The Defenders Season 1 Episode 1 First Impressions

Summary: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist team up to fight crime in New York City.

Director: S.J. Clarkson (for this episode)

Writers: Douglas Petrie (creator and writer for this episode) and Marco Ramirez (creator and writer for this episode)

Stars: Charlie Cox, Kristen Ritter, Mike Colter, Finn Jones, and more.

    Marvel’s neighbourhood-level superhero team has finally arrived on Netflix and they aren’t here to mess around. Or are they? Ever since the success of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and the build-up to the ever so successful Avengers, we have been bombarded with superhero movies who end up being connected to other movies only to reunite together for a bigger threat later along the line.  While the Avengers showed us the potential of a connected universe, Netflix has been slowly putting together the pieces to creating it’s very own team of get-down-and-dirty superheroes with their own special skills in order to fight crime and save the one thing they all have in common: New York City. Taking place directly after Daredevil Season 2, Jessica Jones Season 1, Luke Cage Season 1 and Iron Fist Season 1, The Defenders slowly but surely ties things together in order to face a common threat. Fans can now squeal in joy with the arrival of their next superhero TV show binging experience.

 

    There’s one thing you have to understand with the first episode of The DefendersIt is not here to bring in new fans. The show is a direct sequel to a series of events that have taken place in the previous season of our respective superheroes. At no point in the pilot will you feel like it is trying to build a fan base. In fact, you’ll be immediately thrown into the game and be forced to embrace and rejoice at familiar faces and signature cinematography. As much as you’d like things to start off strong, the first episode of The Defenders has others plans for you. Slow-paced and choppy, the pilot serves more of a reminder of past events and places each characters in their respective settings before any merging begins. Fans of the previous shows and seasons will surely find this episode acceptable, but will struggle to feel anything more about it. While you can see and feel how different each hero is and how shook they are by the events they have had to go through, the first episode struggles at being captivating as it felt more like pieces of each show glued together rather than an episode of The Defenders.

    The heaviest part of this show lies however in the introduction of a new villain. Shoe-horned into the story-line after being absent and never mentioned before, the new Big Bad played by Sigourney Weaver, fails to convey the level of menace that she truly wishes to bring forth in The Defenders. Showing similar characteristics to Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk, Sigourney Weaver’s scenes highlights her wealth, classiness and power through silence and posture. Her role and her abilities remains a huge secret through the whole episode (and even throughout most of the season), but the fact that her motivations and objectives are so vague and unknown leaves this pilot episode a little dry. For a show than only has 8 episodes, I definitely thought this pilot could’ve done much better in integrating all the essential pieces before the big explosion. However, with that being said, The Defenders should not be judged solely on its first episode. I can tell you right now that the show finds its groove around episode 3 and the mysteries that have been haunting our heroes for so long are slowly unveiled as you get further into the season.

    What about the action scenes? With such a diverse bunch of superheroes, you can only imagine the chaos they could bring to anyone that dares stand in their way. From refined martial arts to raw head-bashing and body-throwing, you’ll be sure to get everything you want from The Defenders. The pilot episode does start off pretty intense as mysterious figures—easy to guess who they might be—show up and deliver a dangerous showdown to some of our heroes. While there won’t be that much going on in this first episode, a lot more will be thrown at us further into the story. It’s definitely a pleasure to see how their different fighting styles end up complementing each other, as well as seeing all the downsides and limits that they might have if they were to go at it alone. While Iron Fist should’ve had the most interesting style of them all, my issues with his choreography continues in The Defenders. I wish his sequences were filmed in one shot without having to use so much editing and cutting to make him look graceful and elegant on the kill floor. Daredevil however remains the most satisfying fighter on screen, and will probably always be, for me.

3

    Even with new faces being tossed into the mix, a lot of old faces will resurface from the darkness. The Defenders is filled with surprises as you progress into the show. The troubles of characters and their hunt for their identity will keep this show engaging, but first you’ll have to endure the first couple of episodes. Seeing these heroes struggle to understand what they truly want to do in life and what they want to do with their special talents is what pushes these characters to embrace aid and seek camaraderie. Visually, the show continues to strive in originality by delivering a unique style that easily helps in distinguishing our heroes from one another. When the story shifts from one point of view to another, you can feel a colour correction being applied that is reminiscent to their respective shows (from red, purple, yellow and green’ish tones). Nothing is lost when it comes to staying loyal to each of these character’s shows. While The Defenders‘ pilot episode has its fair share of issues, it is not an end line that you should contemplate. The show finds rhythm and takes off after a couple episodes when the story finally jumps into the mystical lore and brings these heroes together.


If you want to check out a comic book series based on this Defenders team, check out Brian Michael Bendis’ Defenders (2017). You could also check out other series featuring the Defenders, but it’s very likely that the team won’t be these four (heroes like Doctor Strange, Hulk, Namor and Silver Surfer originally teamed up as the Defenders). 
Have you read any of these comics? Did you start the show yet?
I’m done with season 1!

Tell me what you thought of The Defenders (TV Series 2017-) or if you plan on checking it out soon! 😀

MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★☆☆/

lashaansignature

InstagramFacebookGoodreadsTwitter

32 thoughts on “The Defenders Season 1 Episode 1 First Impressions

  1. By Hook Or By Book ~ Book Reviews, News, & Other Stuff says:

    Fantastic review Lashaan! I’ve only watched the first two episodes, but I find myself agreeing with your assessment. Plus, I have to admit that during the 1st and most of the 2nd eps, I was getting a little antsy over how long it seemed to be taking for them to start coming together. I’m hoping to binge-watch the rest of the season this weekend. And then it’s on to waiting for the Punisher which debuts in November.😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Thanks Kim!! Yep, it is quite troublesome how long they make us wait before we even see any interaction between the four of them. This is one of those shows that is just better off being binged so that you don’t get too disappointed by individual episodes. Hope you enjoy the last 6 episodes!! 😉 Can’t wait for The Punisher myself!!! Their latest trailer was just insaneeeeee! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lauren says:

    Great review as always! I’ve binge-watched the show during the weekend and I have the same issues you do with the pilot (and the rest of the show). While it’s definitely an entertaining show and they stayed true to the characters, I felt like the plot was a bit…off. I understand they only had eight episodes (which I think is just not enough to tell a convincing story with four main characters) but they could’ve done much better I think. It had lost of potential but it all fell flat for me. Daredevil’s storyline and fighting sequences were the best part but I’m probably biased since I like him the most haha 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Thank you so much!! 🙂 It’s really unfortunate that they had to keep it at 8 episodes when The Defenders should’ve been their “ultimate” season. They definitely could’ve done so much better, but I’m glad that it was at least somewhat entertaining. I feel like Iron Fist (the first season and everyone from that cast) have really dragged down the series potential. But man, I’m with you on Daredevil being the best. Biased or nah, I think our love for the character is HIGHLY justified!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lauren says:

        Definitely. The Defenders would’ve been much better with a good Iron Fist.
        Yes, I’d say it’s definitely justified. 😀 Knowing what happened at the end of the Defenders, I can’t wait to watch the new season of Daredevil. That’s still a long way off, but at least there’s the Punisher to look forward to. I loved him in Daredevil and I really hope his spin-off doesn’t disappoint.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

          They probably thought they had enough content to spread across more episodes… I actually think they did have enough material… They just didn’t use it and made those last couple of episodes feel so dragged out and anti-climatic… Sad stuff.

          Like

  3. Bookstooge says:

    Shows like this tempt me, but honestly, after DD season 2, I think I was done with netflix super hero tv shows. With that being said, I will probably binge the Punisher when it comes out. But I’m so much of a casual comics fan that I need a bigger name to draw me in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Makes sense. The Punisher is surely going to be epic if you ask me. As for the other heroes from Netflix’s Marvel Superhero Universe, I’d have a little bit of trouble trying to recommend them to you hahah If you ever plan on continuing Daredevil Season 3, you might have to go through the other shows though… Unless you want to get spoiled/not understand what’s going on or something.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bookstooge says:

        Yeah, that interconnectedness is actually a turn off for me. I barely watch any tv, so to have to watch extra just to understand one show isn’t drawing me in.

        I do like reading posts on it though because the “idea” is intriguing.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    Oh I had to skim past a lot of your review Lashaan, although I am incredibly excited for The Defenders I am so so so behind on the shows that come before it. After reading what you said about where The Defenders falls after all the series that have previously been released I don’t think this is something I can jump into not having seen season two or Daredevil, or any of Luke Cage or Iron Fist.
    I have so much to catch up on, and a lot of TV shows to get through it seems as well! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Hahaha no worries Beth. 😀 I’m glad that you at least read the part where you’d need to finish up those other seasons before watching The Defenders cause otherwise you would’ve been spoiled a lot/been lost at what was going on a little too often. Hope you find the time to binge through them all and enjoy them all as well!! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Ah I have sooo much TV to catch up on before getting to this- but I still want to check it out, even if it’s choppy in the first episode, I’m especially glad it finds its groove as it goes on. And it’s a shame the villain seems shoehorned in at first. I love Daredevil’s fighting though, so I can handle if it doesn’t get better than that to be honest. Awesome review!! Very thorough 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Ohh, it’s as fun as you’d want it to be, that’s for sure. Hope you catch up on all these Netflix superhero shows soon, before more come out!! 😛 Yep, I wasn’t a huge fan of THE “villain”, even if the actress was iconic for her filmography and all. But… Daredevil remains the best return-to-action for me. It’s always nice to see Murdock kicking ass. 😀 Thanks for reading and enjoy the binge when you get around to it. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Chris Evans says:

    A most excellent and well-detailed and thought provoking piece on episode 1 good sir! I was initially going to do a first impressions post as well but decided to watch the whole series over the course of a week so I’ve done a season review.

    All in all I though the Defenders did a good job of uniting the characters and the chemistry was brilliant. I had some similar issues with Sigourney Weaver’s character, there was some interesting set-up with her but I didn’t feel the character fully became as big a threat as I’d hoped.

    Overall I’d say this was better than Luke Cage and Iron Fist but not as good as Jessica Jones or Daredevil, which I still feel is the best and will probably continue to be for myself personally due to my love of the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      I honestly always hesitate on doing a season review or just a first episode review since a lot of people are not likely to have completed the series and would fear reading my thoughts thinking there might be spoilers (which would probably be the case since it’s so hard to talk about a season without talking about some of those spoiler’ish elements).

      Yeh, Weaver was an excellent casting choice, but I feel like it was missing pieces. I couldn’t grasp the extent of her powers and why everyone would fear her so much. Her motivations are also so vague, some sort of attempt to have a mother-daughter bond, pursuit of immortality and ultimate power… It is what it is I guess.

      I agree with the rankings. I also felt like Mr. Rand and Mrs. Wing sort of dragged the show down a little with their parts. I wish Iron Fist was done a bit better and his story had been explored a bit differently. Maybe Season 2 will fix things. Soooo looking forward to The Punisher now though. Now that show is probably going to blow things out of the water.

      Thanks man for the kind words. I appreciate it, as always.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Chris Evans says:

        Yeah, I definitely felt Weaver’s character was lacking a little more development and not as menacing as I’d hoped. I think the outcome of the Defenders sets some (potentially) very interesting things up and hopefully Iron Fist will benefit from it.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer says:

    I’m really excited to watch the Daredevil show! We just got Netflix now that Hulu is charging an arm and a leg!! This sounds good… I love when multiple characters come together!! Not sure if we’ll watch the others or not… But The Punisher sounds worth watching as well! I’ll have to hunt these down… we must not watch associated shows because i haven’t seen them yet… Great review Lashaan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Haahh I still remember when you first asked what order you should watch these shows! 😛 Well I hope they interest you enough to watch them in order, as well as all of them! 😉 Of all of them Daredevil is definitely a MUST. He did start the universe off too! 😀 Thanks for reading Dani!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s