Fifteen years ago, Danny Rand (Finn Jones) and his family disappeared in the Himilayas and was presumed dead. Now, Danny is back in New York City and discovering his father’s company Rand Industries is being run by Joy Meachum (Jessica Stroup) and her brother Ward (Tom Pelphrey). Their father Harold Meachum (David Wenham) is dead, but he’s actually been resurrected by the Hand…the organization that Danny has been trained to destroy. When Danny meets a dojo master named Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), Danny finds help in his battle…but Danny is about to find out that even those closest to him might not be telling the truth.
Iron Fist—Season 1 was released on Netflix on March 17, 2017. The TV series faced early pre-production criticism with some calling for Danny Rand to be a character of Asian descent, but the criticism quickly turned to the series itself upon its release. The series followed Luke Cage—Season 1 released in 2016.
I was on the side of Iron Fist when the series was announced. Iron Fist was one of my favorite Marvel characters and Power Man and Iron Fist was a book I was very fond of growing up. I enjoyed Luke Cage and the chances it took though I feel that some of the series was uneven, but none of the Netflix series face the problems that Iron Fist faced. Due to aspects of the series, a ******spoiler alert****** is in effect.
Danny Rand’s power is that if he focuses his chi that he can create the “Iron Fist”. The Iron Fist drains Danny and it takes a while to recharge…I totally sympathize with Danny because watching Iron Fist takes the energy out of you. The series moves at a snail’s pace. While many Marvel series have you watching six episodes and you feel you’ve only watched four, Iron Fist has you watching four episodes and feeling you like you’ve watched six. The series doesn’t really feel like it has a direction…partially because the characters are really ignorant.
Everyone is unlikable in the series…this kind of includes Iron Fist. Finn Jones is directionless most of the series and unable to see bad guys all around him. Everyone else seems to randomly shift allegiances with little logic. Joy suddenly sides with her father who told her brother not to tell her about him…and is as creepy as hell. For some reason Danny is shocked when the extremely creepy and resurrected Harold Meachum is identified as his parents’ killer. There doesn’t seem to be much though into the character’s writing.
The core of the problem could be Iron Fist. He is supposed to be art in motion, but Finn Jones feels clunky despite his efforts. He’s also supposed to be fun and not a dirty hippie. I don’t think it was white-washing by making Iron Fist white. It is part of his character. No one expects him to be a karate master because he’s white (and in its own way, making him Asian almost seems like a stereotype itself). I was happy to see Colleen Wing as Asian. Her character was supposed to half Asian but always was generally portrayed as a white lady.
Iron Fist feels like Netflix’s first real misstep in their MCU TV series. The series really needs a second series to develop the character, but I don’t know that I could take a second season…teaming him with Luke Cage would just hurt Luke Cage’s story. I don’t think Iron Fist is a character that needs to be tossed and reworked, but I hope that The Defenders cleans up the problems with Iron Fist and redeems a character I like.
Iron Fist—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:
1.1 Snow Gives Way Release Date: 03/17/17
Danny Rand (Finn Jones) returns to New York City after fifteen years to a world where everyone thinks he is dead. Confronting his old friends Joy Meachum (Jessica Stroup) and her brother Ward Meachum (Tom Pelphrey), Danny tries to find what has become of his father’s company Rand Industries…only to learn that his word isn’t proof enough of his identity. Targeted by Rand Industries’ men, Danny seeks out help and finds a homeless man and a dojo master named Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) who doesn’t trust him either. As Danny tries to return to his old life, he learns that going back can be hard.
1.2 Shadow Hawk Takes Flight Release Date: 03/17/17
Finding that he’s been drugged by Joy and Ward, Danny wakes up in an asylum…unable to prove his identity, medicated, and facing permanent institutionalization. With Joy and Ward’s father Harold (David Wenham) revealed to be alive, Danny’s story about K’un-Lun and the Iron Fist are starting to be believed. The revelation that Danny could be the key to stop the Hand could change Harold’s game.
1.3 Rolling Thunder Cannon Punch Release Date: 03/17/17
Danny has escape the asylum and hiding with Colleen Wing. Going to his old family friend Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) for help, Danny is about to take his war against Joy and Ward to the courts…if he can prove his identity first. Colleen investigates cage fighting in the neighborhood and finds herself drawn into the fight.
1.4 Eight Diagram Dragon Palm Release Date: 03/17/17
Danny is back at Rand Industries and already making changes. Colleen finds her demons coming out in the cage as she returns as the Daughter of the Dragon. Danny finds Joy is the target of the Triads…but the Hand’s involvement at Rand could be deeper than Danny ever expected.
1.5 Under Leaf Pluck Lotus Release Date: 03/17/17
Danny discovers that Rand’s procurement of the docks has allowed a synthetic form of heroin to reach New York. Ward learns that Danny has admitted fault in a Rand Industries pollution case and that it has caused a public problem…and Ward doesn’t take it well. Danny enlists Colleen and her friend Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) when he goes to find what is being shipped in at the docks.
1.6 Immortal Emerges from Cave Release Date: 03/17/17
Danny is out to find the daughter of Radovan Bernivig (Olek Krupa) and it means taking on the Hand in a hand-to-hand combat challenge. Joy finds Ward’s drug problem is bigger than she thought. Claire and Colleen are forced to take Radovan to the hospital for help, but find the hospital might already be compromised. As Danny battles his way through the Hand, Madame Gau (Wai Ching Ho) changes the rules.
1.7 Felling Tree with Roots Release Date: 03/17/17
Danny discovers the Hand’s involvement within Rand Industries as the board of directors makes its own plans for Danny, Joy, and Ward. Ward looks at his exit plan but Harold might have something to say about Ward’s plans to leave. Danny sets out to shut down the Hand.
1.8 The Blessing of Many Fractures Release Date: 03/17/17
Ward covers up the murder of his father and debates selling out the company. Colleen, Claire, and Danny head to China to find Gao and set to lure her out. Ward and Joy cope with being squeezed out at Rand by the board, and Ward decides Joy needs to learn the truth about what is really going on.
1.9 The Mistress of All Agonies Release Date: 03/17/17
Harold is back from the dead and even worse than before. Ward finds himself pushed to the edge, and Harold realizes Joy might have to be brought into the equation. With Madame Gao as his prisoner, Danny seeks the truth about the accident that killed his family…but a discovery that Colleen might have been poisoned could force Danny to take a different path.
1.10 Black Tiger Steals Heart Release Date: 03/17/17
Danny finds himself in Colleen Wing’s training grounds but learns from Madame Gau that all might not be as perfect as it appears. Harold Meachum is assigned a replacement for Madame Gau named Bakuto (Ramón Rodríguez) by the Hand and learns that regaining his life might be possible. Danny finds an old ally (Sacha Dhawan).
1.11 Lead Horse Back to Stable Release Date: 03/17/17
Davos tries to help Danny hill and purify his chi while Claire tends to his body. Colleen tries to get back in Danny’s favor after hiding that Bakuto and his group are also members of the Hand…but Bakuto has other plans.
1.12 Bar the Big Boss Release Date: 03/17/17
Ward finds a new ally in Bakuto but his father and Danny Rand might be the price of coming clean from his drugs. Danny finds himself led into a trap by Ward and Danny must try to purify his chi for the fight. As Colleen tries to free herself from Bakuto, Danny finds himself in another problem.
1.13 Dragon Plays with Fire Release Date: 03/17/17
Danny and Colleen are on the run from the law, and Danny realizes Harold is behind it. With Harold holding the only evidence that could prove his innocence, Danny must call on his friends to help him…which includes a reformed Ward Meachum?!? If Danny can survive, the path ahead of him is unclear.