After two years of build-up and fantastic TV shows, The Defenders is finally upon us, and it is as great as we could have ever hoped (kind of). Nothing in this world is perfect and The Defenders is no exception to that rule. One thing that the other Netflix Marvel shows have done so well is make their villains memorable.
While Alexandra is not a bad character in any way, and is serviceable to the story, she doesn't necessarily enter the same ranks as Wilson Fisk, Kilgrave or Cottonmouth. WARNING: Marvel's The Defenders spoilers to follow.
Why Isn't Alexandra As Memorable As Other Marvel Netflix Villains?
Whether you're talking about Wilson Fisk, Cottonmouth, Kilgrave or even Harold Meachum, each were memorable in their own way. Ever since Fisk took the head off the Russian gangster in the third episode of Daredevil, we were immediately invested in his character. When Cottonmouth monologued about everybody wanting to be the king before beating his victim into a bloody pulp, we knew this guy was going to be memorable up until his untimely death.
Even Iron Fist's Meachum made us uncomfortable when he beat his spineless secretary to death with an ice cream spoon. Each of the main Marvel Netflix villains had a moment that cemented them as memorable for the audience, making us want to see more of the character. When Cottonmouth died at the end of Episode 6 of Luke Cage, fans were actually disappointed.
While Alexandra was perfectly performed by Sigourney Weaver, the writers didn't give her much to work with, and never gave her that moment that really invested audiences in her character. She is actually overshadowed more by Elektra, who does all the cool stuff while Alexandra watches or orders her around from the sidelines. The writers tried to make her into an intimidating puppet master, but didn't give her enough screen time to establish it.
It almost seems as if the writers anticipated that this villain was going to fall short in the long run, so they tried to add more to the character by having an iconic actress portray her. So, when Alexandra suddenly died at the end of Episode 6, it wasn't as big of a impact as it could have been. Unfortunately, this isn't the first time that Marvel has done this with its #Netflix villains.
Who Can We Compare Alexandra To?
Does anybody really remember anything memorable about Nobu from Daredevil? You probably remember how badass it was when Stick decapitated him, but anything else? Probably not, because he never had his moment to really win over the audience like Fisk, Kilgrave or Cottonmouth did. The first season of Daredevil kept him as a side character before suddenly bumping him up to a full-fledged villain near the end of Season 2. Therefore, when he started as an uninteresting, mostly silent character, we weren't exactly excited to see a character we never gave a second thought about return as a main villain.
What about Mariah Sharpe? Even though Alfre Woodard did a great job playing Sharpe from Luke Cage, her only moment was taking away the character that the show spent the first six episodes investing in. This was the same problem with #TheDefenders — instead of focusing on Alexandra (like the marketing and trailers did) most of the villainous acts are committed by Elektra. All Alexandra does is try to convince her business partners that the Black Sky is worth using and that she is right all the time. That's pretty much all her character does — a lot of talking and no action.
Yeah, that could work for some characters, including The Purple Man himself, Kilgrave. Kilgrave doesn't have a single moment that makes him a memorable villain; it was just a combination of his powers, the show's writing and the powerhouse performance by David Tennant. When it was announced that the character was going to return for the second season of Jessica Jones, fans were really excited by this, either if he is actually back or if he'll just be a figment of Jessica's PTSD.
Unfortunately, Alexandra didn't reach that level with the fanbase. While Weaver did what she could with the role, we can't fault her for her character's lack of meat. The writers and showrunner needed to balance her intimidation with actions to back it up. Unfortunately, they failed to do so and all we're left with is a villain that will become as unmemorable as the majority of the MCU villains.
What is your opinion of Alexandra? Leave a comment below.