Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) has been the link between the heroes who make up The Defenders for years now, having appeared in all four series leading up to the latest adventure. That said, the recent team-up series ignores one aspect of her journey in a way that seems unrealistic. What happened to Matt and Claire's relationship in The Defenders? The mutual friends barely shared any screen time together and didn't even get a proper "hi." And they used to kiss! Spoiler warning for The Defenders.
The relationships on The Defenders were always going to be a little awkward. Luke Cage has a new girlfriend in Claire Temple, but still has feelings for Jessica Jones. Matt Murdock may wish he could make things work Karen Page, but his ex-girlfriend Elektra's return makes that difficult yet again. Danny Rand has a good thing going with Colleen Wing, but his comic book lover Misty Knight just dropped into his life — and Misty had a fling with Luke too! At least Foggy and Marci are still going strong.
However, one of the first romantic relationships in the Defenders universe was between the Devil of Hell's Kitchen and the "lucky girl who pulled him out of the garbage." That's right, Claire met Matt when he fell into a dumpster. Tale as old as freakin' time.
She was one of the first and only people to learn of Matt's true identity. They flirted a whole bunch while she patched him up. There is an ease within their relationship that Matt has not been able to find since.
Still, it was never a full-blown dating situation. Claire stated pretty clearly that she couldn't be involved with him romantically, only as a nurse. Matt moved on, trying to be in a healthy relationship with Karen while also dealing with the return of his ex, Elektra. In Daredevil Season 2, nothing happened between Matt and Claire, but the tension was still there.
After the Hand attacked Metro-General, Claire moved uptown, and it really seemed like Matt Murdock was both out of sight and out of mind. Their once flirtation had been all but forgotten by the time The Defenders rolled around.
But Claire didn't forget abut Matt. She mentioned him in Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist — always referring to him vaguely as a super powered friend or some lawyer she knew.
As much as it might break the hearts of 'shippers, relationships do end. It's understandable and certainly realistic that Claire and Matt didn't get back together or anything in The Defenders. Memories from Daredevil, both good and bad, might be all these two ever have.
However, it's still strange that they didn't acknowledge each other in person at all in the latest Netflix installment. Claire treats Matt while he is still knocked out, but only offscreen. And he hears about it after the fact. They later appear in group scenes together, but don't acknowledge each other. Heck, Claire talked about Matt more with Foggy after he "died" than she talked to him when they were actually reunited.
The Defenders did hint at a possible reunion between Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, so maybe there is still hope out there for fans of this pairing too. Matt Murdock has chemistry with everyone, and Claire Temple can't shake superheroes out of their life. While they've both had many romantic relationships in the Marvel Netflix universe, they started off together and it would be lovely if they ultimately ended up together as well.