The Defenders Ending Explained

What does The Defenders ending mean for Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and future Marvel Netflix shows?

This article contains major spoilers for The Defenders and possible spoilers for Daredevil Season 3.

Well, it’s over. Phase One of Marvel’s Netflix initiative is complete with The Defenders. After five previous seasons of TV, The Defenders had a ton of work to do in order to wrap things up and set the stage for what’s coming next. And while it was plenty satisfying, it left a whole bunch of mysteries that will need to be solved in future seasons. So let’s get to work and see what’s up with Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist…

Is Daredevil Really Dead?

What? No! What did you do, shut it off before it finished? Anyway, Daredevil Season 3 is already confirmed!

OK, so what’s next for Daredevil and Matt Murdock after The Defenders?

Ah, that’s a much better question. Matt is currently recuperating in a mysterious hospital bed, attended by nuns. Are you ready for some possible Daredevil Season 3 spoilers? Good.

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The nun keeping vigil over Matt tells someone to “get Maggie.” The Maggie in question here is Sister Maggie. Who is Sister Maggie? Well, you know how Matt has some Daddy issues and his Mom wasn’t around? That’s because Sister Maggie is Maggie Murdock (nee Grace), who didn’t die when Matt was young, and instead decided to take the vows of the Catholic Church and become a nun. And you thought Matt was carrying some Catholic guilt around!

This is the first time we’ve heard her name in this specific context, it’s been clear for some time that Father Lantom, the long-suffering priest that Matt is constantly confessing his sins to, has known Sister Maggie’s identity and is keeping it secret. Is this mysterious recovery room in the same church Matt attends? I don’t know.

Sister Maggie first appeared in Daredevil #229, as part of the all-time greatest Daredevil story, Born Again. She was created by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli. I have long maintained that Born Again, which deals with Wilson Fisk taking his ultimate revenge on Matt Murdock, would make an incredible season of TV, and Sister Maggie showing up here is one tiny step towards that happening. Plus, when Matt returns, he kind of will be “Born Again.”

I wrote about all of this in much more detail right here.

Is Elektra dead?

Probably not. She’s harder to kill than pretty much anyone else in comics. She’ll be back.

What’s up with Luke Cage and Jessica Jones?

That scene in the bar with Luke and Jessica was really great, wasn’t it? There’s definitely more to their relationship than friendship or an FWB situation. In the comics, after kind of dancing around the issue for awhile, they get together. And by “get together” I mean they get married and have a daughter. I wouldn’t expect to see this happen in the second season of either of their shows, but it’s bound to happen eventually. Ship it, or whatever it is you kids do.

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Luke, on the other hand, looks like someone who will be quite eager to get back to Harlem to take on the lingering problem posed by Mariah Dillard and Shades.

OK, fine, so what’s next for Jessica Jones?

It seems that Jessica Jones Season 2 will be the next Marvel Netflix series right after The Punisher. I expect it will get here in early 2018, since it has been in production the longest.

I thought it was a really nice touch for Malcolm to finally have her door fixed for her. The Alias Investigations window/shingle hasn’t been in place since literally the opening moments of her first season, so there’s some nice symbolism having that come around and get fixed at the end here.

Although, I have to confess, I kind of hope that in the first episode of season two she throws somebody through it again.

What’s next for Danny Rand/Iron Fist?

Y’know, I have to say, Danny Rand’s arc was the most pleasant surprise of this season. I wasn’t a fan of Iron Fist, but it turns out that Danny’s irritating behavior in season one was actually by design, and the plan was always to have his metamorphosis into a true hero finally take place in The Defenders.

“There’s a quote in Iron Fist season one, I think it was like, ‘Cast off the childish needs’ or something like that. I mean, Lei-Kung said that to [Danny], and he really has done that by the end of Defenders.” Finn Jones told me in an interview recently. “He’s got his shit together. He’s grown up, and he now understands the responsibility of the Iron Fist. Like, before, he didn’t know what to do with it. He didn’t really respect it because he has his own issues that he had to deal with… At the end of Iron Fist, Danny doesn’t even know what a superhero is. So then to suddenly be interacting with these three  superheroes, it gives him a deeper sense of what he can do with this power that he has, so really just make him kind of wise up and come to term with responsibilities a lot more.”

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You can definitely see that dawning on him in the later episodes, and the clear sense of responsibility at the end. The shot of Danny on the rooftop looking out over the city is clearly meant to evoke Daredevil, and we’re meant to think it is until his fist starts glowing. Danny was clearly inspired by Matt and his sacrifice. “By the end of The Defenders we really see the full formation of Danny into the Iron Fist as a superhero.”

Expect a far more focused Danny Rand, potentially with a costume, whenever Iron Fist Season 2 gets here.

What’s next for Misty Knight and Colleen Wing?

This, friends, looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Misty and Colleen are longtime partners in the comics, operating as the Daughters of the Dragon (remember when Colleen called herself that when she was doing her cage fighting thing on Iron Fist?) and various versions of Heroes for Hire. Colleen mentions that Danny is going to help Misty get some state-of-the-art care after losing her arm. Why is this a big deal?

Because Misty is getting a robot arm, kids! In the comics, Misty’s bionic arm was designed by Tony Stark. I don’t really see a reason why they couldn’t go down that road here, but it seems that whatever she gets will instead be made by some division of Rand Enterprises.

Anyway, I’d totally watch a series with just the two of them, wouldn’t you?

Will there be a Defenders Season 2?

Almost certainly, but we’re gonna see five other seasons of TV first. Even if Marvel goes quarterly with these, we won’t get it until 2019. I got into the details of this a little bit more right here if you need it broken down further. I think you probably get the idea, though.

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Mike Cecchini talks about superheroes an awful lot on Twitter. Sometimes he talks about other things, too.