iron fist season 2 trailer

The second season of Iron Fist has most of its characters struggling to figure out who they are and what their purpose in life should be. I, after watching all ten episodes of the season, went through a similar process. It was a journey, but at the end – like some of the show’s characters – I have realized who I truly am: I am a person who wants to watch more Iron Fist.

It’s shocking, I know. I still don’t really believe it myself. It took time to get there — to the end of the eighth episode, “Citadel on the Edge of Violence,” in fact.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Below is an overview of what makes this season better than the last (The Good), what isn’t so great (The Bad) and what makes me excited to see what’s next in store for these characters (The Crazy).

Warning: spoilers abound.

iron fist season 2 featurette

The Good

The Fighting

The show’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con focused on Clayton Barber bringing better fight scenes to the new season. Barber and new showrunner Raven Metzner’s promise of better action held up, and the episodes are chock full of fun fights. While Danny does hold his own, my favorite scenes involved Colleen and/or Misty, including the two of them fighting the three tattoo-artists extraordinaire (the Crane Sisters), Colleen fighting a gang of street thugs after they killed BB, her street thug friend, and Colleen in the last episode fighting Davos (more details on this fight later).

The Daughters of the Dragon

In the comic books, Colleen Wing and Misty Knight are also known as the Daughters of the Dragon. In the show, in addition to kicking ass in general, the two have great chemistry, which only grows from their delightful scenes in Season 2 of Luke Cage. I would have no problem if Marvel and Netflix decided to do a Daughters of the Dragon spin-off; at the very least, Misty intimates that we’ll like see the two of them together again to deal with Luke, who’s taken on a new leadership position in Harlem.

The Enemies Are Complicated, Which Makes Things More Interesting

In Season 1, the enemy was the Hand, a powerful yet played-out Big Bad. The antagonists this season are varied: there’s Davos, of course; Danny’s brother from K’un-Lun who is even more of a pompous ass than Danny, and wants the Heart of the Dragon (i.e., glowing fist hands) for himself. There’s also Joy Meachum, who’s so angry at her brother and Danny for lying to her about her father that she’ll partner with a psychopath like Davos to make them suffer. Add Typhoid Mary into the mix (wonderfully played by Alice Eve), an assassin with multiple personalities (personalities she got being a prisoner in Sokovia, by the way) who is hired by Joy, and things get more interesting. So interesting, in fact, that Joy and Mary turn against Davos mid-way through the series when he becomes Steel Serpent after stealing the power of the Iron Fist from Danny.

Other antagonists muck things up as well: let’s not forget that there are two Triad gangs — The Hatchets and The Golden Tigers — that like to do illegal things and kill people from time to time, as well as an annoyingly squirrely group of street kids who (except for BB, the orphan with a heart of gold) become Davos’ minions.

But Davos is the main bad guy, who is so stupidly intense that, with an actor less skilled than Sacha Dhawan, would come across as merely annoying rather than surprisingly entertaining. Some of the lines he had to carry with intense sincerity are: “I don’t drink, and I maximize my diet for my physical well-being,” and, “I don’t eat meat. Killing animals for sustenance is a disgrace.” And the best thing he does for the show is take Danny’s power away, which makes Danny realize he shouldn’t get his power back.

Danny is Annoying, But Less Annoying Than He Was in Season 1

Like most people, I really didn’t like the character of Danny Rand in the first season of the show. He was pompous and privileged and arrogant, like a little school boy who got a shiny new toy he didn’t know how to play with. The Defenders took him down a notch or two, but not enough. This time around, he’s still annoyingly self-righteous, but the show leans into this and makes it a central point of his character arc; throughout the course of the show, Danny realizes he doesn’t have control of the Fist, that the Heart of the Dragon is consuming him, in part because he doesn’t have a real purpose in life.

Davos, always good with an eloquent turn of the phase, tells Danny in episode 6, “You value nothing because your privilege has afforded you everything.” I know Davos is the bad guy and all, but he’s right! And Danny realizes it as well, which is why he asks Colleen to take the power of the Fist if/when they manage to extract it out of Davos (see The Crazy section for more details!).

Iron Fist season 2 Comic-Con

The Bad

Dumb Dinner Date Scene in Episode 3

Even though the season is mercifully trimmed down to 10 episodes instead of the 13-episode arcs that the Netflix MCU shows seem to love, there were still scenes and plots that were superfluous or a too on the nose.

Please don’t make me remember this episode too much; it’s painful. The majority of the episode is about Danny and Colleen inviting Davos and Joy to a home-cooked dinner (at Ward’s behest, but he doesn’t even show up!), and it’s socially awkward. I get it’s trying to show the dynamics between the characters, but having Davos and Danny talking over burnt meatballs doesn’t quite work.

Flashbacks to K’un-Lun

There were several flashbacks to Danny and Davos in K’un-Lun throughout the season. Some of them, like their fight to decide who battles the dragon, were decent. But then there were the ones that explore Davos’ mommy issues (he’s so driven because he mom made him that way!) and a flashback at the end where the kid versions of Davos and Danny laugh and hold hands and Danny shows Davos how to make a paper airplane. It was a little bit much, and not necessary to explain why the characters are the way they are.

Danny’s Knee Is Shattered, But He Can Do Kung Fu Kicks Days Later?

Danny gets the crap kicked out of him a bunch of times, including a time when Davos takes a glowing red fist to Danny’s knee (just days after Danny almost bleeds to death, by the way). But don’t worry! Danny has Rand Technology™, which includes pins and magnets that have him recovered within days. And I know, this is a series based on people getting glowing fists from the mystical powers of a dragon, but for whatever reason, Danny’s knee recovery seems more implausible.

The Street Kids Who Just Need a Chance, Gosh Darn It

Colleen and Danny run into a group of street kids. They do stuff like kidnap Danny and fight with Colleen, but they’re good kids underneath, you know? Especially BB, who is actually really smart and likes Colleen, and serves as a great way to motivate Colleen to become the Iron Fist when his buddies kill him because he turns against Davos.

Colleen Really Could Do Better Than Danny

Colleen falling for Danny in the first place was one of my biggest frustrations with Iron Fist before this season. This frustration continued through the first eight episodes, where Colleen did everything she could to support Danny, including deciding to threaten their personal relationship by agreeing to train Danny (who has no power and a shattered knee) back into shape in order to take the Iron Fist back from Davos. Through episode 7 and until the last minute of episode 8, I kept wondering why couldn’t Colleen be the one to fight Davos? Why does Danny feel he needs to be the one to do it, even though he’s wounded, Rand Technology™ aside? It was so frustrating…until Danny came to the same conclusion and asks Colleen to take the power of the Fist.

The Crazy

Colleen Wing Is The New Immortal Iron Fist, And She is Awesome. So Awesome.

The end of episode 8 was the turning point for me as well as Danny. Our “hero” realized he sucks as the Iron Fist and I realized that Iron Fist might not completely suck anymore. Having Colleen take on the Heart of the Dragon was a brilliant move by the show’s writers; it embraces the flaws in Danny’s character that alienated so many people in Season 1 while building out the character of Colleen, a well-liked character who kicks ass. True, Colleen needed an inciting incident to push her to take on that power (that’s why BB, the street kid with a heart of gold, had to die), but when she committed and went through a crazy ritual that involves tattoos, Davos’ blood, weird hand gestures and Danny flaying off part of himself, the opportunities were endless. One of the best fight scenes of the season is between Davos and Colleen, who at the time both have glowing fists (Colleen’s fist is white in stark contrast to Davos’ red) because Davos stopped the ceremony before the transfer of the Dragon was complete.

Colleen wins, of course, but as Davos goes off to jail, there’s still 30 minutes remaining in the last episode, which covers a lot of crazy ground. The first craziness is that the box Colleen found in the first episode (you know, that box that appeared to be some B-Story line about Colleen finding connections to her family) turns out to have the sigil of the dragon on the back of the family seal embedded into the top of the box. It turns out that she is an ancestor of the first woman Iron Fist. Perhaps, as Danny thinks, it was her destiny to be the Iron Fist all along? The episode then flash-forwards a couple of months, and we see Colleen fighting crime in Chinatown, and guess what? Not only is her hand glowing white, but her katana is as well!

Danny Goes To Find Himself on a Backpacking Trip Through Asia and Ends Up with Iron Fist-Like GUNS?

But what about Danny? Colleen as the new Iron Fist effectively takes over the protagonist role for the show, and Danny decides he needs to leave New York and figure out who he is by tracking down the history of the Iron Fist. With the help of Ward, who also needs to find himself, they go to Asia to track down who sent the corpse of an Iron Fist to Davos (the flesh of which Davos needed to steal the Fist from Danny in the first place). Cut to a bar two months later in Japan, and Ward is chatting with a Bad Dude, who happens to work for Orson Randall (a former Iron Fist from the comic books). Ward and Danny stole something from Randall in Jakarta, and that something, which Danny yields like a whacked-out cowboy, are glowing Iron Fist-like guns that stop bullets?! What?!

What?!

My name is Vanessa, and I really hope there is a Season 3 of Iron Fist.

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