These viewing notes contain spoilers.
Iron Fist, the fourth and final member of the Defenders, has finally made his debut. As with previous Netflix series, we’ll be reviewing an episode a day highlighting the characters, reference points and easter eggs we spotted. Feel free to read along as you watch too, but please don’t spoil future episodes for anyone in the comments!
Episode 9 opened with the least surprising resurrection of all time, as Harold returned from the swamp where Ward dumped him. Do we think Ward will have to face the consequences of dumping those other two bodies there? Unlikely.
As it was, I found Harold’s zombified stroll across New York and subsequent ice-cream scoop murder of his point-free assistant Kyle borderline cringeworthy, and that’s from someone who’s generally enjoyed the scenery chewing broad strokes of David Wenham’s performance. Meanwhile, the rest of the Meachums have their own problems: Ward is drug-addled and committed. Joy is surprised to learn that her father is alive but takes it in her stride. People seem to take a lot in their stride on this show, probably because if they stopped for any length of time to talk about what was going on they’d just be shouting about how none of it makes any sense.
The one thing this whole plotline does make me wonder about is how the Netflix shows will handle Elektra. Does being resurrected by the Hand make you invincible in perpetuity, or is that something Harold got that’s specific to him. You’d hope the mythology has been worked out, at least, given that the shows share elements.
Meanwhile, Gao is still captive and Bakuto gives Danny the key to using his Iron Fist abilities in a new way – healing Colleen. I was quite pleased to see that coming up, since it’s one of Danny’s powers in the comics, but it does make you wonder how good an Iron Fist Danny can actually be if he doesn’t know that. We still don’t really know why he left K’un L’un, and at this point I’m not even convinced he finished his training.
Reference wise, Danny mentions that he literally fought a dragon to get his powers (I think we’ve covered that before) and I can’t help wondering how far they’ll go with this. Everyone else got an origin episode in the Netflix shows. Are they really going to show this version of Iron Fist fighting an actual dragon? I sort of hope so.
Colleen also briefly mentions her grandfather, Kenji Ozawa, who first appeared in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #32 (1977), and was recently(ish) seen in Shadowland: Daughters of the Dragon (2010)
And if you watched the credits you’ll know who the anonymous guy making throwing stars out of tinfoil is, but we can leave that until a future episode when it’ll presumably become a lot more relevant.
That about covers it for this one, I think. Even by the standards of this show, it was quite a slow one. I’m trying to figure out if Danny’s complete lack of emotional restraint, unwillingness to forward plan and general inconsistency is supposed to be a plot point, bad characterisation or if that’s just how the character is. I’d blame it on that plant Gao put in his office, except that they haven’t referred to that since so it probably isn’t one. Guess we’ll find out soon enough.