found out what the company does. Hogarth finds her before she can head over to the historical branch.
Foggy (who is way too clean-cut now, which I forgot to mention last time) and Matt meet up at Josie’s. Foggy wants to know how things are going with Karen. They still aren’t. Foggy knows Matt went out fighting, and his tone is accusatory, so Matt’s leaving. Foggy has something for him, though. Some of his overflowing case files so that Matt can stay busy. (But are they for paying clients? Because they kinda don’t sound like it.)
Hogarth came to find Jessica because she’s been avoiding her, and she wants Jessica to not tick off the FBI. She needs to back off her case. Yeah, because Jessica will listen to a warning like that. She’s even more interested now, and she’s sure the guy she’s tracking isn’t a terrorist.
Luke goes to Trouble in Paradise. Turk is there! Hi Turk! Luke shakes him down for info. Turns out it’s not Mariah and Shades recruiting kids out of Harlem and then killing them when they’re done with them. Turk heard it’s tied to some African guy with a white hat and alligator shoes.
Danny and Colleen arrive at the sword shop. Colleen loves this place, and one of those rare swords is there. Also a lot of blood. There are a whole bunch of dead guys in the training room in the back. They’re still warm. And there’s a wall hanging of K’un-Lun there.
Luke follows Turk’s lead to a van with a guy in a white hat. He calls Misty, but changes his mind and decides to handle it alone. (After she’s already concerned.) Hogarth wants Foggy to keep an eye on Jessica for her and to keep it on the DL. He is to keep any trouble Jessica gets into from touching HC&G. YES.
Jessica finally gets back to Trish, who is really concerned by the way the higher-ups want her to sweep the weird earthquake stuff under the rug. The guy Jessica was looking for is in her place, with a gun to Malcolm. Danny and Colleen watch from a hiding place as hazmat-esque gear come into the sword place and start spraying all the dead people with acid. Yikes.
Jessica tries to talk the guy down. He’s running scared (from the Hand) but won’t say anything because he’s terrified his family will be targeted. He stockpiled those explosives to wreck the Hand’s plans. Elektra arrives. He tries to shoot her and fails. She grabs him, and he shoots himself in the head before she can take him anywhere. Elektra kicks Jessica (breaking more of her wall) and leaves. Jessica pursues. She loses her, and here’s Misty, who arrests her because she’s got blood all over her face.
Colleen and Danny subdue the acid-spraying people, and Danny tries to question one of them. Turns out it’s the kid Luke was helping, and here’s Luke. YES. Luke tosses Danny aside. Danny is very disconcerted by the lack of impact his punches are having. Luke is vaguely amused. Danny is faster than Luke, so Luke’s blows rarely land. Danny powers up and socks Luke in the jaw, and that actually sends him flying. Nice. Police show up, so Danny and Colleen run one way, Luke another, regretfully leaving behind the kid he was helping, who will theoretically be protected by the police.
Sigourney Weaver has Stick, and we finally get her name. Alexandra. Seems all those dead bodies were people on Stick’s side of the war with the Hand. Misty has Jessica cuffed to an interrogation table and tosses large files with her name on them in front of her. Misty is pissed at Jessica’s interference in the big task force’s investigation. Jessica reluctantly tells Misty that this case is weird, and then Matt shows up to be her lawyer! YESSSS! (How did I forget about this?)
This episode is also great. My main beef is with the handling of Matt's storyline, but more on that in his section. The plotlines are coming closer to converging, and we get two awesome overlaps. Luke versus Danny (please let them become best friends like they are in the comics), and then Matt showing up to represent Jessica. I love that we have these two pairings so far, and it's fun that one pairing collides in Plot A (comic book fighting stuff) while the other collides in Plot B (lawyer stuff). Can't wait to see the next tier: all four of them together.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
Okay, Matt’s back in the game! But I’m kind of annoyed at Foggy for being so against that. How is a man who can hear all the suffering going on in a half-mile radius, who has significant advantages in a fight, supposed to live with himself when he’s not doing something about it? It might’ve been a more interesting setup for Matt putting away his suit if it had been because he killed Nobu. (Except he didn’t; Stick did, which Stick would eventually admit.) And then Karen and Foggy might actually want him to be Daredevil again (or possibly just one of them, likely Karen), but he doesn’t want to put himself in combat situations again because he’s terrified of what he’s capable of.
I love seeing Jessica doing great detective work and being bad with people. It’s not fun for her, though. She does want to help people, but it frequently blows up in her face, and it doesn’t take much to make her believe she’s the problem. Hence the alcoholism and prickliness. It’s the way she’s felt about herself ever since her family died in a car crash after her antagonism of her brother led to her dad not paying attention to the semi in front of their car. (Wow, writing that made me really sad. Trish, give Jessica more hugs.)
Okay, there’s definitely some possibility for strife with Luke and Claire. Luke is clearly prioritizing unpaid hero work over anything that would support him financially. (Am I sensing a Heroes for Hire in the offing? Where he helps people and they pay him? That would be much less irritating than Matt’s full time not-getting-paid-for-his-job-AND-not-being-Daredevil thing.) It seems Luke has gone from being entirely “I wanna be left alone and just do my job” to being entirely “help the helpless.” He’s definitely the foil for Matt, then. They have opposite problems.
Danny can’t be a foil for Matt because he is a billionaire, so he can do whatever he wants, and he’s also not conflicted about what he’s doing. So far, I seem to have been right about Danny having the least character arc type stuff. He’s pursuing the plot. However, I am considering swapping Danny and Jessica’s Hogwarts houses. I think Jessica might be the Gryffindor and Danny the Slytherin.
1/11/2018 08:02:21 pm
The first and probably last comment I have to make about this show is that I'm just really disappointed with how uninteresting they made the villains.
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