The Defenders Season 1 Ending Explained and Questions We Have

Kasey Moore What's on Netflix Avatar

Now that the first season of The Defenders has wrapped up, we’re going to take a look at what happened over the past eight episodes and examine what it means going forward. Plus we’ll look at what the ending means and some vital questions we need answering.

The Defenders Ending Explained

The final episode of The Defenders saw the team battle the hand one final time who was lead by Elektra after she murdered Alexandra. They captured the Iron Fist who granted them access to the secret lair under New York City that contained the liquid which was keeping them alive.

After a climactic battle, The Defenders say that the best way to destroy the hand once and for all is to collapse the building in on itself filling the hole they’d been drilling up to that point. Matt (Daredevil) stays to fight and then make up with Elektra. While this doesn’t entirely make sense and is often the reason cited within critical reviews as to why the show fell down.

How did Matt survive?

Although there’s no way of proving this, our suspicion is that something to do with the vault managed to protect Daredevil and likely Elektra too allowing for him to survive. It may also be possible that Elektra found a way before the explosion to inject Matt with some of the liquid although that’s not confirmed. The most important question is where exactly is Matt? We see a nun in the foreground which suggests that an organisation that was the police managed to find him.

Who is Maggie?

In the hospital/bed scene at the end, you hear Matt calling out for Maggie. Maggie is the name of his mother who tragically died when he was young. We know that Elektra suffered memory loss when she first awoke after the liquid and could this be Matt’s evidence given he’s calling for someone who’s not alive.

Why was Elektra evil in The Defenders?

This question can be answered by Iron Fist season 1. In Iron Fist, Harold Meachum is brought back to life using the same technique. We learn through Iron Fist, as Harold keeps dying and then returning, that each time you get more evil as you return or more, you lose more of your soul. Given Elektra was quite a cold person when she was alive, the liquid made her seem worse. You can also see similarities where Harold and Elektra are both fighting to be who they once were.

Did Alexandra want Elektra to kill her and did she give up?

Did Alexandra give up?

We know that each member of The Hand is quite old given their immortality. However, Alexandra is faced with her own mortality throughout as she discovers her internal organs are failing. The reason for Alexandra bringing back Elektra rather than potentially using it on herself was never fully explained but it’s likely that Alexandra, more than anything, was looking for a successor and could foresee a future where she’d kill her and was content with it.

Questions We Need Answering

How was New York City going to be destroyed?

This is a question I’ve agonized over and yet to find a decent answer for. We know from early in the season that opening these vaults and extracting the liquid had devasting results. They even cited it being the reason for the Chernobyl incident which is bizarre. Given they were drilling the bones, it’s not entirely clear had they drilled all the bones of the dragons how New York City would be destroyed. In that regard, The Defenders caused more damage to NYC that The Hand did!

Why is Danny Rand still unlikeable?

Although personally, I’m indifferent about the character, many still criticise him citing him as the downfall for the show. We’re not sure what the show writers can do to make him more likeable but they have until 2019 to find a way.

Why do Jessica Jones and the other Defenders powers vary wildly?

Perhaps one of the biggest flaws of the show is how inconsistent the powers are. Jessica Jones and the Iron Fist are the two biggest offenders for this question. Iron Fist clearly smacks Luke Cage across a parking lot in an early episode yet in later episodes even with his chi charged he can barely punch a few minions later on. Jessica Jones varies a lot too and we still don’t really understand her jump/flying ability.

What happened to Stick?

Out of all the deaths in The Defenders, Stick’s was possibly the most infuriating. Mostly because of how quick it was and how quick the show moved on. An interview with the actor behind the character reveals he’s not sure whether he’ll be returning although it’s alluded that he can resurrect himself so it’s possible he could make a return.

Where is Elektra?

Although Matt seems seemingly safe, there’s no word on Elektra. If our theory holds true about Matt being kept alive from the liquid, it’s likely that Elektra managed to live too but we can’t say for certain.

What questions do you have about the ending of The Defenders? Let us know in the comments.

Written by

Founder of What's on Netflix, Kasey has been tracking the comings and goings of the Netflix library for over a decade. Covering everything from new movies, series and games from around the world, Kasey is in charge of covering breaking news, covering all the new additions now available on Netflix and what's coming next.