The Defenders Season 1 Episode 8: The Defenders Recap

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And They All Fall Down

The Defenders come together as a united team in this episode, for an epic fight to save NYC from destruction by the Hand. Previous to that, Luke, Matt, and Jessica seem to sincerely want to save Danny because they care about him for himself, not just because the Hand having the Fist is a very bad idea.

But, most importantly, this is a Winter Soldier parallel, and those helicarriers have to come down. that building has to come down. We can’t let HYDRA the Hand succeed with its ultimate evil plan to take over the world live forever and take over the world.

First, we need to convince Luke that the architect was right, and we should use his C4 and plans to collapse the building. Sweet Sister, Luke’s not okay with violence unless he’s instigating it! His trusted women, Claire and Jessica, make good points in the argument; enough so that he reluctantly gives in. Jessica, in particular, wants the Hand to be stopped permanently. She still has the architect’s brains all over her apartment and once is enough with a rude enemy like that.


Gao and Electra marvel over the dragon skeleton in the cavern. They agree that Danny has to die, but there’s no rush. The current priority is to remove the substance and secure their escape from the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, the Man Who Does Not Break and the Unyielding Woman (love Gao’s names for them!). Danny is hiding in the cavern, in amongst the fossils.

Gao is very proud of herself for holding back the Defenders in the parking garage. She doesn’t seem to understand Electra’s emotional connection to Matt/Daredevil. Gao describes the imminent destruction of New York, and counsels Elektra not to be sentimental. She’ll see many more cities fall.

Gao’s not getting that Elektra has remembered who she is and renewed her emotional ties to her past. The way Elektra began insisting on using her real name, instead of Black Sky, should have been a clue, along with telling Alexandra that Daredevil’s name is Matthew. Gao isn’t usually this sloppy. The relief of finding the substance must be distracting her.

The Defenders look over the architect’s building demo plans. The explosives are meant to be distributed around the support columns, then detonated by a timer. It’s a time bomb. Daredevil assigns Claire and Colleen to set up the explosives.


Colleen argues that she needs to find Danny, since the others have been such failures at protecting him. The three remaining Defenders solemnly swear to find him and protect him, no matter what. They hear police sirens outside, so everyone heads out to their respective assignments.

The blonde sidekicks, Karen and Trish, examine the police conspiracy board. They are confronted with evidence that their superheroes aren’t exaggerating. Trish is much more evolved in her understanding of how being close to a superhero works, so she mentors Karen in patience and understanding for a moment. Not sure if any of it sinks in with Karen.

The Defenders reveal a hidden elevator shaft and have a bonding moment. Luke refuses to hug, because he hates love and fun. We all know he loves them anyway; he’s not fooling anyone. Filled with dread, they get on the elevator to start the 30 floor descent below Midland Circle to confront the Hand and find Danny. And visit some dragon fossils in situ, which is a pretty cool perk of the job.

As soon as Claire and Colleen reach the structural center of the building and begin to set up the explosives, Bakuto joins them. Claire stays hidden, but Colleen reveals herself. She’s done hiding. They finally have the confrontation they’ve been building toward since the middle of Iron Fist Season 1.

[Iron Fist Spoiler] Danny’s friend Davros fought and killed Bakuto on Iron Fist to save Colleen from the emotional burden of betraying her mentor so profoundly. Since then, we’ve all realized that it’s important to have that final showdown with parent figures as a step toward full adulthood. We’re saving a couple of Danny’s parent figures for the next season of Iron Fist, when maybe he’ll grow up a little more.

As they duel, Misty calls Claire from the building parking garage. The police are outside the building in force, and they’ve noticed that the explosives are missing. Misty is not amused. She can’t believe that even “voice of reason” Claire Temple has gotten involved in the madness, and now there’s a sword fight going on.

Danny and Gao have a chat inside the dragon’s ribcage, as pieces are removed to create the substance. Danny scolds Gao for dishonoring Shao-Lao. She scoffs at him. She tells him she remembers seeing him as a young child holding his mother’s hand, and asks what he’d give to hold that hand again.

Alarm bells are going off in my head. That sounds suspiciously like his mother could be alive. Danny’s parents’ bodies were never found, despite his father’s billionaire best friend spending years searching for them. We never even saw his mother’s body at all. No Body=No Dead. I’ve wondered all along if she grabbed his parents and used the substance on them. The monks knew that she wanted Danny too, so they hid him in K’un Lun for the next 15 years.

Danny takes a swing at Gao and she sends him flying with a one-handed burst of energy. Murakami grabs him from behind and is about to kill him, when they notice that the elevator is descending. They decide that Danny could be a useful bargaining chip.

Matt uses his supersenses to determine that there are 30 people waiting for them in the cavern, including Gao, Elektra, Mirakami and Danny. They create a plan, and send Jessica out of the elevator alone as a distraction, then Matt and Luke jump out from the sides. Jessica frees Danny and brings him into the fight.

The four defenders line up opposite the Hand and their minions. Big Brother Luke tells Danny to light it up, now. We get a cool, comic book style 360 degree shot of the fight, with a high energy musical background.

Bakuto is as condescending and insulting as usual with Colleen. He assumes that she hasn’t improved any in her time with the Iron Fist. He’s wrong. Misty joins them and shoots Bakuto a few times. Colleen gets distracted, and gets wounded. Misty gets brushed aside. Bakuto threatens Claire. Misty tries to save Claire, and Bakuto slices off her right arm. Colleen slices off his head. Clare tends to Misty’s arm.

Colleen notices that the timer was activated during the fight. They have less than 10 minutes to get out of the building.

Matt and Elektra fight as the other Defenders finish off the minions. Gao and Mirakami melt back into the shadows. Matt hears the timer and sends Danny, Luke and Jessica up in the elevator. He doesn’t tell them that the timer has been set off. He promises to be right behind them.


In reality, he and Elektra resume their fight, and pick up their relationship right where they left off when Elektra died. Matt tries to get through to Elektra and help her see that she could rise to meet his standards of “good” or “normal”. Elektra knows that she was bred to be a psychopathic fighter. It’s a miracle that she fell in love with Matt, and that he’s able to bring out another side in her at all. It’s never going to be her only, or even dominant, side. The blood lust isn’t going anywhere.

They have a knock down, drag out fight, in lieu of sex. Gao is probably shaking her head in disgust over in the corner. Finally, Elektra’s exhausted enough to talk for real. But first, she sabotages the elevator.

Jessica climbs on top of the elevator and grabs onto the broken cables before it can fall. She holds it up long enough for Luke and Danny to get out and start climbing the service ladder. They meet Colleen, Claire and Misty at the top, then the bomb squad finds them. Danny wants to go back for Matt. Luke gets everyone out.

Matt points out that Elektra hasn’t killed him yet. She says that the game is fun. He tells her that it’s because she still feels. She doesn’t want to be alone in the darkness. Elektra responds that she won’t be alone in the darkness any more, because Matt will be beside her in death, where he belongs.

Matt says they’re being punished for trying to make it work between them. Elektra says maybe they are making it work, since at least they’re together. Then they punch each other some more. Most Toxic Relationship Ever.

Mirakami is gravely injured. He regains consciousness and asks Gao what’s happening. She says, “The end.”

Matt and Elektra give up the fight when they hear the bombs explode. They hold and kiss each other desperately inside the dragon’s ribcage as the building collapses around them.


The others watch from a safe distance. Danny says that Matt had no intention of getting out alive. Before the other three Defenders took the elevator, Matt whispered in Danny’s ear, “Protect my city.”

Karen and Foggy cry in each other’s arms when Matt doesn’t return to the police station.

The explosion is officially blamed on illegal construction. The NYPD doesn’t file an official report, so they can’t file charges against anyone involved. Luke is still a free man, no probation violations or whatever he was worried about.

Claire tries to offer Foggy solace. She didn’t know Matt well, but she knows that he was devoted to protecting the city. He died saving people, like he would have wanted. Foggy blames himself for bringing Matt the suit that day at the police station.


Misty is having her arm treated in a hospital that Danny owns. It has a state of the art department for treating amputees. Maybe they can consult with Tony Stark about that cyborg arm she has in other realities.

Luke and Jessica meet in a bar and talk about how they left things after the last time they ended a tv season together. They vow to do better this time. Luke says he’s her friend, and she says they should grab a coffee sometime.

Jessica goes back to her apartment to find Malcom patching up the bullet holes in the wall. She doesn’t yell at him for being there, for the first time in the whole season. She also removes the paper covering her private detective sign on the front door. Jessica Jones, PI is back in business, and ready for her season 2.

Danny contemplates the meaning of this tragedy for him. NYC is starting to feel like home. Matt chose his replacement well.

Foggy and Karen meet at Matt’s church. Karen hasn’t written about the recent events, because she doesn’t want anyone to put the pieces together and figure out that Matt was Daredevil. She wants to hope that they could still find Matt alive, but Foggy says that it’s been days.

Danny takes over Matt’s nighttime rooftop perch, watching the city for crimes to intervene in.

In the tag, Matt is bandaged up, but alive. He’s laying on a cot in a convent dormitory, barely conscious. One nun tells another to get “Maggie”. It’s an image straight out of the comic books.



[Potential Daredevil Spoiler] Maggie is the name of Matt’s mother, who became a nun when she left home.

It’s time for Elektra to disappear for a while, in between The Defenders and Daredevil Season 3, no doubt. Then she’ll be elusive and play hard to get with Matt.

If Elektra was able to shield herself and Matt, then get them both out, then Gao should have been able to shield herself and Mirakami and get them both out. She was standing right over him when the collapse began. The dragon skeleton also may have had some protective magic of its own. I refuse to live in a world without Madame Gao.

It’s good that Matt passed the crime fighting baton to Danny the way he did. Danny needs some kind of regular job to keep him busy and out of everyone’s hair. It’s also about time that Danny started putting most of the Netflix MCU on his payroll. Claire, Luke, Colleen, Misty, Matt, Elektra- They could all use a steady income without worries.

Karen and Foggy are slow learners when it comes to this whole superhero sidekick gig. Maybe they’ll start to believe in Matt when he’s not-dead in season 3 of Daredevil.