Recap and Review of Marvel’s Iron Fist

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Iron Fist is the fourth Netflix series tied to the MCU. It highlights the origins and development of the fourth member of The Defenders. Keep reading to hear about the individual story, how it ties into the other shows, and

The Production:

Casting:

I think the casting was perfect in this show. Every character we meet, and every new threat that emerges is played perfectly to allow the audience to immerse themselves into the lives they are watching. I was personally skeptical of Finn Jones’ casting as Iron Fist when it was announced. I felt a bit more comfortable with it after watching him in Game of Thrones, but I still wasn’t sure it would work. I’m very glad I was wrong, and I’m excited to see how some of these characters will work when The Defenders comes out.

Music:

During Jessica Jones and Daredevil, music doesn’t play a huge role. That has changed with the release of Luke Cage a few months ago, and Iron Fist now. The music perfectly ties into the story, theme, or action that is being told. Whether we’re seeing Danny listening to music that was popular before his accident 15 years ago or seeing Colleen train intently with modern-day rap in the background, it all just works.

Direction:

Keeping in line with the other shows, Iron Fist is directed by a new person with almost every episode. I love the way this is done, because it creates enough deviation to differentiate all of the episodes, but it stays consistent enough to never truly question the integrity of the show.

The Story:

The story of this show is gripping. It makes you feel that you can’t turn away, and you don’t want to miss anything that may be important later on.

The Iron Fist:

One intriguing aspect of the show is that we don’t see Danny use powers until the end of the second episode. After that point, he uses his powers more often, but he is always struggling. He doesn’t know the full extent of what he can do. He can’t recharge his chi in order to keep using his powers. His status as the Iron Fist is called into question. Really, every step of the way, he is faced with another obstacle keeping him from his destiny.

A Never-Ending Cycle of Antagonists:

As the show progresses, a number of characters bounce between being an enemy to Danny and being a friend. Ward, Joy, Harold, Bakuto, and more each take time appearing to be the primary antagonist. We don’t know for sure who the “Big Bad” is until the final two episodes. I’ll mention later how it potentially sets up the antagonist for “The Defenders”.

The Multi-Billion Dollar Company:

Much of the story centers on Rand Industries, including who is going to run it. I don’t want to spoil the ending too much, but we should definitely expect that Rand Industries will continue to play a part in the stories of The Defenders. Even if we have to wait until a potential second season of Iron Fist, I can’t imagine that this is the last we’ve seen of the company.

The Mystical Connection:

The MCU has been drifting into a more mystical realm for a while. The first portion of Agents of SHIELD this season, Doctor Strange, the next Thor movie (potentially), the Infinity Stones in general, all have aspects based in the mystical, rather than science. Iron Fist runs a lot on that idea. K’un L’un, and the things Danny learns there are steeped in the mystical. The actions and lessons of The Hand are not at the same level, but they are less than focused on scientific ideas. I think that this theme will continue for a while, as there are various things that can be done with that idea and story.

Spoiler Alert

The Connections: (Spoiler Alert)

From this point on, I will be talking about the way that Iron Fist is able to tie-in to the rest of the universe. Stop here if you don’t want the ending of Iron Fist spoiled.

Claire Temple:

She is the only person connecting all 4 of The Defenders. It makes sense that they will come together. With that being said, she is not the biggest fan of any of them. Her romantic relationship with Luke Cage will help, but why would she connect the others. She explicitly told Danny and Colleen that they are “F’ed up” because they “resort to violence”. You could say that exact thing about Jessica Jones and Matt Murdock. Something serious is going to have to happen before Claire is willing to bring The Defenders together.

Jeri Hogarth:

This could be a more realistic way that the Defenders come together. Danny Rand is a client, Murdock is a fellow lawyer, and Jones is a private investigator with connections to Hogarth’s law firm. If something starts to happen, she could bring those three together, and Jessica Jones could bring Luke Cage in to help. She would be less inclined to worry about the type of people The Defenders are. I guess we’ll see what happens this Fall.

The Full Iron Fist Powers:

With K’un L’un no longer there, Danny has to find a way to master the powers of the Iron Fist. Bakuto offered to teach him, but of course he then revealed himself as a member of The Hand, and even temporarily acted as the leader. My guess is that Stick will come into play here. If Danny can locate Stick, he could learn how to properly balance his Chi and master his Iron Fist powers. I’m unsure if this will happen before or after Danny meets Matt Murdock, but I definitely expect it either way.

The Hand:

There is no doubt in my mind that The Hand is going to be the major villain when The Defenders team up. Now that Madame Gao has escaped captivity at Bakuto’s school, and, presumably, retaken control of The Hand, they are going to be more vicious than ever. It’s likely that we’ll see these four come together to get The Hand out of New York. We heard Stick in the original promo for The Defenders, and I believe that Stick will help Danny learn. Stick and Elektra are also included in the cast of The Defenders. If there is a chance to beat The Hand, this would be it. They focused on The Hand for the duration of this season. They need to address it fully sometime soon, and this team-up would be perfect.

Review:

Overall I think Iron Fist is an excellent addition to the Netflix shows and the MCU as a whole. It wasn’t perfect, but it laid down a solid foundation for the expansion we will hopefully continue to see. In terms of the other shows, this season matches closely with the first seasons of Jessica Jones and Daredevil in terms of quality. It isn’t quite on par with season 2 of Daredevil, and it is far away from the level of Luke Cage’s fist season. What it lacks in quality, though, it makes up in value to the story. I fully expect to see many of the themes we see here carry over to future seasons of all of these shows. Hopefully, a season 2 will help the show overall, as well.

 

Iron Fist is streaming on Netflix now. Catch it, as well as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage whenever you would like.

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