The Defenders has officially been out for more than 24 hours now and in the wake of its kickassery, opened several questions about certain plot points in the season’s third act that left some fans here in our staff, baffled, to say the least. Below are eight questions we think are worth asking in our attempt to shape our perspective on the show’s totality now that it’s over. Spoilers obviously!
What happened to all those ninjas?
What the Hand lacks in characterization and complexity, it makes up in literal manpower. The organization is a literal cannon-fodder machine. They have amassed armies of mercenaries, private contractors, neighborhood criminals and not the least of which, murderous ninja. So it’s a bit confusing to see the third act kick off the way it does: the Defenders facing the 3 remaining fingers of the Hand as soon as they enter Midland Circle. What happened to their squad of goons from a few episodes ago? Was it their dinner break or something? The reason the Defenders are confronted by the 3 fingers is to slow/prevent them from reaching their destination 300 feet below. So wouldn’t it make sense to send all the armies at their disposal to REALLY screw their plan up? Madame Gao has her own crew of killers, Murakami has ninjas, and Bakuto has brainwashed teenager warriors. Why weren’t they used? They show up when its too late to stop the four!
Why didn’t they use their poison swords and arrows?
In both seasons of Daredevil S2 and Iron Fist, it is revealed that the Hand makes use of a special kind of poison to incapacitate their opponents. Elektra got a taste of it during their initial fight with the ninjas in the Midland Circle pit and Colleen Wing suffered a pretty bad wound during their skirmish with Gao in China. Both seemed pretty effective in taking our heroes out so it makes you wonder why such a logical way of raising the stakes was forgotten in the show where everything is supposed to culminate.
How did the Hand plan on getting out after digging the dragon bones?
So the Hand’s plan all along was the dig up some dragon bones underneath New York to extract some of its bone/nutrition that’ll grant longer life when consumed. The problem is that the dragon is literally the foundation of New York and will turn New York into a sinkhole when removed. So how does the Hand plan on getting out of that sinkhole when it caves in? If they caused crazy tremors that brought down street lamps just by accessing the pit, I can’t imagine it’ll take the entirety of Hell’s Kitchen several hours to crumble, let alone New York. Did they have a secret passage way?
How did Daredevil survive tons of rubble falling on his head?
When the stars of The Defenders were making their convention rounds several months ago, they said that one of the characters would go through a tremendous change, one they wouldn’t ever come back from. And the epilogue of the season makes it clear that the character is Matt Murdock when they revealed in the very end that Matt Murdock miraculously survived a building falling on top of him. How is that possible? Was it because of the dragon bone?
He may have taken some of that dragon bone but that doesn’t necessarily exempt someone from being crushed by thousand-ton concrete. Assuming that the dragon bones withstood the full force of a falling building and he found shelter underneath it, like Gao and her friends, Matt has hundreds of feet to climb and tons of rubble to get through.
How did Elektra regain her full self and memories so fast?
Episode 6 of The Defenders pulled a fast one on us by killing off Alexandra at the hands of Elektra. Having spent the last 10 minutes of her screen time hanging in Matt’s room, Elektra seems to have quickly gained all of her memories and motivations in her previous life. She goes from having sweet poignant moments with Alexandra to suddenly murdering her in the next, full motivations to take over the Hand and all. At least when Mariah did it to Cornell in Luke Cage, we understood why.
Why is Madame Gao the only Finger with powers?
Seeing the Five Fingers of the Hand was great. But apart from Gao, her cohorts are so indistinguishable from each other. Stick describes Murakami as evil but they never really show it. They just depict him as a guy with a small blade and baton. I thought this badass was Nobu’s boss?! Nobu was more memorable than him. Sowande is literally just a dude in white clothes. Bakuto is just like every other katana-wielding ninja they have. Gao is the only Finger with remarkable abilities, capable of toppling objects wuxia-style at the lightest touch of her palm. It’s badass but frustrating how they never address why she’s the only one capable of supernatural abilities. What makes her so special? Why are the other Fingers so whack?
What happened to Stone?
The ending of the 7th episode of Daredevil Season One that had Stick talking to Stone (thank Frank Miller for these names) was originally supposed to be a post-credits tag at the end of the series. But given the auto-play nature of Netflix episodes, they decided to just keep in the episode it’s most relevant with. It was the moment in the first season that truly deepened the world we were just immersing ourselves in then. And because they didn’t delve into or reference him in Daredevil Season Two, some fans thought we would be getting our answer in The Defenders. Alas, we did not. We don’t know what happened to Stone and I don’t think we ever will. We will never know the relevance of the character or what he said: “Will he be ready when the gates open?” What gates could he be talking about? K’un L’un? A portal located in the dragon graveyard?
What the hell is a Black Sky?
The million-dollar question fans have had since 2015. You’d think that within 34 hours worth of setup, the writers would find time to explain what a Black Sky is, what it does, what it requires or why the Hand finds it imperative that they have it. But damn, they really didn’t bother to shed light on it. All this time and we still don’t have a damn answer. It’s a shame considering it’s the most fundamental and pivotal thing they’ve been building for 2 years. The Hand finally got their Black Sky and it seemingly meant nothing. It literally is just a cool name at this point.
Despite these questions we seek answers for, we can’t deny that The Defenders has given us one hell of a team up show. Marco Ramirez and his team have delivered on their promise by bringing the team together exceptionally; giving us fantastic action, great character interplay and a whole load of fun. We still can’t believe that the show finally happened!