Marvel’s Iron Fist hits Netflix Friday and as we binge watch the show Monkeys Fighting Robots will live-blog each episodes review.
The Fury of Iron Fist – S02E01
Marvel’s Iron Fist Season two hits Netflix Friday, and the first episode ‘The Fury of Iron Fist’ brings a refreshing new tone to the series as the drama moves from the boardroom to the streets of Chinatown.
‘The Fury of Iron Fist’ has excitement, with two major action sequences and a few quick spurts of hand to hand combat. The cinematography is what stood out most about the episode, with most of it filmed at night. There’s a gritty dampness to the scene selection, giving a feel of evil creeping into the city. The last few minutes of the episode had no dialogue and relied on the cinematography to convey the emotion, and it does. You will be compelled to watch the next episode.
The plot of the episode is straightforward and sets up the series well. The weight of the world is about to be dumped on Danny Rand, and it is up to the Iron Fist to dig himself out. Danny’s relationship with Collen evolves well to where you feel for the couple and want to see them succeed. As soon as you see Ward Meachum, you can’t stand him. It will be interesting to see what his story arc is for the season. Joy, on the other hand, is at the beginning of her origin story and the path she takes will be exciting to watch.
Finn Jones finally feels comfortable as Danny and the Iron Fist, and his surfer delivery fits the character. Jessica Henwick (Colleen) seems to have the most compelling on-screen presence, and Tom Pelphrey (Ward) has the ability to steal the show. The cast has grown in the acting craft since the first season.
The only issue is with Davos; it is hard to find him intimidating. The Steel Serpent needs to become pure evil and strike fear in the hearts of men. Sacha Dhawan is a good actor, but the size difference between Jones ruins all the tension. All the praise I gave the cinematography crew above, they need to work on finding a better angle when Davos and Danny are on screen together.
Overall, now that the show is past the origin the series will improve immensely. Season two can get to the good stuff like the Iron Fist battling it out, and the viewer can sit back and enjoy the binge.
The City’s Not for Burning – S02E02
Episode Two of Season Two of Marvel’s Iron Fist gives every fan of the character the money shot we so deserve. Danny Rand is wearing the Iron Fist mask in the battle versus Davos for the right to fight the dragon Shou-Lao. That sentence alone should give you goosebumps.
The battle is through flashbacks throughout the episode which gives ‘The City’s Not for Burning’ a quick pace as tension builds. The struggle to save Chinatown continues which is a million times more interesting than the boardroom drama of Season One. All the chess pieces are in play, and we are just waiting for the reveal.
Again, the cinematography is what shines so far in the season. The darker setting, whether at night or the use of a cloudy day give the series a better feel. It helps to suck the viewer into the episode.
The fault in the episode and possibly the season is the development or origin story of Mary Walker (Alice Eve). The show is having a hard time capturing her dissociative identity disorder. Mary has the potential to breakout star of season two, but through two episodes it’s slow going.
The arrow is still pointing up, and there is no need to stop binging now.
This Deadly Secret – S02E03
Each episode gets better and better, with episode three the most impressive so far. Ward is the best asshole money can buy, and Colleen continues to be a dominant force on the show. Mary is still not the strongest aspect of the season, but her plot thread starts to come into focus.
The commitment to the dark cinematography helps cover all the goofiness of a superhero show and dramatically changes the feel. Season 2 is not bright and cheer; deep emotional conflicts are at war.
As mentioned in the review of the first episode, Tom Pelphrey has a chance to steal the show, and he did in ‘This Deadly Secret.’ Pelphrey’s explosive behavior at the AA meeting is brilliant. Speaking of meetings, Jessica Henwick cuts through the bullshit at the dinner party with Davos, Joy, Danny, and Colleen. Henwick is what keeps the show on its toes and exciting for the viewer.
The arrow continues to trend up as the binge continues.
Target: Iron Fist – S02E04
The season slows down a bit with ‘Target: Iron Fist.’ Davos and Joy visit Mary and Mary’s plot thread is explained. Misty Knight also pops in to progress the plot as well. Mary’s story arc should have had a better reveal and added a bit of horror as she bounced through her multiple personalities. Not developing Typhoid Mary properly was a missed opportunity for the series.
The final scene of the episode, while fascinating and somewhat part of the comic book mythos looked like something out of The Craft. The set design was weak and could have some refinements.
‘Target: Iron Fist’ was necessary to move the plot along, but did no favors for the season.
The arrow has peaked for the moment, hopefully, episode five rebounds.
Heart of the Dragon – S02E05
‘Heart of the Dragon’ is the perfect mid-point of the season episode as it resets the season and starts the path to the finale. There needs to be highs and lows in a season, but the beats need to be appropriately played to keep the audience involved. The first three episodes come blazing out of the gate; now we are in the calm before the storm.
Also, the conversation in the episode had weight and carried emotion. Davos becomes an empathetic character to a certain extent. His motivations are revealed, and they come from a place that is understandable.
The Misty and Colleen relationship is developing nicely over three seasons so far. They are compelling enough characters to where their own series would get attention. Sidenote, I’m not sure if I’m shipping Misty and Ward yet, but that was an interesting exchange, and I wasn’t expecting that type of response from Misty. Stay tuned to see if love blossoms.
The arrow is holding steady, but some action needs to show up soon as the crowd is getting restless.
The Dragon Dies at Dawn – S02E06
‘The Dragon Dies at Dawn’ was a very artistic episode with the opening scene straight from a Spike Lee film. The camera angles were also very dramatically different coming from a low perspective. The main character also takes a back seat to the drama which gives others a chance to shine.
Colleen and Misty versus the Crane Sisters is the best fight so far in the season. The shot location and the combatants involved worked very well. A tattoo shop in a warehouse creates a playground of opportunity visually. As mentioned earlier Colleen and Misty’s relationship continues to evolve into a buddy cop film with each complementing the other perfectly.
Mary Walker is finally developing into a complex character with significant flaws. Instead of being used as a plot device for the first half the season, Alice Eve now feels like part of the cast.
With a mild cliff-hanger, ‘The Dragon Dies at Dawn’ gets the arrow moving north again. With four episodes left, it’s going to be a wild ride to the finish.
Morning of the Mindstorm – S02E07
The season starts to lose steam with episode seven, but the artist opening works well to introduce the coming depression. A drunk Ward is probably the best Ward. The video message from Mary to Walker was a unique angle on the character. Davos and Joy are not very good villains. The part of the first few episodes was Danny and Colleen’s relationship, but that looks to be heading south.
Citadel on the Edge of Vengeance – S02E08
Why does Danny need to train? Isn’t he the Immortal Iron Fist and he trained half his lifetime to become a kung fu master. This does not make any sense.
The supporting cast shines in this episode, with the highlight being the Ward / Mary team up as crazy meets crazier. Speaking of crazy, Joy has a death wish, and Davos thinks he’s a priest in the Temple of Doom.
Sidenote – K’un-Lun would not get a good Yelp review as its savior doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do, and the runner-up wants to kill everyone. Where is Mr. Kesuke Miyagi when you need him? Also, Danny picking training over his relationship with Colleen doesn’t make sense, especially when you can give Luke Cage or Jessica Jones a call.
The plot twist with Colleen is great and adds a new dimension to the mythos of the Iron Fist.
War Without End – S02E09
Colleen and Misty need their own show, and after this episode, it makes more sense than ever. With the reveal of Colleen’s backstory, she becomes a major player in the Netflix MCU. The white fist could look better special effects wise, but will just keep moving forward.
Davos continues to be a weak villain, he comes off like a spoiled brat, but what he did to Joy was surprising, dramatic, and it looked like the showrunners were going to be bold. For a show about martial arts, they don’t want to push the envelope with how it’s filmed. Daredevil set the bar high with hand to hand combat scenes, and Iron Fist doesn’t measure up.
The death of BB was shocking and sad. You don’t realize how attached you get to a little hood-rat till they’re gone.
A Duel of Iron – S02E10
Two Iron Fists battling it out, and Danny takes on Walker. The Mary / Walker dynamic is where the show drops the ball. Mary has three personalities, and we never get to see the savage one. What were the showrunners waiting for? You might never get another season! Plus, if Danny can barely beat Walker, then he is awful at kung fu, and K’un-Lun made a horrible choice.
The special effects in the finale are inferior and viewers should expect better.
Ward’s story arc was the best of season two, and Danny and him road tripping across Asia would be a perfect season three. The final scene is fascinating for Iron Fist nerds and gives us hope.
After you binge watch the show come back and give us your thoughts in the comment section below.