Welcome back to Marvel/Netflix’s ‘Iron Fist!’ The controversial series (which I say only because it was the first Marvel/ Netflix series that was not a huge hit with the fans) returned to the streaming site in a big way with the premiere episode, showing off its new and improved style which comes thanks to a new choreography team and a brand new showrunner, both of whom fit the world far better than the original crew.
Jumping right in, the episode opens with Danny thwarting an armored car heist all by his lonesome showing off his new vigilante chops by doing it all while wearing a yellow bandana over his face to hide his identity, though anyone who knows that glowing fist and that Danny Rand is the only “Iron Fist” in town should not really have any trouble putting together that he was the one who stopped the gang from taking that armored truck. He ends the massive fight with a shockwave punch to the ground that knocks everyone unconscious save one thug, who Danny intimidates but gets little information from.
The next day we learn that Danny has gone full blue-collar and has taken a job as a mover so he can “learn the value of a dollar,” something that Ward sneers at when they are both called to a Rand meeting later that day. They are surprised to find the meeting was called by none other than Joy, who is back in town and wants out of Rand Industries but not without a hefty buy-out from her family. While Ward suspects something is amiss, Danny feels they owe Joy a clean start and signs the papers, royally pissing off Ward but earning some sympathy from Joy who we know is out to get Danny thanks to her clandestine meeting with Davos at the end of Season 1.
Colleen meanwhile has decided to stay out of the superhero game and is instead running a philanthropy to help the downtrodden of New York but is thrown for a loop when someone donates a box with her family symbol engraved on it. She tracks down the owner to a restaurant nearby but only finds more gang violence against the restaurant owner, Mr. Yip, which she proceeds to break up. At home, she and Danny appear to be doing very well living together with things more or less calmed down aside from his nighttime heroics, but he wants to help her get to the bottom of the symbol. They head out to the restaurant for dinner after discussing the fact that the recent gang violence is a result of the power vacuum left behind when the Hand was destroyed. Their “date night” takes a turn when two rival gangs invade their dinner and they both have to use their fighting skills to keep the groups separate and protect Mr. Yip, who is very grateful for their help.
On the way home, they run into Davos who reveals he is back in town and is still angry at how things went down between him and Danny and really upset that Danny failed K’un Lun. After insulting Colleen, she lets Davos have a word with Danny alone, and Davos gives Danny a chance to willingly give up the Iron Fist, which Danny refuses. They scuffle and Danny walks away victorious, or so it seems, though events have clearly rattled him enough so that he ends the episode in a subway station smashing his glowing fist into a steel door.
Meanwhile, Joy and Davos monologue in their villainous way hinting at their evil plan to exact revenge on Danny, though Joy seems a little unnerved by how kind Danny was toward her when they met. She accuses Davos of having second thoughts because he went out to talk to Danny that night. They assure one another that neither is wavering and their plans are moving forward regardless of their recent interactions with Danny.
Ward, angry that Joy returned and immediately wanted out of the family business and wants nothing to do with him, is annoyed that Danny so easily gave her what she wanted. He heads to a drug dependence meeting where he meets up with his sponsor who cannot get him to open up about his problems, but we do learn that he opens up to her in other ways as the pair are secretly sleeping together.
And lastly, earlier in the episode Danny met a strange woman on the street named Mary, played by Alice Eve (so yes, we know she is actually the new villain Typhoid Mary), who seems pleasant enough, talking about her art and photography and even taking a picture of Danny, but things take a crazy turn when she returns home to her apartment. There, she finds strange post-its ordering her not to leave the apartment, and to “stop moving things around,” (incredibly creepy), which is followed by a sequence of her running around turning on all the faucets in the house and crying in the bathroom before her whole demeanor turns a bit manic. Suddenly she is laughing like a lunatic. I cannot wait to see what part she has to play in the story.
All in all, the episode started a bit slow catching us up on where everyone was at after last season, but once it got moving it seemed pretty clear this season has more direction (and better action) than last season, though I hope the villain motives get a bit more complex beside the simple Joy/ Davos vengeance plot we have going now. I am also intrigued by the dark side of Danny that seems to be coming out as he appears to be overusing the iron fist, and Colleen seems a bit worried about the amount of power he is showing off. This could lead to some interesting dynamics later in the season, though I hope he does not go too dark because we already have Luke Cage becoming a Mob Boss over on that series, and it would be weird to have the same thing happening on two Netflix shows.
See you back here soon for the review of ‘Iron Fist’ Episode 2!