We got a good look at Netflix and Marvel's Defenders today. As usual, we've broken down the trailer and examined every scene, comparing it to what we know for certain and what we've heard rumoured. Join us, won't you?
All images: Netflix via YouTube
Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is once again in custody. She has cuffs on that I think we all know she could break if she wanted, so she's clearly cooperating.
"You have interrupted a citywide investigation," Misty Knight (Simone Missick) says.
We get a glimpse at what that "citywide investigation" might be related to, as a fire truck approaches a bunch of crashed cars. There's a lot of debris on the ground, too. And the smoke might be from the crashed car, but it also looks like it could be coming out of a manhole. As the trailer shows, the Hand clan of evil ninjas play a major role in Defenders, so this may be their work.
We also know from showrunner Marco Ramirez that the thing that brings the Defenders together is large enough to warrant the team, but small enough to fit in the Netflix-Marvel's New York. Otherwise you'd wonder where the hell the Avengers are. A bunch of semi-immortal evil ninjas seem an appropriate threat level.
The flickering in the hallway where Jessica is seems like it could be the power reacting to whatever disaster we just saw. We also see her break into an apartment, while Misty voiceovers, "You stole evidence from my crime scene. And you got my one lead killed."
Jesus Christ, Jessica, look at your file. Remember that while Jerri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) got Jessica out of gaol time for killing Kilgrave (David Tennant), I am sure the police don't appreciate her actions at all.
Jessica's covered in blood, and she says, "I was trying to help him." Whoever "him" is, Jessica fought for him and he died.
Ramirez has also said about each Defender, "Every one of them is following their own trail of breadcrumbs, trying to unpack a mystery in New York." Presumably, whatever Jessica was investigating that got her here is her breadcrumb. She's the hardest to suss out, since her story in season one of Jessica Jones was so personal and not tied to the Hand.
"Jessica Jones, stop talking."
No, Jessica, run! The TV version of Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) is an awful lawyer. Try to get Foggy (Elden Henson) instead!
"Who the hell are you?" asks Jessica. This is the correct reaction to this kind of BS.
"My name is Matthew Murdock, I'm your attorney."
This scene, by the way, was teased two years ago on Twitter.
Not to get entirely Fox Mulder about this, but if Jessica's case — and whatever case of Misty's she interrupted — are Hand-related, then it cannot be a coincidence that Matt's here. Presumably this is the breadcrumb brought his questionable legal skills to Jessica's aid.
Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson): "How does being Harlem's hero allow you to live an actual life?"
Luke Cage (Mike Colter): "Right now, I just want to help people."
We know Luke spends some of this series back in prison, but it doesn't look like he stays there long at all.
Claire: "I think there's someone that you need to meet." This is cut to look like she means Danny Rand (Finn Jones), but, given that it's Claire, the nexus of the Marvel Netflix-verse, it could mean literally anyone in any of the shows.
Colleen's (Jessica Henwick) appearance in Defenders makes a lot of sense if the Hand's machinations are responsible for bringing the heroes together.
Colleen and Danny investigate a place full of dead bodies, katanas, and some sort of chemical being sprayed, so Danny chases down a guy in a hazmat suit who calls for help when Danny grabs him. Do we want to know what these chemicals are? I sincerely doubt it's an innocent exterminator who happened upon a building full of people killed with katanas.
God, this is so satisfying. Punch him again and again, Luke.
The two ask each other who the other is, but Danny's question kind of sounds like he means, "Don't you know who I am?" Punch him again, Luke.
The shape of things here seems to be that the start of the series has each Defender investigating a separate part of the big bad's plan, with Matt and Jessica colliding and Luke and Danny meeting up, which happens before all four have their first scene together at the site of the Hand's giant hole in the ground.
Danny: "How come you can't be hurt?"
Luke: "What's the deal with that fist?"
We've been teased that Luke will act as a mentor to Danny, who is "immature". While I would describe him as "bland, except when annoying", we can only hope that Luke manages to improve his personality somewhat.
The most punchable face in television.
"I'm the immortal Iron Fist." PUNCH HIM AGAIN, LUKE.
Poor Claire is telling them they're on the same side, but they do not look happy about it. Anyway, say hi to the dojo while we're in it.
The start of a beautiful and comics-based friendship.
Each hero gets a small vignette here, which I'm guessing are mostly from earlier in the series than what we've seen so far. While we see them, Daredevil's mentor Stick (Scott Glenn) intones, "You four. The devil of Hell's Kitchen, the smart-arsed detective, the righteous ex-con, and the kid with the glowing fist. The war for New York is here."
Jessica still has her drinking problem and she's a little rough on people. Hasn't changed much.
Matt has a suit and NO FRIENDS since Elektra died, Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) is off helping the Punisher, and Foggy left him for better legal pastures. Just a reminder that this is where Matt's starting the season.
Luke's in gaol but not "for long". Which makes sense, since how do you really keep him there?
Everyone else's moniker is much cooler than Danny's. Granted, we also saw him whine that he's the "immortal Iron Fist", so "the kid with the glowing fist" is about right.
Actually, what's interesting is that Danny's section leaps from here, which looks like a normal New York outside, to a room with a lot of windows which also looks fairly normal for New York, to this:
Which is carved stone and looks like it might be underground. Also, is Danny fighting Elektra? That stone looks like it could match her sarcophagus.
Also, by the way, these scenes are cut to make it look like Danny's punching into this place, with an explosion of dust between night in NYC and what looks like day underneath it.
But if you pause the exploding rock that transitions between them, you can see Luke flinching. I don't know if he's punching toward a locked-up Danny or if it's the other way around.
This is the same shot that closed out Daredevil, and Marvel's already let slip that she's going to be a problem for the Defenders.
Whatever this is — a geological side effect of resurrecting someone through dark ninja magic, maybe? — it looks like the area that the fire truck was racing around in the beginning of the trailer.
Someone looks pleased with the destruction. We still know next to nothing about Sigourney Weaver's villain, supposedly named "Alexandra". But if she's actually Mephisto — the Marvel villain who is basically Satan — in disguise, as a lot of people have guessed, you can totally see it.
Stick: "So get your shit together." I'm pretty sure this is the aftermath of the hallway fight and Stick has definitely got some blood on him.
He's also right, because they look very pathetic in that restaurant compared to whoever is kicking total arse here, which I'm pretty sure is Elektra.
What's most interesting here is that Matt is fighting as Matt Murdock, not as Daredevil. Something has clearly gone very wrong. And it looks like it's right outside the restaurant, maybe?
This is cut weirdly, so maybe the team entered the restaurant after getting their arses kicked. But maybe Alexandra drove into the restaurant just to make a completely badarse entrance. I'm hoping it's the latter!
Alexandra: "The more connections you have, the easier it will be to break you." I guess telling them that their "faith in your friends" is their weakness was taken by another villain.
This can't be good. And I'm pretty sure this is also Elektra.
We know all four heroes first meet up at the Midland Circle offices, which is the company behind the giant hole in Daredevil season two. Alexandra appears to be very much in charge of this particular Hand HQ.
OK, Matt was definitely not prepared to have to fight. It sounded like all four of our heroes arrived at Midland Circle separately, but this implies they arrived together, since it's Jessica's scarf Matt has tied around his head.
Probably brainwashed Elektra is going to be a big problem. And I bet Matt recognises her and hesitates, which is why he gets punched through a glass wall. I also gotta say, with Elektra there and everything, I think the Hand knows Matt's secret identity. So the thing on his head isn't actually doing anything.
This is also cut in a way that kind of implies that Danny and Luke arrived together. I'm not saying Danny's so bad that he makes me not like Luke, but I am saying there's a pairing here that is better, and it's Jessica making fun of Matt.
The first team fight is a hallway fight because the Daredevil showrunner is also in charge of this series, and he loves watching people fight in hallways.
In each of the Marvel-Netflix series, we've mentioned how each character's fighting style reflects their particular background and power set (except Danny, because even if the immortal Iron Fist is a great martial artist, Finn Jones is not and there is only so much you can do with a stunt double). That specificity in fighting really pays off here.
And we close with Danny Rand managing to make Defenders sounds as uncool as possible. "We make quite a team."
Danny: "What are you talking about? Bulletproof, blind ninja, whatever it is you are."
Danny is just asking for another punch. Also, we already had Stick describe everyone, why do this again? Also, Finn Jones' real accent is not under control in this scene at all.
This trailer mostly gave us confirmation of things we already knew. It's interesting that it really focused on pairing off Danny and Luke, and then Jessica and Matt, since you'd assume everyone would get a moment with everyone. We also finally have confirmation that Elektra's back from the dead as a bad guy, and we know that Alexandra is tied in with the Hand somehow. Although I would not rule out her being in total charge of them, either.
The show seems pretty basic "stop the villains from trying to take over the world" and that's fine. That's great, even. We want to mostly spend time with these characters and see them with each other. The villain needs to be compelling, but not overly complex.
Defenders premieres on Netflix on August 18.