Iron Fist returns for a second season, September 7th on Netflix.
By Chris Flanagan
The first season of Iron Fist managed to be a divisive one. It teased a world in which martial arts and a mystical power delivered via a fist was law and order for New York’s Chinatown, however, in reality, all it gave us was a former Game of Thrones alum trying to carry a show that took too long to get off the ground and become interesting. And this is coming from someone who actually liked the first season! In the second season’s first six episodes, Iron Fist not only builds on its previous season but manages to catapult the story forward to a place where it not only is entertaining but is apparent that the development and growth of both its leading and supporting cast is a primary focus this time around.
Season two picks up with Danny and Colleen forming a life for themselves in New York after the events of The Defenders which left a power vacuum for control of the city that many local gangs are seeking to occupy after the destruction of The Hand. Colleen has hung up her sword and is focused on giving back to her community but is eventually swayed into returning to the fight as she watches Danny devote his existence to continuing to protect the people of Chinatown. Still reeling from the death of her father, Joy is now partnered with Davos, Danny’s former brother in Kunlun, who is bent on taking his place as the Iron Fist. Together they seek not only the destruction of Danny but also Joy’s brother, Ward, who she also blames for the events surrounding her father’s death. This plot for revenge gives way to several supporting characters, both old and new, to enter the story. Detective Misty Knight establishes her presence into the narrative as more and more bodies begin to turn up in New York City hinting at a potential team up with Colleen Wing. Fans of the comics know that they form The Daughters of the Drago, but for now, the show merely teases at the possibility of it down the road. For me, the standout performance so far is given by Alice Eve. Eve plays Mary Walker, a former spec ops who suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder which causes her personality to become split into two completely different people. Eve gives a commanding, albeit unique, performance as both Mary and Walker who are very much the opposite from one another and helps add a layer to the storyline.
From what I can gather so far, the second season of Iron Fist seems to have learned and adapted from the shortcomings of its previous season. It presents the story with a villain whose motivation is entertaining and exciting, places both good and evil characters around that character that come each with their own minor arcs, and choose to pace the story in a way where it always feels that it’s moving forward. My worry for all Marvel shows appearing on Netflix is that they become stagnant over the course of 13 episodes but through its first six, Iron Fist has managed to avoid becoming saddled by undeveloped plot lines and uninteresting dialogue and instead told a very entertaining story that I wish desperately to see through till the end. Luckily, the powers that be have limited Danny Rand’s second outing to just 10 hours instead of the usual 13. Hopefully, that tightness pays off.
I give Iron Fist Season 2 a B.