Iron Fist - Season 2
Sadly I finished watching this excellent season just as it was announced that Netflix was canceling it and Luke Cage, which kind of put a damper on getting my review written. And it’s a real shame, because this was such an improvement over the first season, especially for Danny, who, let’s be real here, was probably the single worst character to come out of Marvel’s netflix shows. I’m not even just talking main characters here. Danny was a train wreck of a character.
One thing that the Netflix shows have done an excellent job of is character development. Everyone has a story arc, everyone grows and changes. Danny, after returning to NYC as the Iron Fist goes through a lot in season 1 and in the Defenders. And in season 2 we can see that it’s had an effect. He’s a bit more mature, but still struggling, and a bit afraid of his power controlling him. Like Luke Cage he’s struggling with the gangs, and you can see that he’s very clearly doing his best not to set himself up as the defacto kingpin.
However that hesitancy to use the Fist’s full power is one of Davos’ major issues with Danny. And when he steals the Fist from Danny, he starts using it indiscriminately. Davos is a remarkably sympathetic antagonist, far more in the mold of anti-hero rather than villain. He’s grieving the loss of everyone he’s ever loved, his home, and the feeling of betrayal by Danny. Honestly Davos mirrors Danny’s journey in a way that looking back should have been more obvious to me before sitting down to write this.
Colleen Wing’s journey this season begins with her having put up the sword, and trying to live a life of peace. Hard to do with the Immortal Iron Fist as her live in boyfriend, and she keeps getting dragged back in. There’s also a fun subplot with her family that helps push along the season to its conclusion.
The Meechums… Ho-boy… These two very damaged people both looking to reinvent themselves and going about it in conflicting ways.
Ward is doing all the things you’re supposed to do on the road to recovery, trying to deal with the myriad of issues he has in his life while also running Rand Corp. Except, of course, he’s fucking it up (in part by hooking up with his sponsor).He’s desperate to reconnect with his sister. He’s still incredibly selfish, which Joy is happy to point out, but he’s trying. He is, I think, the most sympathetic character of the series.
Joy, teaming up with Davos, is out to hurt Danny, and wants nothing to do with her brother. Some of the best scenes with her revolve around the dinner at Colleen’s apartment. It was so delightfully forced and awkward. More like a scene out of a comedy of manners than something out of a superhero tv show! It was so incredibly uncomfortable for all of the characters for all of their different reasons. By the end of the season the anger she’d been nursing and the danger she’d been courting have run their course. Where she’ll go from there will be interesting to see. Or it would have if the show hadn’t been canceled.
Joy hired Walker (aka Typhoid Mary) to help Davos steal the Fist. Played by Alice Eve (who I know as Dr. Carol Marcus from Star Trek Into Darkness) she does a fantastic job playing both Mary the sweet artist, and Walker the cold ex-special forces killer. Typhoid Mary is yet another character I’m unfamiliar with, but this version fits in really well with the rest of the street level characters.
Things get really interesting as the season progresses. Danny without his power, Colleen conflicted, Misty pushing Colleen to work with her, Joy getting what she’d planned, and it not working out like she thought… Then things get CRAZY, as Colleen gets the Fist, while Davos ALSO has the fist… and then that ending. Again, just like Luke Cage, the last few minutes of the season put it over the top.
It’s a crime that we doesn’t get to see Danny and Ward out on their quest, see Colleen and Misty cleaning up the streets…