Whew, so many things happened in this episode that my head is spinning. After two episodes of exposition and setup we have a finally have the team-up we were waiting for! Hopefully I can wrap it all up in a nice little bow for you guys… here I go.
Episode 3 begins with a flashback to a few months before the events of The Defenders. Alexandra is eating dinner alone, dropping hints about her actual age (like she do), when she’s approached by White Hat. He informs her that they have found the Black Sky. Now if you are a fan of Daredevil, or you put two and two together from the first two episode of this series, the Black Sky is actually a recently killed Elektra.
Alexandra rushes to revive a dead Elektra using the stone sarcophagus you see at the end of Daredevil Season 2. Her body is cover in blood and a mysterious substance that resembles primordial goop. After her resurrection, Elektra is primal — full of unchecked emotion, speechless, and as weak as a new borne babe. Language and instincts eventually return to Elektra, but according to Alexandra everything else “wasn’t worth keeping anyway.” (Talk about convenient amnesia.)
Over the next few scenes we see a montage of Alexandra training Elektra to accept the mantle of the Black Sky. During her training there is an excellent fight sequence that displays the bone-crushing ferocity of the Black Sky. Unfortunately, Elektra’s final test against a hoard of ninja takes place in a blackout, and when the lights come back on her opponents are all dead. Now I can’t really say if the writers are teasing us to later reveal the full power of the Black Sky or if the fight choreographers simple didn’t want to film another fight scene in an episode already full of brawls. Either way, I wasn’t too disappointed.
Flash forward to present day. Alexandra has Stick captured and tied to a post. Ever the woman to put all her power of display, Alexandra unveils the new Elektra to Stick. Unable to connect to the old Elektra, Stick escapes by cutting off his own hand. With such a display of badassery, it’s hard to forget how hardcore Stick really is.
Meanwhile, Jessica is still at the Harlem Police Precinct with her new attorney, Matt. Matt is immediately put off by her combative attitude, but he’s not one to step down from a fight and he informs her that he knows about Kilgrave. Even with the revelation, Jessica refuses to answer his questions about her case. Unable to detain her any longer, Jessica is free to leave.
Once free, Jessica visits the architect’s grieving wife and informs her that she intends to keep investigating. As she leaves the architect’s house Jessica quickly discovers that she is being followed… but by who? Why, Matt Murdock of course! She’s able to reverse the cat and mouse roles and get a few pictures of Matt parkour leaping up a fire escape. Like dude, secret identity much?
Now Luke is sulking in Claire’s apartment with a sore jaw provided by Iron Fist. Luke’s distressed because he let Cole be taken in by the police, but Claire reassures Luke that he can’t help anyone from inside a jail cell. Luke’s tale of a skinny white kid with a glowing fist jogs Claire’s memory, and she says there’s someone Luke needs to meet.
Claire introduces Luke and Danny to each other, claiming they have a few things to talk about. Their chat doesn’t go so well, mostly because Luke doesn’t believe Danny’s story. Claire — my saving grace in this episode — takes no nonsense and tells them they’re on the same side so they better talk it out. She and Colleen leave them alone to talk.
What follows is a literally sit down between Luke and Danny which quickly turns into a talk about race and privilege. In my favorite line from the episode, Luke tells Danny, “You may have earned your strength, but you had power the day you were born.” Luke impatiently asks Danny why he isn’t using his wealth to help people instead of beating up ignorant kids who are just trying to feed their families. When Danny can’t give him the answer he wants, Luke storms out frustrated.
Once he’s done meditating (aka brooding), Danny asks Colleen why he’s fighting the street-level operatives when he has the connections and access to go straight to the top. Colleen reminds him that he’s not a business man, but Danny, clearly bothered by what Luke said, decides to put on a suit and give it a try.
With events in motion, the four heroes creep closer to their first meeting as a group. After visiting Cole in jail, Luke goes to see his mother where he finds a wad of cash attached to a pay stub from Midland Circle Financial. Danny and Colleen go to Rand Industries and coerce some poor woman into giving them a name of the company The Hand was transferring money to in Season 1 of Iron Fist. The company is Midland Circle. Jessica investigates the architect’s last project and gets a name: Midland Circle.
Whelp, I guess everyone’s headed to Midland Circle Financial, headquarters of The Hand.
Midland Circle Financial
Danny makes his way to Midland Circle’s boardroom where he confronts the execs like an bull in a china shop. Alexandra shows up and offers a quick “compliment” about Danny’s discipline. Meanwhile, Jessica and Matt arrive nearly simultaneously in the lobby. Matt tries to stop her from doing anything foolish, but Jessica isn’t having it. She threatens to expose Matt with the pictures she took of him, but Matt breaks her camera to make it a non-issue. Matt’s argument stops when he hears gunshots from the top floor.
Dozens of floors up, Danny starts to fight the well-armed execs… Who knew The Hand’s goons scrubbed up so well? Anyway, they try to take down Danny with tranquilizer guns and sheer force. Danny’s doing well at first but is soon overwhelmed. And, just as he is about to summon the Iron Fist, Luke shows up to serve as a human shield. Jessica and Matt soon join the fight after trading quips at the others expense.
And we’ve got ourselves a boardroom brawl!
What interesting about the lead up to this scene is how each hero approaches getting to the top floor. Danny monopolizes on his privilege — like Luke suggested — and shows up in a suit to get escorted to the boardroom by security. Luke sneaks in through the parking garage before busting in like Harlem’s version of the Kool-Aid Man. Matt steals Jessica’s scarf as a impromptu mask and unnecessarily ninja flips his way up several flights of stairs. Jessica, being the one person who best pretends to be normal, takes the elevator. If that doesn’t sum-up each character, then I don’t know what does.
Our four heroes easily start to beat up a new wave of bad guys… but things get a little hairy when Elektra shows up. Jessica recognizes her as the assailant that broke into her apartment in the previous episode. Matt ends up fighting Elektra in a equally matched battle, until he is flung into a bookcase and catches her scent. Literally floored, Matt says her name but Elektra doesn’t react. Curse that amnesia! Just as she is about to deliver a killing blow to a shocked Matt, Danny shows up and shatters her sword with the Iron Fist. The concussive blast sends Elektra flying back through a wall.
As the foursome flee the scene and get into the elevator, Danny asks the obvious question: “Who are you people?” Like, bruh, you ain’t seen nothing yet!
Now, with our heroes together at last, I know the next episode of The Defenders will be full of angst, brooding, and badassery.
[media courtesy of Netflix]