This article contains nothing but Iron Fist spoilers.
Well, the reviews might not exactly be the greatest for Marvel’s Iron Fist, but your mileage may vary. One thing that hasn’t changed from its Marvel Netflix predecessors, though, is the incredible amount of cool stuff from the comics that has made it onto the screen, either in the form of faithful adaptation or a character or piece of information that morphed into something barely recognizable.
But lemme tell ya, my eyes and brain get tired when trying to burn through this much TV at once, and there’s stuff that’s bound to get missed. So here’s how this works…
I’ve laid out everything I caught on my first viewing. If you see something I missed, shout it out in the comments or directly at me on Twitter. If it checks out, I’ll update this. I’ll keep updating this until, well…we’ve found everything!
Note: Since not everyone watches this stuff at the same pace, I’ve tried to keep spoiler-specific stuff out of earlier episodes. So something that I refer to vaguely in an early entry may pay off later on. I’m trying not to let people be spoiled when they’re just reading individual episode entries.
But beware! I can’t control what goes on in the comments, so read with caution if you’re trying to stay spoiler free!
One final note! I know it’s annoying breaking this up into multiple pages, but in order to keep people from stumbling on stuff they don’t want to read, I’ve had to do it. I’m also aware that our page navigation system isn’t always great on mobile, so I’ve offered a couple of different ways to jump around. I promise we’re not getting into that slideshow nonsense here.
Alright, let’s get to work…
Iron Fist Episode 1: Snow Gives Way
“After being declared dead 15 years earlier, Danny Rand returns to New York. But his welcome is a far cry from what he’d hoped.”
Danny Rand/Iron Fist first appeared in 1974’s Marvel Premiere #15 by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane. 1974 was the height of the martial arts craze in the US, and it spread beyond just the movie theater, with novelty nonsense like that miserable “Kung Fu Fighting” song infecting airwaves around the same time. Early Iron Fist comics were just part of the pop culture mood of the era.
Iron Fist ran as the main feature in Marvel Premiere for ten issues, and the first few of those, in the loosest sense imaginable (although perhaps not quite as loose as how Logan adapted its Old Man Logan comic source material) form the spine of these early episodes. In fact, the first two issues are about Danny Rand coming to NYC to enter a business tower, although in this case, it’s Harold Meachum’s company. Oh yeah, and Danny just strolls into NYC in full Iron Fist gear, which probably raised fewer eyebrows in mid-70s New York City than it would today.
– In those same early issues, we also meet Harold, Ward, and Joy Meachum, although in the comics, Ward is Joy’s uncle not her brother. But why split hairs, right?
– Colleen Wing made her debut a few issues later, in Marvel Premiere #19, which is only the fifth Iron Fist story ever, so it makes sense that she’s an integral part of Danny’s journey here on the show, too. We also met Misty Knight for the first time, not in the pages of Luke Cage, but in these early Iron Fist stories. Colleen and Misty ended up branching out on their own as private detectives, so don’t be surprised if those two have a future together.
– It shouldn’t come any surprise that the heads of a corporation like Rand Enterprises are absurdly rich, but holy moley, that 19 Gramercy Park South address where they live in is just about as posh as it gets.
– Danny’s whole “country hick in the big city” routine reminds me a little bit of Bruce Lee’s character in The Way of the Dragon for a few minutes here and there. Of course, Finn Jones is no Bruce Lee, but then again, who is?
– Colleen runs the Chikara Dojo. Aside from meaning “power” in Japanese, it’s also the name of one of our favorite wrestling promotions in the world, the ever-bonkers ChikaraPro. That last part is a coincidence, of course. But if you like superhero-themed wrestling, you should check them out.
– I don’t think there’s any comic book signifcance to Kyle, but feel free to correct me.
– The only “Big Al” I can find any reference to in Marvel lore is a minor character from the first issue of underrated mini-series Spider-Man: Blue. I don’t think there’s anything to worry about here in that regard.
Iron Fist Episode 2: Shadow Hawk Takes Flight
“Danny struggles with his new surroundings, Colleen dishes out a harsh lesson, and Joy sends an unconventional message.”
So, this episode could have a pretty cool central concept if it wasn’t so early in the run, or if they had decided to actually commit to it. Basically, what if we as the audience were supposed to question Danny’s story just as everyone else was, and we would discover the truth as it was revealed? I have to confess, they kinda blew it with this.
Anyway, on with the Marvel stuff…
– I’m pretty sure that “Birch Psychiatric” isn’t real, and I can’t find any Marvel Comics significance to this or to Dr. Paul Adams, who is the one treating Danny.
– So, the only reference to the name “John Anderson” I can find is to a guy who lived in Peter Parker’s apartment building for a bit in 2003, and I’m pretty sure that isn’t intentional here.
– The talk about those “warehouses in Brooklyn” sounds like it’s part of that similar scheme to buy up property in Hell’s Kitchen from Daredevil Season One though, doesn’t it?
– There’s a reference to the “order of the Crane Mother” here, but I’m saving that for a little later. Stick with me, I promise it pays off!
– Of course Danny’s remark about “the immortal Iron Fist” is a reference to (among other things) the best comic to ever feature his name: the series by Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, and David Aja and others.
It’s also worth noting that “the immortal” element of that doesn’t mean that Danny can’t die, it’s to illustrate that he’s one of a long line of mystical martial arts masters. Hopefully the show plays with that legacy element at some point.
– We also get our obligatory first reference to “the incident” in this episode, which of course refers to the events of The Avengers. Hey, at least they don’t say “Hell’s Kitchen” in every other line of dialogue like they did in that first season of Daredevil, right?
– OK, you have to get a chuckle out of Ward’s “code name” for his Dad being “Frank N. Stein” on his phone.
Iron Fist Episode 3: Rolling Thunder Cannon Punch
“Joy proves herself a shrewd businessperson, Danny recalls a painful memory, and Colleen puts her talents to good use.”
Jeri Hogarth is a Marvel Comics character who has been around almost as long as Iron Fist, except in the comics, Jeri is a man named Jeryn. But you already knew this if you read my Jessica Jones Easter Egg Guide, right?
Jeri seems to have had something of a change of heart since the Jessica Jones days, though, as she’s a little less ruthless this time around. Also Carrie-Anne Moss is just on another level from the rest of the cast and completely lights up the screen the minute she shows up.
– Remember that “Crane Mother” talk from episode 2? Well, here’s Madame Gao in all her glory for the first time in a long time!
Now as for where this fits in with the comics…
There has long been speculation that Daredevil villain Madame Gao is in fact the Crane Mother from the excellent Immortal Iron Fist comics by Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, David Aja, and Travel Foreman. In the comics, she had no connection to The Hand, but I think this is a perfectly reasonable bit of shorthand for the show to take.
I could tell you more about her, but I’m afraid it will spoil things for future episodes (or potentially future Marvel Netflix series) so I’m going to keep my mouth shut for the moment.
Also, I’m pretty sure that in the comics there’s nothing about the Iron Fist being the “sworn enemy of the Hand” but, like the Madame Gao/Crane Mother/Hand connection, it’s still pretty cool in this context. I like the idea of using Iron Fist as a kind of Luke Skywalker chosen one to combat the forces that were introduced in Daredevil Season One (can you believe that was two years ago?), but so far the show hasn’t utilized it particularly well.
– Colleen refers to herself as the “Daughter of the Dragon” for her fight name, which is a play on the name “Daughters of the Dragon” which is what she and Misty Knight were collectively known as in the comics.
– While Colleen’s cage fight is the best action sequence in the series so far, there’s something else to love about it…
The fight referee is officially listed in the credits as The Ringmaster! As in Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s “Circus of Crime” Ringmaster. Not exactly a major Marvel villain here, but this is a neat spin on him. And it’s cool to see he has a little of the same flamboyant fashion sense.
– That green and yellow motif on the bowl is a nod to Danny’s comic book costume.
– The New York Bulletin is pretty much the official newspaper of all these Marvel Netflix shows, which is fine and all, but I’m not going to be satisfied until I see The Daily Bugle in the MCU. Only then will I feel like the merging of the Spider-Man/Marvel worlds are truly complete!
Seriously, from what we’ve seen so far of Spider-Man: Homecoming, it doesn’t look like J. Jonah Jameson has a place in this world yet. Why not introduce him here, right? RIGHT?!?
OK, fine, ignore me, Marvel. You mostly know what you’re doing.
– I can’t catch that full address. Address is 570…570 what? Which address? Does any of this matter? Probably not. I’m just trying to be thorough. Hit me up if you know!
– Any significance to the “Simon” mentioned here? And no, it’s probably not Simon Brew, our UK editor and founder of Den of Geek. Well, it might be. Who knows, right?
Iron Fist Episode 4: Eight Diagram Dragon Palm
“Danny makes a shocking discovery and a radical pricing proposal. Colleen’s extracurricular activities go viral, and Ward issues a stern warning.”
– This show has been pretty dry, but Danny’s “You see him too?” moment is hilarious
– WZVR and WJBP are (along with the aforementioned New York Bulletin) the primo “fake news” outlets of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What? That’s not what fake news means?
– Danny refers to the “August Personage in Jade” here. He’s talking about Yu-Ti, the ruler of K’un-Lun. It’s not clear if we’ve actually seen him in any of those brief flashbacks, but he has a pretty distinctive comic book appearance, so I’m assuming we haven’t.
– Thanks to Guy Lawley down in the comments for confirming my suspicion that the stickers under the desk Jack Kirby monsters? As in, the pre-superhero days of Marvel when Jack was helping to churn out a series of giant monster comics with names like Goom, Googam, Lo-Karr and, of course, Fin Fang Foom.
Anyway, that stuff is just more awesome Jack Kirby stuff for you to look up when you get tired of superheroes. Orrgo the Unconquerable is especially visible there.
Hallway fights are becoming somewhat obligatory on these shows, but I appreciate that this one didn’t try to go over the top (like Daredevil Season 2) or top the incredible soundtrack from Luke Cage. The kinda 8 bit music was a nice touch here. But I think having literal hatchet men might be a little on the nose, don’t you?
– Colleen’s cool white sweatsuit looks more than a little like her comic book Daughters of the Dragon outfit.
As a side note, Colleen on the foam roller after her fights is a great image. Those things are like little torture devices you can keep in your home, but totally worth it when you’re hurt.
– We finally see the iconic dragon on Danny’s chest, which was branded on to him when he passed his final test, by defeating the dragon Shou-Lao the undying in K’un-Lun. Shou-Lao is basically the source of the Iron Fist’s powers.
It’s a shame we’re not gonna get to see Danny fight a big honkin’ dragon on this show, ain’t it?
– I’m drawing a blank on whether there’s any significance to the Jennifer Manning name. Although, I tell ya, with all the boardroom/legal shenanigans, I was half expecting them to stealth introduce Jennifer Walters here.
– I don’t know who “the Duke” is supposed to be, but Jimmy Pierce was a low level hitman who temporarily became a new Punisher in the comics. I don’t think that’s necessarily anything here, but you never know.
Iron Fist Episode 5: Under Leaf Pluck Lotus
“An insidious new drug hits New York. Danny recruits Colleen for the fight, and Claire discovers that credit cards can have many uses.”
– So, we get a couple of references to the guy who is generally considered to be the numero uno Iron Fist villain in this episode, Steel Serpent, and they’re all worth unpacking a little.
You might remember from Daredevil Season One that Madame Gao was pushing Steel Serpent branded heroin. Well, that stuff is back here, and it makes a little more sense when put in an Iron Fist context. But that’s not all.
Danny makes an offhanded reference to “my friend Davos” from back in K’un-Lun. Davos was another monk, and perhaps the guy who really thought he was going to end up as the Iron Fist. He’s also the son of Danny’s teacher, Lei-Kung the Thunderer. Instead, that power went to Danny, and, well…Davos didn’t take it well.
– Claire Temple finally appears in this episode, and while Rosario Dawson is always a welcome presence, she’s kind of more like an exposition machine tying all of these shows together at this point. I hope they find a more organic use for her as we go forward.
– I think the skeevy ambulance chaser lawyer is named Melvin Ortiz. I have no idea how (if at all) that ties into Marvel stuff, but if anyone wants to school me, I’m right here.
– Similarly, I don’t see any connection for Radovan the Chemist or his daughter Sabina here. Again, I’ll update this if I’m wrong.
Iron Fist Episode 6: Immortal Emerges From Cave
“Danny receives an invitation like no other. Colleen and Claire face a difficult choice. A worried Joy confronts her brother.”
Please note that this episode, the best of the series so far, is directed by Wu-Tang Clan member RZA, who also directed a neat kung fu movie called, coincidentally, The Man With The Iron Fists.
– I have to wonder, all those messages are being delivered on these little purple pillows. Purple is the color most associated with Davos, the Steel Serpent. Could this be a thing, or is it a coincidence?
– OK, so I have to get a kick out of the hitman singing A-ha’s “Take on Me” at karaoke? Why? Well, first of all, that song just kills. But more than that, and I don’t think this was accidental, that song’s video was about a comic book coming to life, kind of like these shows are. Cool, right?
We get the now obligatory sideways mention of an Avenger, wiht the “Incredible green guy” referring to…oh for cryin’ out loud, you know who they’re talking about.
– “The most cunning opponent of them all” that Madame Gao refers to here would seem to be The Bride of Nine Spiders, who first appeared in The Immortal Iron Fist #8 in 2007.
Like Iron Fist, she’s one of the “immortal weapons” of the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven. I really hope they play with this angle more as the show goes on.
– And no, this final battle still isn’t with Steel Serpent. I was dead wrong about him being Zhou Cheng. Instead, he’s Scythe, the first real supervillain Iron Fist ever faced in the comics, from his second appearance!
Sorry I screwed that up the first time, folks.
– Danny finally makes mention of Lei Kung the Thunderer, his kung fu master in K’un-Lun. It would seem like a safe bet that Lei Kung is one of the monks we’ve seen training young Danny in the flashbacks, but he had a rather different look in the comics…
– Claire lets out a “Sweet christmas!” in this episode, a term she clearly picked up from hanging out with Luke Cage.
The ending of this episode reveals that Wendell Rand did indeed have a K’un-Lun connection, and it was no accident they were nearby when that plane went down. This plays more with the comic book origin story we’re used to, where Wendell was actually taking his family on a quest to K’un-Lun. Now, it’s possible there’s an even deeper connection here, but I’m not going there for fear of spoiling future episodes.
– I don’t have anything on Wayne Olson (Olsen?). Anyone? Bueller?
Iron Fist Episode 7: Felling Tree With Roots
“Ward’s Loyalty is tested. Danny discovers a rogue division, and the mysterious Bakuto visits Colleen’s dojo unannounced.”
While there aren’t a ton of specific Marvel references in this episode, there’s still some stuff worth discussing.
For one thing, for all of this show’s faults (and with each passing episode there are more of them), I’ll say this much: Danny’s initial origin story, and the quest to take revenge on Harold Meachum, is far more interesting on this show than it was in the comics. There, Harold Meachum was disposed of in fairly short order, and Joy and Ward were more straightforward, too. Here, the dynamic with Ward and Harold is at least something to hang on to, although I’m not sure what the point is of disposing of Harold here. Unless, of course, he isn’t actually dead.
– Is it me or does Danny hesitate when asked whether he recognizes the Steel Serpent logo?
– I’m trying to figure out what the actual relationship between Iron Fist and the Hand is supposed to be. I get that K’un-Lun was always kind of an extradimensional “Tibet” type thing, and the general Iron Fist mythology has always felt tied to Chinese martial arts as represented in popular culture. But The Hand was kind of explicitly a ninja-themed/Japanese organization in the comics. It seems like the show, for better or worse, is kind of going for a more generalized pan-Asian kind of approach to their mystical martial arts organizations.
– So, Bakuto is definitely a Marvel character, and he first appeared in the pages of the Daredevil comics a few years back. I don’t want to spoil too much just yet, but his appearance here hints at a larger storyline from the comics that was also alluded to in season one of Daredevil. I suspect we’ll have more on this in the next couple of episodes.
– “It’s not exactly a tattoo,” Danny tells Colleen. But when, Danny, are you going to tell us that it was branded on to you when you actually fought a dragon? When?!? We’re waiting!
– But we do also get what I feel is the first direct allusion to the legacy nature of the whole Iron Fist thing. Danny is far from the first, and he won’t be the last, either.
– It’s interesting that Madame Gao only mentions Daredevil and Luke Cage. Is that a reference to what a low profile Jessica Jones has kept so far? Or is there something else we’re missing here?
– Ah, we get a reference to the Dogs of Hell, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s favorite (or least favorite) biker gang.
– Good to see Karen Page is still doing good work for the Bulletin. This will probably pay off in The Punisher, too.
– “Harold we need to talk.” OK, again, this show has been pretty dry, but this is the second piece of Harold Meachum-themed comedic timing we’ve had so far, and it’s kinda great. See also Joy’s “Who’s Frank Stein? Your dealer?”
Iron Fist Episode 8: The Blessing 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.”
So, I have to say, most of this episode was particularly tedious, even by the deliberate pacing standards of this show so far. The good news is those final two fights made up for some of it. Colleen Wing continues to be a highlight, and Danny’s fight with Zhou Cheng is probably his best action sequence so far. Iron Fist is showing glimpses of the show it could be, and perhaps wants to be, but there’s still a long way to go.
There isn’t a whole hell of a lot in terms of Marvel references in this episode, but there are a few key points.
– Yes, Claire is reading mail from Luke Cage in prison, which is a nice way to tie things together.
– Danny’s big fight is with Zhou Cheng, another character from The Immortal Iron Fist comics, although he played a very different role in the comics. See, in that story, Zhou Cheng is the being who arrives to make sure no Iron Fist lives past his 33rd birthday. That’s clearly not why he’s here this time. Instead he’s the “Sworn Defender of The Hand.”
This seems like a rather strange way to burn off a character who could be useful in a future season, but that’s just me. I could have done without the A Christmas Story ending to their fight, too.
As a side note, you should totally check out Jackie Chan’s 1978 Drunken Master. It’s really wonderful.
– Could Ward’s whole Macbeth thing with the blood hallucinations be any more on the nose? Holy moley, this episode is all over the place. On the other hand, I wasn’t really buying Ward’s character early in earlier episodes of the show, but I’m kinda into his manipulative bullshit now. Tom Pelphrey is doing a fine job with what he has been given here.
– So Danny definitely recognizes the Steel Serpent symbol from K’un-Lun. He seems to think Gao and the Hand are mocking K’un-Lun by using it on the heroin, but I think there might be something else at work that ties into the comics a little. If we get one more clue, I’ll reveal it.
– I totally love the fact that the photos that constitute the dirt on the Rand board were taken by Jessica Jones. That’s just the kind of skeevy PI job she would take to make rent.
– Is anybody at all buying the Danny/Colleen chemistry? Because I’m not.
– Rosiario Dawson is a welcome presence, but there’s no reason whatsoever for Claire to be with them on this mission.
– “It doesn’t suck, okay?” That sounds like people complaining about critics giving this show bad reviews.
Iron Fist Episode 9: 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.”
So, this was an extraordinarily slow and talky episode, and the title, “The Mistress of All Agonies” is basically referring to this show’s pacing issues at this point. Brutal.
– Remember earlier when I was amused by the “Frank N. Stein” thing on Ward’s phone regarding Harold? They…ummm…they sure went with a rather direct route for that joke, didn’t they? I no longer have any idea what’s going on with Harold Meachum.
– Is the fact that there was no blood on the knife when he pulled it out supposed to be a clue to something else that’s going on with him?
– Danny does finally mention in full that he did in fact fight “a dragon in a cave” in order to earn the Iron Fist powers, so that’s something.
– I believe that this episode finally gives us our first mention of Colleen’s grandfather, Kenji Ozawa. In the comics, he’s the one who trained her and gave her that sword, too.
– Is it me, or was the music in this episode straight up quoting the Stranger Things theme?
– Well, the guy making those tinfoil throwing stars is…ummmm…we’ll explain in the next episode. You probably figured it out by now, though.
Iron Fist Episode 10: Black Tiger Steals Heart
“Exhausted from the fighting, Danny tries to recharge with Bakuto’s help. Meanwhile, Rand’s management gets another shakeup.”
Finally! An episode where a bunch of stuff happens, and this starts to feel like a larger world. Let’s dig in, shall we?
– First off, remember how I promised to explain Bakuto in a little more detail? It’s time…
Who is Bakuto?
So, Bakuto was created by Andy Diggle, Antony Johnston, and Marco Checchetto in 2010’s Daredevil #505. This was during a period when the Daredevil comics were building up to the massive Shadowland story and expanding The Hand’s mythology. We’ve seen Shadowland elements hinted at in Daredevil Seasons One and Two so far, so having Iron Fist revisit this stuff kind of gives us an idea of where things are going.
In the comics, though, Bakuto had no ties to Colleen Wing, and Ms. Wing had no ties to The Hand. This is, like many of the other things on these Netflix shows, just some effective storytelling shorthand to connect the dots a little better.
But perhaps Bakuto is less interesting than what he actually reveals to Danny…
– We finally get concrete evidence of the legacy of the Iron Fist. It’s not clear which version of Iron Fist this is, but I’d like to imagine that maybe it could be Orson Randall, the “Golden Age Iron Fist” who appeared in the Immortal Iron Fist comics. It could be someone else, though, and that’s fine. Even though this particular film is said to be from 1948, I think the important thing here is that we now have evidence that there has pretty much always been an Iron Fist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This one notwithstanding, there were others before him, so there’s a costumed hero legacy that stretches back before Captain America now.
Regardless of who it actually is, I think this is far more in keeping with what we thought we were actually getting when an Iron Fist TV series was announced: crazy kung fu action from a guy in an eye mask. If we eventually get to this point with Danny, whether it’s here or on The Defenders, I’ll feel like we’re in good shape.
– By the way, newguy02 in the comments pointed out something that might be coincidental, but it’s still pretty funny. The Hand recruiting wayward teenagers and training them sounds kinda like The Foot Clan’s MO in the original (and greatest!) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. And since The Foot were originally conceived as a kind of parody of The Hand, well, there’s some nice symmetry here.
– If Colleen and Danny’s romance is indeed doomed (and really, does anybody care if it is? Be honest. I’ll know if you’re lying), then maybe this frees him up for romance with is comic book paramour, Misty Knight. Although it’s tough to imagine Simone Missick’s Misty Knight trifling with this version of Danny Rand, but don’t shoot the messenger, folks.
– It’s kinda low-key, but I really dug Danny’s wall climb/fire escape stunt there. Did Finn Jones do that himself? That would be kinda cool.
Who is Davos?
– And our mystery character is finally revealed as…Davos! As I’ve already kinda spoiled for you, Davos is the Steel Serpent. What we haven’t figured out yet is why that Steel Serpent logo is on The Hand’s heroin, or what his true motives are.
But for now, I’m just gonna enjoy the fact that he’s here, and it will be interesting to see how he changes the dynamic of the show. This is Danny’s first real direct connection back to K’un-Lun, and he speaks kinda directly about the fact that K’un-Lun needs an Iron Fist at all times, which is another nod to the legacy element of the character.
Iron Fist Episode 11: Lead Horse Back to Stable
“Claire uses her improvisational skills, and Colleen gets conflicting information. Danny yearns to be more than just a destroyer.”
Finally. Finally! Davos has been the key all along to giving Danny’s origin story some meaning, and throwing into contrast what an immature dick he is. So, a few points…
– I’ve given up on ever actually seeing Shou-Lao the undying on this show, but I’ll take seeing the aftermath here. And I like that they’re doubling down on Danny and Davos’ friendship, even though Davos felt cheated, even in these flashback sequences.
– It’s also made perfectly clear in this episode that the whole thing about K’un-Lun being a “well, you can’t get there from here” kinda place isn’t metaphorical. This is the full blown extradimensional mystical city of the comics. This is also cool.
– OK, I’m giving you two real world/not Marvel fun facts for the price of one. Maybe even three. Ready?
1) Joe’s really is the best slice in New York City. If you live here, or if you’re just visiting, go to Joe’s, just get a couple of plain slices and a soda, and enjoy pizza the way it was meant to be eaten. Fun fact: Joe’s is also the place Peter Parker is working at in the opening of Spider-Man 2. ANYWAY…
2) The thing is, Joe’s is down in the West Village. Claire lives all the way the hell up on 147th Street. Not even Spidey could get that pizza all the way uptown in a reasonable period of time. So when Davos describes it as “chewy” that might be a function of the fact that if this was indeed being delivered from the real Joe’s downtown, that pie is like an hour old at this point.
And no, I don’t work for Joe’s and this isn’t a paid endorsement. But the cheap slices at that place legit kept me alive in college.
Anyway, maybe the show is referring to a fictional Joe’s. Either way, I can forgive the shorthand to get a reference to my favorite pizza joint in here. Damn it, now I’m hungry.
Perhaps I had to pad this entry a little because of the lack of much else in the way of footnotes. I’m not admitting anything.
– Anyway, I like that we’re kind of getting Davos’ extended villain origin over these episodes as he gets more and more annoyed with Danny. And frankly, can you blame him? At least on paper, every single one of Davos’ gripes with Danny about shirking his responsibilities to K’un-Lun are completely genuine. I’m not sure we’ve ever really seen a hero/villain relationship explored on screen like this before.
– Was that Matt Murdock’s shirt that Claire gave to Danny?
Iron Fist Episode 12: Bar the Big Boss
“Ward received an offer with strings attached. Davos advocates for an extreme solution, and a deadly duel gets personal.”
So, again, there’s not a ton of Marvel specific stuff in this episode, but it is (thankfully) one of the better ones overall. Let’s get to it…
– When Colleen is being taken into that sketchy-ass medical basement, Bakuto tells her that she’ll still be “serving the hand.” Later, he mentions that she’d “be amazed about what they can stitch back together.”
Well, remember the state that Elektra was left in at the end of Daredevil Season 2? It looks like they want Colleen’s life essence (or whatever) to feed zombie Elektra.
I’ll say this much, Danny taking on Bakuto and the Hand was great, and it was a legit fist in the air moment when Colleen and Davos appear as backup. I’d say that this entire extended sequence, including Colleen’s one-on-one with Bakuto, is the best fight in the whole series so far.
Although, why the split screen effect for only two shots? I get that you don’t want to overuse a gimmick like that, but it just seemed like a strange place to deploy it. On the other hand, the final showdown with Bakuto was probably the best looking, shot, and lit sequence in the entire series. If you substitute snow for pouring rain, I’d feel a little Kill Bill vibe there, perhaps.
There’s a callback to one of Bakuto’s very few comic book appearances in this, too. The character croaked in Daredevil #507, in a duel not with Colleen Wing, but with White Tiger (another character who would be a fine fit on these Netflix shows).
So not only was it a swordfight, and not only was he stabbed in the gut, but there was even a “broken sword” element, although it was his sword that ended up shattered.
– I have to say, Davos continues to make sense. He’s a dick and a zealot, but considering how Danny has behaved all through this thing, I can’t really fault him. And I’m not a huge fan of supervillain capital punishment, but the “if we kill him we’re no better than them” line rang really hollow considering the amount of bloodshed we’ve seen in this show. It just didn’t line up.
I did like the logic of trying to make Bakuto the first Hand boss to get arrested, but Davos had other ideas. And in this case, I can’t say I blame him.
– Davos will be back, though. And the way he’s been set up so far in this series, by far the best thing the show has managed to do, gives him the potential to be a villain with as much nuance as Wilson Fisk, if not as terrifying as Kilgrave.
Iron Fist Episode 13: Dragon Plays With Fire
“In a desperate search to clear his name, Danny learns a terrible truth that places him on a new path.”
– You all spotted the Stan Lee poster in the alley, right? Good. Now that that’s out of the way…
This episode wrapped up something that had been bugging me for awhile, and it was the whole “Madame Gao killed Danny’s parents” thing. I wasn’t annoyed because it wasn’t faithful to the comics, I was annoyed just because it seemed like an unnecessary addition to the story. Gao wouldn’t be that petty, and I still never really saw all that much reason for her to dispose of the Rands herself.
But bringing it all back to Harold Meachum brings us right back to that very first Iron Fist story in Marvel Premiere. Making the focus of this episode, once again, Danny trying to get to the top of that office building (albeit this time in a much different context) not only gave us some symmetry with the first episode, but again with that first ever Iron Fist story.
There’s a little bit more comic book fealty here in its very end, too. In the comics, Joy Meachum blames Danny/Iron Fist for her family’s problems, and it was Joy who first brought Davos/Steel Serpent into the picture. Now, the Davos that we’ve met on this show still has a couple of steps to take before he’s Steel Serpent (and we still don’t know how that branded heroin is going to fit into all this when everything is said and done), but having Joy and Davos essentially “teaming up” at the end there was a fun nod to those early stories.
With Gao there eavesdropping, and with my suspicions about her being the actual Crane Mother, this could also explain how he ends up with mystical powers, and what’s up with that logo that has kept turning up. This whole time we figured Davos was behind the Steel Serpent branded heroin, but in reality, the tail is probably wagging the dog here.
– Claire refers to how every one of the Defenders that she’s met so far is “dark and haunted.” It’s funny that of all of them, Danny is by far the least well-adjusted.
– Hey, remember when we were told that Simone Missick would pop up as Misty Knight in this show? It never happened. I am bummed.
– So having K’un-Lun disappear entirely from this plane of existence might be kind of a nod to something after all. Thanks to Eirik down in the comments, who reminded me of “The Seven Capital Cities of Heaven” a storyline from that excellent Immortal Iron Fist comic I keep bringing up, which involved Hydra trying to take over K’un-Lun. It’s a loose connection, but a plausible one, and that’s a legit awesome comic story and worth your time.
– I guess now Colleen and Danny have to hike their asses back to NYC in time for The Defenders. Hopefully Danny is a little more well-adjusted by then.
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