The Defenders’ “Take Shelter” semi-fixes the sins of the last episode in a semi-sloppy manner.
“Take Shelter” is a marked improvement over the last episode—“Royal Dragon“—which was kind of a snorefest. There was definitely more action … but … yes, a big “but.” The story lacked development and we still don’t know what the Hand is up to. Okay, the writers don’t have to give anything away. They should, at least, keep our attention with something to chew on. In fact, use some misdirection. Let the viewers stew over some things. Instead, the writing slogs on with the same scenes of talking heads alluding to some ultimate grand plan.
Another gripe I have deals with the inconsistencies in strengths and abilities. When Danny Rand, without activating his chi, fought Luke Cage (“Mean Right Hook“), his hits barely phased Luke. However, in this episode, Luke felt every hit from each Hand member. If Danny is so much more superior than these henchman, how can these betas even last a second with Power Man? Also, why is Luke even dodging Elektra’s sword? The man’s bulletproof. It would’ve been impressive to see Elektra’s weapons spark off of Luke’s impervious skin.
The writers also wasted an opportunity to make each Defender’s task more difficult when they were trying to save their loved ones. None of them ran into any opposition except for Jessica Jones—who needed Daredevil’s help, which robbed us of a great Jessica fight scene. Speaking of those scenes, does Luke have an endless supply of Carhartt hoodies with the same yellow-lining? It’s like whenever he needs new clothes, he just looks down and grabs exactly what he needs—and they fit.
Now let’s discuss the fact that our heroes are sloppy—or should I say the writing is sloppy. After Daredevil chokes out Sowande, they just leave him there. For someone so dangerous, shouldn’t you make sure he’s secured? I could see his potential escape from a mile away—and that’s exactly what the guy attempted. Also, should Stick or Matt have detected Sowande regaining consciousness? The scene was extremely cliched, with Danny being temporarily held hostage.
I never thought the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be accused of laziness, but The Defenders, so far, makes the writers look like they’re phoning it in. Or perhaps my standards are just way too high. Call me spoiled from all the Daredevil episodes I’ve had the pleasure of watching. With these four heroes from stellar series of their own, I would expect The Defenders to be on the level of The Avengers (2012).
We now have officially only three more episodes left. I have no idea how the’re going to tie everything up and give these characters enough development. I’m predicting a very rushed story and an even more haphazard finale. With so little time left, it’ll be difficult to change any story direction or add any other twists and turns. It’s a shame to see these characters squandered in such a manner.
Marvel’s The Defenders premiered on August 18, 2017. Season 1 is currently available for streaming on Netflix.