We get it, life is busy making it hard to always keep up with your favorite TV shows, especially ones where you need to watch other shows in order understand. This is the case with The Defenders and this guide will help you get up to date with what you likely need to know to get up to speed.
****Full spoilers for all of Marvel’s Netflix shows follow****
Jessica Jones and Luke Cage
Let’s start out with the two characters whose shows will least tie into Defenders, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. These characters develop an intimate relationship early on in Jessica Jones, team up in some brawls and even fight each other later on in the season. Their relationship is never stellar considering Jessica Jones is responsible for the death of Cage’s wife. The fact that she only killed Reva under the control of Kilgrave doesn’t affect her guilt thus making it impossible for her to maintain and intimate relationship with him.
Eventually Kilgrave gains control over Cage and has him attack Jessica. Their struggle only ends when Jessica holds a shotgun under his chin and fires the blast knocking him unconscious. This is where the common denominator for all the shows, Claire Temple, comes in. Claire is able to nurse Cage back to health even with his unbreakable skin and eventually goes on to play a major role in his show. Of additional importance is the fact that Luke and Claire are in a relationship at the time of Defenders.
Luke Cage’s show is unlikely to into the story-line of Defenders other than relationships such as with Claire Temple and Misty Knight. We know that Misty plays a role in the upcoming show as shown in the following portion of the trailer.
Other than the relationships formed on Cage’s show, I find it hard to believe there will be any other tie ins to Defenders.
The devil of hell’s kitchen and the Immortal Iron Fist are two characters have had major run ins with The Hand, who are the main threat in Defenders. If you want to make sure you are up to date and fully informed on who the hand is, Iron Fist and Daredevil are the shows to watch. Season 2 of Daredevil is more involved with the hand but season 1 delves in the Black Sky and other aspects when Stick appears on the show. Season 2 of Daredevil will allow you to be up to date on Elektra and the fact that The Hand can bring the dead back to life. It culminated in the death of Elektra and the reveal to Karen that Matt is Daredevil. Both of these plot threads are going to play a part in the Defenders story.
Karen and Matt’s ark will likely play a small part but the Elektra rebirth is a key part of the upcoming show. We know from trailers that Elektra is back and that she is fighting for Sigourney Weaver’s character. We still don’t know who Sigourney Weaver’s character is other than the name Alexandra but I suspect she is the leader of The Hand. Whether super powered or not we will have to find out. I could see her character being completely original rather than a character from the Comics.
Iron Fist’s entire season was about The Hand and it was a delight to get further insight into their organization. From Madame Gao to Bakuto, there was depth to the evil organization that viewers hadn’t seen yet. There was in fighting between Gao and Bakuto, secret headquarters, a false idea that The Hand has a righteous faction, and the reveal that Madame Gao is 400+ years old and has telekinetic powers of some kind. Her character has been a staple in Daredevil and Iron Fist and has proven a capable foe that shouldn’t be underestimated.
Iron Fist is widely regarded as the weakest of the four shows but there is no denying that it paints The Hand in a new and interesting light. The organization goes deeper than viewers ever imagined and I personally cannot wait to see how this story-line pays off in Defenders! For instance, Bakuto was severely injured late in the season but somehow survived the ordeal and is back for Defenders. He will likely work for Alexandra as will Madame Gao I assume. I hope to see more interactions between these rival Hand leaders.
All in all, the Defenders is set to be a fun adventure. Seeing these four heroes team up to finally take down The Hand once and for all is likely to be an adventure that viewers won’t forget. While ensemble movies have been hit and miss in the past, the MCU has proven that it can be done well with The Avengers and I am confident they will do the same with Defenders. To get the most out of this upcoming Netflix show I highly recommend re-watching Season 2 of Daredevil and watching Iron Fist if you haven’t yet. These two seasons will tie into the overarching Hand plot line and prepare you for a fun filled ride with our beloved street heroes!