SERIES REVIEW: IRON FIST Season Two Belongs to the Daughters of the Dragon
Let start first by saying that Iron Fist Season Two is better than Season One. However, we don't have our leading man to thank for this, it is the women of Iron Fist that elevate Season 2 - especially the Daughters of the Dragon.
Gone is Harold Meachum and his creepy "crazy uncle in the attic vibe." Also gone are the mystical Hand or Danny Rand's "fish out of water moments" from last season. Instead, what we have is a richness of women leading the way for the series. Simone Missick as Detective Misty Knight and Alice Eve as "Mary" (who is well known to Daredevil fans) are welcome additions to the cast and compliment Jessica Henwicks’ Colleen Wing and Jessica Stroup’s Joy Meachum very well. All of them provide a great deal of pathos to the series.
Now, for this review, I decided to give thoughts per the episodes I had the opportunity to see. So here it goes...SPOILER WARNING!!
Episode One starts us off by bringing us up to date on where the main players from last season have been up to: Danny moves furniture. Colleen volunteers at a center for immigrants. Ward is in therapy (and banging his sponsor). Last but not least we have Joy and Davos, who are scheming together in the shadows to take down you know who. Aside from these subplots, we are also introduced to Alice Eve’s Mary - warning: It will be difficult to look at a post it note again and not think of her.
I didn't care much for this episode as there were a few noticeable holes throughout. For instance, Danny is cut in the arm foiling a robbery during this episode, yet the next day we find him moving furniture without nearly a grimace. Additionally, Danny signs a significant legal document but barely reads it. Still, with all of this said, there is a great verbal sparing scene between Danny and Colleen over a piece of crab sushi that is quite entertaining. Colleen Wing, not to get out done by Rand, gets the first of two major fight sequences in the first six episodes.
Episode Two is the best of the 6 initial episodes in my opinion - not coincidentally shot by a female director, Rachel Talalay. It is beautifully shot, with a gorgeous interior/exterior view of a coffeehouse. As characters walk down the streets, they are framed against tight corners.
Talalay, in this episode, also flips the script of men being sexual predators and has a woman play that role in dealing with Davos. Speaking of Davos, this episode finally - as the viewers - allows us to see how Danny won the right to face the dragon over Davos. Talalay's deft hand allows us separate sequences peppered throughout the episode instead of a long sequence to show this fight. It is from this fight, that we have a clearer understanding of why Davos is so mad with Danny: he never actually yielded.
Episode Three is remarkable only for a predictable reveal and an awkward dinner party; however, in Episode 4, Misty Knight steps in and her character elevates everyone else’s game. It’s a crackle of energy. Especially the scenes where Misty and Colleen share the screen. In this and Episode 5, we not only discover what is at the heart of Davos and Joy’s plan, we additionally get to see how lethally effective Mary is.
Episode Six is the second best of the initial six episodes in my opinion. Its not a coincidence that the women have the most time on screen and dialogue in the series. For example, there is a dialogue scene between Colleen and Misty involving jabanero versus teriyaki chips that was brilliant. We are also treated to a fantastically choreographed fight scene at a tattoo parlor.
Jessica Stroup gets some poignant moments with David Pelphrey to show her emotional range, and Alice Eve’s Mary demonstrates why she is the only one who legitimately stands a chance against Davos - who now has a specific new skill of his own.
Best of the episodes:
* The women of Iron Fist
* The verbal sparing over crab sushi
* The discussion of jabanero versus teriyaki chips
* Post it notes.
The women of Iron Fist are not the entirety of the series. There are more morsels to consume: Tom Pelphrey does an excellent job running his Ward through a plethora of emotions, and he and Danny share a poignant scene about addiction. Finn Jones is better this time around in Season Two, but as with The Defenders, he is better when he can play off the supporting cast around him.
Worst of the six episodes:
* The ability of people to suffer serious wounds and bounce back in no time.
* A glaring lack of Claire.
Iron Fist Season Two drops on September 7th only on Netflix.
I give the first 6 episodes a B+.