SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Marvel’s The Defenders, available now on Netflix.
The Hand’s interest in Hell’s Kitchen real estate turned from relatively mundane to mind-blowingly mysterious when Matt Murdock and Elektra discovered an enormous hole at Midland Circle during the second season of Daredevil. What lay at the bottom of the pit, and how it fits into the ancient organization’s plans for New York City, has nagged at fans of Marvel’s Netflix dramas for more than a year. But with the arrival of The Defenders, we finally have the answer — and it’s not one that anyone guessed.
Seriously, don’t even pretend you had this figured out.
We’ve known for some time that construction site, now the location of Midland Circle Financial (a corporate front for the Hand), would be central to the plot of the miniseries. In fact, one of the earliest details revealed was that Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Danny Rand first come together at that address. Something about it is so critical to her nearly inscrutable scheme that Sigourney Weaver’s Alexandra is willing to risk exposure by speeding up excavation, triggering the earthquake that serves as the inciting incident of The Defenders.
As the story unfolds, we learn the Hand — or, more specifically, its leader Alexandra — has used the last of the organization’s “resources” on resurrecting Elektra for as its ultimate weapon, the fabled Black Sky. Desperate to unearth more of a vaguely referenced “substance,” presumably the powder mixed with copious amounts of human blood for the resurrection rite, the Hand is willing to destroy New York City to do it. “It’s just a city,” Madame Gao says with a not-quite-reassuring smile. “They rise, they fall.” It’s a small price to pay in exchanged for the continued immortality of the Hand’s founders.
However, to get to this mysterious substance, located at the bottom the Midland Circle hole, requires the Iron Fist to “unlock” the door put in place by the masters of K’un-Lun. Through a series of events, some calculated but others entirely accidental, Danny Rand cracks that lock, triggering a city-wide blackout and revealing the answer to a year-old question: He awakes to find himself inside the fossilized skeleton of one of the dragons of K’un-Lun.
“These creatures once roamed the green valleys of my home,” Gao tells Elektra, who marvels at the wondrous sight. “These fossils are all that remain … the last known deposit on Earth.”
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