I wanted to love Season 2, of Iron Fist, I swear I did. I came out of San Diego Comic Con hopeful that the show had listened to complaints and was ready to be all it hadn’t been in Season 1, that the Danny Rand we would get would be the one from that episode of Luke Cage, that he’d actually grow as a character to the point where I cared even a little about his journey and that this show was finally going to give Colleen a chance to shine.
None of those things really come to pass the way I wanted them and/or expected them to, and yet, because in many ways, they still did, Season 2 of Iron Fist is infinitely better than Season 1.
It’s just not amazing. Except for the ending. That kinda is, I will admit. But hey, at least it’s not horrible either?
To be fair, the bar was set so low than anything was going to be seen as a positive, and if anything, I feel confident in calling this the most improved show out of the Marvel lineup on Netflix. But then again, as bad as the first season was, it kinda had to be, right?
Even if it had to reinvent itself completely to do it, which, to be fair, it pretty much did.
All that being said, though, the end of the season kinda has me as hyped up as I’ve ever been about ANY Netflix show, and that’s something I could have never anticipated.
Colleen as the Iron Fist? Hell, that’s what I wanted BEFORE this show even started. And though I wished we hadn’t taken 23 episodes to get here, I’ll take it.
I’ll take it.
As I’ll take any and all Colleen/Misty and turn around and beg, once more, for the next team-up Netflix gives me to be Daughters of the Dragon. At this point, it’s gotta be coming, right? They’re just too good together to keep apart.
But, back to what happened to lead to Colleen’s moment in the spotlight – Danny’s character arc still went in circles for most of the season (only to give him one clear moment of growth in the finale), but at least we went from him just fighting himself to him actually fighting people, and to him and Colleen fighting together, and in, dare I say it, the smartest way possible?
How many more times could we see our ‘heroes’ just trying to out-punch everyone?
So, instead, Danny and Colleen play mediators to a gang-war, while trying to fight Davos and Mary. Now, Davos is a good foil to Danny, even if I’m very, very disappointed that we still haven’t gotten to SEE the damn dragon, but Mary, as good as Alice Eve is, feels like a misstep.
I know, I KNOW. I don’t want to rage on the female villain either, but in this particular instance, the way her mental health issues are presented only contributes to the idea that there’s an inherent danger to mental health issues and that people who suffer from them should be feared, in all cases.
Superhero shows are not always the best place for nuance, I realize, but it’s not impossible either, and this storyline required more of that than this show was ever willing to give it, which is why it was probably my least favorite part of this season.
And I’m even counting the action scenes in that! Season 1 did horrible with the action scenes, laughably bad, in fact, and Season 2 doesn’t exactly hit it out of the park – except for that Colleen/Misty vs. the trio of tattoo artists fight, that was AWESOME – but at the very least, I’m not noticing how bad the action scenes are, so that’s already a step in the right direction.
But the show really, really delivers on both Danny and Colleen’s character arc, at the end of the season. Yes, there are some pacing issues, even for a show that’s only 10 episodes instead of 13, but in the end, they get somewhere.
Season 1 Danny made very little sense, but The Defenders and Luke Cage have helped define his character: he’s just a kid who desperately wants to be a hero. And, sometimes, being the hero means …well, recognizing when you shouldn’t be the hero.
When you need to step back and let someone else lead, find another way for yourself.
Especially someone that might have always been destined for this: it turns out that Colleen may be a descendant of Wu Ao-Shi, the pirate queen who was the first female Iron Fist!
God, why couldn’t we have had this from the beginning? WHY?
At the end of Season 2 the only actual couple in the Netflix Marvel Universe goes their separate ways: Danny leaves for Japan with Ward (despite me not saying a word about Ward in this review, I actually sorta enjoyed him, color me as surprised as you are), to learn more about the history of the Iron Fist, while Colleen stays and takes to the streets to protect her city.
Now, I know you’re gonna be shocked by this, but by this point, I actually care that they’re going their separate ways. I actually believe that they love each other. I think they’re most likely better together. I’m invested in something, and boy, does that make everything better, and worse.
Ironically, or maybe not so ironically, we get an indeterminate time jump at the end, where see Colleen take to the job in a way Danny never has, to the point that at the end, we see Colleen is able to channel the power of the fist through her katana sword.
Talk about badass.
Danny seems to be able to channel his through his guns, which only leaves twenty five questions, like WHY DOES HE STILL HAVE POWERS HOW CAN HE AND COLLEEN HAVE THEM AT THE SAME TIME WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WHEN IS SEASON 3 COMING OUT?
So, in conclusion, this is waaaaay better than Season 1, and the end of the season is an exciting setup for the possibilities of Season 3, which is more than any of us had a right to expect, all things considered.
All hail Colleen, the Iron Fist!
What did you think of Season 2 of Iron Fist?
Iron Fist Season 2 is available to stream on Netflix.