Black Tiger Steals Hearts was so good it almost felt like a different show. Danny showed some fire and wasn’t playing clueless hipster, a real enemy emerged and the Meachum subplot finally had some major developments. This might be an outlier, but if the final three episodes can stay at this quality, Iron Fist just might end of a surprisingly strong note.
The great to OK episode ratio might not be as good as say Daredevil Season 2, but it makes the great episodes stand out even more on Iron Fist. A good portion of that credit goes to Bakuto and late arriving ally Davos (Sacha Dhawan). For all the claims of whitewashing Iron Fist has unfairly endured, the series has done a commendable job with its diverse characters. And just by coincidence, the series’ best characters — Colleen, Madame Gao, Bakuto, Davos and Zhou Cheng — are played by minority actors.
Danny awakened on Bakuto’s secret training campus. Ramon Rodriguez makes Bakuto such a charismatic leader that it’s easy to see why his followers, including Colleen, find him so endearing.
Smartly, Bakuto’s true intentions weren’t dragged out over multiple episodes. At this point in the season, events need to get moving quickly. Even better, Danny actively questioned Bakuto’s motives and proactively learned his secrets of being part of The Hand rather than just stumbling onto them. Black Tiger was the first episode where Danny acted like a legit superhero. He didn’t always make the best decisions, but he avoided his trademark boneheaded moves.
Finn Jones gave his best at showing outrage over Colleen’s secret, but he was a little flat like it was a struggle to tap into that emotion. He fared much better in the big fight exhibiting the kind of rage and passion that’s largely been missing from his take on Danny Rand.
Iron Fist’s fight scenes have gotten a lot of criticism, but Black Tiger featured some of the series’ best. Danny’s fight with Bakuto was well staged, but the battle royal with Davos against The Hand recruits was pretty spectacular. Bakuto got a sucker punch stab in, which likely wasn’t just a plain old dagger. Did Bakuto manage to slip Danny another dose of The Hand roofie? We’ll find out next episode.
On the Meachum end, Harold kept Joy from freaking out over her presumed dead father still alive and kicking. The reunion talk through was slow as most Meachum moments go, but things got interesting once Harold decide to shift to some aggressive negotiations (sans lightsaber) to reclaim the company. Poor Lawrence had a not so willing ‘assisted suicide’ at Harold’s hands and Joy convinced the board to put the family back in charge. This was Jessica Stroup’s strongest scene in the series as she appeared far more confident and assured of Joy’s mindset.
Black Tiger Steals Heart didn’t need an Iron Fist grading curve to be an effective and highly entertaining hour. With more episodes like this, binging the final stretch is looking like a solid idea.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Photo Credit: David Giesbrecht/Netflix