Marvel and Netflix’s Defenders is finally heading to our TV and computer screens.
A blind lawyer, a snarky detective, a bulletproof hero, and a man with a mystical iron fist all have one thing in common; they are not team players. Yet Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand will be assembling in this long-awaited miniseries to fight a mutual enemy.
The road to this finale has been one of ups and downs for the four heroes. It is hard to remember now that at one time the gritty and visceral opening of Daredevil was a fresh take on the story and left audiences shocked but invested. Jessica Jones followed with an emotionally complex story packed with trauma and redemption but weak on pacing. Luke Cage was a bold and poignant tale of a black superhero defending Harlem but suffered from a less remarkable final villain. Iron Fist was to be Marvel’s magical martial arts series but became Marvel Studios’ first critical failure.
Each series has strengths and weaknesses and each character will bring something special to the new season.
In preparation, we will be counting down the 8 Best (And 7 worst) Marvel Netflix Episodes.
15. Best: Luke Cage – 1×11 “Now You’re Mine”
Luke Cage is a hard-hitting story of race and class conflict. Episode 11 begins to bring the disparate plot threads of the season to a culmination. It unites all the key players into one place for an exciting hostage showdown.
Misty and Luke really connect while hiding out in the basement and Claire proves once again that her common sense and quiet strength is the only thing holding the rest of the characters together.
Claire and Misty also interact in a fulfilling way. Misty is badly injured but proves her grit and determination as she manages to take down an attacker with Claire’s help.
This is the episode that puts all the characters on the same page and the pace begins to pick up. Luke is finally given the chance to really prove himself the hero, and he shines.
14. Worst: Jessica Jones – 1×01 “Ladies Night”
The first episode of Jessica Jones takes time to introduce the main players. Jessica Jones centers around an ex-superhero turned private detective and its themes include abuse, shame, and PTSD. It is a gritty and emotionally complex series but that very nuance unfortunately contributes to the main complaints surrounding the season.
“Ladies Night” introduces Jessica and her past, as well as serving as Luke Cage’s debut. We also meet Hope, the innocent victim who has suffered similar abuses to Jessica at the hands of Kilgrave, the season’s stylish villain. It is a lot to take in during the first episode and it is delivered in an arguably dry manner.
The gut-wrenching twist that finishes the episode is enough to keep this episode from featuring lower on the list. Yet it is still a far cry from the intensely charged episodes to come.