The Defenders Recap: “Fish In The Jailhouse”


Stick’s death and the headless body of Sowande lands the remaining Defenders back into police custody.

The biggest problem with, “Fish In The Jailhouse,” is that its main purpose is to act as a filler until the finale. Half of the episode is spent with the three talking about how they need to escape the precinct while the other is literally a fight scene to stall them until the big showdown. “Fish In The Jailhouse,” is an episode which can actually be skipped over which is a shame because The Defenders could have used it as a way to flesh out their villains earlier on rather than shoehorn in one more fight scene.

Back in an interrogation room, Jessica once again has to face off with Misty Knight in “Fish In The Jailhouse”. For some reason, her, Matt, and Luke feel like they can’t reveal any information to the police without putting them all in danger. This made sense at the beginning of the season, but now that The Hand has Danny, all of New York is already in danger. Maybe the captain might think their story is insane, but at least cluing in Misty could have helped them get out of custody faster. It’s a ridiculously contrived reason to keep her in the dark, especially when Luke had been campaigning on informing her since the fourth episode.

Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/Netflix

Nonetheless, Matt gets, even more, character growth in “Fish In The Jailhouse,” as he finally comes to terms with his other life. He wakes up and holds back tears as he mourns the death of Stick as well as the Elektra he once knew. His grieving period doesn’t last however it does lead him to finally admitting to Karen that Daredevil is his life before slipping off with Luke and Jessica with Foggy’s help. It’s a little bit underwhelming to see Matt finally embracing his vigilante side in such a throw-away moment but a nice bit of development of his character over the course of the season. Assuming that the two super-powered teammates kidnapped their blind lawyer, the police issue an APB which forces the three to go underground. The subway scene is a nod to the city, considering most New Yorkers use the subway every day rather than a taxi, and has a fun bit with Jessica stealing a beer from a passed out drunk.

Tired of sitting back on the B-Team, Colleen finally springs to action in, “Fish In The Jailhouse”. She uses the Defenders escape as the perfect opportunity to break into the evidence room to grab the Midland Circle blueprints and John Raymond’s explosives. She makes her own way to the building before Claire or Misty realizes what she’s done. At the Midland Circle garage, the three Defenders are facing off against three fingers of the Hand in a short battle sequence that is ultimately unnecessary. Colleen appears in time to drive back the nefarious forces, and fearing their mortality they retreat quickly allowing the group to enter the building.

Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/Netflix

Following their victory, Misty and Claire show up just in the nick of time to warn the group that the NYPD is on its way.

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Misty offers to stall them as long as possible, unaware that Colleen plans to blow the building up in a move that will definitely see the detective losing her job. The latter believes that it will be the only way to stop the Hand, and while Daredevil is onboard, the others aren’t quite sure. Naturally, Luke fears for the lives of innocents outside who could be harmed from the blast and Jessica points out that destroying a building will guarantee their arrests for domestic terrorism. With no other plans left though, it seems like The Defenders might not have any more options.

Like Matt, Elektra spends “Fish In The Jailhouse,” embracing her true nature now that she has reclaimed her identity. She spends the first part of the episode reminiscing over a moment she shared with Stick after he accused her of allowing Matt to change her bloodthirsty personality. It’s true, the two toxic lovers brought out the best and worst in each other but it’s that relationship that helped her truly feel alive. Nevertheless, Elektra has ostensibly killed her mother and father figure only to take over their legacy as a new person. She has zero interest in The Hand, only getting her own hands (get it?) on the substance for immortal life. Unfortunately, her new perspective on life isn’t enough to get Danny to willingly open the door for her, leading to an all out brawl between the two warriors.

Danny once again proves his ineptitude at basic logic, by doing exactly what Elektra wants: lighting up his fist. Once she taunts him into using his power, she traps his hand and redirects it right into the wall she needed to open.

Next: The Defenders Recap: “Ashes, Ashes”

In The Defenders series it feels like he took one step forward and with “Fish In The Jailhouse,” he took two steps back. Hopefully he can redeem himself in the season finale, but for now, he’s trapped inside a cave with giant fossils.