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Recap / The Defenders 2017 S 1 E 8 The Defenders

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Murakami: Gao... what is happening?
Madame Gao: The end.

With the Hand on the verge of victory, the Defenders are forced to take drastic methods to stop them.

  • An Arm and a Leg: Bakuto is about to decapitate Claire and Misty makes a desperate lunge for him, resulting in his swords slicing through her right arm both ways above the elbow.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Near the end, right after Foggy and Karen have discussed the possibility of Matt being alive, a lone figure is seen crouched on a rooftop and staring at the Empire State Building, decked out in red light (presumably to honor the Devil of Hell's Kitchen). The light changes and it's revealed to be Danny, not Matt.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Hand is stopped and its leadership are taken out. Luke, Jessica, Colleen, and Claire get absolved thanks to some help from Foggy. But Stick is dead and the Chaste destroyed, Misty's lost an arm, Elektra is absent and if she's still alive very willingly evil (unless Matt got through to her before he fell unconscious), and Matt is presumed dead by his loved ones.
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  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Murakami has Danny right at knifepoint, but Elektra tells him not to kill him since he could be useful.
  • Ceiling Smash: Jessica tosses a Hand mook into the ceiling of the underground cavern during the climax.
  • Climbing Climax: While Luke, Jessica, and Danny go up the elvator, Murakami and other Hand mooks climb up after them. It doubles as an Elevator Action Sequence as well since some of the enemies manage to get inside before being tossed out.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • While Trish and Karen are looking at the crime scene photos on the board, Karen points to one picture and says it's from the hostage situation where she and a bunch of other people Matt saved were rounded up by Nobu as bait in the second season finale of Daredevil.
    • Jessica tells Luke they should get some coffee sometime, not knowing about Luke's Unusual Euphemism.
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    • Just like in Daredevil (2015), the first season finale has the same title as the show itself.
    • Karen and Foggy have a very private vigil for Matt in his church, with the camera work greatly echoing when the two of them plus Matt were here for Grotto's funeral.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Zigzagged. The female Hand Mooks only engage Jessica in the final fight. They aren't her only opponents, though.
  • Disney Villain Death: Muramaki takes a deep fall after Luke throws him out of the elevator. Subverted though as he actually survives it, see Impaled with Extreme Prejudice below.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Realizing that there is no escaping the impending collapse of Midland Circle, Madame Gao doesn't rage against her impending death, but quietly accepts it.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The Defenders decide that the best way to destroy the Hand for good its to blow up Midland Circle. Matt himself (who strictly adheres to his no-kill rule), Claire (who is adverse to murder as the best solution) and Colleen (who refused to strike down Bakuto before reasoning that If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him) are instantly on board with the idea, while Luke is the one most resistant to the idea and it takes every single member of the group to convince him this is necessary because the Hand won't stop coming. It helps that Matt notes the building is empty.
  • "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight: Matt once again tries to get Elektra to stop. Sadly, it doesn't work (in time) and the building collapses on both of them.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Murakami is thrown off the elevator trying to fight Luke, Danny and Jessica and winds up impaled on a length of rebar at the bottom of the pit. He appears to have survived the fall, at least, and his fate is left unclear.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Jessica steps out of the elevator alone and says she isn't willing to fight Elektra...alone. Then the rest of the team sweeps in.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Karen comments to Foggy that Matt's death doesn't feel real to her, and sure enough, we then find out Matt is alive.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Matt is laid out on the bed of the clinic, after he was presumed dead, the way he is in Born Again. The nun tending to him is identified as Sister Maggie. Turns into foreshadowing, as Maggie Murdock does indeed make her debut in season 3 of Daredevil.
    • Just like in The Avengers, the first of the heroes introduced makes the sacrifice play (and turns up Not Quite Dead).
    • A subtler one is when Luke tells Danny to "light it up".
    Captain America: (to Thor) "You got the lightning. Light the bastards up."
    • Danny's outfit, a green and gold hoodie cut down the middle exposing his dragon tattoo, is a modern take on his original costume, minus the mask and giant collar.
    • Misty Knight losing her right arm is actually part of something adopted by MCU works, whether real or not (Thor's fake hand-cut by Loki in Thor: The Dark World, Nebula severing her robotic hand in Guardians of the Galaxy, Agent Coulson losing a hand to Terrigenesis in Agents Of Shield and many others).
    • According to the wall chart in Misty's hospital room, the on-call nurse is Linda Carter, the original Night Nurse in the comics.
    • The implication of Danny taking up Matt's mantle is taken straight from the comics, where Danny spent some time posing as Daredevil during the events of Civil War to help keep Matt's identity secret.
  • Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight: Bakuto is an immortal who can only die through decapitation, thus he ignores Misty's gunshots. He then knocks her out and when she tries to save Colleen, she loses her arm for it.
  • Never Found the Body:
    • Karen explicitly mentions that Matt's body hasn't been found, though Foggy reminds her that at this point, it has been days since the collapse of Midland Circle. Sure enough, Matt is discovered to be alive and well in the care of some nuns.
    • Elektra, Gao, and Murakami are also not found.
  • No-Sell: Madame Gao uses her chi strike against Danny using the Iron Fist. Though Gao had success against the Defenders in the past, against the Iron Fist it's no contest: Danny sends Gao and the rest of the Hand flying.
  • Not Brainwashed: Elektra claims this, but Matt doesn't buy it.
  • Off with His Head!: Bakuto is decapitated by Colleen at the conclusion of their duel, ensuring he is killed permanently this time.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Jessica Henwick's accent emerges during Colleen's fight with Bakuto.
  • Passing the Torch: Matt tells Danny to "protect my city" when he attempts a Heroic Sacrifice. At the end, Danny is slipping into the role of a costumed crimefighter under the belief Matt is dead.
  • Shout-Out: Danny is wearing a green tracksuit at the end, which is similar to his current costume.
  • Take Up My Sword: Matt's final request before he stays behind to take on Elektra is to tell Danny to protect his city.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Subverted. After the Hand spends multiple seasons targeting innocents and performing horrific atrocities in pursuit of their goals, the Defenders ultimately conclude that they have no choice but to kill the leaders of the Hand just to end the nightmare.
  • Together in Death: Ultimately Matt's intention when he stays behind to fight Elektra, intending to make sure the building comes down on them both. Subverted when it turns out Matt makes it out of Midland Circle alive. Elektra's fate is left unclear.
  • Uncertain Doom: There is no final confirmation of Elektra, Gao, and Murakami being dead. The latter's chances are a bit lower, since he was already impaled on a rebar after falling off the elevator.
  • Wham Line:
    Nun: Get Maggie. Tell her he's awake.
  • Wrongful Accusation Insurance: The Defenders are held by the police after they were found with Sowande's and Stick's corpses in their hideout (the former was killed by Stick to save Danny, while the latter was killed by Elektra). In order to save the city, they have to commit even more crimes, like breaking out from a police station, stealing explosives from their evidence locker so they could use them to illegally detonate a building that serves as the bad guys' hideout which as far as the authorities are concerned, constitutes as domestic terrorism. However, their names are cleared by the end of the episode, since the police never filed any reports, and therefore all the crimes they committed "never happened". It's made pretty clear that Foggy's firm (presumably with a lot of money from Danny) helped bury everything.

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