This is my favorite episode of the season. Most of the episode takes place in the Royal Dragon Chinese restaurant, which is filled with neon light, like above, that’s used beautifully. The four defenders, and their signature colors, are brought together to hash out whether they’ll work together or not, and to compare notes to figure out what the heck is going on.
The restaurant itself adds noir elements like a certain grittiness, deep shadows and Venetian blinds. The party is eventually joined by the darker, more ambiguous members of the cast, Stick, Alexandra, and Elektra, to fill out the range of shadows and colors along with the range of possibilities the characters can choose to go.
The camera pans down the dragon sign and into the restaurant in a single shot, showing a quiet, empty place with an owner who’s closing up for the night. Suddenly, the camera movements become fast, jerky, and unpredictable, as the Defenders burst in through the front door. They take over the restaurant as their temporary hideout from the Hand.
As the camera jumps and swings between characters, we get to know each Defender, their relationships with each other, and they get to know each other a bit more. Danny is impressed with Jessica’s strength as she tips a bureau up on end in front of the door. Jessica is surprised that Danny knows Chinese. Luke can’t figure out how someone can hear neon lights (I have that superpower too!). Matt is mostly just paranoid and authoritative. He’s the one who secures all of the entrances.