The Defenders: Worst Behavior
August 19, 2017 7:03 AM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Elektra's secrets are revealed. Danny changes his tactics. Matt gives Jessica some legal advice. Luke searches for the White Hat.

Vulture recap - All Together Now

*Flashback to months ago, at a restaurant where Alexandra compliments the chef for making the dish better than they did in Constantinople. (It's Istanbul not Constantinople, says the restauranteur.) White Hat (Sowande) brings news that they have the Black Sky, Elektra in her death shroud. Elektra is resurrected from a blood-filled sarcophagus.
*Alexandra: "Language will come back to you. So will your instincts. But everything else...I'm afraid it wasn't worth keeping."
*Alexandra supervises Elektra's weapons selection (Wakizashi twin blades) then a sparring match with an increasing number of Hand henchmen which ends with Elektra killing them all and getting her new costume.
*Back to the present, White Hat tells Elektra 'she's ready for you'. She joins her interrogation of Stick over the location of Iron Fist, but Stick slices off his own hand to escape.

*In Misty's interrogation room, Matt fails to gain Jessica's trust, then eavesdrops on her call to Malcolm. Later, she goes to Mrs. Raymond's house and tells her she wants to continue the investigation. She notices Mr. Raymond's architectural design award on the mantle. On the street, she senses she's being followed by someone (Matt, following the sound of her footsteps), and presumably leaps a building to get behind him, then follows him down an alley and gets a photo of him doing Daredevilish parkour, then answers a call to confirm an appointment at Raymond's design firm.

*Back at Claire's, Luke tells her about White Hat, about having to leave Cole behind because he got clocked by some skinny white dude with a glowing fist. Claire rolls her eyes and gets on the phone to Colleen to set up a meeting at the dojo. Danny tells Luke about being the Iron Fist and his fight with The Hand. Eventually, Luke calls Danny out for being privileged and takes off. Later, Danny decides Luke may be right about him going at this fight the wrong way. He and Colleen go to the Rand Corporation for help, and a cross-reference of short-term holdings in the various cities he tracked The Hand to leads to the name Midland Circle Financial.

*Luke visits Cole in lock-up to try to help, but Cole tells him that The Hand watches everything. He asks him to buy some lottery tickets to give to his mom. Luke visits Cole's mother, who as it turns out is the woman that Luke saved from being crushed by the falling street lamp during the earthquake. When he puts the lotto tickets away for her, he finds Cole left her a wad of cash wrapped in a Midland Circle Financial packing slip. Then the prison calls to say there's been an accident and Cole is dead.

*At Raymond's design firm, Jessica pretends to be a new potential client, and learns that Raymonds last big project was as the architect of Midland Circle Financial, in Hell's Kitchen.

*Back at the dojo, one-handed Stick collapses at Colleen's feet and asks her where Iron Fist is.

*At Midland Circle, Danny confronts the board & Alexandra, and a boardroom fight ensues. Meanwhile, Jessica arrives in the lobby immediately followed by Matt warning her away. She tells him about her incriminating photo and he smashes the camera. Then he hears the first gunshot from the penthouse boardroom, steals her scarf for a mask and skedaddles up the stairs.
*Just as Danny seems about to be overcome by henchmen, Luke bursts into the boardroom and they start double-teaming.
*Matt makes it up the stairs just as Jessica arrives via elevator.
Jessica: "You look like an asshole."
Matt: "It's your scarf."

*Everybody fights a slew of Hand henchmen, then Elektra arrives, and Jessica recognizes her from her Raymond's death at her office.
*Elektra and Matt fight long enough for Matt to recognize her. Iron Fist saves Matt from being killed by her, and the foursome retreat via elevator.
posted by oh yeah! (15 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ok, that was fun. Claire's eye-roll at recognizing Danny, and her scene with Colleen almost make me want to sit through Iron Fist. (almost.) And I loved the Midland Circle first full-team fight for the little comedy moments. I wish I could stay home and spend the rest of this morning/afternoon finishing the binge, but I have to get to a bunch of places that are closed on Sunday and this is my second-to-last 'get ready for DragonCon' weekend. Maybe my standards are super-low, but, I'm enjoying this series so far.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:37 AM on August 19, 2017


Best episode yet. A lot of justified criticism was leveled at Iron Fist for unexamined privilege, among other things; it's great to see Cage addressing it so directly and forcefully, and for that to actually have a result.

And the boardroom fight was excellent. Was that Run The Jewels as the soundtrack?
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 7:39 AM on August 19, 2017 [5 favorites]


Bora, the Vulture recap said it was Run The Jewels, yeah.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:18 AM on August 19, 2017


Episode 3 was basically an rpg session where the DM gets tired of their players refusing to work together as a tesm.

GM: "WHAT THE HELL DO I HAVE TO DO TO GET YOU GUYS TOGETHER?"
Jesica's Player: "Just because you're another PC, doesn't mean I gotta trust you. Or listen to anything you say."
Matt Murdock's player: "Gotta admit, she has a point."
Danny's player. *busy checking Reddit* "Uhhhh...."
Luke Cage's player: "Wait, arent I in Harlem right now?"
GM: AAAAAARRRRRRGH!
GM: FUCK IT. FIGHT SCENE. YOU'RE ALL THERE, OK?
Luke Cage's Player: "Wait, no, I'm comforting an old lady who-"
GM:: YOU. ARE. THERE. ROLL INITIATIVE!
posted by happyroach at 12:55 PM on August 19, 2017 [22 favorites]


Okay, I laughed out loud at that, happyroach. Hahaha. :)
posted by mordax at 1:09 PM on August 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


That's appropriate, because I'd been getting City of Heroes jonesing since I started watching -- but the fight scene cemented it. Bunch of random heroes meeting at a mission door? Perfect.
posted by curious nu at 4:05 PM on August 19, 2017 [3 favorites]


So, having skipped Iron Fist, is Danny supposed to be this stupid? I liked that Luke called him out on his privilege and the fact that he's fighting at the bottom end of the food chain when he could be targeting the top...and then Danny "changes tactics" which apparently means using his resources to figure out how the Hand is financing things, going to that company, walking into their Board Room and telling them who he is and what he's going to do?

Sometimes it's better if they don't see you coming, Danny. Like, seriously, use your resources to strangle their finances, tie them up in lawsuits, whatever - fight them in a way they don't expect.

Anyways, enjoyable to see them stage a fight scene like the hallway fight from S1 of Daredevil, but with all 4 of them.
posted by nubs at 8:18 AM on August 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


The Constantinople/Istanbul exchange was weird enough that I went and spoilered myself on who Alexandra Reid is supposed to be. Interesting, a completely new character retconned into the universe for the show.
posted by porpoise at 2:42 PM on August 21, 2017


The Constantinople/Istanbul exchange was weird enough that I went and spoilered myself on who Alexandra Reid is supposed to be.

So I went and read her wikia entry here, and found this:
Allies

* Johannes Brahms
Ah, fandom. Cracking me up since I discovered it.
posted by mordax at 3:07 PM on August 21, 2017 [7 favorites]


I am so violently, violently, full-body in love with Alexandra's outfit in the board room. Like, I don't even fucking like mock necks, and I can't tell whether it's a separate bottom and top or a single incredible dress, but oh my god. The gold skirt! The woven top! The way they fit together! The effect when the light comes in from the side, or Sigourney Weaver moves!

It sounds like it should be tacky, but it's subtle and beautiful and perfect and beautiful and just adkfuw;eiru I'm on the fucking FLOOR.
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:09 AM on August 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


A lot of justified criticism was leveled at Iron Fist for unexamined privilege, among other things; it's great to see Cage addressing it so directly and forcefully,

Ugh, I wanted to like that, but Cage's "they're just trying to feed their families" shtick kind of doesn't work when the job they're taking is DISSOLVING BODIES IN ACID, like maybe if you're DISSOLVING BODIES IN ACID SO THEY CAN'T BE IDENTIFIED you no longer can claim the benefit of the "just trying to feed your family" excuse. There are people who worked for the Hand without knowing how wrong it was - see Colleen - but acid-bodies is a pretty definitive hard line.
posted by corb at 7:23 AM on August 23, 2017 [2 favorites]


This is a fair point, although I think Luke's take on it was tempered by the fact that by the time the kid knew he was dissolving bodies, he couldn't quit the job without being killed to ensure his silence.

(The guy still shouldn't have taken a job with the Hand, but he probably thought he'd be selling drugs or something else a little less murder-centric.)
posted by mordax at 10:14 AM on August 23, 2017


So, having skipped Iron Fist, is Danny supposed to be this stupid?

Yes.

I liked that Luke called him out on his privilege and the fact that he's fighting at the bottom end of the food chain when he could be targeting the top...and then Danny "changes tactics" which apparently means using his resources to figure out how the Hand is financing things, going to that company, walking into their Board Room and telling them who he is and what he's going to do?

I feel like this interaction brings Danny into a sharper relief and clarifies that his character's actions and place are intentional choices. There are ways in which Danny's privilege were implicitly treated in Iron Fist, but it's explicitly and unambiguously referenced here.

So what does Danny do? He decides he's going to punch up. We're shown that he's a decent person, he can listen to a moral argument and absorb it at some level. But we still think he's dumb, and he kinda is.

Because Danny seems to be a reasonable portrayal of what might happen if you take away someone's family, someone's normal opportunity for human development through adolescence and into adulthood, and then replace that with the thin gruel of a destined hero identity (status is not a satisfactory replacement for real love) and wrap the whole package in structural privilege. He's doubly warped, first by the backstory of loss, second by having his self-concept hammered into precisely one shape.

Why can't he come up with a better plan than walking up to the top of Midland Circle and confronting the board room? Several reasons. First, he barely has the emotional intelligence of your average teenager (and there are many teens who do better) because all that was put on hold for training, probably before he'd had time to actually process grief at an age it should never have come. Second, he's been insulated by both his fighting prowess and his socioeconomic status from having anything go too terribly wrong, so why plan too far ahead? Finally, and maybe most importantly, K'un-Lun seems to have literally and metaphorically beat it into him that he is The Hero that will destroy The Hand, who he also has a reason to hate.

This is all there in his dialogue with Alexandra, and I think it explains a lot about Iron Fist.

I gotta say that with the revelation that K'un-Lun is the birthplace of The Hand, I have to wonder if it was ever worth saving. Nobody we've seen come out of it seems to be both high functioning and decent. But then again, maybe that's another form of commentary, either on the problems of orienting on war as the lens through which you see the world, or on a certain level of privilege.
posted by wildblueyonder at 12:35 PM on August 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


Loved every scene with Jessica and Matt interacting with each other. Him leaping about the stairs from the lobby to the penthouse while she took the elevator was golden.

The boardroom to the hallway fight sequence was really good.

Danny continues to be annoyingly stupid. Why didn't he bring Colleen with him the meeting?

Luke does not get hints at all does he? That whole "Buy my mother lottery tickets" line was so obviously a clue hammer, but it missed Luke by a mile.

Still looking forward to a scene with Luke, Jessica, Misty and Claire all in one room.
posted by Julnyes at 2:14 PM on September 7, 2017 [1 favorite]


That's appropriate, because I'd been getting City of Heroes jonesing since I started watching -- but the fight scene cemented it. Bunch of random heroes meeting at a mission door? Perfect.

OMG yes. "OK, everyone gather for buffs--" scrapper runs in, starts wailing on dudes "--or, you know, fucking don't."
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:23 PM on March 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


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