The Defenders 1.02: Mean Right Hook
Warning: Spoilers may appear in the review below; read on if you don't mind, or you have seen the episode already.
We begin episode two of this series with all four Defenders finally in the same city but not having yet met, or with a common goal to rally behind. The pace of the episode suffers, since each of the characters are still being reintroduced to a certain extent and therefore have to have similar screen time, even though all of them are capable of carrying a story within their own right.
Jessica Jones is the character who pushes the narrative forward this episode with her investigation of the architect and his mysterious disappearance digging deep into the shell companies that have hidden The Hand's presence in Manhattan for centuries. In a show of many story strands, we can latch onto her story to understand what is going on as the other characters are catching up with her.
Talking about the other characters, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Daredevil are held back this episode as if they are not quite needed just yet. Iron Fist is listening to his Ipod and recharging his chi, Daredevil is retired but getting frustrated and Luke Cage is .... moving fallen blocks of masonry from one part of the pavement to another in a very peculiar throw away scene. It feels like the limited time these characters get this episode is a little bit wasted. Surely they could have been doing something a little bit more fitting of their characters.
The stand out as always is Sigourney Weaver. Her character of Alexandra grows a little bit more this time but only being two episodes in, her intentions are still frustratingly under a layer of smoke and mirrors which further episodes should make clear. Her dialogue this episode makes the viewer wonder how old she actually is as she slips up making out that she knew Beethoven and Brahms personally.
Being so early in the season, the first two episodes don't yet feel quite like a Defenders series with its own identity. It comes across as the moments from each individual series edited into one episode, almost like a greatest hits so to speak. Mean Right Hook shows with sparks of improvement over the series premiere; with six episodes left, the gang will soon be together and have a common goal to boot.