Apparently, I’m one of the few people in the entire world who liked the first season of Marvel’s Iron Fist – more than Daredevil and Jessica Jones. I recognize the main flaw of the series was the lead character himself Danny Rand (Iron Fist) played by a sort of vacant Finn Jones, but I’m not sure what people expected out this series. The character has never been a top tier Marvel hero and has always been pretty weird and introspective, so the show captured that aspect fairly well. What made Season One work for me were all the side stories and the family dynamic between Rand and his childhood friends Joy Meachum (Jessica Stroup) and her brother Harold Meachum (David Wenham).
Having run shows like Daybreak, Sleepy Hallow and Heroes Reborn, Executive Producer and new show runner Raven Metzner certainly has the genre chops, but most of the shows he’s been involved in haven’t exactly set the world on fire. Metzner opens the second season with a bang and immediately puts one of the primary complaints with Season One to rest. The fight choreography in the beginning is far more assured and more robust than anything showed in all of Season one. As a matter of fact, the opening episode has several solid action sequences that shows that Finn has definitely been training.
The other thing that I loved about the first six episodes were how tight the story flowed. The pieces are moved around at a fast clip and flows fairly well with only a few minor bumps. There are LOT of subplots being weaved in the first 6 episodes but it never loses focus of the A and B plot. It really felt like I was watching a traditional comic book story ark. Unlike the rest of the Marvel Netflix Shows, or Netflix Shows in general, this grabbed me right away.
I never once felt an urge to skip ahead, each moment mattered and lead somewhere. It didn’t feel like it was artificially dragging moment out. We get several anticipated confrontations by episode three. There’s a clear beginning, middle and end to the story arc in the first 6 episodes. So much so that I was like, “What the hell, is this season only 6 episodes? I thought it was 13!” I would be perfectly satisfied with the season if it just ended here.
As action packed as the first few episodes are, by episode 4 all the forward momentum seems to disappear, but what these episodes lack in action it more than makes up for in character building bits. This is the part of the season where it becomes less about Danny and more about the supporting characters. In some respects, I found these episodes pretty boring, but there were a couple of real bright spots.
We find out more about what Joy is up to. Is she going to be the ultimate villain of the season? My guess is yes, considering she’s going to ultimately end up screwing Danny out of his company. This hasn’t happened yet, so I’m not spoiling anything, but the fool does blindly sign a document that gives Joy a hefty “severance package.”
There’s a flashback heavy episode where we find out a lot more about Danny’s rivalry with his “brother” Davos (Sacha Dhawan) and the thing that happens in the comic that fans expect happens in episode five. Which again goes to how fast paced this season is so far. This big event in any other Netflix show wouldn’t have happened until episode 10. I honestly have no idea where they go with the remainder of the season as very little has been telegraphed beyond S6.
Joy’s brother Harold Meachum (David Wenham) isn’t given much to do in the first 6 episodes. But it is nice to see Danny have at least one friend who isn’t trying to stab him in the back. Finn and Colleen are in a good place, however after the events of The Defenders, Colleen has sworn off vigilantism and is trying to do good by working at a community center. Season two also brings two new editions, Mary Walker (Alice Eve) who many long time comic fans will recognize as Daredevil villain – Typhoid Mary and Luke Cage alum Misty Night (Simone Missick).
Danny Rand’s constant and continued naivete is one the of the things that I really don’t like about his character. He comes across as if the 60s Batman and Robin were dropped into the modern world. Yeah, it’s funny in small doses, but Rand’s earnestness seems to be his only defining trait. While admirable, I want to see him get angry or actually question things a bit more or just be smarter.
We do see him falling a bit too in love with using his power and I wonder if that will come into play later in the season, I certainly hope not, but I would like to see some more layers to his character. Not suddenly have him be dark or broody, but something.
If you tapped out during Season One, Season Two is definitely worth a revisit. Its better, less clunky, moves at a fast clip, all the characters are now established and ready to kick ass and chew bubble gum.
Marvel’s Iron Fist Season Two Launches on Netflix September 7, 2018
Final Grade B