If you’re anything like me you waited up (depending on your time zone) to catch at least the first episode of The Defenders, or all eight if you are feeling fancy. This review will definitely contain spoilers so if you haven’t watched I suggest you step away from the screen now. We about to get all up in this crazy amazingness that was four separate stories running parallel.
I’m going to start by saying that this episode was shot and lit beautifully. Not something I normally think of when talking about superhero or comic book series. I found myself distracted in a great way by the choices that S.J. Clarkson made while directing the episode.
I loved how each hero had their own lighting. Danny always cast in a green light, Matt with a red hue, Jessica bathed in blue and of course Luke in shades of yellow. This theme continues throughout the entire episode. The only time this changes is after the ‘earthquake’ when Matt seemed to be considering donning his horns again he was bathed in alternating blue, red, yellow and green. It was amazing to watch.
This episode came out swinging right of the bat with the action. It wasn’t all action all the time though. I really liked how the episode took us for a peak into the current mental state of each of the Defenders. You can tell they’re taking the time to build up each of the characters individually into this shared world. Them being separate at this point makes perfect sense this way. Their stories are individual right now but the way that the episode is cut and edited makes them flow together seamlessly.
Jessica’s storyline of course starts with her drinking in a bar all night, until the sun comes up. As usual she’s trying to duck her new ‘fame’ for taking care of Kilgrave. And we get a nice little moment between her and Trish. And our smart ass detective, gets dragged into a case. If you want Jessica Jones to not take the case, don’t phone her and try to threaten her. Everyone knows that, cue sarcastic eye roll. And as we expect from her Jessica gets her self into hot water right away.
Luke starts the episode by getting out of prison. I love that Foggy is the one who is there when he gets out. On a side note, I don’t like corporate Foggy. Bring me back my shaggy Foggy Bear. I really adore that we got Luke and Claire back together again, and happy. Corny ass romantic Luke is a favorite. And I respect his role he’s slipping into with Misty. Just out there to take care of the kids of Harlem like Pop’s had.
Matt starts this episode lost in a sea of grief and pain. He’s like a lost little devil, alone in the world. He’s convinced the world is better off without the Daredevil. It’s good to see him back in his A+ lawyer form. But I hate the look of sadness that crosses his face even when he wins his case. Getting him and Karen back together just even for something as simple as a coffee date was genius. She’s all kick ass reporter and Matt’s just an awkward puppy. I can’t even imagine what that earthquake felt like for him. Not being able to see but the way his powers work the shockwaves must have been a bitch. But we got to see him going off to kick some ass and save someone at the end.
Danny is haunted throughout this entire episode with the literal ghosts of his past. He kicked ass in the beginning but there’s always that one person better than you. The vision haunting him was heartbreaking to witness. He blames himself for so much. Even months after it’s happened and he’s spent all of his time trying to hunt down the Hand. He’s still so unsure of himself. And holding Colleen at arms length isn’t going to help matters.
All in all this episode was absolutely top notch. This season is going to be a roller coaster ride. The Hand has come to bring chaos. And with their leader getting a death sentence already all the cares have gone out the window.
What was your favourite part of this first episode? What are your hopes for the rest of the season? And did you already watch it all?
Season 1 of The Defenders is currently streaming all episodes on Netflix.