Warning: Major SPOILERS ahead for The Defenders
Marco Ramirez discusses what future The Hand has on Netflix following the organization's role in The Defenders. After years of waiting, Netflix and Marvel have finally delivered on the long-awaited team-up. The Defenders brings together characters, both leading and supporting, from Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. With the four street-level heroes crossing paths, so does each of their stories. For Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) and Danny Rand (Finn Jones), that includes a heavy dose of The Hand.
The mysterious group has been part of the Netflix corner of the MCU since the start, but played its largest roles in Daredevil (especially season 2) and Iron Fist. With Alexandra (Sigourney Weaver) leading the charge, The Hand was as ready to go as ever, but they still came up short. As it turns out, The Defenders will be the end of The Hand for a while.
Related: The Defenders Recap
EW spoke with showrunner Marco Ramirez - who also helmed Daredevil season 2 - about all the burning questions audiences will have after they finish the eight episode story. By the end, the future of The Hand is put in extreme doubt with all of the organization's leaders appearing to be killed off. Thanks to this, The Hand will be taking a break from the small screen, and would be very different if it ever returns.
Well, in the Marvel world, and as Jeph Loeb, the Marvel TV head, would say, in the comic-book world, you can always find a way. The story finds a way, so who knows? But we definitely felt like we wanted this to be the end of this specific show, so while I don’t know if it’s the end of the Hand forever — who knows what will happen in the future — it just felt like it’s the end of this story in the lore. Particularly for Iron Fist, we wanted to close that chapter [of the Hand’s story]. I don’t know what the future holds. That’s a Jeph Loeb question [laughs] but for me and for the writers’ room, it felt right to end the story here.
The fall of The Hand starts in episode five, when Stick (Scott Glenn) kills one of the group's five leaders. Newcomer to fans, Sowande (Babs Olusanmokun), is the first to go, and it all goes downhill from there. Alexandra is betrayed and killed by Elektra (Elodie Yung) and Bakuto (Ramon Rodriguez) is decapitated by Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick). Madame Gao (Wai Ching Ho) may have escaped in miraculous fashion, but Murakami (Yutaka Takeuchi) fell hundreds of feet, was pierced by a steel rod, and had a building collapse on him, so he's probably gone.
Considering the usage of The Hand on the shows already, this feels like a fitting end to a chapter for the Netflix shows. With The Defenders said to kick off Netflix's Phase 2 for their Marvel properties, it looks and sounds as though that will be without the presence of The Hand. That said, Ramirez astutely points out that this is a comic book show and people have been brought back from the dead before, so nothing is ever out of the question.
What this does mean for the long-term future of Netflix's Marvel content is a third season of Daredevil that won't focus on him battling other ninjas. Based on how this ends and the setup that has happened before, one of his more popular stories may be adapted for his next solo season. This could also make things easier for Danny and Colleen if their arch enemy is out of the picture, but if that is truly the case remains to be seen. All we know now is that this iteration of The Hand is done, but they could always come back in the future.
The Defenders is now available on Netflix, with The Punisher arriving sometime this fall. Premiere dates for the new seasons of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist have not yet been announced.