Harold is asleep in his Micheal Jackson bed when it opens. He oh shits as he’s yanked out. A representative of the Hand is expressing disappointment in Harold for letting the Iron Fist regain his company. He says Madame Gao will forgive his screwup, but not without punishment. But before the Hand guy can cut off HIS hand, Danny arrives. Harold stabs the rep and he and Danny beat the Hand agents down. Danny tells Harold about Gao’s mind games and Harold says his efforts to protect Danny have gone down the drain and they need to keep up appearances the hard way. Harold will dispose of the bodies but cuts his own fingers off so that it at least appears they did their job and left so the Hand will think their missing agents left and died someplace else. Opening credits.
Joy is berating Ward for his jonesing addict bullshit from the night before, (my brother OD’d in 2001, trust me lady, chewing an addict out ain’t gonna help shit), and Ward tells her he’s under control and to back off. Joy storms out when he refuses to tell her who keeps calling him. After she leaves Ward finally takes Harold’s call and Harold needs him. Ward says he’ll be right there.
Colleen is tending to Danny’s wounds and filling him in on the Hand kidnapping the Chemist again. She reiterates her previous position that his accepting the challenge was stupid, and that it sounds like it was rigged from the start. The forced romantic tension again screws up the pacing of the scene and we get a ten second awkward silence. After she breaks it with a joke, Danny tells her another story of his time in the monestary. They share a laugh and she asks to hear another. She asks about his tattoo, and he says it’s the mark of the Iron Fist. She says she still doesn’t understand what the Iron Fist even means. She asks how he got chosen, he says he wasn’t; he earned it. She asks to see it. He says no and she starts beating herself up for “letting” the Hand get the chemist. He tells her to stop it and says he should go get some sleep before work. She wants him to stay. Cue predictable awkward making out that he at first is hesitant to give in to but her Hot Asian Karate Chick vibes quickly kill any semblance of “We just met like two weeks ago and all I’ve ever done is bring grief into your home and there is absolutely no logical reason for you to want to fuck me so let’s just say goodnight” practicality so of COURSE they have sex because reasons.
I’m going to pause the recap here for a moment for a brief commentary on my opinion of Iron Fist so far as a show both on its own and as a part of the greater whole of the Netflix section of the MCU.
At roughly halfway through the first season this is easily the least of the four. It’s not outright a BAD show, and on it’s own if it were a standalone show it would probably rate a solid 7/10 overall. The characters for the most part ARE interesting and compelling except for Danny himself, whose delivery is very stiff and wooden. The rest of the characters are interesting enough and have more than enough character development and nuance to overcome that though. The show can survive a wooden one dimensional lead because everyone else is captivating. Ward isn’t just a douchey bully. He has layers of never quite living up to his dad and struggling to find his own legacy and to be strong under the weight of such expectation. Joy isn’t just the good sister, she has layers of doubt and does some pretty shady shit for an otherwise decent person, and visibly struggles with the guilt of knowing that what’s best for business isn’t necessarily what’s best for her conscience. Harold could have easily been a cookie-cutter ruthless asshole corporate villain bad guy type but even though he clearly hasn’t been father of the year to Ward and Joy, he clearly cares about them both, they’re what motivates him, and they’re his primary reason for wanting to get out of his deal with the Hand. He also clearly cares about Danny once he accepts he really is Danny, even as he’s using Danny to try to save himself and his kids from Madame Gao, he clearly actually cares about Danny and wants him to be careful around Gao. And Colleen is a tired young woman trying to save a handful of kids from the pressures and dangers of being poor non-white teenagers in the meat grinder that is New York, who sometimes lets her frustrations get the better of her and is far from the token Asian Martial Arts Teacher trope she easily could have been. The only things that are really dragging this shown down are Danny being so wooden and uninteresting, and the forced romantic subplot between him and Colleen that has no logical reason in or out of story to be there, that feels forced and awkward and makes me want to fast forward every time it rears it’s ugly head. In story it makes no sense. She has no reason to even like this guy who has aassaulted one of her students, lead goons to her school causing damage she can’t afford to fix without going to underground fight clubs, and put her and her students lives at risk. Out of story this story doesn’t even NEED a romance plot of ANY kind. It adds nothing to the plot and in fact derails the pacing and brings the plot to a crawl. I guess they figured because the other three all had romance subplots that worked and made sense Iron Fist had to have one too, but it feels woefully tacked on and pointless.
Alright, rant over, back to the recap.
Ward arrives at the penthouse to find Harold violently breaking down the bodies for disposal. Ward heaves as Harold jokes about a kitchen accident. He tells Ward to get them to Central Park where the police will find them once he’s done destroying any identifiable features. Ward is, understandably, very reluctant to be a part of this, but he nontheless gives in to his dad’s wishes and after loading up his car downs more pills, and I’m still waiting for him to cave in and take the heroin. He drives them to a wooded area and starts talking to one of the corpses as if responding to a conversation, and damn dude be trippin’. He drags the bodies into a pond and gets back in his car. After checking his phone and texting someone, presumably Harold, he drives off.
Colleen wakes up to find Danny staring out the window, finding the city very peaceful in the morning hours. He awkwardly hints that she took his virginity and that he enjoyed it, and she says some cheesy stuff about him not having to wear any mask of bravado . Later Danny is back at the office and Joy hands him a bullshit apology statement she wants him to read to dig the company out of the pr nightmare he caused by being a decent human being with a shred of compassion. He balks, and Joy gives him a chewing out for not taking his responsibilities seriously, when he sees Madame Gao casually stroll into his office. plays her skeevy head games with him and drips with the condescending arrogance that makes you want to throat punch an elderly woman. She tells him he’s impotent as the Iron Fist and he should just enjoy being a rich white boy. She toys with him by continually refusing to answer his questions about his father and leaves, but in her arrogance makes the tiniest of mistakes and Danny sees it. He follows Gao down a private elevator shaft the hard way to the 13th floor, which no American Building normally has and is clearly a hidden floor for Hand use.
Joy checks in with Ward and awkwardly tries to smooth things over and express that she’s just worried about him because she cares and suggests he take a few weeks off to get clean. Surprisingly he doesn’t protest, and they hug. She just wants him to be safe. Danny eavesdrops on Gao getting a status update on their drug operations through Rand. They expect to cover the entire Eastern Seaboard in a view months. Danny listens in horror but keeps quiet. Gao gets up to leave but pauses a moment. She leaves anyway, and anny approaches the blonde woman who gave Gao the update. He tells her to leave the company and run. She says they’ll find her. He says he’ll find them first.
Colleen is practicing with the repaired combat dummy and a man at the door teases her about her form. She clearly knows this man, whom she calls Akudo. They hug, and talk about Danny being the Iron Fist. We’re FINALLY given a reason for her until now unexplained attraction to Danny; she already knew about the Iron Fist and finds Danny’s skill and heart inspiring. Akudo tells her to keep watching him and he’ll be in touch, and my Goddess but this plot twist feels contrived as hell. Danny just happened to stumble across a young woman who was here to watch him the whole time? Who at first didn’t even want him around? MAKE THE HURTING STOP.
Danny is back upstairs and Megan sees the state he’s in, and rushes him into his office to help him get cleaned up before meeting the board. She gives him the only box of his father’s things she could find, which contains nothing but a passcard. he asks her what she thinks of his company, and she admits her mother lives where the plant that makes people sick. . Danny attends the board meeting and tells them flat-out theyre closing the plant until it can be proven beyond all doubt one way or the other if it’s causing the cancer outbreak. He shuts down all attempts by board members to mock his naivete or insist it’s bad business by saying it’s the right thing and he already leaked the story to Karen Paige so they really have no choice unless they WANT to shoot themselves in the foot with bad press. He also orders them to restore the dental coverage they took away from their employees in the last contract disputes.
Danny shows Harold the tablet with all of the Hand’s drug operation info on it. They discuss the secret office floor, Danny’s dad, and the realization that without Rand, the Hand’s whole operation falls apart. Danny figures out where the Hand must be keeping the Chemist. He wants to fulfill his promise to the man, but Harold tells him to be smart and think of the bigger picture, and take this chance to cripple Gao’s operation.
Colleen is having a ceremony at her Dojo, as Daryl has been accepted for the scholarship he was working towards. Danny arrives and smiles watching. After her claass leaves, he warns her that the Hand knows about her and Claire, and that he has a plan to rescue the chemist. Colleen says she’s in. Ward meanwhile is in a limo on his way to either rehab or a resort, when wherever he’s going calls and says his credit card has been declined. He checks his bank account and finds it’s been completely emptied out. He tells the driver to stop the car. Meanwhile Danny and Colleen are at the restaurant talking with the Triad, trying to convince them to join the fight. He tells them point blank Gao will kill them within the week, but they fear HIM, If the TRriad fights with him, they can strike a blow. Elsewhere Joy is in her office when they greedy black guy on the board comes in and tells her the board met without her and that she, Ward and Danny were ousted in an emergency vote to keep them from letting Danny interfere in their business plans anymore. Joy is speechless.
The Triad raid a drug lab and lay waste to as Colleen and Danny make their way deeper into the building trying to find Madame Gao, and instead find the chemist. He’s dying, and mumbles an apology for telling her how to make the heroin. He dies in Danny’s arms after telling him where Gao went, and Danny angrily realizes that it’s a city in China and it’s where his father was going when the plane crashed.
Ward storms into the penthouse to yell at Harold about his emptied accounts, and Harold says he knew about Ward embezzling that money and cut him off to stop him from ruining his plan to free them from the Hand. Ward tells Harold he was happy the day he died, and Harold punches him in the ribs. He tells Ward that he created him and he belongs to Harold. He turns his back on Ward to tell him about everything he found on the tablet Danny brought him, and Ward snaps completely and stabs him to death. He disposes of Harold in the same spot he dumped the Hand bodies, and the episode closes with Ward driving his car and lapsing into a creepy as hell slasher smile with a dash of Kubrick stare thrown in.
See you soon for episode 8!
Tags: iron fist, marvel, Netflix