iron fist

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For a show that had 65 previous episodes to set-up all the characters necessary to tell a combined storyline, the first episode of The Defenders spends an awful long time reintroducing us to the characters from each show. Luke Cage (Mike Colter) is released from prison, thanks in part to the help of Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), and returns to Harlem and Claire (Rosario Dawson). Danny Rand (Finn Jones) and Colleen (Jessica Henwick) stop their worldwide travels searching for the Hand and return to New York after an encounter with a familiar deadly warrior. Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is slowly drinking herself to death and refusing to take any case until threatened to stay away from the search for a missing architect piques her interest. And Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), long since putting his horned-mask and billy-club aside, continues to struggle against leaving that part of his life behind.

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After that completely forgettable tease of the return of Elektra, we now have our first look at Netflix’s The Defenders which will unite the stars from the four previous series together in their fight against the Hand.

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The fifth and six episodes of Iron Fist finally get around to introducing the series’ villains. Returning from the Second Season of Daredevil are the still-ill-defined versions of the Hand. Yah? Along with them comes Rosario Dawson in her role as Claire, the only character who has appeared in all four series. A student of Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), Claire gets pulled back into the super-hero nonsense she hoped she had moved past when Danny (Finn Jones) and Colleen’s paths reconnect and she helps him investigate the Hand’s illegal drug smuggling being done in the ports Rand owns. The discovery of the drug’s creator (Olek Krupa) will force Danny into direct confrontation with the Hand to free the man’s daughter (Alessia Sushko), and it will force Claire and Colleen to make a hard decision given the man’s failing health.

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If the first two episodes of Iron Fist are about reintroducing Danny Rand (Finn Jones) to New York City, the second pair are about him reclaiming his family name. Free from the mental asylum (which apparently is fine, because no one ever peruses the escaped mental patient), but unable to claim his name from the Meechams, Danny hires Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) to fight for 51% of the company his father built. This becomes increasingly hard with Ward‘s (Tom Pelphrey) cronies destroying ever piece of evidence that Danny ever existed. Netflix’s TV universe continues to connect its shows only through supporting characters. Hogarth shows in a few episodes this season, and we’ll soon be seeing a certain nurse as well.

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