The Defenders’ “Ashes, Ashes” episode moves into cliched territory with the team turning on one of their own.
Being the sixth episode, you would expect the The Defenders to have gotten over any cliched conflicts. What do I mean by that? I’m talking about each character’s selfishness and the injection of artificial scenes that seem to only serve as a convenience for the writers. The biggest mistake “Ashes, Ashes” did was having the team go against Danny Rand. It was a move that could be seen a mile away.
We’ve witnessed it countless times in other lesser shows. A team member is the key to an enemy’s success. What does the team do? Take their own guy out of the equation for the betterment of the world. And that’s exactly how the episode starts. Danny wants to take the fight to the Hand, but the rest of the Defenders want to “hide” Danny. The impending escalation that ends in Danny’s imprisonment was inevitable. I was shaking my head in disappointment thinking, “Come on, these guys (the writers) have to be smarter than this.”
And the predictability doesn’t just end there. I knew Stick was the wildcard in these matters. In fact, knowing Stick’s extreme methods, his attempt to kill Danny was no surprise. The writers could’ve taken another route and surprised the audience, but they chose to remain in the realm of predictability.
Another disappointment with this episode is Sigourney Weaver’s Alexandra Reid. With the show setting her up as a big-bad, her death was extremely unceremonious. I’m hoping her expiration is misdirection and all will be revealed in the final two episodes. I mean, who couldn’t see Frankenstein’s monster (Elektra Natchios) turning on her master?
The Defenders is definitely out of time. The conflicts and revelations seen in “Ashes, Ashes” should been hashed out in earlier episodes. Instead, past installments were filled with talking heads and no new information. “Stagnant” is what I would call previous episodes. Because of this, the show is moving at a very uneven pace and has a hard time mixing both drama and action.
Marvel’s The Defenders premiered on August 18, 2017. Season 1 is currently available for streaming on Netflix.