The Defenders finally work on actually getting together in episode 3, “Worst Behavior.” Unlike last episode, I don’t see a direct tie in for the title, aside from the fact that many of them are not exactly doing everything they should be. But there were some great scenes that made a comic book geek’s heart soar, and I think this was the best so far.
The first scene is more background on the villains, happening “months ago.” Alexandra is eating in a restaurant she apparently had cleared for the purpose, and drops more random hints about how old she actually is. She gets interrupted when she is told that they have the Black Sky. This is, of course, Elektra, who we see resurrected and then put through a training montage as Alexandra looks on. The number of deaths during the training really makes me wonder where the Hand keeps getting their foot soldiers/cannon fodder from. They have to run out eventually, don’t they?
After the theme, which I admit is growing on me a bit, we get back to “today.” Alexandra taunts Stick, her captive, with her turning of Elektra. Stick shows that you really shouldn’t spend time threatening your captives, especially not by bringing weapons within touching distance of a master fighter. Stick pulls some very surprising moves in the course of his fight/escape. He’s certainly got a lot of resolve, Stick.
Then we move on to Jessica in the interrogation room with Matt Murdock, attorney at law. Matt reveals he was indeed sent by Foggy through the Jeri connection. They verbally spar for a while and then Jessica leaves. Matt, knowing there’s something more up, follows and uses his sense to spy on her.
Luke is back at Claire’s place, actually needing ice for the bruise from his encounter with Danny. He brings Claire up to speed on White Hat, and then, when she notices he’s actually in pain, tells her about the “skinny white kid with the glowing hand.” Claire rolls her eyes and tells him there’s someone he has to meet. So…
At the Chikara Dojo, Claire and Colleen try to play peacekeepers as Danny and Luke actually talk. The two men share origin stories, and Luke doesn’t believe most of Danny’s. Then again, why would the man from Harlem believe in dragons and mystical cities? Their talk goes well until it comes back to Cole, the kid Luke was trying to help, which veers into areas like white privilege, and ends with Cage storming out. Oh well, at least they didn’t fight again.
Jessica goes to see Mrs. Raymond and talk to her about her now dead husband. She’s there long enough to get her next clue and have an awkward scene with Lexie, the teenage daughter. Jessica leaves, and is fairly sure she’s being followed. She’s right, and it’s Matt. They play cat and mouse and she manages to get behind him and turn the tables. Whether that’s her experience as a PI or maybe her reluctantly using her almost-flight power, I’m not sure. She does catch up with him in time to see him parkour up out of a blind alley, and get pictures.
Like is trying to continue his own investigation, and goes to see Cole in jail. Luke is full of helpful suggestions, and Cole keeps telling him there’s nothing he can do. Eventually, Luke leaves and pay a visit on Cole’s mother, bringing along the lottery tickets Cole was so insistent on Luke getting for her. Cole’s mother is a very sweet woman who offers some interesting insight into both Cole and Luke. He finds Cole’s stash of money, which points Luke at Midland Circle Financial. Just after he finds this comes a call from the jail, and a scene of some really heart-wrenching grief.
Danny, meanwhile, takes Luke’s rant to heart and considers another approach to his war on the Hand. After discussing things with Colleen and stopping by Rand-Meechum, he goes to visit the corporate shell that the Hand is currently hiding behind. It is, of course… Midland Financial. This is also the name that was on the elevator in the first trailer released for Defenders way back when.
Jessica is following her own leads, and ends up at the firm where Raymond used to work. Jessica plays corporate air-head really well. After some flattery and cajoling, she manages to find out the last project Raymond worked on. Do I even need to say it?
Before everything converges on Midland, there’s another scene of interest. Colleen is back at the dojo, since, like Jessica, she lives at her work place. She hears someone coming, gets her sword, and then is surprised when her visitor turns out to be Stick. Staggering, bleeding, he asks a question with a potential double meaning: “Where’s the Fist?”
Danny crashes the board meeting at Midland, and we see the first meeting between one of the heroes and Alexandra. It turns out that the whole board are Hand thugs, and Danny has a big fight against a mob. Even the Living Weapon isn’t perfect and they finally wear him down after some really nice fight choreography. Just when it’s looking bad for Danny, the doors to the boardroom fly open as Cage makes a dramatic entrance. They get some banter in (Punching’s ok now?) as they go into action. If you’ve been around long enough to have read the old Power Man and Iron Fist comic, it’s a really wonderful scene. If you haven’t, it’s a good scene anyway, as they combine Danny’s skill and Luke’s powers in a really effective manner.
Down in the lobby, Jessica shows up and then gets puled aside suddenly by Matt. She gets out the line of the episode (“Grab me like that again and I’ll hit you so hard you’ll see.”) and they compare notes. When the fight upstairs devolves to the point of gunfire, Matt hears it and grabs Jessica’s scarf for an improvised mask, in a scene that’s been in all the previews. For reasons I don’t quite get, Matt runs up the stairs, vaulting over various security barricades, while Jessica takes the elevator.
Eventually, all the heroes end up in the same place and a massive battle ensues against the hordes of the Hand. When the heroes are doing too well with that, Alexandra sends in Elektra. There’s a huge Elektra vs Daredevil fight that is really well done. There’s also a really entertaining bit of Jessica hitting the elevator button between punching out thugs. Matt finally figures out he’s fighting Elektra just as she beats him down. Danny manages to punch her sword with his Iron Fist, saving Matt. Elektra flees, and the united heroes take the elevator back down. As the doors close, Danny looks around and asks, “Who are you people?”
What I liked: I’m glad we finally get the heroes together. The Luke and Danny in the boardroom scene was fantastic, and their talk in the dojo was entertaining. Stick is a real bad ass. Matt not knowing who Elektra was at first makes perfect sense. Jessica is a really resourceful investigator. Claire being the one to at least bring Luke and Danny together made a lot of sense, too. The fights were really well done. I think they’ve stepped up the fight choreography for this run, especially for Danny.
What I didn’t: Matt was really sloppy letting Jessica get pictures of him. I’m not entirely sure how he got to Midland. I guess he followed Jessica? Luke, for all his experience, was being really naive about the mess Cole was in.
I think this was a really good episode. It was great seeing the Heroes for Hire together again. I’m giving this one a 4 out of 5.