The best part about Iron Fist’s lackluster first episode? The season can only go up from here. Shadow Hawk Takes Flight is a better episode all around simply for not having Danny acting so clueless. Even if he’s in a mental hospital the entire episode.
It still feels like the writers are asking too much of the viewer to care so much about Danny from the onset. From what we’ve seen so far, I’m not convinced he doesn’t belong in a mental hospital. Danny talks like he’s not all there and acts like he needs observation or at least therapy. He’s like the Guardians of the Galaxy’s Drax, whose social awkwardness is played for laughs. Only Danny’s delivery and thought process is meant to be taking seriously.
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Typically these Marvel shows stay within their budget and don’t push their limits at the expense of making scenes look fake. That’s why these mountaintop scenes seem so out of place. It doesn’t look like Danny is on a mountain at all. Instead, Finn Jones just looks like he’s on a granite slab surrounded by green screen.
Much of the focus of Shadow Hawk revolved around people starting to believe Danny really is little Daniel Rand all grown up. It’s a major leap that Joy would care so much about a friend she hasn’t seen in 15 years. Some people fall out of contact and move on with their lives in the time it takes to have a kid.
Beyond the sake of stretching out the story there’s absolutely no reason Harold would keep Danny alive. This is a guy who’s faked his death for years and lives in a penthouse to protect his fortune. And he’s really not going to just kill the guy who could take it all away? Why bother going to the trouble of monitoring his therapy sessions when the guard is right there to slip him cyanide pills?
A more troubling point for the rest of the season is how the main conflict is over two rich guys fighting for control of a billion dollar company. Not exactly the kind of plot point most of the viewing audience will find especially relatable.
At this point in the series, Colleen Wing is proving to be the more engaging hero. She’s brutally honest in training her students, sensibly wants little to do with Crazy Danny and doesn’t accept a bribe from Creepy Ward. And what’s the deal with all the guys named Ward being weirdos in the MCU?
Shadow Hawk laid out Danny’s mission — to stop the Hand. Of course, why he hasn’t been tracking down info on the mysterious ninja clan who invaded the hospital instead of worrying about his company is another matter. Finally decided he’s not going to accomplish much in the hospital, Danny triggers his chi and breaks out. Hopefully to get a change of clothes.
Episode 2 was more sensible than the premiere, but character logic still seems all over the place. At least we’ve got Colleen.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/Netflix