In most of the Netflix TV series leading up to The Defenders, the motivations of the villains have been pretty clear. Wilson Fisk wanted to gentrify Hell’s Kitchen so he could control it; Kilgrave wanted Jessica Jones; Cottonmouth wanted to control Harlem alongside his sister; and Harold Meachum wanted the Rand family gone. Spoilers for The Defenders Episodes 1 and 2 beyond this point! But Alexandra, the mysterious woman played by Sigourney Weaver — and who, it’s been revealed, has something to do with the Hand — plays her cards pretty close to the vest. Even after seeing her discuss her plans, I have no idea what she’s hiding, or what’s behind the door in The Defenders — but I definitely have some theories.
Madame Gao — who you might remember from Season 1 of Daredevil and Iron Fist — comes to Alexandra in the second episode with a problem: they’ve found something they want, but it’s hidden behind a wall marked with inscriptions relevant to the mystical city of K’un Lun. Madame Gao suggests finding another way around the wall, since it appears impossible to penetrate. Alexandra, however, has a different theory: that it’s meant to be a door, not a wall. Otherwise, ”they would’ve destroyed it, not protect it,” she says. “It’s meant to be opened.”
So what can open the wall? Alexandra seems to think she knows. “The conviction of the Elders of K’un Lun was always unwavering. They think it’s a virtue, but in the end all it ever did was make them predictable,” she says. “They’ve locked it away, but a lock is not a lock without a key. And from the beginning, they have valued one thing above all else.”
Remember: K’un Lun is the mystical city where Danny Rand was raised to become the Immortal Iron Fist, who guards the gate into the city and protects it from the Hand. My best guess is that he’s the thing the K’un Lun elders value above all else, and his powers will be the key to unlocking the door — probably via a superpowered Iron Fist punch right into the center of the wall.
But what’s on the other side of the door? What is it that the Hand is so desperate to reach? All Alexandra and Madame Gao call it is… well, “it,” which isn’t exactly helpful. Having only watched the first few episodes, my theory is that it might be an alternate entrance to K’un Lun that doesn’t disappear every 15 years the same way that the one in China does; that would explain why the Iron Fist would have the ability to open it, and why the Elders would choose not to destroy it, just in case the Iron Fist needed it.
However, that wouldn’t explain why it seems like Alexandra and Madame Gao have gone through this before; as Alexandra says, “We’ve never encountered a wall before,” which could mean that they’ve been successful in obtaining other artifacts from K’un Lun. So maybe instead it’s some kind of object of power that they want to achieve world domination?
Hopefully, whatever lies behind the door will be revealed before the end of The Defenders, but you never know — it’s been two seasons of Daredevil and I’m still at a loss over what Black Sky is supposed to be. I’ll say this about the Hand: they know how to maintain an aura of mystery.