Iron Fist Dragon Plays With Fire review S1 Ep. 13

Hindsight really wasn’t needed to see that last episode made for a better season finale. Dragon Plays With Fire was more of an epilogue for a season that already felt like it reached its natural conclusion.

There wasn’t much of a Hand presence here, besides Madame Gao cluing Danny in on what anyone paying attention already knew. Harold was the one who contacted her so he could have Danny’s parents killed. Predictably, Danny took this news like a child and wanted revenge.

The late developing subplot of Danny questioning if he should kill got cursory lip service, but didn’t seem significant either way. Danny’s moral code and adherence to his teachings has always felt fluid. As usual, it fell to Claire to be the voice of reason. Claire was a relatable supporting character on previous shows, but she was essential on Iron Fist. Danny couldn’t figure out a plan without her talking some sense into him.

Danny wouldn’t be so frustrating a hero if he didn’t always need to be steered in the right direction. On the CW shows, the respective teams counsel the lead hero. On Iron Fist, Danny needs to be told what to do.

First off, Jheri Hogarth had to walk him through clearing his name of the drug trafficking and money laundering charges. This episode dropped the ball a lot, but Carrie-Anne Moss delivered as always. Harold’s been such a forward thinker all season that it was pretty stupid of him to try a simple frame job. The Stan Lee poster cameo came late this season, but at least it was covered.

Iron Fist Dragon Plays With Fire - Harold Meachum

The bigger problem with the issue was the showdown against Bakuto and The Hand had higher stakes. Ultimately, this season came down to a fight over what? Money? Power? Drugs?

Nope, this was just about clearing his name. Not stopping some crazy master plan from Harold that would harm others in the city. Danny would probably be a lot more relatable or at least more interesting if he was on the run. It was also immensely disappointing that the season ended without Danny donning anything even closely resembling his comic book attire. I would have been satisfied with the half mask.

Oddly, it was Ward who ended the episode with a more complete story arc. He tried to make peace with Joy, but failed, and then worked with Team Fist to catch Harold and clear Danny’s name. It was fitting he was the one that pulled the trigger and killed Harold. Though I’m unclear how exactly Harold stayed dead long enough to be cremated. Either way, Ward is the now the lone man in charge of Rand Industries.

As for Joy? She’s following in her papa’s footsteps after all. She hears a pitch from Davos about how they can both get revenge on Danny Rand. I understand why Davos would want to take Danny out — he deserted his order and abandoned his surrogate family. Joy’s motives are far less clear. Maybe the eavesdropping Madame Gao can shed some light on it?

Not that Danny will notice. He and Colleen take a road trip back to K’un-Lun only to find it’s relocated. But to where? Find out in Iron Fist Season 2?

The Meachum subplot taking center stage made for an underwhelming finale, but gave Ward a good resolution. Danny got lost in the shuffle per the usual. The most interesting development from him was the mystery of what happened at K’un-Lun. That answer will have to wait as now Danny moves on to meet with the rest of The Defenders.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: David Giesbrecht/Netflix