The Defenders is one of the last things I planned on watching when I first started rewatching these Marvel shows. I’m still unsure if I’ll continue on after season three of Daredevil or not but I had forgotten a lot of the bigger things that happened during this miniseries. It feels somewhat disconnected from the other series. It even feels like that with the characters from Iron Fist and Daredevil, which are the most connected of the series.
A lot of the issues that I have always had with The Defenders has to do with the writing. The pacing of the story drags in all of the wrong places which leads to it being rushed when it doesn’t need to be. The introduction of new leaders of the Hand was a surprising element of the story. The new characters of Alexandra, Sowande, and Murakami led to some interesting revisions to what happened in previous seasons of Daredevil, Nobu being nothing but a pawn in Murakami’s plans. Alexandra is revealed as the leader of the Hand as a whole. The writing for Danny Rand is still just as annoying as it was in his own series.
One of the best things about the series is the chemistry between all of the leads. The pairings that they would end up using is one of the most fun parts of the series. Luke Cage and Danny Rand had amazing chemistry which would have worked really well for a series, which we sadly never got. The pairing of Matt Murdock and Jessica Jones is the most surprising things, with them having such fun interplay that you can’t help but enjoy it. All the other characters connected to the leads don’t get to interact with each other as much as you would think with them being in the same place for over half the season.
I had forgotten how much the final few minutes did to set up the rest of the shows, well except for The Punisher which was disconnected from everything else. The story connected to the Hand was ended with the miniseries. Going forward the shared universe between these shows would feel a bit more connected to each other.
The Defenders was a fun but flawed misfire of a miniseries crossover. I still think it’s a mostly enjoyable watch, even with the weirdly paced story. The weird use of the Hand throughout the first half of these shows is one of the worst things about the shows. That goes for the weird use of the Elektra/Daredevil storyline as well, especially since they were tied together in such a way. You can stream it on Disney +, but you should make sure to watch the seasons that came out before. I give The Defenders 7 blocks of C-4 out of 10.