Marvel’s Iron Fist is the latest addition to the Netflix universe and the last single character show to launch before the crossover show, The Defenders. Netflix has done fantastic with the past three Marvel properties. Admittedly, I haven’t watched Luke Cage yet, but it has great success. Marvel’s Iron Fist has already come under fire for not casting an Asian lead when they had the chance to diversify with an already martial arts themed show.
Overall, I don’t love the lead character Danny, the effects aren’t amazing, some parts are really unbelievable, there are potentially two great female characters, and I am intrigued by the mystery. I have hope that this show will be a lot better than the first episode; Marvel and Netflix please don’t let me down! I have faith in you to pull through with a better episode 2!
We Meet Danny Rand…
The show starts off with Danny Rand walking barefoot on the streets of New York. Ewww! Barefoot in NYC is not good choice. People and animals go to the bathroom on those sidewalks dude. THAT IS NASTY! Danny Rand, is a son of a billionaire, who has been missing a long time returns with kickass martial arts abilities. It sounds very Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, although I don’t know much about Iron Fist’s comic origins.
Danny goes to the company his parents owned, but no one knows who he is. Everyone thinks Danny Rand died 15 years ago. They throw him out and he goes to his old home expecting the key to open the lock after 15 years. Why would he expect to still own that house? Some parts of this scenario are completely unbelievable. It makes sense that no one recognizes him, but his expectations are really naive and do not match his age. He clearly isn’t hardened by the difficulties he has had to face, which doesn’t match the other lead characters we have seen in the past three shows.
He has cat like reflexes and has a way with dogs! The bending down and with his hands praying was a bit hokey. I’m not quite sure how I feel about the way his powers are manifesting thus far it just feels a bit corny for the Netflix brand. The past three shows have been darker with more action and right off the bad Iron Fist doesn’t match the same tone.
Flashbacks…When White Lines Attack
In a flashback to his childhood, we see Danny, Joy, and Ward playing monopoly and Ward doesn’t want to play by the rules. We are seeing a characterization that rings true to the older man we meet in the beginning. Ward is looking to be one of the shows antagonists. I really hate the white line transitions from flashback to present.It mimics the snow from the plane crash. It is so unnecessary to provide a sharp distinction to show the audience that they are moving from past and present.
Danny confronts Joy and almost gets hit by a car, by almost I mean he somersaulted over the freaking car which is cool but strange. His strength and abilities were not introduced in the best narrative way. It always seems like he is surprised by them too. They’re all over the place and really confusing for the viewer.
Danny does tai chi in the park and can mentally become a bird that can fly through the city, which was not contextualized for the audience. I wish they had waited a bit longer to introduce them and did it slowly. They are throwing it all at the audience at once making it feel a bit lame. Visually I don’t think his powers are that cool.
We Meet Colleen…
Danny meets Colleen who gives him money while he is doing tai chi and he sees her putting up ads for a self defense class. Danny asks for a job. She says she has someone who cleans up already.
Danny goes to Colleen’s dojo and wants to challenge the master who he finds out is her. He didn’t think she could be the dojo, which is a bit sexist. Ward sent some of his security to kill Danny and Colleen sees Danny’s fight skills in action
Let’s All Agree To Hate Ward…
Ward makes Joy believe that Danny is some fake and a scheme at corporate sabotage because Danny would own 51% of the company. Oh boy are they in for a treat. It is so unbelievable that Danny is able to drive like that after he drove once on his Dad’s lap over a decade ago when he kidnaps Ward and his car to talk. Ward denies knowing Danny after saying all of the cruel things he did to him as a child. Ward is going to be the character we love to hate on this show. In his escape Danny coincidentally runs into a parade/festival in Chinatown. I get that it is on brand for the show but it just a bit unbelievable.
Ward is hiding his father Harold, another person who is supposed to be dead. Harold is an even bigger jerk than his son. But Harold is the one asking the right questions unlike his son! He actually wants to know what Danny’s deal is rather than just trying to get rid of him. Ward is just a jerk, but Harold is the evil mastermind!
Best Character? Big Al
Danny meets a really nice homeless guy, Big Al, in the park who lets him use the internet on the cellphone he found. I like the way the show represented a homeless person. But Danny’s comment to the man was not the befitting of the moment and made him come off as a bit of jackass. Danny says people must think we’re the same as a way to separate himself from the homeless man.
Danny runs into the same homeless man who gives him a chicken parm that was thrown out. I love this guy. He says some really great things about the wrongs in society. Danny looks at the food for a second after finding that out, like dude you are walking barefoot in NYC. He can get a whole ton of infections but looks differently at a hero from the garbage that was wrapped in tin foil?
I was so upset when Danny found Big Al dead from an overdose. He was the character I was most emotionally invested in and now he doesn’t get to be fully realized.
Danny goes to see Joy at her office who doesn’t know what to believe but she is hearing him out. I think she is going to be a character that I love on this show. She definitely was skeptical but you can see her compassion. Danny tells Joy that the plane started coming apart. So the big question is did Harold kill the Rands to take over the company? And if so why would he turn on his best friends other than money?
Joy put something in his tea and they put Danny in a mental facility. Hopefully Joy will come to the good side but her connection to her brother overshadows that. We find out that Danny saw his mother fly out of the plane after the top came off and the only reason she was out of her seat was to comfort him. It will be interesting to see how this impacts his character through the rest of the season.
I have pretty mixed opinions on this first episode, but my belief in Netflix and Marvel to make great television is strong. There were a lot of unbelievable moments and I wasn’t the biggest fan of Danny. I do hope Danny gets a new pair of clothes in the next episode! The great thing is that you get immediate satisfaction in being able to watch the whole season at once.
Marvel’s Iron Fist is available on Netflix.