Episode 5 picks right up after the “Royal Dragon” scene that episode 4 ends with. All of the Defenders get into a fight against the Hand, who are all trying to take Danny Rand (Finn Jones) because the Hand needs the Iron Fist for something that they haven’t quite explained yet, but will be explained in episode 6. In this fight scene, it’s clear that Luke (Mike Colter) and Jessica (Krysten Ritter) should learn some martial arts to enhance their combat skills. The two can hold their own, but they were definite moments I thought that if they had trained in martial arts, the two could take the Hand like a piece of cake.
The Hand’s individual motivations get made clear in this episode, however, they don’t really feel much like the big bad at all, which effects the whole show. Elektra’s (Elodie Yung) loyalty to the Hand is questioned after she’s saved Matt from possibly being killed. Elodie’s Elektra is one of the more sound parts of the series thus far. She’s compelling to watch as her motivations and what’s really going on inside her head is made clear. Elektra proves not only to underestimate her, but that she is a great antagonist for the Defenders and even to the Hand.
Though Danny Rand has made improvements since his own solo series, Iron Fist, he still feels like the weakest link in the Defenders chain. He doesn’t have the same charisma as his fellow Defenders, and we’re constantly reminded through quips that Danny is incompetent or “the stupidest Iron Fist “. Yet, it’s revealed in episode 6 by Stick (Scott Glenn) that the Iron Fist is the key to whatever it is that the hand is trying to accomplish. Danny doesn’t believe it and also doesn’t like that the other Defenders are trying to keep him from going after the Hand. The rest of episode, Danny is tied up and being watched over by Luke and Stick.
This leads Matt (Charlie Cox) and Jessica (Krysten Ritter) to investigate more of what the Hand is doing and what Midland Circle has to do with everything. Matt and Jessica have a lot of funny moments together in the entire series, but there is one scene in particular with these two in episode 6 that’s very touching. It’s actually one of my favorite interactions throughout the entire series. In the scene Jessica uses Matt’s past to help Lexi, the architect’s daughter, to navigate through her own feelings about her own father. There’s also some great Danny and Luke moments in episode 6, and they start to bond, which I hope will set up for more Danny and Luke moments in the Marvel-Netflix universe.
Speaking of great interactions, there’s a wonderful scene with Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) and Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) where we get to see Colleen be vulnerable in episode 5. Colleen also has another interaction in episode 5 with Misty Knight (Simone Missick) which had me fangirling. That interaction left me hoping that Marvel-Netflix will give us a Daughters Of The Dragon spin-off.
Matt and Jessica are able to find the architect’s plans to Midland Circle, which will help the Defenders in the end to come up with a plan to possibly defeat the Hand. However, Elektra shows up to where Luke and Stick have been hiding Danny. Elektra manages to kill Stick and take Danny back with her to Alexandria.
Sigourney Weaver gives a wonderful performance as Alexandria in these two episodes, despite the fact that she doesn’t feel much like an actual threat. In episode 5, we do get back story of Alexandria and a deeper understanding of why she brought Elektra back to life and what her mission is, but again, she doesn’t feel like an actual threat. Her interests doesn’t line up with the other Hand leaders, which leads to confrontation. Though it was a bit surprising, Elektra ends up killing Alexandria and is now the leader of the Hand.
The Defenders so far has had a lot of great fighting scenes, humor, and cool transition shots. However, the Hand feels underwhelming, but maybe with Elektra leading them now, they’ll feel more like a threat.