S01.E04: Royal Dragon 2017.08.18

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As the Defenders get to know each other over dinner, they're greeted by a series of party crashers -- none of them friendly.

 

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I feel bad for the restaurant guy. His restaurant is completely wrecked!

But I'm glad Jessica got a big damn hero moment.

I am here all day for the Luke/Danny bromance. Dumplings make everything better!

Elektra is definitely remembering her past, despite what Stick says. But of course Stick wants to keep Matt on task instead of distracted by trying to save Elektra. I hope Matt won't have to watch her die twice. That seems like over-kill on the Matt-torture. Okay, he can't really "watch" anything, but y'all know what I mean.

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Totally cheered when Jessica took out Elektra with the car (unless I blinked, she used it as a missile rather than driving it!).

I've never liked Elektra so I'm fine if she just dies for good this time. Matt was a complete idiot over here and treated his friends like shit because of her so meh.

I never watched Iron Fist but I hope it wasn't full of solid Danny whining because it annoys the crap of me on this show.  The others (especially Luke) taking the piss out of him is all that makes it tolerable.

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We waited three years for this and I have to say I'm a bit disappointed.

I'm going to go ahead and be controversial but Luke Cage needs a better actor. He has the most connections and his scenes fall flat. Interesting that they finally get someone who can stand up to him without the stupid suit though.

Alexander is coming off alot like most of the netflix villains. She talks alot but isn't ever really successful. Electra needs a bad ass scene to establish that she's someone to be reckoned with because right now, eh?

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I feel bad for the restaurant guy. His restaurant is completely wrecked!

Danny did say he was going to pay their rent for the next six months, so maybe this can just be added onto his black card as well?

Enjoyed seeing the four together and all the one-liners and questions.  For some reason, I really loved it was Matt that seemed to have everyone baffled, because it's like they could handle others being bullet-proof, super strong, and having a glowly, powerful fist because of their "chi", but a blind dude whose not just a master fighter, but can hear and smell things from a mile away, is what makes them shake their heads.  Not surprised though that it did end with some issues, like Jessica bailing at first, but I'm glad she came back at the end.  And I'm really starting to dig the Luke/Danny pair, which seems to be a case of taking two characters I'm mixed on, and actually making them stronger by being together.

And, of course, Stick coming in just makes things even more crazy.  The relationship between him and Matt seems so toxic, but fascinating to watch.

Yep, despite what both Stick and Alexandra thing, Elektra is totally getting her memories back.  The question is will she get them back in time before she either causes major damage or one of the gang has to put her down (again.)

So, Alexandra is actually the leader of The Hand, and the other "four fingers" are Madam Gao, Bakuto from Iron First (Danny saying he's dead makes me think that isn't the case), the White Hat guy Luke is trying to take out, and this mysterious guy Alexandra met with who, unlike the rest, doesn't seem all that afraid of Alexandra, and she seems more willing to let him speak his mind.  Introducing him cutting up a bear reminded me of Tywin's intro scene in Game of Thrones.

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12 hours ago, Bec said:

I feel bad for the restaurant guy. His restaurant is completely wrecked!

He still has Danny's Black Card.

I love Jessica and her extremely low threshold for bullshit.

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Netflix and Jessica Jones. Doing for Bendis what Frank Darabont did for Kirkman.

How awesome is it that she didn't drive the SUV through the restaurant window, but threw it through?

14 hours ago, pootlus said:

I never watched Iron Fist but I hope it wasn't full of solid Danny whining because it annoys the crap of me on this show.  The others (especially Luke) taking the piss out of him is all that makes it tolerable.

The bad side of IF is that yes- Danny was pretty whiny, and the fight choregraphy was sadly underwhelming for a show about a martial artist.

That said, I still think it was probably the most consistent and solid story of all of the Netflix series save for perhaps s1 Daredevil. It stayed pretty much on point, and had an amazing supporting cast, as opposed to having the typical peaks and valleys of a poorly-paced season. 

And I will say that naive Danny being the catalyst for the Defenders coming together actually works, given the loner and often surly temperaments of the other three.

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Jessica is still my favorite, and her dynamic with Matt is delightful. I love that she threw, rather than drove, the car through the front of the shop. I found it hard to stop after this episode (damn cliffhanger-y endings!) but I need to take a short break so I don't blast through all of them before bed tonight.

I'm liking it so far. Danny's fighting is better, and I love that everyone just mocks his "I am the immortal Iron Fist" shtick. I agree that Elektra is remembering her past, or at least open to remembering, and I hope she makes it out this time. I'm liking the villains so far.

The lighting and colors are great, if unsubtle. I read an article that said there was a red color palette for Daredevil, blue and purple for Jessica Jones, yellow for Luke Cage, and green for Danny Rand, but I think I would have noticed without having read that! The credits really play it up.

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14 minutes ago, Cthulhudrew said:

How awesome is it that she didn't drive the SUV through the restaurant window, but threw it through?

I LOVED this touch!

 

4 minutes ago, Cranberry said:

Danny's fighting is better, and I love that everyone just mocks his "I am the immortal Iron Fist" shtick.

I think this was the best possible choice - they're leaning in on it, because...c'mon! "I am the Immortal Iron Fist" sounds like something that should get him a superwedgie! I really enjoy the Danny/Luke interaction especially.

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9 minutes ago, Cranberry said:

The lighting and colors are great, if unsubtle. I read an article that said there was a red color palette for Daredevil, blue and purple for Jessica Jones, yellow for Luke Cage, and green for Danny Rand, but I think I would have noticed without having read that! The credits really play it up.

Yeah, I noticed it early on, and it wasn't exactly subtle but I liked it all the same. What I like even better is when they combine the color palettes, or at least it has seemed that way in a couple of scenes (there was a scene where Stick was talking with Matt, Danny, and Luke where it seemed to me that they combined red, yellow, and green).

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I think it needs to be continually be said. Jessica Jones is awesome.

Always love Scott Glenn as Stick.

I kind of like Danny being so gung ho for the team. Also love the friendship between him and Luke.

Oh Matt. Matt, Matt, Matt. Not since Phillip J. Fry have I pitied someone so lovelorn.

Great final scene.

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Marvel. Still trying to make me believe Matt cares about Elektra, two years running. 

Alsp, Elektra?  Still the most annoying thing ever. Was kind of hoping she was gone.

Danny Rand? Still a thundering dumbass.

Sigourney Weaver. Kicking ass for 50 years.

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5 hours ago, AimingforYoko said:

He still has Danny's Black Card.

I love Jessica and her extremely low threshold for bullshit.

I love her, too. She's the  reason I started to watch. 

I loved her, "Am I the only one who doesn't know karate?" And their all treating Danny like the annoying little brother.

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10 minutes ago, AudienceofOne said:

Marvel. Still trying to make me believe Matt cares about Elektra, two years running. 

Alsp, Elektra?  Still the most annoying thing ever. Was kind of hoping she was gone.

I thought I was the only one who felt this way about Elektra.

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2 minutes ago, Enigma X said:

I thought I was the only one who felt this way about Elektra.

You are not, although I have the impression we're in the minority. Comic book land tends to have a hard on for one dimensional femme fatales in leather.

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The Luke/Danny dynamic gives Luke some much-needed personality.

When he's not just being blandly stolid, Luke too often comes across as Mr. Black History Month, like he's meant to represent the best of black culture in general, and Harlem in particular. The problem with Luke is not with the actor, but with the way the writers conceive his character. Luke is one-dimensional.

Even Luke's dynamic with Jessica, with whom he had an affair, is being played flatly. Is he not allowed some social awkwardness in this situation?

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I love Jessica's style. Only thing that makes me sad is that she didn't just stomp on Elytra Narco's head after she threw the car at her. (also yes, I intend to come up with ever more stupid names for the hands stupid super weapon)

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Finn Jones has stepped up his game since Iron Fist. I like Danny's earnestness and trying to bring the team together (as billionaire vigilantes are supposed to). "Bulletproof, blind ninja and whatever it is you are." That really makes me want to see him see her "fly." He'll flip out. And he bought everyone Chinese food! I'm shipping Jessica and Matt already. I'm also enjoying the established connection between Jessica and Luke. "What time is it?" "Late. Or early, depending on your life choices." Elektra doesn't have a heartbeat. Interesting. "Jesus, am I the only one left who doesn't know karate?" Jessica needs to step up her game. Damn, Sigourney Weaver just popped into their secret hideout behind their backs. Poor Matt is just so unnerved by Elektra. I expected Jessica to be driving, so her pushing the car through the wall shocked me. I forgot she can't drive. Danny better pay for repairs to the restaurant. 

Edited by bettername2come.

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Elektra was so annoying on DD so having this show centered on her is meh. I was glad when she died. 

I never made it through the whole IF show but jeez Danny seems more whiny than ever. I love when Luke checks him.

Jessica is the reason Im watching. Give me more of her and Matt sniping at each other.

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JJ is a riot! I'd like to see her in every Marvel movie, rolling her eyes at every other Marvel superhero and being very grumpy. 

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Jessica with the car for the win! I love that she just chucked it through the building, it was great.

I found Danny to be really endearing in this episode, I do think he works better as an energetic puppy little brother to the more cynical cast members, as opposed to an attempted badass lead character. I liked him being super excited about being a member of a team, and I like the beginnings of his friendship with Luke. "Want the last dumpling"?

I generally really liked all the interactions between the characters, I think the actors all work well together, and I like their dynamics, especially Matt trying to keep his identity, even with everyone telling him to just take the damn scarf off his head. I also cracked up at Matts reaction to Stick randomly showing up to drop exposition. His expression when he showed up was pure "Oh well isn't this just great, because this day couldn't be MORE of a pain" combined with a touch of "don't make me look dumb me in front of these guys Stick! God!".

Nice to see Jessica and Luke in a good place again, I'm still a fan of theirs, even if the show seems to have decided on Luke/Claire for the time being. I think Luke is a bit loser with her, and Jessica is a bit more soft.

I like Elektra, but I don't really need to see her so much in this show. I would prefer spending more time on our leads getting to know each other.

Edited by tennisgurl.

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30 minutes ago, Helena Dax said:

JJ is a riot! I'd like to see her in every Marvel movie, rolling her eyes at every other Marvel superhero and being very grumpy. 

There's a reason why a meme of just JESSICA rolling her eyes is the most popular!!😆😆😆

I'd post it here, but I'm a technoturd, and gifs and memes never work for me!

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This series is sooo bad.

Way too much talking, too much exposition.   The Hand is the Big Boring.  Poor Alexandra lives hundreds of years just to parade around in a series of really terrible and unflattering outfits.

The Defenders don't seem like superheroes at all.   Their powers are pedestrian compared to other heroes we're familiar with.   No costumes (except for Daredevil).   They are not at all inspirational.  Or even fun.

But the worst element of the whole story is that the plot pivots on Danny Bland.   Finn whatshisname is awful in this role.   No charisma, no gravitas, no nothing.   He was barely tolerable in his standalone series, but here, overshadowed by a whole group of better and more interesting characters, he comes off like Cousin Oliver. 

The character of Jessica Jones seems especially poorly written in this series too.   Very cardboard, her dialogue reduced to a set of not-very-snarky one-liners.   

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I love that everyone just mocks his "I am the immortal Iron Fist" shtick.

He reminds me of Dany on Game of Thrones every time she starts with her long ass list of titles (I am Daenerys Targaryen storm drain etc etc etc).

I love Jessica Jones. I loved her series the best and she is the reason I am hanging on with this show. I also am enjoying her interactions with Matt.

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Marvel. Still trying to make me believe Matt cares about Elektra, two years running.

Completely agree with this. The actors have no chemistry and I failed to see what it was he 'saw' in her in the first place (or she saw in him). Their whole dynamic was boring enough in DD2. I wanted her to stay dead. Sadly, I once again did not get my wish concerning a character on a tv show!

Sigourney Weaver how I love thee ...

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5 minutes ago, hypnotoad said:

The actors have no chemistry and I failed to see what it was he 'saw' in her in the first place (or she saw in him). Their whole dynamic was boring enough in DD2. I wanted her to stay dead. Sadly, I once again did not get my wish concerning a character on a tv show!

I really felt through the whole of DD2 that Matt saw her as an annoying interloper in his new life. So at the end when they tried to make me believe they had this epic love and she was the only one who had ever truly understood him I just didn't buy it. I still don't. 

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12 hours ago, bettername2come said:

 I expected Jessica to be driving, so her pushing the car through the wall shocked me. I forgot she can't drive. Danny better pay for repairs to the restaurant. 

She was also drunk so she probably thought driving was too dangerous.

I am really curious to see how the Hand fight Luke Cage. They use guns, swords and fists and none of those things really hurt him. A direct hit from the Iron Fist gave him a sore jaw.

Also "Danny settle down" then "No you settle down" back to the guy who was as calm as could be all things considered was hilarious. Oh Danny you dumbass, good to see you are still 10 years old.

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On 8/18/2017 at 11:20 AM, Oscirus said:

We waited three years for this and I have to say I'm a bit disappointed.

I'm going to go ahead and be controversial but Luke Cage needs a better actor. He has the most connections and his scenes fall flat. Interesting that they finally get someone who can stand up to him without the stupid suit though.

Alexander is coming off alot like most of the netflix villains. She talks alot but isn't ever really successful. Electra needs a bad ass scene to establish that she's someone to be reckoned with because right now, eh?

I think Luke and Jessica's actors are leagues above the horrible Iron Fist and Daredevil actors. It is a huge mistake to have so much of this series be about those two characters. They are the least interesting and it's a waste of Jessica and Luke. The only redeemable part of the IF storyline is Colleen.

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21 hours ago, Anela said:

And their all treating Danny like the annoying little brother.

I'm finding Danny loads more watchable in Defenders than on IF because of this reason alone.  I snicker every time one of them rolls their eyes or otherwise blows him off.  It's like Buddy just popped up in Mr. Incredible's car and it is glorious.

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On 8/19/2017 at 11:38 AM, GHScorpiosRule said:

There's a reason why a meme of just JESSICA rolling her eyes is the most popular!!😆😆😆

I'd post it here, but I'm a technoturd, and gifs and memes never work for me!

<iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/Fjr6v88OPk7U4" width="387" height="480" frameBorder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="https://giphy.com/gifs/eye-roll-bitch-please-Fjr6v88OPk7U4">via GIPHY</a></p>

Well that didn't work perfectly (I thought I was embedding it in the post.)  But there you go.

I enjoyed that episode.  Is it perfect? No.  Some of the criticisms above are valid.  My heart goes out to Finn Jones for the clunky lines he has to deliver.  He needs his fair share of the snark in future episodes.  But it's all worth it for moments like Jessica tossing a car through the front window.  Awesome!  

I didn't read superhero comic books when I was a kid but I have a couple of male friends who did and they clued me in that the crime-fighting duo of Iron Fist + Luke Cage is a thing in the comic-verse.  So I was amused to see the tiniest bit of bonding happening between those two over the dumplings.  I appreciate a bit of fan-service for the true comic book fan-boys (even if most of it goes right over MY head.)

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Stick: "Because this one, the Immortal Iron Fist, living weapon, and Protector of the Ancient City, is still a thundering dumbass."

I borrowed this from the "Quotes" forum because it's a great line but also because it shows that Danny's naïveté -- which is causing some people to hate Danny and/or the actor who plays him -- is central to his character at this point in the story. 

So . . . am I the only one craving Chinese food?

Edited by WatchrTina.

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Jessica threw a car at Elektra.   That completes my wishlist. 

But not only that,  the sneer and look of utter disdain she gave her while waking past was possibly even better. 

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I enjoyed the banter between the four heroes in the restaurant. It hit the right balance of humour and tension, with each of them so eager to figure out what the hell was going on. Matt playing spoiler and trying to avoid being recognised was... kind of futile. I know he's paranoid about being identified, but it was way too late in the day to be hiding under Jessica's scarf.

Jessica is reliably dismissive and caustic about everything and everyone. And I'm really with her on all the silly names. The Hand, Fingers, The Chaste, Stick, The Immortal Iron Fist, Devil Boy (that one might not be 100% accurate). It all really does make you roll your eyes, and hearing Scott Glenn talking about them in his serious, 'the world is gonna end' voice made me giggle.

For about the first time, I really liked Danny in a scene, where he pointed out that he "even put on a tie" to prove that he was trying to do things the legal way. He really is a simple lad, isn't he? I lost count of how many times he pointed out that Matt was blind.

Matt: "I promise you, you cannot fight these people. Not even with... whatever it is your hand can do."

Danny: "It's Chi."

Jessica: "It's not."

Heh.

But for all the amusing moments like that, it is difficult to overlook the general clunkiness of the writing. The climax of this episode was a prime example. Alexandra comes in, talks calmly about her plans, they tell her to piss off, she calls Elektra in to fight them. It's close enough to what happened in the last episode to feel like a retread. There's also too much 'everyone stands around and watches something happen' going on, which always stands out to me. You've got to make your scenes feel more organic and spontaneous!

I'm also not impressed with these other Fingers (again... really?). Madame Gao was good in Daredevil, but feels neutered when she appears in this. And the two guys we've met in this show just seem very bland and forgettable.

Elektra is definitely going to get her memory back, but I don't think she'll die at the end of it. Not again. I can see here doing a Winter Soldier style disappearing act, to go off and make peace with who she is, and what she's done. She's too useful a character for this corner of the Marvel universe to toss away.

 

On 20/08/2017 at 4:41 AM, pivot said:

I think Luke and Jessica's actors are leagues above the horrible Iron Fist and Daredevil actors. It is a huge mistake to have so much of this series be about those two characters. They are the least interesting and it's a waste of Jessica and Luke. The only redeemable part of the IF storyline is Colleen.

I couldn't disagree more about Mike Colter and Charlie Cox. Cox imbues Matt with a nervous energy and skittishness and a constant awareness that he's using senses other than his sight. There's always something going on in his face, in his body movements. Colter just offers flat line readings and an ability to play angry and... a little less angry. I kept hoping he'd show something else, through Jessica Jones and his own show, and this. But he just isn't.

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Series started out slow but it gelled in E3 and hit its stride with 4. Jessica has the best wisecracks; I don't think I could have taken the somber tone of E1 for the entire run. I dissent from those who like the funky music every time Luke Cage is on screen. It's too different from the rest of the scoring, and way too stereotypical--it would be like having him eat fried chicken at every meal.

Edited by david gideon.

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13 hours ago, Danny Franks said:
On 8/19/2017 at 11:41 PM, pivot said:

I think Luke and Jessica's actors are leagues above the horrible Iron Fist and Daredevil actors. It is a huge mistake to have so much of this series be about those two characters. They are the least interesting and it's a waste of Jessica and Luke. The only redeemable part of the IF storyline is Colleen.

I couldn't disagree more about Mike Colter and Charlie Cox. Cox imbues Matt with a nervous energy and skittishness and a constant awareness that he's using senses other than his sight. There's always something going on in his face, in his body movements. Colter just offers flat line readings and an ability to play angry and... a little less angry. I kept hoping he'd show something else, through Jessica Jones and his own show, and this. But he just isn't.

None of them are anything to write home about imo. Coulter has the swagger and the charisma of a superhero, but asking him to do anything with any emotional weight is asking for trouble. Ritter has two modes, either a more dour version of her "b from 123" character or the tender moments with Luke which she doesn't pull off. Cox phones it in half the time and rarely makes me believe he's daredevil, and Jones tries but can't be trusted in a scene by himself.

Edited by Oscirus.

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On 8/19/2017 at 1:42 AM, AudienceofOne said:

Marvel. Still trying to make me believe Matt cares about Elektra, two years running. 

Alsp, Elektra?  Still the most annoying thing ever. Was kind of hoping she was gone.

Danny Rand? Still a thundering dumbass.

Sigourney Weaver. Kicking ass for 50 years.

I'm trying to think of an actor who can more easily inhabit roles as the villain or the hero with such authority.  She walks onto the screen and you just buy whatever she's selling immediately.

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Danny has really come into his own in this series; I struggled to finish Iron Fist, but I'm really enjoying him in Defenders. His interactions with the other "heroes", as well as all of the jokes at his expense really lighten the tone and make for a less sulky Danny.

Jessica Jones is still my favourite, and while I enjoy Luke Cage, I do agree that his acting could be better.

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I would be 100% ok with the rest of the series just being Jessica Jones tossing objects at bad guys...cars, tractor trailers, a small Cessna, a subway car...

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On Friday, August 18, 2017 at 9:32 PM, VCRTracking said:

of like Danny being so gung ho for the team. Also love the friendship between him and Luke.

He gave him the last potsticker. That's the kind of charming moment that saved IF too. Finn is probably still miscast (he looks too much like Charlie Cox in the fight scenes too) but his willingness to be goofy and play the brunt of all the jokes appeals to me. He is so good at being funny I wish they would drop his moodiness. 

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On 8/21/2017 at 2:57 PM, Danny Franks said:

But for all the amusing moments like that, it is difficult to overlook the general clunkiness of the writing. The climax of this episode was a prime example. Alexandra comes in, talks calmly about her plans, they tell her to piss off, she calls Elektra in to fight them. It's close enough to what happened in the last episode to feel like a retread.

This is where the story starts feeling like a comicbook. After a pretty high body count from the previous episodes, Alexandra plops in the restaurant with no defenses and just starts talking and taunting ... and no one, including Stick, makes a move towards her. They don't even try to grab her as a shield when her minions storm the place with machine guns. 
It is as if everyone knows the rules of heroes and villains : "It's not time to have the really real final battle yet. There's lots of talking and threats and killing minions in new ways that has to happen first." 

I had hope when seeing reviews that said Sigourney Weaver 's character was not the typical villain who did evil things just because  - - but even with her agenda of getting something done before she dies, she is doing all the typical villain shenanigans. 

Still, tho, it's a fun watch. And a short enough season not to drag things out. 

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2 hours ago, jeansheridan said:

He gave him the last potsticker. That's the kind of charming moment that saved IF too. Finn is probably still miscast (he looks too much like Charlie Cox in the fight scenes too) but his willingness to be goofy and play the brunt of all the jokes appeals to me. He is so good at being funny I wish they would drop his moodiness. 

I realized I like him when he's not being Aang from The Last Airbender live action movie and more Aang from the Last Airbender animated series. For those who don't know cartoon Aang was a charming goofball:

tumblr_nam7fzDIrj1sgxdico1_400.gif

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On ‎8‎/‎19‎/‎2017 at 11:41 PM, pivot said:

I think Luke and Jessica's actors are leagues above the horrible Iron Fist and Daredevil actors. It is a huge mistake to have so much of this series be about those two characters. They are the least interesting and it's a waste of Jessica and Luke. The only redeemable part of the IF storyline is Colleen.

Charlie Cox is leagues ahead of Mike Colter.  Mike Colter has actually one facial expression as an actor and it's almost impossible to tell when he is happy, angry, confused, or thinking.  Charlie Cox is terrific and really brings it as Matt, as well as Krysten Ritter as Jessica.

Really enjoyed this episode.  I love it that the four spend the entire show (Jessica aside) inside of a restaurant and Stick's presence is always appreciated.

Edited by benteen.

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Loved the episode... except, I wish show would let the audience figure things out. If the viewer couldn't pick up all the hints the show put down, don't worry, Stick was there to explain Alexandra.

Danny's more tolerable here... I miss the IF supporting cast... my issue, he's too puppy dog adorable to buy as a warrior. 

Eight episodes is really serving the show well.

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