The Defenders 1×04 Review

The Defenders
Netflix

Season 1, Episode 4 

Following an exciting and action-packed third episode, we see the Defenders truly meet for the first time. Since the production name for the first Avengers movie was “Group Hug,” the production name for this Defenders episode should have been Dinner Date because the characters spend most of their time in a Chinese restaurant getting to know each other. After getting the adrenalin going in the previous episode, it’s easy to scoff at more talking but a lot was revealed and friendships have already started to form.

Alexandra has been such a subtle villain, only dropping hints of her importance and carrying herself in a way that feels larger than life but never being obvious. She doesn’t walk around telling everyone how important she is, she simply acts like it. When speaking to the Defenders it’s like an adult talking to small children. She’s been a highlight of this series all the way through and that’s a credit to Sigourney Weaver’s acting. The Defenders getting to know each other was also a strength of this episode. There were little callbacks and jokes that made it feel very Avengers. Despite the Netflix Marvel series being so dark and gritty, the Defenders doesn’t seem to shy away from embracing the fun superhero aspects of the characters and story.

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While it is great that most of the plot has been revealed leaving the only action to come, the fourth episode still slowed down a bit. Not as much as the first, but as previously stated, outside of Jessica Jones the Defenders don’t do a lot. It’s a joy seeing Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones interact with each other, but it feels like they could have easily rushed right through the greetings.

Speaking of Jessica, she’s been somewhat of a burden on this series. Her detective work has been interesting to watch, but her motivation has been totally inconsistent and confusing. Without giving away spoilers all I can say is the choice and decisions she makes seem wildly inconsistent. Through the series, Jessica Jones is starting to feel like a one-note character with few random outbursts of personability that help move the plot along.

Overall, there was enough exciting new information revealed and interactions to keep any viewer happy. It wasn’t quite the outburst of excitement we got to see in the previous episode, but it is moving the story along in an intriguing direction. Alexandra’s plan and manipulation of Elektra is one of the more interesting mysteries. For Batman Beyond fans, she has a Ra’s al Ghul vibe to her relationship with Elektra. The action scenes are few but amazing to see, and we should be seeing plenty of fights in the upcoming episodes.

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Despite being so dialogue-heavy it’s never boring. What matters most is that when all four characters are on-screen together it’s hard not to have a smile on your face, even when they’re just hanging out eating some Chinese food talking about just how screwed they are because of The Hand.

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