Series / The Defenders

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_defenders_final.png
DEFEND. note 
"You four - the Devil of Hellís Kitchen, the smartass detective, the righteous ex-con, and the kid with the glowing fist - the war for New York is here... So get your shit together."
Stick

The Defenders is a 2017 superhero drama airing on Netflix, based (very loosely) on the Marvel Comics team of the same name.

Like many other shows produced by Marvel Television, The Defenders is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and features the title characters from four of their prior Netflix dramas: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, representing the closure of "Phase One" for the Netflix series much like how The Avengers was for the films. Its showrunners are Douglas Petrie, Marco Ramirez, and Drew Goddard, all of whom previously worked on Daredevil.

The show follows four disparate vigilantes —Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Danny Rand (Finn Jones)— as they come together to take down The Hand, a mystical organization threatening to bring great harm to New York City, led by the enigmatic (and dangerous) Alexandra (Sigourney Weaver). Scott Glenn and …lodie Yung also star, reprising their roles from Daredevil as Stick and Elektra, respectively.

If you couldn't already tell, this show features loads and loads of characters. There's the four heroes, practically every supporting cast member from each of the four shows, plus new characters.

The Defenders premiered on August 18th, 2017, and features a total of eight episodes. A second season hasn't been confirmed, but it would presumably happen during "phase two" of Netflix's Marvel franchise, after new seasons of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Daredevil, and Iron Fist.

Previews: Teaser 1, Teaser 2, Trailer 1, Trailer 2. Trailer 3. Trailer 4.

The Defenders contains examples of:

  • 10-Minute Retirement:
    • Jessica Refuses The Call when she gets overwhelmed by the massive amount of information being hurled at her in the restaurant. A few hours later she finds out the Hand are watching Raymond's family, so returns to the restaurant just in time for the fight.
    • Matt at the start of the show hasn't done anything Daredevil-related since telling Karen his secret. While getting ready for a court appearance, he briefly pauses mid-rehearsal when he hears a fight breaking out, but relaxes when he hears the police arriving to defuse the situation and resumes his rehearsing. After the earthquake, the amount of cries for help overwhelms him and he can't resist running to stop some looters and a store owner trying to shoot them with a shotgun.
  • Action Girl: Jessica Jones, Colleen Wing, Misty Knight, mostly. Madame Gao becomes more active in this series, as well. Claire takes up a wrench and fights briefly as backup once. Brought up by Colleen when she chafes at hiding out in the precinct and discusses it with Claire.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Essentially, the comic book Defenders team. The "classic" Defenders lineup is Sub-Mariner, Doctor Strange, Silver Surfer and the Incredible Hulk (i.e., a team of bad team players). Later Defenders titles were Heroes Unlimited series with a Running Gag of pretty much every superhero joining, and the comic version of the Defenders has also included Beast, Ice Man, and Angel from X-Men and well-liked C-Listers like Nighthawk and Gargoyle. Marvel does not own the TV or movie rights to some of those characters and others are movie-exclusive, so don't expect them to show up any time soon, either. (Spider-Man was also a member for a few missions, but Marvel's deal with Sony is such that it is unlikely he will show up, even though he is now a part of the MCU.) This Defenders team is essentially "Heroes for Hire + Daredevil," or Brian Michael Bendis's New Avengers, depending on your preferences.
    • The Hand's worship of a demonic entity known as the Beast is left out of their workings in the MCU; the Beast is never even mentioned once. Instead, their goals are obtaining complete immortality through the usage of dragon bones.
  • Advertised Extra: Many of the supporting cast members from the standalone shows fall into this trope depending on how much they contribute to the plot. For instance, Foggy Nelson wouldn't be considered an "extra" because he actively influences the plots of three of the heroes' stories: first, by getting Luke's charges cleared, arranging Matt's first meeting with Jessica, and bringing Matt's Daredevil suit to the precinct. Malcolm Ducasse, meanwhile, is more or less an 'extra' because his contributions to the plot are minimal other than being present when Elektra comes for John Raymond.
  • Afro Asskicker: Misty Knight continues to fulfill this role. She's also now with more jurisdiction than just Harlem, having been appointed lead detective for an NYPD task force investigating criminal activity that is tied to the Hand.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Hand has members at every level of society all around the world. They and their enemies — The Chaste, defenders of K'un-Lun — have been at war for centuries.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The Hand's means of resurrecting their agents is a mysterious substance. It's implied to be a supply of dragon bones the founders acquired when they were kicked out of K'un-L'un, but bringing Elektra back used up the absolute last of it, save the stuff lying underneath Midland Circle.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism:
    • Despite living through the Incident, to say nothing of their own super powers and dealings with the Hand, Kilgrave and Diamondback respectively, Matt, Jessica and Luke have a hard time believing in Danny's super powers.
      Jessica Jones: What are you on, lithium?
    • In spite of having been witness to Kilgrave (and been under his control a few times), Trish initially thinks Jessica's exaggerating when talking about how her missing persons case has spiraled into a conspiracy with white collar corruption and undead ninjas, until she gets summoned to the 29th Precinct and gets to see the evidence for herself. This contrasts with Karen, who doesn't second-guess Matt.
      Trish Walker: I thought Jessica was exaggerating. I didn't know it was this bad.
      Karen Page: Yeah, well, it is.
  • Arc Words: "It's complicated" is usually the answer given if a person asks a personal question. Especially if it's a character from one series asking a question about things that occurred in another series.
  • An Arm and a Leg:
    • Stick cuts off his hand to free himself from captivity.
    • At least two of the Hand ninjas Alexandra uses to test out the revived Elektra's fighting skills lose limbs.
    • Misty loses her right arm above the elbow to Bakuto's swords.
  • Ascetic Aesthetic: Midland Circle Financial has an entirely white aesthetic. The walls, windows, and even furniture are completely white, which shows the people who own it are not saints.
  • Back from the Dead: Elektra and Bakuto are each alive again.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses:
    • Stick, Matt, Jessica, Luke and Danny go back-to-back while surrounded by Elektra and a bunch of Alexandra's henchmen in the Chinese restaurant.
    • At one point in Midland Circle, Luke and Danny stand back-to-back in the boardroom as Luke shields Danny from a guy shooting at them with an automatic rifle. Once the guy is close enough, Danny breaks cover and they both disarm him.
  • Bad Dreams: Danny regularly has nightmares about the dying monks of K'un-Lun condemning him for abandoning them and letting them get killed.
  • Badass Boast: Sowande gives a monologue to this effect about when he was captured in the past. See the quotes page for the quote.
  • Badass Grandma: Both Alexandra and Madame Gao are older women (in fact, they're both centuries old), yet they (mostly Madame Gao) are capable of going up against the Defenders and are highly dangerous.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Matt and Danny have a few fights where they have to fight in civilian clothing, hence, suits and ties.
  • Barehanded Blade Block:
    • At one point in the Midland Circle hallway fight, Matt and Danny find themselves tag-teaming Elektra, who is brandishing twin katanas. With Matt knocked down, Danny uses the Iron Fist, which shatters one of Elektra's katanas on contact with the blade, the force also throwing her backwards through a wall.
    • Later on, when Luke is fighting Elektra when she kills Stick and kidnaps Danny, he uses his bare hand to catch her katana by the blade.
  • Bash Brothers: Luke and Jessica occasionally make jokes relating to their history together while fighting together. They team up when fighting Madame Gao, passing heavy objects to each other to use as melee weapons.
  • Battle Couple: Luke and Jessica both acknowledge they have unresolved feelings for each other.
  • Be as Unhelpful as Possible: After fighting the Hand, the Defenders try to be as evasive as possible when interacting with the police and refuse to share important information provided by Stick because their enemies have eyes and ears everywhere and they fear putting anyone who knows too much at risk. Misty Knight becomes certainly vexed by their noncooperation, even though she is trying to help them without knowing what exactly they are fighting against.
  • Big Bad: After a lot of foreshadowing from Season 2 of Daredevil and Season 1 of Iron Fist, the first trailer confirms that The Hand will be the main threat of the series, with Alexandra leading them. Until she's killed and usurped by Elektra at the end of Episode 6.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Hand are stopped, and their leadership, except perhaps Madame Gao, are taken out. Luke, Jessica, and Claire get absolved thanks to some help from Foggy, but Stick is dead and the Chaste destroyed, Misty's lost her right arm, Elektra is absent and—if she's still alive—very willingly evil (unless Matt got through to her before he passed out), and Matt is (incorrectly) presumed dead by his loved ones. And with it clear that season 3 of Daredevil will be adapting the Born Again storyline where Wilson Fisk seeks revenge on Matt and Foggy.
  • Blatant Lies: Matt, Luke and Jessica make it look like they abducted Matt in episode 7. Foggy and Karen both realize that this is bullshit, because they know how stubborn Matt is about Daredevil, not to mention Foggy had just brought Matt the Daredevil suit to the precinct and warned him about how important it was that the cops only see him as a lawyer and not lump him with "Mr. Bulletproof and Super Joan Jett".
  • Blind Alley: When Luke, Jessica, and Matt are being searched for by the cops, as they're walking down the street they hear police sirens. They rush into a conveniently nearby alley just as a cop car passes by.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Danny spits out a glob of blood during his fight with Matt. Matt has a similar moment during the climactic fight with Elektra. Madame Gao walks up on one of the Fingers in this condition with a gaping abdomen wound after the battle.
  • Boom, Headshot:
    • When Elektra breaks into Jessica's apartment to kill John Raymond, Raymond turns his gun on himself rather than let Elektra kill him.
    • At the Royal Dragon, one of Sowande's men begins shooting at the heroes with an automatic rifle, putting in the crossfire Danny, who they are trying to capture. Madame Gao pulls out a gun and shoots the guy in the back of the head:
    Madame Gao: We want him alive.
  • Break the Haughty: Misty while interrogating Jessica, before Matt arrives to provide Jessica with unexpected legal counsel.
    Misty Knight: But you might have interrupted a citywide investigation. You stole evidence from my crime scene. And you got my one lead killed.
    Jessica Jones: I was trying to help him.
    Misty Knight: But you didn't.
  • Break Them by Talking:
    • Sowande knows each of the heroes' sore spots and how to verbally poke at them. He does a good job of distressing them all before he's shut up.
    • If Sowande's story is true, he did this to an entire fortress of Chaste soldiers the last time he was captured.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: Luke often will use his body to shield his allies from gunfire.
  • Call-Back:
    • Bakuto's body went missing right after he was killed in Iron Fist. He's alive again and back for more.
    • Elektra's corpse was stolen from her grave and she was resurrected by the Hand. We find out what they did with her, and that resurrecting her used up the last of the Hand's supply of a mysterious substance required to resurrect anyone, a point of contention among the leaders of the Hand.
    • We find out what was at the bottom of the hole Matt and Elektra found in Season 2 of Daredevil, and why the Hand had Wilson Fisk order the murder of Elena Cardenas: dragon bones.
    • Colleen is still dealing with the emotional trauma of rejecting the people who raised her and formed the foundation of her identity in Iron Fist.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Jessica refuses the call until she finds out the Hand are watching and plan to harm the innocent family of the architect she was hired to find.
  • Came Back Wrong: Elektra has been resurrected by the Hand, and is now much more aggressive and fighting against Matt instead of fighting with him. The Hand decided not to bring back her memories, leaving only the Black Sky's killer instincts. And then the memories do come back... and she just becomes more dangerous.
  • Canon Foreigner: The only Hand leader who is from the comics is Bakuto. Alexandra, Sowande, Murakami, and Madame Gao are all brand-new characters.
  • Ceiling Smash: Jessica throws a mook into the ceiling during the final brawl.
  • Celebrity Paradox:
    • The final group battle is scored with "Protect Ya Neck" by Wu-Tang Clan, which features a (still clearly audible) reference to Spider-Man despite being released before the MCU Peter was even born.note 
    • Sigourney Weaver plays Alexandra, leader of the Hand. But in Luke Cage, Misty had made a Ghostbusters (1984) joke (a movie that stars Weaver as Dana).
  • Charge-into-Combat Cut: Downplayed in that they don't charge before the cut and because it's on Netflix there's almost no wait. The fourth episode ends with the heroes lined up and bracing to fight Elektra, who's standing across from them.
  • Cheap Costume: Infiltrating Midland Circle, Matt steals Jessica's scarf and ties it around his head.
    Jessica: You look like an asshole.
    Matt: It's your scarf.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Each principal character and their supporting cast wear matching colors, and scenes featuring them tend to focus on those colors, with multi-character scenes featuring those of the characters present. Additionally, scene cuts will show shots of the city, highlighted with colors from the characters in each scene. The intro features silhouettes of each Defender in his or her theme color.
    • Matt is associated with the color red. His necktie, glasses, cane, and Daredevil armor are all red. While we don't see it here, we know that he sees the world in red flames, and his motif evokes a lot of imagery of rage and punishment. His scenes, such as the church, are shot with red colors. Karen wears a red skirt and a black coat with red sash and inner liner, and Foggy's red only extends to patterns on his necktie, perhaps alluding to his recent break with Matt.
    • Jessica is connected with tones of blue - but no longer purple (except for a flash in her intro), due to her triumph over Kilgrave. Scenes focusing on her tend to look cold and unwelcoming, but her scenes which don't focus on her tend to show blue, hopeful colors, like the sky. She mostly wears entirely black clothing, except for her blue jeans, and scenes featuring her tend to feature blue furnishings and blue-filtered light or water. Additionally, Trish wears a blue top during the climax.
    • Luke has a lot of warm, welcoming yellow colors in his scenes - he wears a yellow shirt, his hoodie has yellow accents, and he's introduced wearing an orange jumpsuit. His scenes show a lot of natural sunlight or lights through yellow shades, and most furnishings in his scenes are yellow or a light wood. Misty also follows the pattern by wearing an orange turtleneck, similar but not identical to his own shirt (and reflecting her comic-book counterpart's color).
    • Danny primarily is shown with green, a very rich color, and he is the Defender with the most money. He wears green sweaters or jackets, his scenes such as Colleenís dojo tend to have a lot of green hues, and his employees are also aware enough to compliment his company's green office space with green shirts.
    • Fittingly, the Royal Dragon where the four of them regroup, rest, and eventually decide to work together has all of the above colors in its decor and lighting. Even the neon dragon sign is lit only with red, blue, yellow, and green bulbs.
    • The Handís mooks mostly wear black, and scenes featuring them look darker, even muting the Defenderís colored atmosphere. Colleen and Malcolm also wear dark colors, which would be a metaphor for how they both betrayed their seriesí main characters.
    • The Handís leadership dress primarily in white, with their building and medical centers almost completely painted white and Alexandra's initial sets emphasizing white backgrounds like clouds or a stark white cathedral. Murakami, Sowande, Madame Gao and Bakuto accent their white with black, but Alexandria pairs the white with gold, signifying her dominance over them. In her very first scene, she's asked to remove her white clothes and gold jewelry in an entirely white room.
    • Elektraís colors are literally split between the Handís black colors and Mattís red, signifying her indecision. While she is trying to understand herself, scenes with her are a mismatched whirl of clashing colors, reflecting her own inner conflict. Several times, she contemplates a pair of sais with white and black guards; this ultimately foreshadows that she will take a place among the leaders of The Hand.
    • Claire Temple wears mostly white, grey, or shades of brown, which represents her familiarity with all of the Defenders team. Scenes with her frantically switch between the four Defenders' colors while each remain dominant and don't clash, further displaying her deep connection with all of them.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames:
    • Averted with Luke Cage, who was born Carl Lucas, but changed his name after his escape from Seagate. Lampshaded by Foggy when he greets Luke upon his discharge.
    Foggy Nelson: Mr. Lucas? Or Mr. Cage? Which do you prefer? I forget.
    Luke Cage: Cage.
    • Matt Murdock's secret identity of Daredevil gets both names referenced. In particular, hero characters like Karen, Foggy, Danny tend to use the Daredevil name, but the Fingers almost exclusively still use the more dramatic "Devil of Hell's Kitchen" name that the papers used during Wilson Fisk's smear campaign.
  • Composite Character:
    • More like Composite Concept; as noted, the show is essentially a mix between Heroes for Hire (Luke, Danny, and Misty being present) and The Knights (loose-knit team of street heroes featuring Daredevil), with some elements of Brian Michael Bendis' New Avengers (all four main characters have been featured on the team), but with the name from The Defenders. At least until 2017 where a few months before the show's release, Marvel released a new Defenders comicbook series with the show's line up.
    • Because of Ben Urich getting killed by Wilson Fisk towards the end of season 1 of Daredevil and Karen subsequently being shifted into Ben's job after the closure of Nelson & Murdock in season 2, Karen takes Ben's comics role as Matt's newspaper confidant and informant on top of her comics role as Matt's love interest and the original secretary of Nelson & Murdock.
  • Compromising Call: Downplayed. Claire's phone ringing alerts Bakuto that someone besides Colleen is hiding nearby, but Bakuto is too focused on Colleen to do anything about it.
  • The Confidant:
    • Foggy and Karen are Matt's secret keepers, his former co-workers from Nelson & Murdock, and the two he turns two for advice.
    • Colleen is Danny's lover and also functions in the role of a confidant.
    • Misty and Claire function as ones for Luke.
    • Trish and Malcolm are this for Jessica.
  • Confessional: The first episode sees Matt having confessional with Father Lantom, opening up about his efforts to reconcile with Karen and also how Elektra's death has affected him.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The IP address in the second teaser links to a Tumblr page with New York Bulletin front pages calling back to the four shows:
    • Much like in his original series, Danny's title is met with more confusion than awe. Luke is incredulou
    • Elektra has a sword with a red hilt. It's the very sword that Nobu offered to her when it was revealed to Matt that Elektra was a Black Sky. She refused it then, since she was allied with Stick and Matt, but has reclaimed it after her resurrection, symbolizing her acceptance of her role in the Hand.
    • The first episode opens with each of the Defenders in their daily lives as they were when we last met them in their shows:
      • Matt is shown diving into pro bono work. While practicing arguments for a case, he is shown resisting the urge to slip on the Daredevil suit to stop a mugging, only relaxing once he's aware that the cops have it under control. After winning an $11 million lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company, he runs into Karen Page, who is at the courthouse covering the case for the Bulletin and wants a quote from him. Matt and Karen go to a diner and make small talk about how things have been going since Matt told her his secret. After the meal, we see Matt has been having confessional with Father Lantom more regularly since Elektra's death.
      • Luke is getting out of jail, thanks to Foggy Nelson providing him a stellar legal defense that only Hogarth, Chao, & Benowitz can provide. Upon his return to New York City, he and Claire get that "coffee". Luke then meets with Misty Knight, and gets roped into the Hand mess when Misty talks about how a string of young men from Harlem are being hired by a mysterious job that pays well only to turn up dead shortly thereafter, and one of the latest victims is a brother of Candace Miller, the witness to Cottonmouth's murder who was killed by Shades on Mariah Dillard's orders. Candace had another brother, who is not on the right side of the law, and Misty wants Luke to find this brother before the Miller siblings' mother loses her last child.
      • Jessica's PTSD is still rampant even with Kilgrave dead. She's a raging alcoholic, passing out in bars, drinking whiskey in her coffee. Her apartment is still wrecked from her fight with Will Simpson. Malcolm had the lock on her door fixed and that's about it. The door window is cardboard and duct taped shut. Trish comments that only Jessica could turn a triumph like killing Kilgrave into a tragedy.
      • Danny and Colleen are still trying to investigate the Hand.
    • As Luke returns to Harlem, his bus passes by Pop's Barbershop, which is finally back in mint condition after getting shot up by Tone and blown up by Diamondback. The bus itself also has a New Harlem Renaissance advertisement, indicating Mariah Dillard is still present.
    • Karen Page's office still has all of Ben Urich's framed Bulletin front pages about the Battle of NY and the Harlem Terror.
    • Alexandra holds some of her meetings in the Rockefeller Center rooftop garden that we saw Wilson Fisk and Madame Gao have a meeting at in "Nelson v. Murdock".
    • When Karen and Trish are in the precinct, Karen points to a crime scene photo from the time the Hand kidnapped her.
    • Likewise, when the group get to the Chinese restaurant, Matt reveals his past run-ins with the Hand to Danny, Jessica, and Luke.
    • When Luke interrupts Danny roughing up Cole, we get the exact same slow motion close-up shot of Luke being punched in the face that one of Cottonmouth's men tried to do. This time, it's Danny Rand using the Iron Fist.
    • Matt's first meeting with Jessica is practically identical to his first meeting with Karen Page, in terms of setting (an interrogation room) and the woman asking him "Who the hell are you?" prompting Matt to introduce himself and the woman to give a bewildered look. It also is a continuity nod to Misty's attempted interrogation of Candace Miller - being interrupted by a lawyer not sent by the person being interrogated whose first words upon entering are to tell the interrogated individual to stop talking. (Incidentally, the lawyer in that case, Ben Donovan, has interacted with Matt, during Matt's visit to see Wilson Fisk in "The Man in the Box.")
    • The Defenders get their own version of the shawarma scene, just with Chinese food instead. Also, this meal at the Royal Dragon appears at the beginning of their team-up as opposed to the end.
    • Towards the end of the series, Claire once more refers to Matt as her and Foggy's "mutual friend."
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: The Defenders are presented - first in their own individual shows and in this show - as gritty and urban crimefighters as opposed to the planet-level Avengers and the space-level Guardians.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Four men vs Matt, Jessica, Luke and Danny - this trope was already a Foregone Conclusion, or the only conclusion.
    • Similarly, Elektra vs few mooks.
  • Cut-and-Paste Note: Featured in the teaser; papers and files relevant to the Defenders are torn, showing pieces of each series' logos. The letters shown are compiled together to form the word "defend", showing off the trope due to each show's unique font.
  • Darker and Edgier: All of the Netflix shows are designed to show darker, violent corners of the MCU, effectively making The Defenders a grittier street-level counterpoint to the grand-scaling Avengers.
  • Delaying Action:
    • Madame Gao, Bakuto, and Murakami delay the other Defenders while Elektra gets what they want from Danny.
    • Misty asks how long the heroes want her to stall the cops when they need to get into Midland Circle, but when she learns about the explosives, she ends up breaking into the building herself.
  • Demoted to Dragon: Madame Gao and Bakuto, previously part of the Big Bad Ensemble in season 1 of Iron Fist, are now Co-Dragons to Alexandra. By default, this also means Nobu, who led the Hand faction Matt and Elektra fought in Season 2 of Daredevil, is one of Alexandra's Dragons (or rather, the Dragon to another Dragon).
  • Destructo-Nookie: On Luke's return to Harlem, he and Claire get that coffee, and they really rock that cup, knocking over furniture.
  • Diagonal Cut: When Stick beheads Sowande, he stands there like nothing happened for a moment until he falls forward and his head falls off his neck and rolls away.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: By the end a small bunch of ordinary, street-level quasi-superpowered vigilantes have managed to completely destroy an Ancient Conspiracy that has been around for so long it was responsible for the destruction of Pompeii in 79 AD, a feat that entire organizations completely set out to fight this same cult all miserably failed to do.
  • Disney Villain Death: Subverted twice.
    • Jessica punches an Murakami over a railing, but when she looks down over it there's only a man below standing near where the body would have fallen looking around in confusion.
    • Happens again in the final episode, with Murakami being thrown off the elevator. We later see him impaled on a spike at the bottom, so the fall didn't kill him.
  • Distressed Dude: Danny turns out to be the target of the Hand, and is therefore tied to a chair by the other heroes to prevent him from leaving and getting caught by the Hand. He's kidnapped anyway when Elektra comes for him.
  • Don't Answer That: Jessica has just been arrested and is under interrogation from Misty Knight. At least, until Matt suddenly walks in and says:
    Matt Murdock: Jessica Jones, stop talking. Hi. This is over.
    Jessica Jones: And who the hell are you?
    Matt Murdock: My name is Matthew Murdock. I'm your attorney. [smirks]
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: The writers spend six episodes building up Alexandra as a powerful, dangerous force to be reckoned with, and with a coy aversion to stating her full name to insinuate she's a Canon Character All Along. Then, in the middle of an impassioned speech about how she holds the Hand together and is not to be fucked with, Elektra abruptly impales her with a pair of sai and kills her instantly. Just like with Cottonmouth, this was clearly intentional, to mess with an audience who didn't expect them to dispatch an award-caliber actress so anticlimactically.
  • Dynamic Entry: Jessica reenters the scene at the Royal Dragon by shoving a car through the front of the restaurant, hitting Elektra with it.
    Jessica Jones: Who missed me?
  • Dysfunction Junction: Each of the four team members has a Dark and Troubled Past:
    • Matt was blinded in a car accident when he was nine years old. His boxer father was killed shortly thereafter for refusing to take a dive.
    • Jessica lost her family, had to live with Trish's abusive mom, and has PTSD because she spent almost a year being mind-controlled by a sociopath.
    • Luke is an ex-Marine who later became a sheriff's deputy, then got framed for murder by his own half-brother. While in prison, he got subjected to beatdowns, was forced to fight for the warden's amusement, and got his powers in a special experimental operation meant to save his life. He then broke out and spent the next few years on the run.
    • Danny is a billionaire heir whose parents were murdered by his dad's business partner. He has PTSD from surviving the same plane crash where he watched them die. The monks who raised him didn't help, as they beat him with sticks and taught him to suppress his childhood trauma instead of facing it.
    • As Stick puts it:
      Stick: You think the four of you can save New York? You can't even save yourselves.
  • Enemy Civil War: The Hand's Fingers have all orchestrated assassination attempts and coups against each other countless times. In one episode, Madame Gao advises Alexandra to be careful of a possible coup, saying that she has seen it before, only for Alexandra to counter that Gao led it. The only thing that makes this time different is that they're flat out of the "substance" which is required for their resurrection ritual to work.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: The Hand is led by the white Alexandra. The other Fingers of the Hand are the Chinese Madame Gao, the Japanese Murakami, the Brazilian Bakuto, and the African Sowande. When Stick reveals the Hand's origin, he explicitly says they were founded by five people from all around the world, and when they left K'un-Lun they returned to their countries of origin to build criminal empires.
  • Especially Zoidberg: From Matt's confessional scene with Father Lantom:
    Father Lantom: Ignoring doesn't change anything, Matthew. God knows your heart. Let him in so he can help.
    Matthew Murdock: Even if that heart is damaged?
    Father Lantom: Especially if it's damaged.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Madame Gao is an untouchable crime boss, very high up in the Hand, who has been unflappable throughout the previous series, being able to intimidate Wilson Fisk, James Wesley and Harold Meachum. In two scenes in the first episode, Alexandra's established as an incredibly powerful person when Gao acts like a nervous subordinate toward her and she is demeaning and later dismissive toward Gao. In the first of those scenes she's also established as very old when she alludes to having been around when Dutch colonists bought the land of New York from Native Americans.
    • Murakami is established as a ruthless killer who's willing to "get his hand dirty" when his first scene is him clearing out the organs of a bear he killed after "sparring" with it while he converses with a visiting Alexandra, and as an incredibly powerful man when he treats Alexandra as an equal whereas Madame Gao was uncharacteristically timid.
  • Establishing Shot: The show uses a unique effect of switching from one subplot to another that involves a series of quick cuts to various landmarks and speeding vehicles or trains before landing in the new scene.
  • Executive Suite Fight: The signature hallway fight kicks off when Danny, following the Hand's money trail, bursts in on a boardroom meeting that Alexandra is having with her Hand executives. As expected, he isnít greeted politely. As heís overpowered and about to be carried away, Matt, Luke and Jessica suddenly come to Danny's rescue, showing Luke's continued disrespect for walls and doors.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Sowande is only known as "White Hat" on the streets of Harlem.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Elektra now sports her iconic comics costume. She also has switched to bladed weapons, although she returns to her sais once she regains her memories.
  • Evil Counterpart: Alexandra to Danny Rand. Both are Americans who gained a considerable amount of influence over an ancient, mystical organization (The Hand; K'un-L'un) and live as a powerful resident of New York City in the present.
  • Evil Mentor: Bakuto has been resurrected, as Danny had predicted. And he wants a rematch with Colleen.
  • Evil Old Folks: Alexandra appears to be in her sixties but is much older and is the leader of the Hand. Madame Gao is several hundred years old with the appearance of a 73 year old Chinese woman.
  • Exploding Fish Tanks: A large fish tank explodes from automatic gunfire during the Royal Dragon fight.
  • Exposition of Immortality: Alexandra often speaks about many past events she was present to witness such as Manhattan before being urbanized and visiting Constantinople (I believe you mean Istanbul) before it was conquered by the Ottomans.
  • Fake Guest Star:
    • Many fans feel that Wai Ching Ho (Madame Gao) deserved star billing, given that she appeared in more episodes than most of the main cast, and had more screentime than many.
    • While billed as a supporting character due to being Danny's love interest and not starring her own show, Colleen Wing may as well serve as the unofficial fifth member of the Defenders, since she is just as capable in fighting despite having no superpowers of her own, participates just as much as they do and she is the one to come up with the plan to destroy the Hand completely by blowing up the Midland Circle. It also helps she has a personal stake in the story given she is a former Hand member.
  • Fight Scene: There are many, as with the other MCU series.
  • Fighting Your Friend:
    • Matt has to come to blows with Elektra, resurrected by the Hand at the end of Daredevil's second season.
    • Colleen has to come to blows with Bakuto, resurrected by the Hand after she saw him seemingly get impaled by Davos in Iron Fist.
    • During Episode 6, Danny fights Matt, Jessica and Luke when they all agree he needs to stay hidden so the Hand can't use him for their purposes, but he insists in confront them.
  • Finger in the Mail: Stick leaves Sowande's head in a box in one of the Hand's warehouses for Alexandra to find.
  • Flashback:
    • One episode flashes back a few months to when Alexandra first got the Black Sky, revived her, and retrained her.
    • One episode flashes back to a conversation "some time ago" between Elektra and Stick about Matt not being a killer and Elektra having fallen in love with him.
  • Foil:
    • Elektra Natchios and Colleen Wing. Both began as a love interest of a main character (Matt; Danny) and both are very influential on that character. Where they differ is that Elektra was a negative influence on Matt and caused him to neglect his actual friendships with Karen and Foggy, whereas Colleen provided moral support that made Danny a better person. Likewise, Colleen started Iron Fist as a recruiter for the Hand, but broke ways with them after getting a crash course on how terrible they truly are; Elektra started her arc in Daredevil as a member of the Chaste, but then died at the hands of Nobu and was resurrected by the Hand as an assassin.
    • Karen Page and Trish Walker. Both are blonde reporters (through the New York Bulletin and Trish Talk). Both are also the biggest advocates of their superhero friend (boyfriend in Karen's case). When it comes to the morality of killing compared to their superhero friend, the roles are reversed. With Jessica and Trish, whereas Trish hasn't killed anyone, Jessica has killed Kilgrave and earlier killed Reva. The reverse is seen with Matt and Karen: whereas Matt hasn't killed anyone, Karen has killed James Wesley and has implied that in her past she may have killed someone else. Finally, whereas Karen desperately warns Matt to be cautious so he doesn't get killed or exposed, Trish has always wanted Jessica to do more with her powers and once even crafted a superhero persona for Jess.
    • Jessica Jones and Karen Page. Both have working relationships with Matt that begin with him coming to represent them after they get arrested (John Raymond's suicide and evidence tampering for Jessica; getting framed by Fisk for Karen). Both of them are alcoholics with dark and troubled pasts that include the death of family members in a car accident (Jessica's whole family; Karen's brother). Both of their dark pasts include a Kevin in their life (Kilgrave aka Kevin Thompson; Karen's brother). Both Jessica and Karen have each killed two people (Jessica killed Reva and Kilgrave; Karen has killed James Wesley and is implied to have killed someone else in her past). And they both are skilled investigators. Where they differ is that Karen is bright and perky, while Jessica is sour and crass.
    • Danny Rand and Elektra Natchios. Both are skilled warriors trained since childhood and command considerable wealth. Elektra was raised as an orphan before Stick arranged for her to be adopted by Hugo Natchios and his wife. Danny was born rich and became an orphan. Both were seen by their masters as nothing more than weapons, called "The Iron Fist" and "The Black Sky" instead of their names. But, where Elektra is amoral and self-serving, Danny is altruistic and social. Fittingly, while the rest of the Defenders fight the remaining Fingers of the Hand, Danny and Elektra face off, and Elektra even tries to manipulate Danny over to her side by using their commonalities.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Jessica using her super-strength to pull Trish's car off a tow truck not only shows her increase in powernote , but foreshadows her pushing a car through the wall of the Chinese restaurant and hitting Elektra with it.
    • When Jessica is in the sketchy apartment that John Raymond is using to stockpile explosives, there's a pre-9/11 painting of Lower Manhattan depicting the World Trade Center towers, which conspiracy theorists claim was a controlled demolition. A controlled demolition by charges planted within the building is how Midland Circle is destroyed and the Hand is defeated (for now).
    • Karen and Foggy both warn Matt that he is dangerously close to getting his identity as Daredevil exposed. Karen has an alarmed reaction when Matt suggests that the Hand know his real identity ("I'm sorry, does that mean they know who you are?!") and after Matt, Jessica and Luke are hauled in following Stick's death and Danny's kidnapping, Karen points out that it won't take much to put two and two together. Especially after the climax, as Matt left with Jessica and Luke after breaking out of the precinct, Daredevil was spotted in Midland Circle with them, and neither Daredevil nor Matt emerged from the events that followed. People are going to ask questions, and it's almost certain that Wilson Fisk has asked them too.
  • Friend on the Force: Misty Knight provides the Defenders with access to the resources of the NYPD. She also stashes Karen, Foggy, Trish, Malcolm, Claire and Colleen when the Hand begin threatening them.
  • Friendship Moment:
    • Luke facetiously asks Danny to tell the story of how he fought a dragon and got his "magic hand." Danny takes him seriously and starts a poetic description, but Luke shuts him down. After a few seconds, Luke tries to cheer him up by genuinely asking about what happened. They joke around a bit, comparing Jessica to a dragon.
    • Invoked by Matt. Before they go down the elevator to face the final battle, Matt takes a moment to tell Luke and Jessica he's glad he's met them and that they're fighting together.
  • The Gadfly: Jessica calls Danny "Ironclad."
    Danny Rand: It's Iron Fist.
    Jessica Jones: I know.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Jessica wonders how Matt can afford his spacious corner apartment even though he's now a pro bono lawyer and thus earning less money than he was earning at Nelson & Murdock. Like with Karen, Matt points out to Jessica the billboard across the street. It's also been implied that Matt may have inherited Elektra's money after her death.
  • Funny Answering Machine: Jessica's is her gruffly saying "Wrong number."
  • Geodesic Cast: The Defenders form a team that contrasts with the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • The Ghost: Mariah and Shades are mentioned a few times by Misty and Luke as Luke is looking for information on the murders White Hat is committing, and there's an advertisement for Mariah's New Harlem Renaissance on the side of the bus when Luke arrives back in Harlem, but neither Mariah nor Shades shows up in person. They're still present as both are returning for Luke Cage season 2, and their absence is explained by Turk, who says they've ghosted and are keeping a low profile.
  • Gilligan Cut: Jessica decides she's done with all the mystical nonsense Stick is talking about and starts to leave. He promptly barks, "Sit down and shut up!" Cue Jessica looking at him like "The fuck did you just tell me to do?" and...cut to Jessica marching out the back door, blatantly ignoring the angry, cantankerous old man.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Danny initially tries martial arts moves against Luke, only to be knocked down by a simple punch. Luke has superhuman strength and durability, allowing him to take Danny's strikes and do a lot of damage with simple punches. Danny only gets the upper hand when he delivers a right hook with the Iron Fist.
  • Grand Finale: Of The Hand's Story Arc, first being teased in Daredevil season one and taking center stage in Daredevil season two and Iron Fist season one, as well as this show. However, the Uncertain Doom of parts of their leadership still allow the possibility of them potentially coming back at some point down the road.
  • Greasy Spoon: Matt and Karen go to the real life Metro Diner on 100th Street in the first episode to catch up after Matt wins his latest case, and also so Karen can get a comment from him for her story in the Bulletin.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Hand in general have been built up heavily since season 1 of Daredevil: there, Nobu and Madame Gao were the only members to appear, yet their presence was definitely felt, as Wilson Fisk certainly didn't want to get on their bad side. And The Defenders now establishes the reasons why the Hand had been using Fisk to get them Elena Cardenas' property. The first season of Iron Fist added more depth to Madame Gao's role in the Hand and also introduced Bakuto, and both indicate that there is someone else pulling their strings, but don't mention Alexandra by name.
  • The Heart: Danny Rand is the one who tries to convince the team to come together and stay together. In the words of Finn Jones, "Danny Rand, he's the one that kind of drives the group to get shit done."
  • The Heavy: Although The Hand is present, Alexandra, Madame Gao and Bakuto are the most visible threats.
  • Hallway Fight: The team meets up while fighting off Elektra and other Hand ninjas armed with guns and stun guns in a corridor of Midland Circle
  • Heartbroken Badass:
    • The trauma of Kilgrave is still hovering over Jessica, and her alcoholism has gotten worse. Her apartment is still damaged from the fight with Will Simpson.
    • Matt is still mourning over Elektra's death, to the point that he's given up on being Daredevil completely. In the meantime, he's doing pro bono law work for disadvantaged people in Hell's Kitchen. He and Karen Page are back on speaking terms, but are not quite sure about resuming their romantic relationship. In the first episode, he is seen going to confessional and opening up to Father Lantom about how difficult Elektra's death has been on him:
      Father Lantom: This other life you led. Is your heart still with it [Daredevil], or is your heart with the one who walked through it by your side?
      Matt Murdock: Elektra?
      Father Lantom: Yeah.
      Matt Murdock: I do miss her. But how do I know that the things she brought out of me were wrong?
      Father Lantom: From what you've told me about her, I think she'd be happy about how well you're doing.
      Matt Murdock: Maybe. Or maybe she'd tell me I'm abandoning that life and with it, her memory.
      Father Lantom: You're not abandoning Elektra, you don't have it in you. What you're doing, we call that 'moving on'. Purgatory is a place for the dead, Matthew, not the living. There's nothing wrong with letting people go. She'll find her peace. I pray you find yours as well.
  • Here We Go Again: Matt expresses outright annoyance when Stick shows up at the Royal Dragon and starts talking about the Hand and the war with the Chaste.
    Matt Murdock: [sensing Stick approaching] Oh you've gotta be kidding me...
    [moments later, Stick walks in, waving his sword]
    Stick: This...is one shitty excuse for a hideout.
    Matt Murdock: [displeased] Stick.
    Stick: Matty.
    Jessica Jones: Who the hell are you?
    Stick: The guy who's gonna help you save New York.
    • Matt laughs bitterly when Stick says he needs their help.
    Matt Murdock: [laughs bitterly] Yeah, here it comes.
    Luke Cage: Here what comes?
    Matt Murdock: This is what he does.
    Danny Rand: H-How do you know him again?
    Matt Murdock: You saw me fight. I learned it from him.
    Danny Rand: [still confused] You're a blind lawyer, you're Daredevil, and you're a member of the Chaste?
    Matt Murdock: No. Uh-uh. I never joined his war. Hey Stick, you and I need to talk.
    Luke Cage: Hey! Anything you've gotta say, you say in front of us.
    Matt Murdock: This is between me and him.
    Luke Cage: And we are all in danger-
    Matt Murdock: I don't know you very well, Mr. Cage. You seem like a good guy, so trust me when I tell you with this old man, nothing is sacred.
  • Historical In-Joke: Stick claims that disasters like Pompeii and Chernobyl were cover-ups of the Hand's operations.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Played With. Matt can hear a suppressed gunshot in the penthouse from the lobby thanks to his enhanced senses, but the actual noise is still the soft, Hollywood "pew" instead of the actual sound of a suppressed firearm.
  • Hot Scoop:
    • Karen Page reports for the New York Bulletin and is a confidant for Matt.
    • Trish Walker is the host of Trish Talk and is Jessica's biggest supporter.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: A series of quick shots of speeding Metro-North and NYCS trains, speeding traffic, and city landmarks are used to transition between most scenes.
  • I Have Your Wife: Defied by the titular heroes. Matt and Danny are very familiar with the Hand kidnapping their enemies' loved ones (having kidnapped Karen, Ward, and Joy) and holding them hostage for leverage. So when Sowande threatens them with going after the people they care about, they take their non-combatant friends to the police station for their own protection. It works, since the Hand never actually go after them, although Murakami does try to kill Trish.
  • "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight: Matt believes the Hand-resurrected Elektra still has some goodness in her and that he can get through to her, so he makes reckless choices and spends any fight she's in with him trying to get through to her.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: While on the subway, Jessica steals a beer can from a sleeping hobo and chugs it down while Matt and Luke stare at her.
    Jessica Jones: ...It's been a long week.
  • I Work Alone: Matt, as in the comics, repeatedly insists he can't be part of a team because it endangers everyone he knows.
  • Immortals Fear Death: This is exactly what kicks off the events of the series in the first place: having spent all their precious substance to resurrect Elektra, the Hand leaders can't come back from death if they are killed. While they aren't necessarily too torn up about it (they have access to more and can get it in time, as they just want to live long enough to finish their goals), their leader is currently dying and has merely a few months to live at best and doesn't have enough time to wait, and therefore, she rushes the search for the substance that can replenish her immortality which triggers an earthquake on the first episode that ends up uniting the Defenders against them.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • Stick is impaled through the leg by Elektra's sword and is killed by a sword through the chest in the same fight.
    • Alexandra is run through by a pair of sai.
  • In-Name-Only: Tropes Are Tools, though. An ensemble consisting of Luke, Jessica, Danny, Misty, Colleen, Claire Temple and Daredevil is essentially the cast of the Power Man & Iron Fist/Heroes for Hire series. The Defenders, however, was probably chosen because it sounds, to the layman, more similar to The Avengers.
  • In the Back: Elektra stabs Alexandra from behind.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Luke is roughly ten years older than Danny, but they still form a friendship.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Mostly averted. Every time there's a captive on either side, the captors know he won't break under torture. The notable exception is when Daredevil tries choking information about Elektra out of Sowande. It doesn't work.
  • Just Got Out of Jail: Luke is introduced getting out of Seagate thanks to Foggy providing a stellar legal defense.
  • Just in Time:
    • When Danny is ambushed at Midland Circle Financial, Luke, Matt, and Jessica all arrive for their own reasons just in time to help him get out.
    • Colleen arrives at the three-on-three fight just in time to block Bakuto's blade from killing Matt.
      Colleen Wing: Not today!
    • Misty arrives and shoots a henchman just in time to save Claire's life.
  • Just Train Wrong: After escaping the precinct, Matt, Luke, and Jessica take the subway. It is clearly a Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) train standing in for a New York City Subway train.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Elektra's blades are straight, but otherwise all of the swords main characters use are katanas. Danny and Colleen follow a lead based on the fact that the sword their recently deceased target in Cambodia was wielding is a particularly rare make of katana.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Alexandra is killed mid-sentence.
  • Killed Off for Real: Stick, Alexandra, Bakuto and Sowande are definitely dead.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Claire lampshades Danny constantly expositing about being the immortal Iron Fist, the protector of K'un Lun.
  • The Leader: Discussed. Stick thinks Matt should be the team leader, but Matt doesn't think he's leader material.
  • Le Parkour: Matt has some experience in this, using parkour tactics to run across rooftops and jump off roofs safely.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: In classic Marvel tradition, Danny and Luke come to blows before they become teammates.
  • Light Is Not Good: Alexandra and Sowande are two Hand leaders that wear white. The latter is known throughout Harlem as the "White Hat" due to his attire, and the former wears mostly white dresses. Considering in Eastern cultures, white is associated with death, this is very fitting.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: There are 15 characters who get main credits billing, although only the lead heroes plus Elektra appear in all eight episodes: Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Danny Rand, Malcolm Ducasse, Foggy Nelson, Colleen Wing, Misty Knight, Bakuto, Trish Walker, Karen Page, Elektra Natchios, Claire Temple, Stick, and Alexandra. Then there's other returning characters like Jeri Hogarth, Madame Gao, Josie, Marci Stahl, Father Lantom, and Turk Barrett. The only major Netflix MCU character who doesn't show up or is at least mentioned is Frank Castle, who is implied to be out of town and avenging the death of his family.
  • The Lopsided Arm of the Law: Misty Knight is Luke's ally, but she's out of the loop regarding the Hand and faced with pressure from an anti-vigilante superior, so after Stick is killed and Danny is kidnapped, she's forced to detain Luke, Jessica, and Matt because they won't explain what the hell's going on.
  • Love Interest: Karen Page, Colleen Wing, and Claire Temple are the respective love interests for Matt, Danny, and Luke.
  • MacGuffin Girl: A gender-flipped example with the Iron Fist, whom the Hand wants alive for some unknown purpose. It's revealed that he is the only one who can open the lock around the substance that the organization requires to facilitate their immortality.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: The disappearance of an architect (for Jessica) + a string of mysterious murders of young men in Harlem (for Luke) = an ancient mystical organization that poses a major threat to New York City.
  • Mooks: Every fighter in the Hand besides the five fingers is one of these.
  • Mundane Solution: Jessica takes photos of Matt doing his parkour thing. The minute she tells him this... Matt just grabs the camera and smashes it.note 
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: The Hand wants the Iron Fist alive. Stick tries to kill Danny to potentially end the whole war.
  • Mythology Gag: Has its own page.
  • Neck Lift: Luke grabs one of the Hand goons restraining Danny and punches him into the wall.
    Danny Rand: So punching's okay now?
    Luke Cage: [tosses another goon aside] It's complicated.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • Jessica's involvement in the entire crossover is due to this. When the missing architect's wife and daughter come to her office begging for her help finding him, she assumes he simply ran off to have an affair and turns them away. It's only when she receives a threatening phone call from a menacingly distorted voice telling her not to take the case that she realizes something is amiss and decides to take the case after all. The threatening call is from the architect himself, wanting her to stay away from him so she doesn't get hurt.
    • The Hand might have kept Elektra under their thumb a little better if they hadn't told her she'd be killed the minute she stopped being useful to them.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Alexandra never once fights the heroes directly, sending thugs and heavies instead. Slightly justified, in that her condition puts her in no shape to fight.
  • No-Sell: During the first confrontation between Danny and Luke, Luke does this to every single move Danny tries. Nothing but an all out attack by Danny with the Iron Fist has any effect whatsoever.
  • Not Me This Time: Luke initially assumes the sinister goings-on in Harlem are Mariah and Shades' handiwork. Not only is that not the case, they don't appear even once, with Misty mentioning they've been keeping a low profile since Luke was sent back to Seagate.
  • Not Wearing Tights: Matt Murdock is the only one of the four Defenders who actually wears a costume. His showing up in costume earns mockery from Jessica twice. Justified in that Matt's costume is functional, not just decorative. It gives him physical protection, and conceals his identity. The rest of the team don't need to worry about either of those things, as their powers give them all some extra resilience. On the Secret Identity front, Luke's abilities and actions are publicly known, Jessica doesn't care, and Danny happily tells anyone who listens that he's "The Immortal Iron Fist, sworn enemy of The Hand".
  • Off with His Head!: The only way to permanently kill a Hand member, as even despite their current Out of Continues status (see below), dead bodies could be revived at a later date should they reclaim more of "the substance." Naturally, this gets used several times:
    • Stick decapitates Sowande.
    • Elektra cuts off Alexandra's head after killing her.
    • Colleen decapitates Bakuto.
  • Official Couple: All three of the male Defenders have an official love interest going into the show:
    • Matt Murdock and Karen Page. They're still on awkward speaking terms after the identity reveal at the end of Daredevil season 2. Matt says they're still "figuring things out" when Foggy asks him about it over drinks at Josie's. Despite the estrangement, the two even still act like a couple whenever they are in the same room, like when Matt helps Karen put her coat on when he's grabbing her from her office.
    • Danny Rand and Colleen Wing. Interestingly, in the comics, Danny's longtime love interest is Misty Knight, but aside from when Danny brings a wounded Colleen to the precinct, the two don't share any scenes. Misty and Colleen do become friends, however, as a nod to their Daughters of the Dragon partnership in the comics, and Danny is established to be using his connections to get Misty a new robotic right arm.
    • Luke Cage and Claire Temple.
    • Jessica doesn't have a partner because Luke was her love interest until he learned about her killing Reva on Kilgrave's orders. In the comics, Luke was Jessica's love interest and they had a daughter, Danielle Cage, together. Though Luke and Jessica both admit they have unresolved feelings for each other.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Luke defeating Sowande all by himself.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Played for Laughs in Luke's intro. The prison guards are alarmed when Luke casually breaks the handcuffs holding him after the guard pretends to fumble with the key.
      Luke Cage: My bad. [hands the cuffs to the warden] I believe these belong to you.
    • Jessica gasps and walks away in shock when Stick beheads Sowande. Luke, though more stoic, is also visibly upset. Matt, being blind, has no reaction at all.
  • Old Master: Stick, Matt's elderly mentor, returns. Matt is none too happy to be around him again and takes every opportunity to make this clear.
  • Once a Season: As with every season of the heroes' standalone shows, there's a Hallway Fight set piece in one episode where our heroes kick the crap out of a boatload of goons.
  • One Degree of Separation: New York City is one of the largest and most anonymous cities in the world. Despite this, all the Defenders live in the same borough (itself home to 1.6 million people) and seem to have the same circle of acquaintances, although except for Luke and Jessica being a former item, they had never met each other during their individual shows.
    • Claire Temple has met all four Defenders over the course of their shows, and saved several of their lives. The more she's had these encounters, the more she raises the possibility that an outside force is making this happen.
    • Colleen Wing is Claire's trainer, and Danny's lover/crimefighting partner.
    • Jeri Hogarth is directly or indirectly connected to every Defender.
      • Her firm is defending Luke Cage.
      • She is a professional acquaintance and recurring client of Jessica's.
      • She used to work for Danny's father and is now Danny's lawyer.
      • Marci Stahl took a job with Jeri after helping Matt and Foggy expose Landman & Zack's connections to Wilson Fisk, and then Jeri hired Foggy on Marci's recommendation after Nelson & Murdock closed in the fallout from Frank Castle's trial.
    • Jessica killed Luke's wife Reva. She later randomly encounters him without knowing who Reva was (in a bar no less).
      • Kilgrave made Jessica kill Reva because Reva had knowledge of Kilgrave's past and powers. Given that Reva also worked on the Seagate experiments that gave Luke his powers, Luke, Kilgrave and Will Simpson might also be linked.
    • Matt and Danny have both battled the Hand and were trained by different ancient orders (the Chaste; K'un-L'un) specifically to fight the Hand. Both have also dealt with Madame Gao, who runs the Hand's drug smuggling operations, due to her alliances with Wilson Fisk and Harold Meachum.
    • Karen Page is Matt's girlfriend and former office assistant, Matt and Danny's media contact at the New York Bulletin, and she and Matt are friends with Foggy and Marci, who work with Jeri Hogarth and thus Jessica and Danny.
    • Foggy Nelson is Matt's best friend and former law partner, and is Luke's attorney within Hogarth's law firm.
    • Danny's childhood friend Joy Meachum once hired a PI, implied to be Jessica, to dig up blackmail material on the board of directors. Jessica is very good at her job...when she is sober.
    • It was a Rand Oil & Chemicals truck that was responsible for Matt getting blinded and gaining his abilities.
    • Turk Barrett is a wandering hustler doing small-time illegal business all over New York City, and has been beaten up by both Matt and Luke for information.
  • Out of Continues: The Hand have ran out of the substance that lets them bring people back to life, which means that both the mooks and the leadership get Killed Off for Real this time.
  • Parallel Conflict Sequence: Danny fights Elektra in the pit while Matt, Jessica and Luke are fighting Madame Gao, Bakuto, and Murakami in the Midland Circle parking garage.
  • Passing the Torch:
    • Karen is easing herself into the role of newspaper confidant and informant to New York City vigilantes that Ben Urich played in the comics, now that she's got Ben's old job and even works out of his old office.
    • Matt passed on his role as guardian of New York to Danny... though it proved premature.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Though Matt, Luke, and Danny were Defenders in the comics (everybody is), they were not as well-established in the team as other members. This series' roster has much more in common with Heroes for Hire and The Knights, which featured these heroes more prominently. The Knights are a loose-knit team of street level heroes, which seems to fit the concept of this series, but the Defenders is a more famous franchise. Meanwhile, the heroes are likely not going to be cutting a paycheck, so "Heroes for Hire" would not be suitable.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Jessica Jones gets a pretty good one in the final episode as she arrives in the pit and addresses Elektra.
    Jessica Jones: I don't want to fight you... alone.
  • Punched Across the Room: Jessica's and Luke's main contribution to any fight is to hit people so hard they go flying, frequently into a wall or breakable object.
  • Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Matt's glasses, because he's blind.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Ward Meachum is out of town during the events of the series. He is one of the few major supporting characters from the individual shows not to appear.
    • Likewise, Mariah Dillard and Shades from Luke Cage are said to have gone under the radar by the time Luke returns from prison, which is notorious considering they were the only antagonists to have gotten completely away with it by their previous appearance, but hasn't showed up here either. Subverted since they will be returning for season 2 of Luke Cage.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: It's inevitable when you put the fate of New York City in the hands of a blind defense attorney, an alcoholic private investigator, a bulletproof ex-con, and a kid with a glowing fist. All of whom have a long list of character flaws and tend to be failure heroes. Stick even lampshades this, telling the group that not only will they be unable to save New York, they can't even save themselves. It says something when the project's working title is Group Therapy.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • We get to have several scenes where Matt fights while not in his costume. When this happens, he is careful to pocket his glasses so that they won't get damaged. When going to Midland Circle, he has his glasses on, then pockets them so that he can improvise a mask from Jessica's scarf. Once he does take the scarf off at the Chinese restaurant, he doesn't put his glasses back on because the four are anticipating trouble any minute. He doesn't put them back on until he's escaped the fight and is on his way to the Bulletin to warn Karen.
    • Matt is still very conflicted about what he's doing as Daredevil. Even though he's told Karen his secret, the fact that he lost Elektra has taken a toll on him and he doesn't yet know how to balance out his day job and nighttime vigilantism.
    • Jessica's PTSD is arguably worse now that Kilgrave is dead.
    • The Hand are so ruthless and relentless with killing those in their way that the Defenders ultimately decide that they have to kill the five fingers of the Hand by blowing up Midland Circle.
    • Someone like Danny would have a hard time fitting in with people like Matt, Luke and Jessica. This is mostly due to his somewhat sheltered life where he was raised to be a warrior and dedicate his life to fighting the Hand, whereas the others grew up and live in the real world with normal jobs and lives and aren't really interested in dealing with being superheroes. Also, the approach that Danny takes to situations does rub them the wrong way, as shown in Luke's speech to him about how he handled the kid helping the Hand, as well as their responses to Danny's insistence that they go after the Hand and stop them.
    • Similiarly, Jessica has superpowers, but still feels out of place next to Luke (bulletproof), Matt (ninja skills), and Danny (superpowered hands).
    Jessica Jones: [after disarming a Hand goon] Jesus, am I the only one left here who doesn't know karate?!
    • Midland Circle averts Hollywood Silencer: even with the suppressors on the henchmens' guns, Matt still picks up the sound of the shot from the lobby with his heightened senses due to the fact that a suppressor merely dampens the decibel level of a gunshot.
    • Luke is let out thanks to Foggy as while he did break out of prison it was for a crime he didn't commit and enough scrutiny could show he was justified in escaping (Rackham had tried to straight up kill him).
    • Karen repeatedly takes issue with how Matt is being really reckless and risking his identity being exposed, since that will only lead to Wilson Fisk coming after them.
    Matt Murdock: Unfortunately, it doesn't matter if you're a part of Daredevil's world or not, because they may be coming after Matt Murdock's too.
    Karen Page: I'm sorry, does that mean they know who you are?!
    Matt Murdock: [shakes his head] I just can't take any chances-
    Karen Page: Matt, that isn't your call!
    • While Matt is trying to discuss strategy with Luke and Jessica at the precinct, Foggy takes him aside both to slip him a gym bag containing his Daredevil armor, but also to give him a similar warning to Karen's about his recklessness:
    Foggy Nelson: I need you to hear me out.
    Matt Murdock: Could you please make this fast?
    Foggy Nelson: I don't think you understand the gravity of your current situation. Your real life, and your other life, are two trains dangerously close to colliding right now.
    Matt Murdock: [tightly] I am well aware.
    Foggy Nelson: Did you hear what that cop said? If you're ever investigated, you'll lose everything. They re-open every case; matter of fact, I come down with you! We both get disbarred.
    Matt Murdock: Yeah, well, I'm sorry. I can't do this right now, the entire city is in danger-
    Foggy Nelson: I know. And I'm not dumb enough to think that I can try and stop you. I'm here because I'm trying to help you keep your two lives separate. So that they don't lump you in with Mr. Bulletproof and Super Joan Jett in there! You understand?
    Matt Murdock: Yeah. I do.
    Foggy Nelson: Okay. Good. 'Cause the people in this building need to always and only see you as a lawyer.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The five fingers of the Hand are all centuries or perhaps millennia old. Before it's stated outright, it's implied of Alexandra several times in the references she makes. She implies she saw New York when it was still just forest. She tells a Turkish restauranteur his wife's ethnic dish is better than they made it in Constantinople, and he corrects her that it's known as Istanbul, now. A philharmonic director remarks that Beethoven's influence in a particular Brahms piece is quite pronounced; Alexandra brusquely asserts that it was not influence, but a direct response. He wanted to prove he could do the same things. He was petty like that.
    Director: Your insight on music history, it never ceases to amaze me.
    Alexandra: Oh, it's nothing. It's just stuff I picked up along the way.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Red and black are the main colors of the Hand. Elektra in particular tends to wear either all-black clothing or a blood-red armored suit.
  • Refusal of the Call:
    • Matt's refusal of the call after the foursome arrive at the Royal Dragon is defied when the others talk him into staying.
    • Jessica walks out when Stick starts telling the heroes the plot. She soon finds out The Call Knows Where You Live and goes back.
  • Reluctant Hero:
    • Jessica wants no part of this. She takes the opportunity to snark pretty much any time she can.
    • Matt initially wants to not be a part of a team-up.
      Matt Murdock: I can't be a part of this.
      Luke Cage: If you ask me, you already are.
  • Repurposed Pop Song: A remix of Nirvana's "Come as You Are" is used on the trailers.
  • Ret Canon: The 2017 comics exists because of this series, including featuring the same line-up.
  • The Reveal:
    • The Hand of the MCU get a full origin: Their founders come from K'un-L'un, and were kicked out for trying to make themselves immortal. Stick tells the heroes the story the night they first all meet up.
    • The substance that gives the Hand their resurrective immortality is dragon bones. What's in the hole in Midland Circle is a dragon skeleton that was sealed away by a previous Iron Fist.
  • Reveal Shot: The last shot of the seventh episode starts zoomed in on Danny and pans out to reveal a dragon skeleton.
  • Rousing Speech: Matt channels a bit of Stick and gives one to his nervous paraplegic client about working to move forward with his life instead of wallowing in self-pity. Karen is mildly impressed.
  • Salt and Pepper: Luke is older, wiser, and more down-to-Earth whereas Danny is younger, impetuous, and has social issues. To a lesser extent, there's Luke and Jessica, who are now working to reconcile as friends after the entire ordeal with Kilgrave.
  • Secret Identity:
    • Notable because of the heroes featured in this series, Matt is the only one who has one, as he wears an identity-concealing devil costume and adopts the moniker "Daredevil", which both gives him protection from injuries and allows him to maintain his day job as a lawyer. The others don't hide their faces and just use their real names during their adventures. This ends up biting them in ass when Sowande warns that the Hand will go after their loved ones, forcing the heroes to hide their loved ones at Misty's precinct. Matt even hides Karen and Foggy there, just because he can't be sure that the Hand haven't learned Daredevil's true identity.
    • Later on, when Matt, Jessica and Luke do a jailbreak from the precinct, the cover story put out is that Jessica and Luke kidnapped Matt, due to Foggy having warned Matt how crucial it is that the cops only see Matt as a lawyer.
  • Sequel Hook: Alongside the individual hooks from the heroes' respective series, the ending provides a few additional ones:
    • Misty loses her arm in the final battle, but is now recovering at a hospital owned by Danny, setting up her appearance in Season 2 of Iron Fist.
    • After his difficulty with adjusting to life in New York, Danny has finally begun regarding the city as his home. His final scene shows him suiting up as a vigilante to honor Matt's legacy.
    • Jessica Jones pulls the covering tape off her new door revealing a pristine Alias Investigations sign window.
    • Matt is believed dead, but it's revealed at the very end that he's recovering in a nuns' covenant. The dialogue strongly implies the show will cover the narrative relating to Matt's mother, and season 3 will adapt the Born Again storyline where Wilson Fisk systematically ruins Matt's life.
    • With Matt's survival, Elektra and Madame Gao's fates are unclear.
  • Shipper on Deck: Foggy can't help but ask Matt how he and Karen are doing relationship-wise when they're having drinks at Josie's.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift:
    • Danny has cut his hair a bit shorter, shaved his beard, and cleaned up his appearance a bit now that he's had more time to adjust to life back home.
    • In moving from Nelson & Murdock to Hogarth, Chao, & Benowitz, Foggy has gotten a haircut, wears smarter clothing, and slicks his hair back.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Different supporting cast fall into this part.
    • Turk Barrett only has one scene, as Luke encounters him at a seedy bar in Harlem and through Turk, learns information about the mysterious "White Hat" recruiting men out of Harlem, which leads to Luke meeting Danny when he encounters Danny roughing up Cole.
    • Jeri Hogarth only gets two scenes, but she sets up Jessica meeting Matt after she tasks Foggy with keeping an eye on Jessica, which leads to Foggy passing Jessica off to Matt.
    • John Raymond only has a few minutes of screentime, but the heroes ultimately take up his plan to blow up Midland Circle to defeat the Hand.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Played for laughs. Matt grabs Jessica like this when they both first enter Midland Circle, and it really only works because Jessica is just shocked that this guy just walked up and grabbed her.
    Jessica: You grab me like that again, I'll punch you so hard you'll see.
  • The Starscream:
    • Madame Gao and the other Fingers to Alexandra. Alexandra says that the other four Fingers have betrayed her in the past but they are still working together.
    • Elektra serves as Alexandra's Dragon, right up until she puts a sai through her and takes over.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye:
    • Alexandra appears sitting at the used dining table of the restaurant while the heroes are looking out the front window. They turn around when Stick notices her.
    • Bakuto and his lackeys disappear while Colleen, Claire, Luke, and Danny have their backs turned.
  • The Stinger: At the end of the final episode is a trailer for The Punisher.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Jessica's and Luke's Super Strength as well as the latter's Nigh Invulnerable skin are glossed over in some fights. Although one could make an argument that the Hand's members are somewhat superhuman themselves considering their resurrection and enhancements, the same people then also fight on par with Badass Normal's like Colleen or Matt. Justified in Luke's case: Stick says he could do a lot more damage if he didn't pull his punches, but Luke says he doesn't want to kill anybody.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: In the finale, the Midland Circle Financial building is imploded with C4.
  • Super Strength: Besides Luke and Jessica, and Danny when he's using the Iron Fist, Elektra seems to have also gained a bit of this in getting revived by the Hand, as she's able to send Matt flying backwards with a single punch and later is shown to put up a good fight against Luke.
  • Super Window Jump:
    • Murakami jumps into the Royal Dragon restaurant through the skylight.
    • Elektra crashes through a window to make her escape from the heroes' hideout.
  • Superhero Movie Villains Die: Played straight. Three of the five Hand leaders are killed onscreen (decapitated, so they couldn't be resurrected even if they had more "substance"), and the fourth is last seen in critical condition. Madame Gao's and Elektra's fates are unclear, but Gao appears to leave the scene well before the explosion and the fact Matt got out implies Elektra got him out with her.
  • Superhero Speciation: Played with.
    • Jessica and Luke have superhuman strength as their main powers. Matt and Danny have vastly different powers (super-senses, the Iron Fist) but use martial arts as their main mode of attack.
    • On the other hand, Jessica is not bulletproof like Luke (Audrey Eastman called her bluff), but can run more quickly and jump higher than he. Although Matt doesn't have Danny's mystic abilities, he makes up for it with his heightened senses.
    • In a way, the whole team forms a spectrum from Badass Normal to flat-out superpowered:
  • Superman Stays out of Gotham: None of the New York-based film heroes appear in this series.note  In the meantime, Frank Castle (who was introduced in Daredevil) doesn't appear because he's busy waging his own war on crime out-of-state.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: Danny focuses his chi into the Iron Fist technique, which can break steel weapons and send out a shockwave in a wide forward arc. Similarly, Madame Gao can send out a focused shockwave to forcefully repel things with an open palm strike.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. Despite the series being billed as a superhero team-up, it mostly revolves around Daredevil, Iron Fist, and the mystical war between the descendants of K'un-Lun. Once the initial incidents draw them into the investigation, Cage and Jones are mostly muscle, and their Myth Arc about IGH and Reva's experiments go unmentioned and unrelated to the Hand's plan.
  • Suspicious Spending: Luke gets involved in the mess with the Hand when Misty tasks him with tracking down a missing brother of the late Candace Miller. When Luke finds the brother, he notices that for a kid between jobs, the guy seems to have some pretty nice things (a music/speaker system, a spacious apartment, and a really nice shoe collection).
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • The Hand is basically a lesser scale version of HYDRA - an ancient, cult-like criminal organisation with connections to extraterrestrials, a massive network of agents hidden in positions of power, and leaders prone to competing and sabotaging each other. (Incidentally, HYDRA in the comics was spun off from the Hand.)
    • Elektra is a lesser scale variant of Bucky Barnes - a trained killer and close acquaintance of a titular superhero who seemingly gets killed by the cult-like organization that they're fighting, and is then brainwashed by said organization to become an assassin loyal to them. The difference is that in this case Elektra really did die. And that she likes being an assassin.
  • Sword Fight: Colleen Wing, Bakuto, Elektra, and some Hand mooks use bladed weapons to fight.
  • Sword Sparks: Invoked and exploited in the parking garage fight, when Murakami breaks a pipe to release some kind of flammable gas and Bakuto swipes his sword across the ground to make sparks, which starts a fire to cover their escape.
  • Tagalong Kid: Played for Laughs but also kinda purposely invoked. Danny is the youngest of the group being only in his mid 20s while the others are in their mid to late 30s along with his naïveté and as a result Matt, Luke, and Jessica often view and treat Danny as an overly enthusiastic and often ridiculous child.
    • Stick even calls him "the kid with the glowing fist" while going through the members of the Defenders.
    • After the three of them rescue Danny from Midland Circle:
      Matt Murdock: We can't fight these people. Not even with whatever it is your hand can do.
      Danny Rand: It's chi.
      Jessica Jones: It's not.
    • When Matt flings out his his cord-attached billy club so the cord wraps around Sowande's throat from about 20 feet away:
      Danny Rand: [chuckles] So cool.
      Luke Cage: I mean, it's... it's kind of cool.
  • Tap on the Head:
    • Danny gets knocked out by Jessica, falls unconscious, and wakes up a while later in a different place with no apparent consequences beyond that.
    • Averted with Matt. After getting knocked out trying to stop Elektra from killing Stick, he wakes up on a couch in the 29th Precinct and is disoriented for several seconds until Foggy can give him a quick crash course.
  • Team Dad: Luke Cage is the conciliator. According to Mike Colter, ďIím the guy, the wisdom. If you want to make sure something works, run it up the flagpole.Ē
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • Much like the comics, the premise of the team is that of a group of heroes who don't entirely get along, being forced to come together to fight evil.
    • Though they generally work together, the Fingers of the Hand don't always get along. Alexandra claims each of them has survived assassination attempts from each of the others.
      • Case in point, remember how in Iron Fist (2017) Bakuto and Madame Gao were considered completely different factions of The Hand who were completely at war with each other? Here, ironically, the two trust each other far more than either of them trust Alexandra or Elektra. Even they can't believe this.
  • That Man Is Dead: Stick tells Matt and Alexandra tells Elektra that the being in the body that used to belong to Elektra Natchios isn't the same woman.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: Matt plays the show's theme on the Raymonds' piano, in order to locate architectural plans that John had stashed inside.
  • This Cannot Be!: Matt lets out a very alarmed "Elektra?!" when he first encounters Elektra, alive and well.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Luke is appalled at the act or suggestion of murdering anyone, even the Hand. It takes a lot of convincing and the fact no innocents at all are around for him to go along with the bomb plan.
  • Time Bomb: In the finale, the heroes set explosives to blow up the villains' headquarters. The bombs detonate on a timer; once it's set, there's no stopping it, so they have to get out of and away from the building before they go off.
  • Title Drop: Averted. Interestingly, at no point in the series does anyone refer to the four heroes as "The Defenders". This is the first of the Marvel Cinematic Universe TV shows to avert the trope, and it stands in stark contrast to the multiple references to "The Avengers", "The Avenger Initiative", and "they needed something to Avenge" over in the Film half of the MCU.
    • In the first episode "The H Word," Jessica (like in her home show) does the title drop while walking and talking with Trish.
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: Shown in one of the teasers. The heroes escape Midland Circle by making it to one of the elevators. Awkward silence unfolds as the men catch their breaths and Jessica quickly breaks the security camera to cover their getaway.
  • The Un-Reveal: We still haven't gotten a real explanation for what exactly a Black Sky is and what makes them special. Elektra is strong and tough enough to fight off all four of the Defenders at once, but the limits and nature of her powers remain entirely undefined.
  • We Are Everywhere: The Hand has agents everywhere in New York City, including hospitals, City Hall, the NYPD, and even Trish's studio.
  • We Can Rule Together: Bakuto repeatedly tries to convince Colleen to retake her place at his side.
  • Weak, but Skilled:Compared to Luke and Jessica, this is Matt and Danny. Danny has access to super-strength when he wields the Iron Fist, but that's inconsistent. Matt is this again compared to Danny, which he demonstrates by handing Danny his ass before taking cover from the Fist.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 6, "Ashes, Ashes": Stick decides Murder Is the Best Solution so he tries to kill Danny so that the Hand can't use him. Elektra shows up, kills Stick, incapacitates all the other Defenders, captures Danny. Oh, and while Alexandra is lording over her victory, Elektra decides to kill Alexandra and takes over as the Hand's new leader.
    • Episode 8, "The Defenders. Matt, Elektra, Murakami, and Gao are all trapped under the remains of Midland Circle, but Elektra's body goes missing. Misty loses an arm to Bakuto, Matt hands the responsibility of protecting Hell's Kitchen in his absence to Danny, and Matt himself is shown later in critical condition at a convent with someone asking for the assistance of Maggie.
  • Wham Line: For anyone who has in-depth knowledge of Daredevil, the last line of the show has a nun asking someone to "get Maggie". Maggie is the name of Matt's Missing Mom, who in the comics became a nun after leaving Jack and Matt.
  • Wham Shot: At the end of Episode 7, Danny breaks through the barrier and sees what's beyond: dragon skeletons.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Luke tells off Danny for going after the bottom rung mooks who are trying to feed their families when he has the power, the wealth, and the social status to take the fight to the leadership. Danny takes it to heart.
    • Colleen tears into the rest of them after their later treatment of Danny leads to his capture.
    • Luke, Jessica, and Danny give Matt a dressing down for breaking away from them during the restaurant fight to deal with Elektra one-on-one.
  • Who Are You?:
    • Jessica asks this to Matt when she first meets him to which he responds "My name is Matthew Murdock. I'm your attorney." Later Luke and Danny ask each others the same question.
    • Danny gives a bewildered "Who are you people?" to Matt and Jessica as they're escaping Midland Circle in the elevator.
    • Alexandra implicitly asks Luke who he is when Luke notes a contradiction between her words and the Hand's methods.
      Alexandra: I'm sorry, I don't believe we've been properly introduced.
      Luke Cage: Let's keep it that way.
  • Wicked Cultured: Alexandra. One of her earlier scenes has her listening to a private music recital.
  • Wistful Amnesia: The Hand wiped Elektra's memories when they resurrected her, but she reacts to her name and has the sense she's missing something. She quickly regains all her memories when she secretly camps out at Matt's loft for a bit.
  • Woman in White: Alexandra is usually wearing all-white outfits. Which is fitting for her as the leader of the Hand, because in many Asian cultures, white is a color associated with death.
  • Working-Class Hero: All of the heroes save for Danny come from these roots. Matt comes from a working-class background and mostly handles pro bono legal work for disadvantaged people in Hell's Kitchen who can't afford the higher-priced firms. Luke deals with street crime in Harlem. Jessica is a private investigator who has clients of all backgrounds, both rich and poor.
  • Working the Same Case: Each of the four are investigating the criminal activities of the Hand, and find themselves in Midland Circle at the same time.
    • Jessica is tracking down a missing architect, after receiving a threatening call from someone using a voice scrambler to not take the case. When her client kills himself rather than let Elektra kill him, she gets brought in by Misty, who caught her stealing evidence from a crime scene. Matt gets dragged in through this case as Foggy sends him to be Jessica's attorney, and he follows her to Midland Circle.
    • Luke is working with Misty Knight to track down a brother of the late Candace Miller, after Candace's other brother is victim to a string of murders in Harlem of young men who are getting recruited into a mysterious well-paying job associated with the Hand and then get killed off very shortly thereafter. He and Danny end up encountering each other while coming upon a ďclean-upĒ project sponsored by The Hand. After a fight caused by a simple misunderstanding, Claire and Colleen get them into the Chikara dojo and force them to realize they're on the same side.
    • Danny and Colleen are already investigating the Hand, and have had a setback when, while following up on a lead in Cambodia, Elektra attacks them, wounds Danny, and kills the man they were seeking to get information out of.
  • World of Snark: Add all the snarkers from the individual series, from Jessica to Stick, and it's clear the show is overflowing with zings. For instance, the page quote up there, and this instance of Snark-to-Snark Combat:
    Danny Rand: What are you talking about? Bulletproof. Blind Ninja. Whatever it is you are.
    Jessica Jones: Classy.
  • Wok Fu: The four Defenders, and Stick, end up having to fight their way out of a Chinese restaurant after Alexandra tracks them down, threatens them, then sics Elektra and a bunch of her henchmen on them.
  • Wrongful Accusation Insurance: Towards the end of the season, the Defenders are held in a police precinct after they are implicated in two murders (one is a Hand leader killed by Stick; the other is Stick, himself, murdered by Elektra). In order to save New York from the Hand, they break out from the police station, steal a bomb from the evidence locker, and use it to detonate the Hand's headquarters, which as far as the authorities are concerned is considered domestic terrorism because the building was perfectly legal. After all is said and done, they aren't charged with anything because the whole police operation that took place was off-the-record and therefore the crimes they committed "never happened."
  • You All Meet in a Cell: Matt and Jessica meet when Matt, out of the blue, shows up to provide impromptu legal counsel while Misty is interrogating her.
  • You All Meet in an Inn: Played With. The Defenders don't actually meet up in an in or tavern, but immediately after all four do meet each other, they run into a Chinese restaurant to lay low. Danny convinces the owner to let them stay by paying his rent for the next six months, and ordering "four of everything." Stick finds them shortly thereafter, and thus begins an Info Dump that sets up our heroes teaming up to defeat the Hand.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Alexandra expedites the Hand's plans because she's been told she only has several months left to live and they've run out of the substance that lets them resurrect people.

What can I say? Another day in New York. But at least the rent is cheap.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/TheDefenders2017