Tag Archives: marvel’s iron fist

One More Take on Netflix and Marvel’s Iron Fist Season 1

When Netflix start working in the Marvel Universe, the plan for how they would be attacking certain characters, and it just so happens characters resided in New York. I have never been a fan of Daredevil, in fact, the only run of his, which grabbed by attention is the Matt Fraction run and at certain parts, Kevin Smith’s run as well. I only just knew of Jessica Jones, and how it was pretty much the first comic book series to target adults. Luke Cage and Iron Fist, on the other hand, these guys I grew up on.

I remember picking up Heroes for Hire, and being swept up in their adventures, in fact it was my Dad’s Power Man and Iron Fist #54, that brought me into their world. So, when I found out that they were bringing those guys on in their own shows, I was geeking out. The show, Luke Cage, was more than the typical Marvel show, it elevated itself amongst its predecessors, as it had excellent storytelling and in many ways, not modernized the character for today’s age, but also breathed in fresh life, as it has spawned the new David Walker written series. So, when I found out that they were bringing Iron Fist, to Netflix, I thought like many nerds of color, that they would take this opportunity to re-write the “yellow peril” narrative that has plagued the western world, since World War II.

Marvel Studios had no problem casting Idris Elba as Heimdall and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, which are major victories in diversity. Again, I was a fan growing up reading these books, not possessing a full understanding of “cultural appropriation”, and how characters like David Carradine’s Kwai Change Caine were offensive, and which I later found out was Bruce Lee’s original idea. This is what I found wrong with, them keeping in step with the canon. In many ways, and not also as well, it is the same arguments as the Native Americans fight with the use of their likeness on sports mascots, as both have been wrong since their inception. A nice concession, would have been to have more than one Asian superhero (I know there is Colleen Wing in the show, who I will get to in a minute) like they could have included Shang Chi, Master of Kung Fu (who has more than passing resemblance to Bruce Lee) who has been a problematic hero I, but one that would complement Danny Rand.

Then when I read the not so spectacular reviews of the show I could not help but wonder if their apparent neglect of the problems of how the story was borne out of whitewashing in a world where minorities such as myself demanded to be counted as we have been painted invisible for so many years, is the reason for its failure. So, when I sat down to watch it, I was pleasantly surprised to find an entertaining series.

I had my issues with it, but let me talk about first, what I found great about it. Miss Colleen Wing, one half of the Daughters of the Dagon, is introduced as a local owner of a dojo, who teaches street kids how to fight, Jessica Henwick’s portrayal was immense, as she says more with eyes than many actors do, as I have a been a fan of hers since Game of Thrones. Then there is Lewis Tan’s portrayal of Zhou Cheng, which is rich with hate and regret and it just so happens his style of Kung Fu was a nod to Jackie Chan’s masterpiece, Drunken Master. Then there is Sacha Dhawan’s portrayal of Davos which clearly shines through the episodes he is in, as his portrayal of Danny’s best friend/ eventual enemy, is as complex as one would encounter in real life.

Ok now on to the bad, and I will keep the worst for last, the biggest part of Iron Fist’s mythos, is Shou Lou The Undying, which was never alluded to, I was hoping that there would be some interactions like the BBC show, Merlin which had Merlin talking to a dragon.The fight scenes were subpar, considering the two seasons of Daredevil, had fight scenes which deployed many styles of martial arts., and you would figure that they would get better, especially since this centers around a martial arts expert, but there are nods to The Raid and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon which are well intentioned, but are “meh”, in comparison. The next issue is the inclusion of Bride of Nine Spiders, who in the comics is a formidable foe, but in this TV show, she seems a bit neutered. As Jane Kim portrayals

The next issue is the inclusion of Bride of Nine Spiders, who in the comics is a formidable foe, but in this TV show, she seems a bit neutered. As Jane Kim portrayals was more than fine, but the lack of special effects, left much to be desired as one would have love to see a scene like this. The last and probably irredeemable part of the whole show is the casting of Finn jones as Danny Rand, As his portrayal of Danny

The last and probably irredeemable part of the whole show is the casting of Finn Jones as Danny Rand. His portrayal of Danny Rand, many times throughout the show, had me laughing as it comes off in a similar way as Taimak’s portrayal of Bruce Leroy in the Last Dragon.

Hopefully, this show gets tighter and smarter in a second season, as it has promise. But I do agree with most critics amongst the four Netflix Marvel shows, it is the worst. With that being said, it still is an entertaining show, with plenty of stories they can explore, as this character’s canon is wide-ranging, and most of his story centers on the fact he is an outsider, a fact that the showrunners should capitalize on, moving forward.

I’m Watching Iron Fist So You Don’t Have To: Episode 2 Shadow Hawk Takes Flight Recap

If you missed my recap of Iron Fist E1: “Snow Gives Way,” you can read it here. If you want a five-second recap, know that Danny Rand’s parents died in a plane crash. Danny didn’t. He spent 15 years training as a warrior, and has now come back to New York. The Meachum family, the other shareholders in the Rand company, are not happy about this.

Okay. Let’s do this.

Danny wakes up strapped to a bed in a psychiatric hospital, where he definitely doesn’t want to be. A man named Simon poses as a doctor and attempts to convince Danny to kill himself. I’m glad my alarm clock doesn’t have a “stab” feature.

Over at the Meachum office, Ward asks Joy to help him buy some warehouses and she agrees. They debate the morality of throwing Danny into a psychiatric hospital; Joy feels a nagging sense of guilt that he might actually be Danny Rand, but Ward convinces her that they’re not the bad guys because Danny was dirty and shoeless and couldn’t possibly be Danny. Or something. The dialogue in this show leaves much to be desired.

In the hospital, Danny has been cleaned up and force-fed drugs, though his beard remains woefully untrimmed. He tries to meditate in order to focus his chi, but is having trouble with his inner self because of the drugs. He speaks to a doctor, who encourages him to make the best of his time in the hospital. Danny recounts the plane crash in greater detail, saying that after he discovered the wreckage he was rescued by monks. The doctor asks him who John Anderson is, and shows him a passport bearing that name that was turned in with Danny at the hospital.

Back in the real world, Colleen is being followed. She beats up four attackers and berates them for performing poorly–it’s a training exercise. There’s not much of a point to this scene other than demonstrating Colleen’s martial arts skills and teaching style, but it’s a nice character showcase.

In the hospital, an aide pairs Danny off with Simon, who shows him around the hospital and introduces the other patients. Danny optimistically points out that he’s going to be released in 72 hours, and Simon says that’s what everyone else was told, but they were drugged repeatedly and most have been there for years. When a patient attacks Danny, he is blamed, strapped to a bed, and drugged again.

Simon frees him and Danny sneaks off to use the phone, where he calls Colleen. Colleen, understandably, has qualms about finding a way to free him, having only met him twice. Even though she saw him get attacked, she doesn’t quite believe that the entire city of New York is out to get Danny.

Ward Meachum visits his father. Ward’s dad’s name is Harold, but he’s played by Faramir with short hair. Faramir has placed cameras in Danny’s hospital room, so they know everything he has said. They discuss the validity of Danny’s story, and know that Danny was rescued by monks of the Order of the Crane Mother. They know about Colleen. Ward suggests a lobotomy. For a self-proclaimed “not a bad guy,” Ward is a pretty bad guy.

Danny, no longer strapped to the bed, meditates. Viewers keep getting flashes of a robed Danny, sitting on the mountain. The doctor comes back and Danny tells him that the passport was stolen, bought in Morocco so that he could return to the states. It’s looking like the next part of Danny’s Convince ‘Em Plan is to fly under the radar and escape.

Ward pays a visit to Colleen’s dojo. He tells her that Danny is threatening his sister and him, and asks if she has had contact with him and if he has threatened her. Colleen says that threatening her is a mistake, which, based on the practice scene, is true. Ward asks her to sign papers saying she felt threatened by Danny so he can stay in the hospital and offers to give her a grant–a grant that she desperately needs to keep her business open.

Okay. I was wrong about Danny’s plan. In his next session, the doctor shows him a commercial with the Rands. Danny recalls what they did after the commercial was filmed, declares himself to be Danny Rand and not John Anderson (again) and dramatically sweeps everything off of the doctor’s desk. He is very much on the radar.

At Meachum HQ, Harold Meachum is beginning to think Danny might be the real deal. Danny’s doctor calls Joy to verify a memory that confirms Danny’s identity. Harold visits Danny, who is still drugged to the gills and strapped to the bed, and sings him a mildly threatening song about death. Danny describes his training at K’un-Lun. He trained as a warrior there and became the Iron Fist, the sworn enemy of The Hand.

All of this information seems extremely interesting to Harold, who continues to act like a modern/corporate alternate universe Denethor.

Harold returns to his penthouse to find “Where did you go?” written on the outside of his window, the outside of the window being at the top of a skyscraper. This moment is either meant to introduce another antagonist–one with a powerful hold over Harold, who maybe doesn’t leave the building for a reason–or it’s a bizarre lead-up to the Spider-Man reboot. One for the mystery board.

Joy is starting to think that Danny might also be the real Danny, and plans to verify this with a bag of M&Ms. She has a case of those big bags of M&Ms stashed in her office cabinet, which is admirable and also not what I assumed office cabinets are used for.

As the other Meachums separately verify Danny’s identity, Ward visits Colleen’s dojo again. Poor Colleen. She didn’t ask for men to harass her at her place of work on the daily, and yet, here we are. Once again, Ward offers her $50,000 if she signs papers saying that Danny harassed her, and Colleen says she’ll think about it.

Danny receives Joy’s bag of M&Ms and works on sorting out the brown ones, which I guess works as a plot device but like, they all taste like chocolate, man. Danny is then interrupted by a visit from Colleen. He tells her about the drugs and his connection to the Rand company, and she tells him how Ward is trying to bribe her. They form a fragile alliance and Danny sends Colleen to Joy’s office with the bag of M&Ms, sans brown ones.

Seeing the lack of brown M&Ms, Joy bursts into tears and realizes that the dirty, shoeless stranger is Danny. Ward walks in on Joy crying over a pile of candy and finds his papers from Colleen sitting on the desk, unsigned, which makes him very angry. He and Joy have a tense conversation about Danny’s future. Ward is insistent that Danny stay in the hospital, and Joy isn’t thrilled about that.

In the hospital, Danny makes a plea for his release. It doesn’t go well.

The Meachums, independently convinced of Danny’s identity, make a plan to move him–Harold wants him alive, to be used for gain. It’s like they say: You either die a Faramir, or live long enough to see yourself become a Denethor.

The plan involves putting a straightjacket on Danny and beating him to a pulp first. The repeated hitting apparently clears his head enough that he’s able to access his glowy fist powers. Danny punches his way out of the hospital, and the episode ends.

As with the pilot, this episode had some highlights, but they’re buried in awkward dialogue and drawn-out scenes. Danny is occasionally likeable, but I find it difficult to take him seriously when he goes from kind and goofy to talking very seriously about being a warrior. Danny defies traditional soldier stereotypes, which in a stronger story would be a neat trope subversion, but in this story is confusing. Most of the details we know about K’un-Lun are that it exists in another dimension and corporal punishment is regularly employed.

Despite 15 years (15! More than half his life!) of training, Danny’s fighting scenes give me pause about the teaching skills of those in K’un-Lun. Sebastian Stan transitioned from saddest boy in a drama to fighty action man quite well; Finn Jones, not so much. Something really clicked for me when I read that Jones was reportedly learning his fight sequences and filming them immediately. They’re clunky and edited weirdly, even in the 30 seconds of fighting I’ve seen so far. You can’t tell, but I’m thinking longingly of Lewis Tan. We could’ve had it all and all of that.

Even though the cast was announced more than a year ago, everything about the show feels rushed, from the cheesy dialogue to the Meachums’ villainy to the fight scenes. My hope for the next episode is that we see a clearer plot direction and that someone finally trims Danny’s beard, please. The plot thing is secondary to my desire for tidy facial hair if you were wondering.

Until next time.

I’m Watching Iron Fist So You Don’t Have To: Episode 1 Snow Gives Way Recap

With Doctor Strange behind us, it was looking like 2017 was going to be a year blissfully free of rich white guys falling on hard times and turning to superheroism. I had forgotten, of course, about Iron Fist. But hey, at least I don’t have to relive Thomas and Martha Wayne being murdered in Crime Alley for like, the fifth year in a row.

My hopes aren’t high for this show, between multiple critics citing it as Marvel’s worst yet and Finn Jones’ poor handling of aforementioned criticism. Then the show’s writers and producers shutting down critics who suggested an Asian American Iron Fist would add nuance to the character, even though they almost cast Lewis Tan.

There’s also the fact that Iron Fist is the second Marvel property in two years that relies on cultural appropriation to develop its lead. At this point I suspect Jones must be inhumanly flexible after the reaching and bending he’s done to defend the show.

As far as I’m aware, the main reasons anyone has for watching Iron Fist are as follows:

  1. Claire Temple
  2. To get to The Defenders
  3. Zhou Cheng
  4. The Defenders though!!
  5. Colleen Wing
  6. Just have to make it to The Defenders guys, come on

In the interest of journalistic fairness, I have not read any reviews. Unless titles count, which they shouldn’t, because Twitter is inescapable. Despite this, I am prepared for the worst. I have taped photos of Rosario Dawson, Lewis Tan, and Jessica Henwick to a Homer Simpson-style inspiration board and am ready to begin viewing, and I’m trying really hard not to think about that interview where Finn Jones said he’s different from Danny Rand because he has definitely had sex before.

I feel that I am now fully prepared to begin watching a show that has been hailed as “a big superhero flop,” “can this possibly get any worse,” and “bad.” Inspiring!

Spoilers ahoy.

I’d like to say that, right off the bat, I’m not getting great vibes from the intro. I gladly sat through a season’s worth of Daredevil intros because the opening was visually interesting and the music was excellent–three episodes in I was watching the intro and living the “mind=blown” GIF when I realized Daredevil is the physical embodiment of blind justice. Jessica Jones’s intro echoed the watercolory covers from Alias and the instrumentals in it and Luke Cage tie together well.

Iron Fist’s intro isn’t nearly as interesting to watch as Daredevil and sounds like they recycled the building instrumentation of Jessica Jones. Somewhere in there, I’m guessing someone was like, “But make it sound Asian,” so they threw in a wind instrument instead of a piano.

Anyway. Danny Rand looks like that guy who shows up at a 100-level psychology class with two cans of Monster, and you can tell he’s never read the book but will participate in the discussion just to hear himself speak. At the very least, he’s wearing the same outfit. Barefoot and bearded, Danny spends the first twenty minutes of the show trying to convince people he hasn’t seen in 15 years that he is, in fact, Danny Rand, son and heir to businessman Wendell Rand.

Danny’s “Convince ‘Em” technique largely involves beating up security people at the company building, saying “I’m Danny Rand” over and over again, breaking into his childhood home, mild stalking of his former friend, Joy Meachum, and not offering to take a DNA test. This does not seem like the way a trustworthy person would go about doing things, but what do I know. Maybe DNA tests didn’t exist until Law & Order: SVU came on TV.

Rejected and still barefoot, Danny hangs out in a public park, where a nice homeless man lets him use his iPhone to confirm that the public believes Danny Rand to have died with his parents. So far, the most interesting mystery in the show is, who taught Danny to use an iPhone? If he could use an iPhone, how did he not already know this information?

Cut to the next morning, when Danny practices Tai chi unbothered on a public sidewalk. Where he found a quiet sidewalk in Manhattan, I am not sure. Let’s throw this on the mystery board with the iPhone thing.

Iron Fist starts to look up 21 minutes and 50 seconds in, which is when I recognize Jessica Henwick from the photograph taped to my wall. This introduction is immediately ruined when Danny begins to speak to her in Mandarin, which is ludicrously assumptive of him.

I can tell a man wrote this episode, because Colleen’s response is to engage with the random dirty man rather than the typical street harassment response of walking away immediately. She’s putting up signs for self-defense lessons, so she could probably handle herself if things went awry, but most women wouldn’t stick around long enough in an uncrowded area for that threat to come to fruition.

Whew. Back to the Meachums, who are discussing the dangerous threat posed by the dirty stranger invading their properties. I must say, Danny hasn’t particularly proven himself dangerous yet. I can understand why he would appear deluded to the Meachums, but the Meachums are treating this issue like Danny is waging psychological warfare on the company. Psychological warfare techniques being… clumsy assault and asking someone to tea?

We’re not even halfway through this episode yet, folks.

The next step in Danny’s Convince ‘Em Plan is to kidnap Ward Meachum by forcing Meachum into the passenger seat of his own Lexus. I’m now a little more convinced that Danny is dangerous, but still uncertain about the psychological warfare thing. As Ward threatens him with a gun that was hidden in the glovebox, Danny laments that he’s been met with nothing but hostility since his return.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you all that Danny has offered no concrete proof that he is who he says he is, and barged into a building only to immediately begin assaulting people.

Another thing to toss on the mystery board: Why does Danny know how to drive? At one point he mentions that his dad used to let him drive around their property but I will also take this opportunity to remind you that Danny was ten when his parents’ plane crashed. Is letting ten-year-olds drive a rich people thing?

Ward tells Danny what Wikipedia has already told him. Frustrated and without answers, Danny speeds out of the parking garage, crashes into a concrete barrier, and runs away.

Back in the park, the nice man from last night gives Danny chicken parm. They have a discussion about purpose and Danny says his is to protect K’un-Lun from oppression, which means absolutely nothing to his new friend and reminds me of the uncomfortable current of white savior-ness running through the show.

With part one of the Convince ‘Em Plan failed, Danny shows up at Colleen’s dojo, where she has just finished teaching a class. Once again, he asks her to teach a class and, once again, she refuses, telling him that her studio is closing. He asks her if she’s thought about teaching Kung fu, since that makes money. If Colleen doesn’t achieve sainthood for putting up with Danny’s constant mansplaining by the end of this season, why are we even watching.

Outside of the studio, two of the Meachums’ security guards come after Danny and he fights them before escaping. You’ll never believe this, but Colleen saw all of that. The feeling I’m experiencing is foreshadowing punching me in the face.

Seemingly recovered from his Lexus death ride but having failed at happy murder time, Ward pays a visit to–gasp–his father, who definitely hasn’t died from cancer like the Meachum children told Danny he did. The Elder Meachum knows about Danny, and he isn’t happy about it. They discuss Danny’s return, wondering, “Does that mean his parents are still alive?,” “Who has he talked to?,” “How the hell did he learn martial arts?,” and “Why has he waited so long to show up?.” These are all valid questions that I would also like to know the answer to. More for the mystery board.

Back in the park, Danny discovers that his only friend has died of an apparent overdose. He sneaks back into Joy’s office where they have a frank discussion about Ward’s happy murder time and the plane crash before he realizes he’s been drugged. Danny wakes up strapped to a bed, remembering the moments of his parents’ deaths, and the episode ends.

Look. This show was neither the best thing I’ve ever seen nor the worst, because I watch bad horror movies in my spare time and Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark? It was bad. (I would like to point out that it did pass the Bechdel Test, though.) On the other hand, Iron Fist also did not give me the emotional fulfillment of watching a giant mechanical shark destroy a megalodon.

Ignoring the fact that Danny Rand should have been Asian American, the first episode suffers because it just doesn’t feel as fresh or original as Daredevil or Jessica Jones. Going up against a corporation is pretty much the theme of the Batman, Arrow, Iron Man, Daredevil, Ant-Man, and Spider-Man movies that preceded Iron Fist, and so far it’s not doing much to reinvent tropes. I couldn’t help but think about the opportunities Iron Fist could have offered for varied storytelling and bringing a well-rounded Asian American character into the MCU as I watched. I mean. Just look at the possibilities.

Instead, the story was bland, bogged down by weirdly written dialogue and the introduction of too many storylines. Danny was overly optimistic and trusting for someone who spent 15 years getting smacked in the face with practice swords while learning Kung fu in a secret city. The Meachums were at times villainous to the point of cheesiness.

An optimistic superhero is a pleasant change of pace from Bruce-Darkness-No-Parents-Wayne, but it doesn’t make up for the slow pacing, lack of character development, and writing. The white savior-ness of Danny’s character hangs over the show like a “well, actually” cloud, as does the PR disaster of Jones and the show’s producers denying that they heard or thought about Any Of That while the show was in development.

If you can ignore all of that or live in a bubble where Batman Begins doesn’t exist, this might be your show, though.

TV Review: Iron Fist S1E13 Dragon Plays with Fire

In a desperate search to clear his name, Danny learns a terrible truth that places him on a new path.

We find out the truth about who killed Danny’s parents and caused the plane crash as Danny attempts to get the tablet that has the information that’ll clear his name.

This episode features every issue I have of the series. The dialogue is cheesy and spells things out (For example a gun shot goes off and someone exclaims “they’re on the roof”). There’s glaring plot issues (Said tablet is in a vault which is left open when a gun is retrieved. And why are you keeping the evidence of your evil plan!?). The action is silly. A martial arts master runs after knocking the gun from a hand and the villain walks away after he knocks down Danny. We’re continuously reminded that Danny isn’t bullet proof (he’s not Luke Cage after all!). The episode is littered with bad dialogue and too many moments where I found myself yelling at the television.

The episode wraps things up as far as the story for this season, but the ending leaves things wide open as to where it all goes from here. But even that ending! Really, no head gear while walking around on a snowy mountain?

The finale is a flawed mess that’s good in a turn your brain off and try not to think sort of way. It says nothing, is completely forgettable, and screams mediocrity in a series of shows that have all excelled in some way. The one thing the series has going for it is that it improves as it goes along and does suffer from the late season slump that other Marvel Netflix endeavors have, but then again, it starts from a much lower quality point. Then again, all of the Marvel series have had a letdown of a final episode.

The end sets a lot up, but with such a poor first outing, does it deserve a second? Will fans want one?

Overall Rating: 5.05

TV Review: Iron Fist S1E12 Bar the Big Boss

Ward receives an offer with strings attached. Davos advocates for an extreme solution and a deadly duel gets personal.

In the penultimate episode, Bakuto makes a move and takes the Meachums hostage in hope of bringing Danny out into the open. Weirdly the Meachums plan is to screw with Bakuto by taking away his money and lure him out. It’s all rather goofy in some ways and doesn’t quite work. If the Meachum/Rand plan was smart, Danny would have intercepted Bakuto and his team beforehand. But, it seems like not too many people here are smart. It’s like a lot of the season where the small details don’t quite work and add up into issues, like the backpack in the first episode.

The episode feels like it telegraphs every major thing. Bakuto carries a sword which sets up his fighting Colleen. Davos’ actions were obvious as to what he’d do to the Hand compared to Danny and Colleen, which he of course does. And that sets up conflict between him and Danny. It’s like nothing can be subtle in this series and everything beats the viewer over the head.

And speaking of plot points…. whatever happened to the whole poisoning neighborhoods plot? That seems to be forgotten.

What’s interesting and stands out in this episode is that music is used to shock the viewer again. The music for the series is very underused and in the first episode and here we get hip-hop used to wake up the viewer in same ways. It’s an interesting tidbit especially when Luke Cage used music some prominently.

there’s a twist at the end of the episode which is…. interesting, and in the bigger scheme of things again makes little sense. Like a lot of the season it’s a bit blunt and feels forced in, especially since the series made sure to say multiple times that the drugs being moved around weren’t illegal.

With one episode to go, this is a wrinkle that feels like a plot point added in WAY too late.

Overall Rating: 5.20

TV Review: Iron Fist S1E11 Lead Horse Back to Stable

Claire uses her improvisational skills, and Colleen gets conflicting information. Danny yearns to be more than just a destroyer.

Danny is beaten, broken, and betrayed as he heads to the only person he feels he can trust, Claire. The episode really lays things out about Danny’s training giving us the best idea yet about K’un L’un.

The episode is interesting in that it lays out what it means to be Iron Fist and we get a sense from Davos that he’s not all too happy with Danny’s choices. But, what’s solid is that a lot of it is laid out in subtle ways. Certain breathing techniques show that emotion is repressed as an example.

There’s also clear tension between Danny and Davos obviously setting up things to come. It’s interesting to see how that plays out in the future.

Then there’s Colleen who really has no idea what the hell is going on it feels like. Things between her and Danny feels like a paint by numbers plot point. Hell, the two reconnecting takes place in a rain scene. The only good is we see her kick a little more ass.

The episode…. is. Again, like much of the season it’s not bad, but it’s also not good. There’s some interesting moments and it moves a lot of the plot along, but it falls very short of the quality we’ve seen in previous Netflix Marvel series.

Only a few more episodes to go!

Overall Rating: 6.05

TV Review: Iron Fist S1E10 Black Tiger Steals Heart

Exhausted from fighting. Danny tries to recharge with Bakuto’s help. Meanwhile, Rand’s management gets another shakeup.

Danny is taken by Bakuto to his training facility where he learns a bit more about the history of Iron Fist. That might be the coolest aspect of the show, revealing a previous Iron Fist which opens up some interesting history and potential of the series.

There’s some revelations about Bakuto and Colleen and it all spirals out fo control, but the episode introduces Davos who comes to rescue Danny from what’s a crappy situation. There’s a lot of action and Colleen chooses a side which is interesting.

The episode creates some interesting ideas in that there’s competing factions within the Hand which is something we’ve seen in the comics, but is new to the live-action Marvel universe. It’s actually a good addition and the way it’s presented leaves the viewer to wonder how much of it is truth and how much of it is bull. Bakuto’s actions would indicate a lot of it is bull, but we’ll have to wait and see.

The action increases here as Davos and Danny have to fight their way out and it’s all decent, though marred by darkness which makes some it hard to see. The martial arts sequences throughout this season has been lacking and the series lacks its iconic fight scenes that existed in Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones.

It’s a good episode, continuing the better latter half of the first season. While it’s not great, it’s worth a watch but like most of the season it’s not great. We’ve seen better.

Overall Rating: 6.30

TV Review: Iron Fist S1E9 The Mistress of All Agonies

Madame Gao plays mind games. Ward’s old habits catch up with him, and Danny discovers that he still has much to learn about being the Iron Fist.

Colleen’s not doing well in what was foreshadowed in the last episode. Madame Gao though is tied up and screwing with everyone. If this series has done anything, it’s made me love Madame Gao more. The delivery of lines, the attitude, the bad assness, it’s all great. And, it shows that the characters is so underused in the previous seasons.

But, the episode really emphasizes the secrets everyone is keeping. The Meachums have their secrets about their father. Danny has his secrets about his training and what happened. Colleen has her secrets as to who she works for and her training. And enter Bakuto, Colleen’s sensei who helps save Colleen.

Why this is important is the fact he knows how to do this.

It’s clear Bakuto’s knowledge and mentorship of Colleen has much more to it than initially let on. It’s clear he’s with The Hand in some way, but the fact he knows enough about Danny’s power to help him is interesting and intriguing.

This episode is the strongest of the series overall, except the Meachum stuff which continues to be out of place. We get to see Danny use his power in an interesting way and there’s a little action. What it does well is focus on a theme that threads throughout everything going on and shows off the characters’ beliefs. How they all want to handle Madame Gao is also interesting and really shows off a strong belief system that has been subtlely present throughout the series.

It’s a simple episode in some ways and also the strongest by keeping things focused and exploring the Iron Fist and what it can do and mean.

Overall Rating: 6.50

TV Review: Iron Fist S1E8 The Blessings of Many Fractures

Danny faces his fear, and Colleen meets her match. Joy makes a hasty decision, while Ward struggles to accept his sister’s admiration.

Iron Fist’s greatest enemy is… turbulence. Danny, Colleen, and Claire head to China in pursuit of Madam Gao and Danny loses his shit when they hit turbulence. That’s maybe the best use of the character so far in that it really explores his trauma, which while touched upon in the series, hasn’t really been used a lot. Finn Jones is decent in the trauma, but it’s Rosario Dawson who stands out in her reactions to it.

When the episode isn’t focused on Danny, Claire, and Colleen, it’s about Joy and Ward who have been ousted from the company. There’s a great nod to Jessica Jones in one of their scenes but this is the first decent sequence between the two. Each gets to show off real emotion and Tom Pelphrey as Ward is particularly good as a lot of what he says in his face and not his words. It’s actually really good acting between the two, especially because it hasn’t been all that great up to this point. While the two are interesting, their plotline overall feels rather superfluous in that it doesn’t directly have to do with Danny. Both have a history in the Iron Fist comics, but who knows where this is all going.

Claire, Danny, and Colleen assault Gao’s drug operation and it gives us some of the best fight choreography of the season up to this point. Colleen, in particular, stands out with a sword fight and Danny fights what I think is another Immortal Weapon, but I’m not 100% sure which. Drunk, flys, it all seems familiar from the comics.

But with the good, there’s also some bad. The end fight against Gao gives us some revelations, but the fight itself is a bit lackluster. It’s as if all of the energy has been focused on one point leaving little for elsewhere. The episode again makes the case that Marvel’s Netflix shows need to be more focused and trimmed by a few episodes.

Overall Rating: 6.05

TV Review: Iron Fist S1E7 Felling Tree with Roots

Ward’s loyalty is tested. Danny discovers a rogue division, and the mysterious Bakuto visits Colleen’s dojo unannounced.

It hasn’t been mentioned much, but there’s a line about Danny taking a vow of celibacy. A virgin superhero is actually a breath of fresh air considering many of the previous Netflix series have been steeped in sexuality. But, this episode is really interesting because we see Danny actually ask permission to have sex with someone. It might seem like an odd thing to mention, but it stands out as it does make the character stand out.

Madame Gao is the big thing here as well as a greater focus on Danny’s promise he’d do something about the poisoning his company has done.

There’s a mix of plotlines in this episode and the season. It has the drug dealing plot with the Hand and Gao and there’s the company doing wicked things. Focusing on one or the other probably would have been better, but we get both.

Out of everyone this season, so far it’s Madam Gao who stands out. Here demeanor and how she presents herself is really interesting and she feels like a threat to Danny, even though she’s half his size. She has had great presence in the previous Netflix series, but here things really stand out.

What’s odd in the storyline is the fact that no one has noticed a drug dealing operation is going on within the corporation. A floor that no one goes to. Warehouses. Shipping. No one? Seriously?

There’s some maneuvering to take on the Hand is the most interesting thing of the episode and how that all proceeds from here will be the most interesting, but it also could be a plot point that’s brought up and then abandoned.

It’s a better episode than most of the season, but still something feels like it’s missing from the episode. It’s almost good, just slightly off.

Overall Rating: 6.05

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