The narrative problems remain, but Eight Dragon Diagram Palm finally brought some big time action. If it can’t tell a good story, the action is going to have to deliver and this episode definitely satisfied on that front.
Last episode’s ‘cliffhanger’ of Danny getting kicked out of a window lacked much suspense. Clearly he had to survive else this would be a real quick season. So it was probably a smart move for the writers to shake up expectations and have Ward retrieve Danny from the ledge and Harold to admit he’s alive.
If this were Shazam, Danny constantly acting like a child would make sense. Instead, he stays on Naive Mode in order to keep the story moving along. Presumably these monks educated him in the ways of the modern world, but he constantly gets outsmarted. Danny immediately forgets Ward tried to kill him after seeing Harold, the great bridge to his past. Never mind faking his death and keeping that a secret from Joy is an incredibly shady move.
Harold seems to be honest about telling Danny that The Hand resurrected him and needing his help to break free of their control. But it seems a little too pat and Danny never stops to consider that anyone has an ulterior motive.
For now, all is well to the point that Harold wants Ward to accept Danny back as the majority shareholder. Time to play guess the logic behind that since Danny clearly won’t bother. This still doesn’t suddenly make the Meachum clan interesting however. And hopefully the writers don’t opt on making Joy the love interest now that the gang’s on the same page again.
Danny immediately starts throwing his 51 percent weight around and forces Ward and the board to provide medicine at cost. This all played out a little hokey. All that was missing was the board members lighting up their cigars with $100 bills to show they don’t care about the poor.
Ward giving the skeptical reporter an exclusive made for a nice Daredevil reference. She told her editor Karen’s not getting the front page this time. Good for old Karen Page to be a regular on the front page. Ben would be proud.
Maybe it’s asking too much of the writers, but I’d love to know why Colleen is so mad? She’s always had an attitude, but now she’s found a positive outlet for her rage as a cage fighter. This is a weird direction to take her character plot wise. But at least we’re getting some intense fight scenes out of it as a result. I liked the subtle shot out to Colleen’s typically white comic book attire here.
Danny finally got to act like a competent fighter after going 12 rounds with the random Meachum goon at the hospital. This time he battled hatchet-wielding criminals intent on kidnapping Joy. Hallway fight scenes always work well in the Netflix shows. While this wasn’t the new measuring stick, it was fun and actually captured that Kung Fu feel that’s been missing.
And Harold leading The Hand to get payback on the hatchet clan member who roughed up Joy was a nice touch. Pays to have a group of ninja assassins as your backup.
Beyond the cool fight scene, Eight Dragon moved the overall story arc along. Danny’s mysterious package tips him off to a drug ring along with a helpful note from an ally using the same dragon logo tattooed on his chest. If we can’t get a cool costume, I’m glad at least one element carried over from the comic.
Call me optimistic, but Eight Dragon felt like the series is starting to turn the corner. Hopefully that momentum continues next episode.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Photo Credit: David Giesbrecht/Netflix