I’ve watched the first three episodes of Marvel’s The Defenders and written my impressions of them over on Tor dot com. I’ll have a more detailed review of the entire eight-episode season on Monday, but I’m liking what I’ve seen so far.
Sigourney Weaver is quietly menacing as Alexandra, and it makes her scarier than the other effective villains of the Netflix corner of the MCU. Vincent D’Onofrio’s Fisk, Mahershala Ali’s Cottonmouth, and Alfre Woodard’s Mariah all had the calmness but it was leavened with their tendency to fly off the handle at any second. Alexandra, at least in the first three episodes, only has the calm, and it’s frightening as hell. Probably the best compliment one can give her performance is that you actually believe that Madame Gao—who has quietly been the nastiest and scariest presence in the Netflix MCU so far, thanks to Wai Ching Ho’s understated brilliance—takes orders from her. Gao has never been subservient to anyone prior to this, but you buy it with Alexandra.