Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Iron Fist – Under Leaf Pluck Lotus / Immortal Emerges from Cave
The fifth and six episodes of Iron Fist finally get around to introducing the series' villains. Returning from the Second Season of Daredevil are the still-ill-defined versions of the Hand. Yah? Along with them comes Rosario Dawson in her role as Claire, the only character who has appeared in all four series. A student of Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), Claire gets pulled back into the super-hero nonsense she hoped she had moved past when Danny (Finn Jones) and Colleen's paths reconnect and she helps him investigate the Hand's illegal drug smuggling being done in the ports Rand owns. The discovery of the drug's creator (Olek Krupa) will force Danny into direct confrontation with the Hand to free the man's daughter (Alessia Sushko), and it will force Claire and Colleen to make a hard decision given the man's failing health.
Wai Ching Ho reprises her role as Madame Gao who facilitates a contest between hand-picked Hand assassins and the Iron Fist. The episode teases a greater connect between Gao and K'un-Lun, but like pretty much every aspect of the group the show straddles the fence and never gives any straight answers. Memorable for the only time in the season where Danny will square off in organized combat against the Hand's assassins, the fights aren't as memorable as you would expect. While visually striking, Jane Kim's short stint as the Bride of Nine Spiders doesn't hold up all that well under multiple viewings (but even that works better than the odd logic giving the Hand being intermittently both honorable and treacherous traits depending on the mood of the episode's writer).
The episodes are also notable for continue their world building as Ward's (Tom Pelphrey) drug addiction is highlighted along with Danny's disastrous run as a business man and Joy's (Jessica Stroup) conflicted nature where all things are concerned. And, thanks to a little night-time snooping and breaking and entering, Danny and Colleen's connection deepens as well. Unfortunately there's a big hiccup in the pair's way, which also leads to some possible continuity issues given her actions here, but we'll get to that a little later in the series.