Review: Defenders S1E4 – “Royal Dragon”

A group of heroes who work alone, assembled to fight a common enemy. This was planned by Nick Fury five years ago.

Today, four heroes are assembled to fight a common enemy, but aren’t sure this is a good idea. This is what happens in episode four, which winds up as the best installment so far.

SPOILERS BELOW

Matt  (still wearing Jessica’s scarf over his face), Jessica, Luke and Danny head to the Royal Dragon restaurant, and Danny gets the owners to close down for a while by promising to pay their rent for six months. He also had to buy dinner.

The first few minutes are spent seeing the heroes ask each other who the heck they are, peppered by her caustic remarks over what’s happening with the Hand. They can’t agree on whether they should be a team or not, but it’s a great scene where they see their worlds aren’t so small.

Jessica (Krysten Ritter) and Matt (Charlie Cox) are not interested. She just wants to crack her case and get out, while Matt just doesn’t want to be Daredevil again. Seeing Matt and Luke (Mike Colter) fight over being a team, and doing whatever’s necessary, is similar to Iron Man and Captain America arguing over who’s the best.

Then Stick (Scott Glenn) arrives, acting as the Nick Fury of the group. Only he has the guts to tell Jessica to sit down and shut up, while saying Danny’s (Finn Jones) the dumbest Iron Fist ever because his smartphone was still on. He also tells them the Hand were behind many catastrophes including Pompeii and Chernobyl, and will crush New York into dust to get what it wants.

That still doesn’t convince Jessica to join. Before she leaves, Luke tries to get her back. It’s a great reunion for Ritter and Colter, who were great together in her first series. She tells him she doesn’t understand why it’s important for him to help others, because it isn’t her. It’s a little heartbreaking, because it also shows she hasn’t recovered from Kilgrave and maybe never will. Don’t count her out, though.

Stick explains to Luke, Danny and Matt that the Hand started from five heretics from K’un Lun who want to use chi to beat death, not to heal. They include Alexandra, Madame Gao, Sowande, and Bakuto (who died in Iron Fist). Now they are gathering again to do something in New York.  There’s another heretic named Murakami (Yukata Takeuchi), who only speaks Japanese. He discusses with Alexandra (Sigourney Weaver) what to do next to fulfill her mission, and how another person is coming. As for Elektra (Elodie Yung), she’s told by Alex to remember she was brought back to serve the Hand.

Back at Jessica’s office, she sees that the land where Midland Circle sits had many owners over the centuries, and the owners seemed to have the same penmanship. Yes, Alex was selling the land to herself over and over, for decades. She also learns from Mrs. Raymond that someone has been watching her…and it may not be a cop. Jessica takes care of him.

Back at the restaurant, Luke wonders how Danny can eat so much. He’s also not in the mood to have “Super Friends”, although Danny thinks maybe this was meant to be. Luke says he’ll be on the team only until the conflict is solved. Matt still refuses to join, and Stick suspects it’s because of Elektra.

Suddenly Alex shows up, and says that it’s no use. The team will wind up disappointing each other, and she’s determined to have Danny at her side. She won’t say why, but she suggests he join her and she’ll let the others live.

He refuses, so she unleashes Elektra on them.

However, a car suddenly crashes through the restaurant and hits Elektra. There’s no driver, though.

That’s because Jessica pushed it… a little too hard.

Now, they are together against Elektra and a lot of people with guns. However, that’s only the beginning.

Halfway through the series, the plot is getting off the ground. The Hand need Danny for some reason, and it may require New York to be destroyed. If Ground Zero is the big hole from Daredevil, it would make sense. Matt, Luke and Jessica are doing a great job returning to the MCU, however Jones is still underwhelming. Weaver makes a fantastic villain, but Glenn steals the show every time he appears.

This was all the episodes critics got to preview. The only question is whether the momentum can be maintained, and the ending can be as exciting as this episode. The next chapter may be a game-changer as a few twists emerge.

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Post Author: David Mello

Worked nearly eleven years at a radio station as a board operator, news reader, and assistant producer for baseball broadcasts. Have been a staff writer for Whedonopolis since July 2008