Right off the bat, the best thing about the series is how short it is. Only eight episodes. It doesn’t suffer from the filler that the shows that proceed it suffered from. It keeps the show focused on one singular story. And benefits from that focus.
The show starts with a recap of where each character left off in their respective shows. If you haven’t seen the programs that predate THE DEFENDERS, you may find the beginning to be a little spoilery. I like to think they serve to entice you to watch those shows. They become prequels. You wonder how they got to where they are now.
Matt Murdock has given up his Daredevil persona and is now working full-time as a Pro Bono lawyer. Luke Cage is still in prison but is soon released. Jessica Jones is dealing with her issues the only way she knows how – at the bottom of a bottle.
And Danny Rand? He’s still trying to fulfill his duties as The Immortal Iron Fist.
He’s not doing so well.
Each Character gets pulled into the plot by their specific dealings with the Hand. The Hand is led by Sigourney Weaver’s character, Alexandra, one of the five “fingers” of the hand. She’s dying, and is looking to open a door to immortality.
She only needs a key.
Oh, and Electra lives. Again.
Being that this is Marvel, they don’t buddy up and save the world right away. There’s distrust. They fight each other. They deny their ability to help.
But by the end, they do the right thing
Each character brings something to the story. Jessica Jones serves as the Spider-man Surrogate, quick to drop one liners. Luke Cage is the moral compass, the man who wants to do the right thing. Matt is the leader, whether he wants to or not. And Danny? If you didn’t know he was the immortal iron fist, he will let you know.
Towards the end, there is a shift in the tone of the show. By the third act of the series it becomes a Daredevil season 2.5, and the rest of the characters are back up. Luke Cage and Jessica Jones are especially out of place, serving as only muscle.
And while the four Superpowered characters get top billing, I can’t forget how much Misty Knight, Clair Temple, and Colleen Wing contribute to the team. They may not be on the front cover, but they are members of the team.
I give it the show 8 out of 10 Glowing Iron Fists. It’s a great way to spend a weekend if you feel like bingeing, with great performances by the actors and fun references to the comics, if you’re familiar with the characters. I would hope that a second season will bring a threat that is more central to each character, and not only one of them.
Perhaps they could hunt for a certain vigilante with a thing for Skulls?