Welcome to Bae Watch Wednesday, where I tell you all about the fictional characters you ought to be crushing on. I’m finishing up an unintentional Women’s History Month streak with another woman: actual goddess Claire Temple.
Also, sorry, but I have a lot of Claire Temple memes because she’s perfect. Enjoy!
Who is Claire Temple?
Claire Temple is a character in the Marvel Netflix universe. She first appeared in Daredevil but has since appeared in every Marvel Netflix show up to The Defenders. As of yet, she is the only character to appear in all the Defenders set-up shows.
So who is Claire Temple? Claire is based off the character Night Nurse from the Marvel comics. Night Nurse is a medical professional who specializes in stitching up superheroes after a big fight. Aside from being a nurse, rather than a doctor, Claire pretty much fills that role in the MCU.
We first meet Claire in season 1 of Daredevil. She rescues actual trash child Matt Murdock, who is passed out in the dumpster after a bad fight. Claire uses her medical know-how to patch Matt back up. She is also the first to realize that Matt is Daredevil, as she sees his face while fixing him.
Claire then serves as Matt’s voice of reason (which he desperately needs). She tries to ground him in reality. Of course, Matt being Matt, she isn’t entirely successful. But although she cannot dissuade Matt from his actions as Daredevil, she is a support system that he also desperately needs.
Claire’s experience with Matt comes in handy when she starts running into more heroes. Jessica Jones comes into Claire’s hospital after shooting Luke Cage in the head. When they are in danger, Claire helps sneak them out. She also manages to treat Luke when no one else could.
When Jessica assumes that Claire is afraid of meeting her first superpowered person, Claire essentially rolls her eyes. After Matt, could Jessica really shock her?
After her minor part in Jessica Jones, Claire returns for season 2, again fairly briefly. But she pops up in a big way in Luke Cage. After losing her job, Claire runs into Luke at her mom’s restaurant. She remembers the man she helped and reacquaints herself.
As they spend time together, it’s clear that there’s chemistry there. Claire remains a major player throughout the rest of Luke Cage. She helps Luke as he tries to take down those who would harm Harlem.
Claire also learns about Luke’s past — and is there when he learns the truth about how he got his powers. Luke’s foe, Diamondback, got his hands on bullets that would penetrate Luke’s unbreakable skin. Worse yet, the bullet is supposed to explode once it does get in. After being shot, Luke’s only hope is Claire — and the doctor whose experiment made him this way.
Luckily for Luke, Claire is possessed of both great intelligence and strong moral fiber. She is able to get the bullet out but stops the doctor from being about to do more damage. Although the doctor tries to tempt her with promises of becoming a doctor herself, Claire is more focused on doing the most good she can.
In the end, Claire and Luke are circling around a romantic relationship when Luke is arrested. When he was still Carl Lucas, Luke had broken out of jail. Now that he is in the public eye, he has to go back. But Claire’s not too worried — she knows a good lawyer. And she’s willing to wait for Luke.
In the meantime, Claire is not idle. She signs up to take self-defense classes with Colleen Wing. Having been a part of Luke’s escapades, she knows that she needs to be able to take care of herself if they’re going to work out. But, because of her work with Colleen, Claire is inevitably dragged into Danny Rand’s mess.
Danny is fighting the Hand, a crime syndicate obsessed with eternal life. Claire faced the Hand in Daredevil season 2 when they broke into her hospital. She had been doing a favor for Matt, but in the end, loses a coworker to the Hand. So Claire is all about stopping them. The only problem? Colleen is a member of the Hand.
They get through to Colleen, though, who begins to see the darkness the Hand hid from her. The three of them even go to China together. Claire plays a major part in most of Iron Fist, and she forms a clear bond with Colleen and Danny.
This bond will be tested in The Defenders. Luke is investigating the deaths of young men in Harlem, but it turns out the Hand is involved. He runs afoul of Danny, who is actually able to hurt Luke with the power of the Iron Fist. But once Claire gets involved, she convinces both men that maybe they’d be better off as allies than adversaries.
When the climactic battle takes place at Midland Circle, Claire is a part of it. She works with Colleen to set bombs to destroy the tower while the Defenders rescue Danny. She is there to help Colleen when her old mentor from the Hand shows up and even renders necessary aid. In the end, NYC is saved and Claire looks forward to time spent with Luke — hopefully without any crises.
Why is Claire Temple Bae?
Look. Claire Temple is flawless. She is perfect. She is the best character in the Marvel Netflix shows. Claire Temple is an actual goddess. We are not worthy.
Actual goddess Claire Temple is played by exemplary human Rosario Dawson. And though Claire usually looks tired and stressed (usually Matt’s fault), Dawson manages to still look amazing. She is easily one of the prettiest people I’ve ever seen.
Rolls With the Punches
But if Claire were just pretty, she wouldn’t be that interesting. Sure, she’s pretty — but she’s also smart, capable, and funny. Claire Temple rolls with the punches better than anyone else. To be clear, the MCU establishes Claire as non-powered. She doesn’t have any super abilities. She’s a completely normal human… well, maybe a little better than average.
In the course of just Daredevil, Claire deals with a lot. She meets Matt when he passes out in her dumpster. When confronted with a violent vigilante, she doesn’t panic or run away. Instead? She patches him up. When she finds out he’s blind, it barely registers — she’s just glad it isn’t a new injury for her to treat.
Over the next two seasons, Claire deals with a lot of crap from Matt. She loses her housing, and later her job. She has to live in hiding when thugs realize she was helping Matt. Matt even ropes her into interrogating a suspect. Claire doesn’t follow along blindly — she speaks her mind — but she never hesitates to do what she needs to do.
And Claire meets a lot of strange people — she’s the link that connects all the Defenders. When Jessica shows up to her hospital, Claire is unfazed by more people with strange powers. She just works on helping them. She even starts a relationship with Luke, despite knowing that (a) he’s powered and (b) he’s pissing off a lot of strange and powerful people.
Then comes Danny. At this point, Claire’s so inured to powered people that she just takes it in stride. Sure, this annoying white billionaire boy has secret powers. Sure, he’s the Immortal Iron Fist. And yeah, he’s fighting ninjas. Why not? And why not help, while she’s at it?
The Hero’s Hero
That’s the other thing — Claire doesn’t just accept that these people exist, or even accept that they’re in her life. She goes out of her way to help and support them. Who does a hero turn to when they need saving? Claire Temple.
Think about it. Matt Murdock is insanely stubborn, too tough for his own good, and obsessed with keeping his identity a secret. Yet he willingly goes to Claire for help. Sure, the first time wasn’t exactly willing, but he takes it okay enough. Once he accepts that she knows who he is, he’s grateful to finally have some support.
Claire may not be as thrilled about it, but she never wavers in helping Matt. He annoys the hell out of her, but she knows he is doing good work, and if she can help him, then she’s doing good too. So when he calls her and asks how to remove a bullet, she rolls her eyes and gets describing.
It’s with Luke and Danny that Claire shines best, though. With Luke, it becomes clear how talented she is. She is able to figure out a way to perform life-saving surgery on a man with unbreakable skin. She does this even though the doctor who experimented on Luke is stumped. She’s got skills.
Then, with Danny, Claire gets to use other skills. Danny can heal pretty well with his magic powers, but he still values Claire as a valuable member of his team; she’s the voice of reason in Iron Fist. She even goes to China to support and help Danny. When the going gets tough, the tough get Claire Temple.
What’s Not To Love?
In a universe where there are literal superheroes, Claire still stands out. Colleen puts it best in The Defenders. She tells Claire that she does have power, that she’s helped and saved as many people as any of the Defenders. (Side note: I love Colleen and Claire’s relationship because when Claire is being an awesome supportive friend, it feels like she’s talking to me. Perks.)
Claire does have a superpower: she is the heart of the Defenders. They all want to help but would be useless without her there to patch them up and keep them on the right track. She makes all their lives better. It is only thanks to Claire that Luke or Matt are even still alive, let alone able to save the city.
Out of all the characters in the Marvel Netflix universe, Claire Temple is the pinnacle of humanity. She’s smart, capable, talented, caring. Yet, she’s also funny and relatable. She’s not a stick in the mud who preaches about doing the right thing — she shows other people how to be good, leading by example. And it’s an example that they definitely need at times.
Claire Temple is the hero of heroes. She is the person who heroes turn to when they need help. How could you not love that?