The way things went down in The Defenders was a little too simple. All of the heroes, Luke Cage (Mike Colter), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Danny Rand (Finn Jones), and Matt Murdock’s Daredevil (Charlie Cox), brought their own sets of problems to the fight in Marvel Netflix’s superhero extravaganza, but very few of them were really addressed.
These are the weird plot problems that cinematic universes often run into. For example, why wouldn’t Tony Stark have rushed to the rescue of Captain America in Captain America: The Winter Soldier upon learning that Hydra had taken over SHIELD and was planning to kill millions of people? Obviously, it’s all for dramatic effect and because too many plot points going on at once equals disaster. The MCU would get pretty boring if the Avengers swooped in to solve every single problem. But, still, suspension of belief only goes so far.
All eight episodes of The Defenders ignore some incredibly important details first brought to light in the five previous seasons of Marvel’s Netflix shows. Daredevil Seasons 1 and 2 as well as the first seasons of Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage set up some plots to address in their next seasons, but putting all of them on hold to save New York City together gets to be a little too much.
Here are five plots put on hold so the Defenders could become (grudging) super friends and that should have fucked them up throughout.
5. Jessica Jones’s alcoholism and PTSD post-Kilgrave
As much as Jessica might be a “functioning alcoholic,” she’s not okay. The Defenders didn’t do too much to address her trauma outside of leaning heavily into her ongoing battle with alcoholism by, uh, just showing her drinking all the time. It totally ignored the PTSD she’s clearly going to suffer from in Season 2 of Jessica Jones; Kilgrave (David Tennant) is confirmed as returning for Season 2, and it seems likely he’ll manifest on screen via flashbacks and, possibly, PTSD-induced hallucinations.
4. Davos and Joy Meachum’s team-up
The end of Iron Fist Season 1 introduced the potential supervillain team origin story that is Danny’s best friend Davos and his childhood bestie Joy Meachum. Both of them are out for revenge on Danny for his being incompetent and kind of ruining their lives. Davos wants the Iron Fist for himself; Joy is pissed that Danny ruined her family and kind of totally blames him for the death of her father, Howard. It doesn’t seem likely that they’d wait around for Danny to make friends who could easily help him foil their oncoming plans, so what gives?
3. Wilson Fisk plotting from prison
Last we saw Wilson Fisk’s Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio), he was setting Frank Castle loose on the guards at Ryker’s Island prison and smiling at the destruction he’d orchestrated. He’s definitely up to something, and it’s hard to imagine he’d be willing to wait around quietly while the Hand wreaked havoc on what he sees as his city. As much as the Kingpin loves organized chaos, he really only appreciates it when he’s at the helm. There’s no way he sat quietly while The Defenders unfolded.
2. Mariah Dillard’s hatred for Luke Cage
As if Mariah Dillard wouldn’t come for Luke Cage immediately upon hearing he was out of prison. She’s determined to see him ruined and dead after all the trouble he caused her in the first season of Luke Cage — the death of her cousin Cottonmouth, the endless blemishes on her political career, and the destruction of basically everything she holds dear. She’s got a huge grudge against the superhero of Harlem. Since he gets out of prison at the beginning of The Defenders and is haplessly running around Manhattan, where’s Mariah in all this?
1. Everything about Frank Castle, TBH
The teased Punisher cameo in The Defenders was actually just a teaser for his standalone series at the end of the eighth and final episode. And while Frank Castle disappeared at the end of Daredevil Season 2 to go wreak havoc with the help of his new best friend (a CD with some important information on it), the man doesn’t exactly need a long period of time to carry anything out. The Punisher is a bit of a freight train when it comes to doling out vengeance and pain, so he probably should have already been back in NYC by the time The Defenders plot settles in. And Frank wouldn’t have taken too kindly to The Hand hurting people so obviously with him around.
The Defenders is now streaming on Netflix.