So, Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage all come together in Marvel’s The Defenders to combat the evil shadow organisation known as The Hand (run by a steely-faced Sigourney Weaver). The first three episodes are tightly plotted and scripted. Even if you haven’t seen the standalone series of each character, you get a decent enough characterisation of each hero to be able to follow what’s going on. And there are jokes and banter along the way (with some decent action sequences).
But then we hit episode four and everything comes to a shuddering halt. Slabs of exposition rain down on us. Every character has to go through some navel-gazing and self-doubt. The tempo of the narrative entirely disappears. Plot progression is hardly discernible. You consider switching the series off.
The already erratic character of Iron Fist then decides to show us just how much of a spoilt brat he really is – petulant, entirely lacking in wit, irrational/illogical and simply a pain in the ass. His ‘weapon’ of a glowing yellow fist looks like radioactive cheese and is well past its sell-by date. We desperately want to see him die so that we can be put out of our viewing misery. And then there’s the biggest problem of all: his plot and power are all based on mysticism and dragons (yes, dragons). The most commonly used phrase (and it’s used several times in every episode) is ‘Now, I know this sounds crazy, but…’
And it is all crazy. Senseless. Meaningless. The Hand are digging a massive hole under New York and it really is the massive hole in this series. A hole into which everything we care about disappears. Shame. The first three episodes were great. But ultimately it all leaves us feeling, like the dragon of this series, dead. The dragon’s fiery heart was ripped out by Iron Fist’s cheesy fist. If you really wanna torture yourself, find it on Netflix. For me, it only scores a 6 out of 10. Ooops. (That being said, die-hard fans of Jessica Jones, Daredevil and Luke Cage might be able to see past Iron Fist’s nonsense and be inclined to rate it as 7 or 8 out of 10.)