THE DEFENDERS - OVERVIEW & SYNOPSIS
Marvel’s The Defenders, or simply The Defenders, is a TV series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) created for Netflix by Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez. It is based on the Marvel Comics characters Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist, who form the eponymous superhero team. Being part of the MCU it shares continuity with the films of the franchise and is the culmination of a series of interconnected shows from Marvel and Netflix featuring the above characters. The miniseries is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios, Nine and a Half Fingers, Inc., and Goddard Textiles, with Marco Ramirez serving as showrunner.
The limited series stars Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock / Daredevil, Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, Mike Colter as Luke Cage, and Finn Jones as Danny Rand / Iron Fist, all reprising their roles from their individual series. The miniseries also stars Eka Darville, Elden Henson, Jessica Henwick, Simone Missick, Ramón Rodríguez, Rachael Taylor, Deborah Ann Woll, Élodie Yung, Rosario Dawson, Scott Glenn, and Sigourney Weaver.
Development on the miniseries began in late 2013, with Cox the first actor cast in May 2014. Petrie and Ramirez joined as showrunners in April, after serving in the same role on the second season of Daredevil, though Petrie left with the start of filming, which took place in New York City from October 2016 to March 2017.
The Defenders premiered in New York on July 31, 2017, with the full season of eight episodes released on August 18, 2017 on Netflix.
THE DEFENDERS MAIN CAST GALLERY
THE DEFENDERS SEASON 1 EPISODE GUIDE
- The H Word
- Mean Right Hook
- Worst Behaviour
- Royal Dragon
- Take Shelter
- Ashes, Ashes
- Fish in the Jailhouse
- The Defenders
Season 1, Episode 1 – The H Word
While hunting agents of the Hand in Cambodia, Danny Rand / Iron Fist and Colleen Wing are told that the war they are fighting is actually taking place in New York City. There, Matt Murdock has given up his life as the vigilante Daredevil and is working as a pro bono lawyer. He remains conflicted due to his feelings for Elektra Natchios, who died fighting the Hand. Luke Cage, his name cleared by Murdock’s ex-partner Foggy Nelson, returns from prison to the streets of Harlem where police detective Misty Knight informs him of local kids who have been getting involved with a mysterious business and ending up dead. After learning that all her major organs are failing and she has little time to live, a woman informs her colleagues to speed up their plans, and subsequently watches with a resurrected Natchios as a large earthquake tears through New York, felt by Rand and Wing as they return, and private investigator Jessica Jones as she discovers explosive while searching for a missing husband that an anonymous caller warned her to avoid.
Season 1, Episode 2 – Mean Right Hook
Jones calls the police, but Knight sees her taking some evidence as she leaves the scene. Cage follows some leads on local kids, and finds them being sent to clean up a workshop where several enemies of the Hand have been murdered. Rand and Wing are also investigating the workshop, leading to a fight between Rand and Cage which only ends when the police arrive. The mysterious woman, Alexandra, is informed that her group’s plans have been halted by a mystical wall. Alexandra believes this may actually be a door, and interrogates an old enemy, Stick, for answers on this. Jones is warned off her investigation by lawyer Jeri Hogarth, who later tells Nelson to keep any fallout from Jones’s actions away from their firm. Jones returns to her apartment to find the missing man, John Raymond. They are attacked by Natchios, but he kills himself first. Jones chases Natchios, but is caught and arrested by Knight. Murdock soon arrives to serve as Jones’s lawyer, having made an agreement with Nelson to carry out some of his extra work.
Season 1, Episode 3 – Worst Behaviour
Months ago, the Hand acquired the ancient weapon Black Sky—the body of Natchios—and used the last of their resources to resurrect her. Under Alexandra’s tutelage, the Black Sky was prepared to fight as a weapon against the Hand’s enemies. Now, Jones dismisses Murdock’s help, but he becomes interested in her case and begins investigating it himself. Cage tells his girlfriend Claire Temple about his fight with Rand, whom she knows. Temple organizes a meeting between the two, hoping they can work together to fight the Hand, but they clash over their respective backgrounds. Inspired by some of Cage’s comments, Rand decides to take a different approach and uses his corporate influence to find the Hand’s new front, Midland Circle. Cage visits the mother of one of the local kids the Hand had hired, while Jones investigates Raymond’s job. They also learn of a connection to Midland Circle. Cage arrives there to help Rand fight the Hand, soon followed by Jones and Murdock. They are attacked by the Black Sky, but Rand drives her off.
Season 1, Episode 4 – Royal Dragon
Rand, Cage, Jones, and Murdock escape to a nearby restaurant where they hide from the Hand. With everyone introduced, Rand proposes that they work as a team to defeat the Hand, but Murdock is unwilling to get involves, and Jones leaves. Stick escapes from the Hand and finds the group, having already known Murdock and known of Rand. He explains that a long time ago the elders of K’un-Lun came together to study the healing powers of qi, but five among them wished to use this power to live forever and were cast out. They became the five fingers of the Hand, and include Alexandra (who has gone by many names through the centuries), Madame Gao, Sowande (who has been recruiting the Harlem kids), Murakami, and the recently deceased Bakuto. Now the Hand have defeated all that oppose them, except for Stick and the Iron Fist. Alexandra arrives and offers to spare New York if Rand leaves with her, since their plan requires the Iron Fist, but he rejects her offer. The Black Sky attacks, and Jones reluctantly returns to help.
Season 1, Episode 5 – Take Shelter
The Hand converges on the restaurant, and Murdock lures the Black Sky away from the fight. When he calls her Elektra, she flees, but not before preventing Murakami from killing Murdock. Cage is able to kidnap Sowande while the others escape. After Sowande warns that their loved ones will be targeted next, they convince their friends to stay with Knight at the police precinct until they are out of danger. While doing this, Wing is confronted by a resurrected Bakuto, who unsuccessfully attempts to recruit her to his cause after raising her as a member of the Hand before she met and joined with Rand. Murdock decides to take up his Daredevil identity once again, something that concerns the leaders of the Hand due to his relationship with Natchios. Murakami questions Alexandra’s reliance on the Black Sky to complete their goals and notes that they can all be killed now that their resources were used on Natchios. He suggests that they devise a new plan without Alexandra. Stick decapitates Sowande when he attempts to escape capture.
Season 1, Episode 6 – Ashes, Ashes
Now realizing that the Hand wants the Iron Fist as a key to unlock something, the group decides to hide Rand away while they continue the fight. However, Rand disagrees and attacks the others. They stop him, and tie him up, with Cage and Stick watching over him while Jones and Murdock continue the investigation of Raymond. Natchios begins to regain memories of her previous life, but Alexandra insists that she is not that person anymore. Meanwhile, the other leaders of the Hand learn of Sowande’s death, and continue to lose faith in Alexandra’s leadership. Murdock and Jones learn that there is something beneath Midland Circle, a hole to which Murdock had come across previously when dealing with the Hand. They return to the group with plans of attacking the building, to find Stick attempting to murder Rand to keep the Hand from using him. They are interrupted by Natchios, who kills Stick and takes Rand. Alexandra gloats to the other leaders about this victory, but is murdered herself by Natchios who claims leadership of the Hand.
Season 1, Episode 7 – Fish in the Jailhouse
Jones, Murdock, and Cage wake up in the police precinct as suspects for the murders of Sowande and Stick. They tell Knight about the Hand, but try not to go into the details or let her get involved much to the chagrin of her superiors. The remaining fingers of the Hand agree to let Natchios pursue her goals, hoping that she will grant them access to the substance they need to avoid death (the last of their supply was used on Natchios). She takes Rand below the building to the mystical door that they need him to open. Jones, Murdock, and Cage escape the precinct and go to Midland Circle, where they are confronted by Gao, Bakuto, and Murakami. Wing soon arrives to help, bringing with her the explosives that Raymond had been stockpiling. The group drives the fingers of the Hand away. Knight and Temple arrive soon after, and Knight agrees to stall the police while the others get to Rand. Natchios tricks Rand into opening the door, causing a blast that knocks out power throughout the city. Rand awakens beneath the skeleton of a dragon.
Season 1, Episode 8 – The Defenders
Gao explains to Rand that like he gained the power of the Iron Fist from a dragon, the substance that the Hand uses for resurrection comes from the bones of dragons. The Hand begins harvesting the skeleton, and Gao notes that this will weaken the foundations of the city and cause widespread destruction. Wing and Temple place the explosives so as to destroy the building once the others escape. They are confronted by Bakuto, who cuts off Knight’s arm when she arrives to help. Wing kills Bakuto, but his body sets off the timer for the explosives. Jones, Murdock, and Cage arrive in the cavern to help Rand, and they fight the members of the Hand together. When Murdock realizes that the explosives are about to go off, he gets the others to leave immediately. He remains to plead with Natchios, and the two are together as the building implodes around them, as well as Gao and Murakami. The entire situation is covered up, and Rand, Jones, and Cage look to move on with their lives, protecting the city. Murdock later wakes up with a gun at his side.