This Iron Fist review contains spoilers.
Iron Fist Season 2 Episode 2
After a promising opener, Iron Fist season two’s second episode manages to stay the course, focusing on its core characters and giving them all some believable interactions and development. At this point it’s not a million miles away from the other Netflix series in terms of execution, but it’s already a lot better than Iron Fist season one, not least because the fighting has improved significantly. Danny and Davos’ fight alone is already better than anything in season one.
The key thing in this episode involves Davos being seduced into a “less worthy” lifestyle, and that means literally seducing an antiques dealer who is clearly not going to require a lot of persuasion anyway. She’s not so much gagging for it as doing an entire one-hour Edinburgh show for it. As a scene it’s a little cringeworthy in its execution but it does represent a significant character moment for Davos, showing the lengths to which his usually chaste and abstinent values will be subverted so he can achieve his presumably not-so-noble goals. It’s not clear what those goals are yet (unless you’ve seen the trailer) but the fact that it involves a rusty artifact that’s clearly from K’un-Lun makes me think you can connect the dots.
We actually get a ton of Davos’ backstory, too. Interspersed through the episode, we see the story of how Danny defeated Davos for the chance to execute a literal dragon punch. The results make Davos surprisingly sympathetic. Clearly, he is the better fighter – but he’s not as smart or crafty as Danny, so his sense of indignity is on some level justified. And since he didn’t surrender or die, as far as he’s concerned his chance was taken from him. Genuinely, I can see his point. He probably should be the Iron Fist.
Of course, as if Davos wasn’t already a great villain, he seals the deal in this episode by executing a mystic death touch on Yang by tapping him a couple of times on the neck. Yeah, it’s a little cheesy, but also it works surprisingly well considering that the idea has been ruthlessly mocked in pop culture for decades. I believe the people of K’un-Lun would have this knowledge, and I believe that Davos would deploy it recklessly to get what he wants.
Admittedly, I’m a little less interested in Colleen’s plot at the moment (though the community-centre casino scene was a fun one), and the Meachums are only interesting through their associations with Danny and Davos. I forget how much Ward knows about Davos, to be honest, but that seems like something that will probably come up soon now that he knows his sister’s hanging out with Danny’s brother. It’s a wise choice to bring this show tight in on the family aspect – usually I hate that every superhero show has to be about families and parental issues, but in this case it’s what ties all of these characters together so it makes sense to lean on it.
Anyway, every scene in this episode advanced the plot in a noticeable and logical way and that alone means it’s better than most Marvel Netflix shows. It’s still early days, but so far I’m engaged if not completely sold on it. Onwards to episode three. But first some Easter Eggs.
The mask Danny and Davos wear during their fight in K’un Lun is an obvious nod to the mask traditionally worn by Iron Fists in the comics. In the trailer I thought it looked really goofy, but actually in this episode I warmed to it. Much like Daredevil season two, this season of Iron Fist is really embracing the comics nonsense. Also good to see a bit of K’un Lun that isn’t basically just a cliff-face soundstage like last season.
Meanwhile, the shot of Mary in the bathroom with half her face obscured is another hint at her comics incarnation. I can’t say a lot more without spoiling it, but in the comics she often appears with her face painted half white, sort of harlequin-style (that’s harlequin, not Harley Quinn. Different universe).
Also, you won’t believe how excited I was to see that the coffee shop where Mary and Danny meet was called “Coffey A Go Go”. This is clearly a reference to Coffee A Go Go, which is the Greenwich Village café that the original X-Men used to hang out in. It was first seen in Uncanny X-Men #4 (1964) and I bet they only spelled it “Coffey” here just to make sure they don’t infringe on Fox’s licenses.
Also the title of this episode comes from the comics, which is going to be a recurring theme for the season. In this case, it’s Iron Fist #3 (1976).