Well, at last, we come to the end of ‘Iron Fist’ season 1, and after watching the finale, I stand by my comments in the last review, they really should have just ended the season on the cliffhanger established at the end of Episode 12. Do not get me wrong, the finale was not terrible, but it felt weirdly disjointed, like all the dramatic tension from the season was gone now that the Hand was dealt with (which is still kind of confusing because clearly the Hand was bigger than Bakuto and Gao), and now leaving just Harold as the final obstacle felt odd.
Anyways, jumping in, Danny and Colleen are on the run from the DEA, and they use Claire to set up a clandestine meeting with Jeri Hogarth to figure out their legal options while Harold moves into the Rand building and begins taking over once more, even allowing Ward to accompany him, though he does warn his son to fall in line or risk losing everything. Jeri is not too impressed with Harold coming back from the dead, and says Colleen and Danny are in trouble for attacking the DEA agents at the dojo, not to mention the documents Harold forged claiming Danny was using the Rand company to smuggle Heroin into the city – deeds which had actually been done by the Hand. Their only plan is to find the Hand tablet Danny gave to Harold which has the original, unaltered documents to prove Danny’s innocence, which means they’ll need Ward’s help to get into Rand.
Meanwhile, Ward visits Joy in the hospital to explain his deeds in selling out their father to the Hand, and she has an odd turn of character in defending Harold, seemingly forgetting how weird he has been since her reunion with him. She only seems to listen to Ward once he reveals that Harold used the Hand tablet to frame Danny. Later, she leaves the hospital and confronts Harold about his actions. The man lies to her face and claims Danny actually did everything Harold is accusing him of and that Harold kept that information from Joy all along. She sees right through the lies and leaves for parts unknown (which again seems out of character as she was the character sticking up for Danny and helping him all season). Luckily, Ward steps up and agrees to help Danny and the gang get the tablet and even goes ahead into Rand to do a little reconnaissance for them to find where Harold is keeping the tablet.
Danny and Colleen meanwhile go to the Hand training grounds to meet with Madame Gao to see if she can prove their innocence, but she claims she kept no records herself (fortunately she decided to stay in her cell even though she is unguarded and I believe has the power to break out whenever she wishes…) She does reveal to Danny that she did not kill his parents, that it was Harold all along and that he wanted the Rand family out of the way so he could take control of the Company. This infuriates Danny and leads him to think he needs to kill Harold to free himself from his anger, an idea put in his head by Gao. Claire, of course, thinks he is nuts, and Colleen agrees that Danny should not be tainted with murder and says instead she should kill Harold for Danny. Claire thinks they are both nuts. She insists they get the tablet from Rand and put Harold in jail. Danny and Colleen begrudgingly go along with the plan, though it is clear neither entirely agrees with it and still might just kill Harold.
So as Danny and company gather outside the building and prepare to assault Rand, Ward heads upstairs to survey the situation one last time and finds Harold has armed guards waiting. Ward calls Danny to warn him but is knocked unconscious by Harold right after he gives the message to Danny. Claire says they should not go since Danny is not bullet-proof (where is Luke Cage when you need him), but Danny and Colleen are set on the plan. So Claire prepares a distraction (an explosion of a hot-dog cart) and Danny and Colleen head inside and confront Harold, Colleen taking the traditional elevator route while Danny smashes into Harold’s floor through a window (a smart tactic since Harold is waiting for Danny with guns pointed at the door). A fight ensues, Colleen taking down the guards while Danny smashes his Iron Fist into the floor in one of the show’s best FX, imploding the entire floor of the building and knocking everyone down. In the chaos, Ward manages to grab the tablet for the gang while Danny chases Harold to the roof, cause you, know, the climactic ending has to take place somewhere epic.
Harold and Danny banter on the roof, but none of it has much weight in my opinion since Harold was not really the big bad of the season, and a gun fight ensues, Danny getting some punches in and managing to subdue the man, but it is Ward who officially ends the threat. He enters toward the end and shoots his father, causing him to topple off the roof to his death below, giving Ward a kind of catharsis in finally killing his father, and it would have been a lot more poignant if they had developed more of a relationship between him and Danny.
The episode ends with Danny and Ward cremating Harold’s body (to make sure he doesn’t come back) while Jeri informs Danny that he and Colleen have been cleared of all charges thanks to the tablet. Danny and Ward have an emotional moment (again, would have felt better if they had more of a relationship by this point), with Hogarth commenting that she did not think the cremation would have so much emotion (you and me both Hogarth). As Ward returns to take control of Rand, having taken down the pictures of Danny’s dad and Harold and replaced them with pictures of him and Danny (AGAIN this would have felt more poignant if we had seen Danny and Ward bond at some point), Danny returns to Colleen at the dojo. He informs her he is returning to K’un L’un to take up his post, and he wants her to go with him, a prospect that makes her very happy.
Meanwhile, at some distant cafe, in the most perplexing scene of the finale, Davos and Joy are having a secret meeting where Davos is bitching about what a terrible person Danny is, how he does not deserve to be the Iron Fist and how he ruins every life he enters, including hers. Joy for some reason agrees (mind you, this is the same character that stuck up for Danny THROUGHOUT THE SEASON, and who Danny sacrificed himself for in just the previous episode!!) and they start making plans for how they can take him down, all while the camera pans back and we see Madame Gao eavesdropping on the conversation from another table. Is she there with Davos? With Joy? The show does not think it important enough to clue us in, because they cut to the gate of K’un L’un where Danny and Colleen have finally arrived, only to find destruction and dead Hand bodies, with Danny looking on in shock for K’un L’un is gone. Not destroyed, just gone. Did the gate close and Danny missed his chance? Did the Hand somehow “move” the hidden city? Are they cloaked somehow? We have no idea, because this is the big cliff-hangar for the season.
So aside from dealing with Harold and getting Danny on the right side of the law, the finale did not accomplish much, unless the implications of the missing city of K’un L’un will be explored in ‘The Defenders,’ which I hope it is, otherwise I’m not sure we’ll ever get an explanation because I honestly don’t know if we’ll get ‘Iron Fist’ Season 2 with the reception the series is getting. Frankly, I don’t know if it deserves one. Danny might be best as a character in ‘The Defenders’ and a character in ‘Luke Cage,’ where I’m hoping new writers (and a new choreography team) will be able to handle the character (and Finn Jones) better. Again, not the worst 13 episodes of television I’ve ever seen, but it left a lot to be desired, and I hope that with all the rush of adding ‘Daredevil’ Season 2, ‘The Punisher,’ and prepping ‘The Defenders’ this show just did not get the full attention it deserved from the Marvel team, and it is not a sign of the Netflix/ Marvel universe starting to slip, because I really want ‘The Defenders’ to be amazing, and I would be willing to forgive all of the sins of ‘Iron Fist’ if ‘The Defenders’ delivers, and we see Danny Rand realized in a much better way.
What did you think of ‘Iron Fist?’ Do you think everyone (including me) is being too harsh on the show? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!