The Defenders: Take Shelter
August 19, 2017 4:53 PM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Elektra's loyalties are questioned, Colleen clashes with an old acquaintance, and Luke proves he knows how to take a hit.

*As classical music plays, Sowande and a cadre of masked gunmen in a van roll up to the Royal Dragon, and Madame Gao with her henchmen in another car, then Murakami joins the fight via a jump through the restaurant skylight via a neighboring roof. Alexandra quietly exits the fray. Sowande's men fire a hail of bullets into the restaurant, until Gao shoots the main machine-gunner in the back of the head, reminding everyone that they want to take Danny alive.
*Stick tells everyone they can make it if they stay together, but Matt goes solo with Elektra, getting her out to the alley, telling her what her name is and trying to get her to remember him. She again hesitates to kill him, and when Murakami arrives she kicks him into unconsciousness instead and flees.
*Luke ends up fighting Sowande out front of the restaurant, but then gets run into by a dumpster. Danny is nearly captured by Gao's men, but then Jessica punches through the wall and helps him escape to the alley. Jessica throws a dumpster against the door to barricade it, and she, Stick, Danny, and Matt escape via the sewer. Gao takes on the "Fuck Doors" Marvel mantle and chi-blasts through the door and dumpster, but too late. Murakami tells her they have a Black Sky problem.

*The 3 Defenders and Stick arrive at Colleen's dojo, then Luke joins them, with a captured Sowande in the back of a white van.

*Back in her room, Elektra sharpens her sword. Alexandra tells her about the daughter she had in her first life, and warns her that if she fails to serve the purpose for which she was created, she will be of no use to her. Murakami arrives with news of Sowande's capture. Alexandra says he will find his way back to them, and that reinforcements from South America will be coming.

*Stick and the Defenders try to interrogate Sowande, but he is unfazed, and tells them the Hand will target all of the people they hold dear.
Sowande: "You are the dumbest Iron Fist yet."

*Luke goes to Claire's and tells her it's not safe there, that she needs to leave with him now. Colleen and Danny wait in the car. Colleen says Danny shouldn't be following the other Defenders' orders, that the fight with the Hand is their fight. Then a couple of suspicious-looking cars drive up, and Colleen & Danny exit to investigate.
*Danny fights some guys in the alley, and Colleen is confronted by a not-dead-after-all Bakuto (her former sensei?). A sword fight ensues and Colleen is wounded, but Luke intervenes before Bakuto can land the fatal blow.

*Matt goes to Karen's office to warn her she's in danger from the Hand. Karen is angry at him for vigilante-ing again, but agrees to his request to come with him to safety.
*Luke arrives at Misty's precinct to ask for her help in protecting everyone, though he tells her it's safer if he doesn't try to explain. Danny and Claire follow with wounded Colleen.
*Back at interrogationville, Sowande tells Stick about the time he was captured by the Chaste, and how by the end they surrendered to him. Matt returns, and Stick tells him he needs to stop avoiding his destiny, that Iron Fist is not the leader Matt is.

*Jessica finds Trish at a dinner meeting, tells her she's in danger, but Hand minions arrive before they can leave. They run to a stairwell, but make it to an empty banquet room (no stairwell fight, alas) when Murakami attacks, but then a suited-up Daredevil joins the fight and Murakami retreats.
Jessica: The scarf looked better. Nice ears.
Matt: They're horns.

*In the precinct break room, Colleen tearfully tells Claire how lost she feels, but Claire tells her "You are the foundation." Trish and Malcolm catch up (Trish: "Did you know Jessica knows Daredevil?"), and Karen and Foggy arrive too. Misty asks everyone for their cooperation. She asks Colleen to tell her about her sword fight, but gives her back her katana anyway when she says it's safer if she doesn't explain.
*Back at interrogationville, Daredevil has a go at Sowande with his baton/garrote, but gets no answers, just knocks him into unconsciousness.

*Gao, Bakuto, and Murakami confront Alexandra. Murakami says that the Black Sky is not the empty vessel they were promised, that Iron Fist having Daredevil as an ally is a problem because of his connection to Elektra and her apparent feelings for him.
Murakami: You seem to have forgotten why we started this mission.
Alexandra: No I haven't. It's because we all want to live to see another day.
Gao: You are afraid of dying. We want to live long enough to go home.
Murakami :'s time to make a plan without the Black Sky. Or our fearless leader.

*Matt tells the others Defenders the truth about Elektra/Black Sky. Stick continues to insist that the vessel must be killed, everyone yells at Matt for betraying them, and Sowonde uses the distraction to free himself and grab something sharp to hold at Danny's neck, but then while he's starting to monologue Stick decapitates him.

*Alexandra goes to Elektra's room but finds it empty. Elektra stands on a rooftop (the one she died on?), then goes into Matt's apartment. She enters the bedroom, then curls up on his bed.
posted by oh yeah! (12 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am enjoying this immensely, probably because I basically just want something overwrought with a bunch of hitting in it. That said, while I realise that the actor who plays Sowonde actually is Nigerian, it does sound like he's trying to do the worst Irish accent in the world, though obviously that's not going to be a problem now.
posted by Grangousier at 1:40 PM on August 20, 2017

The classical music playing at the beginning is Brahms' 1st Symphony, which is a call back to a previous episode where Alexandra talks about Beethoven's influence on Brahms (while hinting that she knew the latter personally). Brahms' 1st Symphony is sometimes jokingly referred to as Beethoven's 10th because the influences are stark.
posted by jonnyploy at 6:22 AM on August 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

I loved that they took all of their loved ones to a police station. It's so practical! You don't get enough practicality in superhero outings.
posted by donajo at 3:00 PM on August 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

A general thing about TV/movies is the lack of scarring/permanent visual damage/debilitation after big fights.

Unless they have explicit regenerative powers, getting beat up takes a long time to recover from and the marks/scars lasts for months - if not years/permanently, in real life.

Fighting also leaves and exacerbates chronic injuries that remain annoying even after a "full" recovery.


Awesome that Madame Gao has some extranormal powers (blowing that door down with a palm strike).


Little bit annoyed by Elektra not sharpening her gear "properly." The prop swords (all of them) look terrible, too. Really lowered the threat level of fight all scenes involving swords. Bladework of any kind IRL is fucking scary and permanent and significant.
posted by porpoise at 8:30 PM on August 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

The last episode was very satisfying, if occasionally illogical.

The whole "talk to your threatened loved ones" thing in this episode lost a lot of momentum for me. After having gotten everyone together they now split them up. And unlike the early episodes, where they were split up doing different things, they are now doing exactly the same thing.

The dumbest Iron Fist yet line cracked me up.

I like how Jessica is not a super fighter in a world where everyone else has trained endlessly at combat. It's her brains that make her stand out.
posted by mark k at 9:11 PM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I want there to be a scene at the police station where all the secondary characters are talking to each other and trying to covertly figure out who everyone else knows and then have it turn into a superhero support group.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:24 AM on August 23, 2017 [4 favorites]

Like, a support group for people who have to deal with superheroes' bullshit, not for the superheroes themselves.
posted by dinty_moore at 11:46 AM on August 23, 2017 [4 favorites]

I really liked this episode, but also for the idea of Madame Gao just wanting to go home before she dies. She's always been the most sympathetic character, and I wonder if she actually had noble aims in the beginning.
posted by corb at 5:19 PM on August 23, 2017

So more in regards to inconsistent abilities, Elektra straight up knocks out one of the founders of The Hand with one kick. But can't knock out Daredevil while fighting him. Like even if he blocks her punch, that's like a punch from Luke Cage.

I'm glad they're showing Madam Gao actually doing her thing, and not running away, like she did in Iron Fist. She also pulled that in Daredevil, but then she ran because the building was burning down, understandable, she got bad knees.
posted by numaner at 6:13 PM on August 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm totally enjoying the JJ and LC bits, but Matt Murdoch's endless soul searching is getting old.

I also like that they've pretty much decided that Danny Rand is a useless idiot, but i can't figure why even a useless idiot would fail to use his frickin' iron fist even once during a group battle.

It was very satisfying to have finger guy decapitated by Stick, even as finger guy was proving what a useless idiot Danny Rand is cause he can't even use his iron fist to get away from a guy with a sharp piece of glass, even tho he's "the immortal iron fist". sheesh, punch the guy in the thigh with your Iron Fist you useless idiot.
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:10 AM on August 31, 2017

I didn't really think it was good storytelling to have the Luke / Sowonde confrontation happen off screen, but at least I get to imagine how it happened. In my mind, after Luke got hit by the garbage truck, he was dazed for a minute or two & Sowonde came up to him real close to do a victory monologue and Luke suckerpunched him in the middle of a smug gloat.

I really had no use for all the Hand BS in Daredevil S2 & Iron Fist, but at least here they're given clear motivations (they want to cheat death and to Hell with anyone else). I still wish they went with more of a Born Again storyline with all the characters (JJ & LC hired as DD's bodyguards, IF takes over the DD mantle for a bit to 'prove' that Matt Murdock isn't DD). Still, when Daredevil & Iron Fist share the stage, one has to accept a certain level of ninja bullshit.
posted by Jugwine at 7:51 PM on September 1, 2017

Scott Glenn is 76 years old but is somehow more believably badass than any other defenders who are half his age.
posted by octothorpe at 6:43 PM on September 27, 2017

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