The Defenders’ Season 1 penultimate episode—”Fish in the Jailhouse”—tries to play catch-up, but it results in some messy, uneven plotting.
So now we’re moving into Act III—the Defenders are at their lowest point, they can’t be further from their goals. Stick is dead and Danny Rand has been captured by Elektra Natchios. Things should be desperate, right? Well, sort of. Sadly, we spend the first half-hour with our heroes “behaving” at a police station. Since when did Jessica Jones follow the rules?
What makes this episode even worse is seeing the Hand showing little action. As Elektra divulges her plans and flaunts her newfound independence, the remaining three fingers of the Hand just stand there and listen. From the start, we’ve been teased of their power and their might. Yet, when a servant like Elektra goes rogue, they do nothing and only run their mouths. I thought the Hand was unrelenting?
The events leading up to the “big” fight scene were also quite disappointing. First off, why is Foggy Nelson coming up with the plans in getting Matt Murdock, Jessica, and Luke Cage out of the police station? I was expecting Matt to be smarter—couldn’t he have come up with the plan and work at having Foggy retrieve his suit? When your sidekick is smarter than you are, you’ve got a major problem.
Now, let’s talk about the actual execution. This is just lazy writing. When the three made their escape, why would the cops assume Matt was taken hostage? He was already seen as a suspect. In fact, they explicitly told him he was a suspect after the three refuse to cooperate. The success of their escape was much too convenient—and that’s probably why it seemed very predictable and boring.
And, finally, we have our Defenders going up against the three big honchos of the Hand. With all the great fight sequences in Daredevil, I was expecting something mind-blowing—hey, it’s the penultimate episode, putting it all on the table is a given. However, we received a fight scene that was a bit better than what we got in Iron Fist. My biggest gripe: the fight was extremely messy. Unlike Daredevil‘s Season 1 and Season 2, I couldn’t tell who was fighting who? There were a multitude of camera cuts where I couldn’t tell the heroes from the villains.
As a penultimate episode, “Fish in the Jailhouse” was quite disappointing. The cliffhanger they left us with was also uninspired and seemed very mediocre. Should I expect the finale to surprise me? At this point, I just hope they don’t take any lazy approaches to wrapping up the story.
Marvel’s The Defenders premiered on August 18, 2017. Season 1 is currently available for streaming on Netflix.