“Iron Fist” collapses in second season


By Reece Keusch ’19

All of Marvel’s Netflix shows have been both praised and criticized, but “Iron Fist” season two has been rightfully subject to criticism far more than any other. After a shaky yet enjoyable first season, Finn Jones is back for season two as Danny Rand, better known as the Iron Fist.

The whole season is based around Danny trying to keep peace among three Chinese “clans” in New York. The tedious diplomatic scenes between Danny and multiple tertiary character’s take up a large portion of the show, in which the producers try but fail to rationalize why the audience should care about what’s going on.

The rest of the show is a combination of Danny, perhaps the most uninteresting character in the whole show, being clueless as to what is secretly going on with the people he thinks he knows best, and his childhood friend Davos (Sacha Dhawan) becoming more and more power-hungry and vengeful.

This season’s finale set up the villain, and offered a lot of mystery as to who Danny could actually trust. Unfortunately, season two lost not only the humor and somewhat intricate storylines of season one, but all semblance of structure and purpose, which is possibly why the show has just been discontinued by Marvel and Netflix.

From the very start of season two, the characters, whether they’ve been newly introduced or have been in the show since the first few episodes, make decisions that are so out of character that all suspension of disbelief is lost.

A perfect example of this is Danny’s childhood friend and practically his sister, Joy Meachum (Jessica Stroup). Her character in the new season is almost a polar opposite from before, often making decisions that are clearly just written into the show to help guide the story in a certain direction, cover up plot holes or even just as an attempt to provide some sort of shock-factor into the dull story. Most of the good villains and secondary characters were killed off in season one, so the characters that filled the gaps were confusing, if not just flat-out mundane.

Perhaps the only interesting character in the whole show is Ward Meachum (Tom Pelphrey), Danny’s friend and Joy’s brother. He is the only character in the show who has a logical character development and anything interesting to say, even though he ends up getting caught up in the shambles of the other characters stories. Ward’s comical demeanor and seemingly consistent motives and inner struggles make him the only character I cared about in the whole season.

Up until episode nine, this season wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever watched; there was a fair share of good fistfights, and some interesting flashbacks to Danny’s childhood. There were definitely some fun parts to the season, no matter how stale and cliché the script was. But when episode nine of 10 came around, the show began to set up for the ending to the season in possibly the most predictable and anticlimactic way.

What’s worse is that it all resulted from what felt like extremely forced screenwriting.This led to multiple of the main character’s attempting to explain the most illogical and uncharacteristic decisions I may have ever seen in a show. I did finish episode 10, however painstakingly frustrating it was to watch “Iron Fist” apex at a final fight in which the main character himself, Danny Rand, didn’t take part.

As I neared the final minutes of the season, I thought to myself that they couldn’t possibly screw up the show anymore than they already have, but then, in the last scene of the season, we see a scene three months into the future that makes the characters’ decisions over the last two episodes even more confusing.

If you are someone who doesn’t mind cheesy lines and a mediocre storyline at very best, I would definitely recommend season one of “Iron Fist”. However, if you are can somehow look past dozens of flaws, avoidable plot holes, and insufferable characters, this season of “Iron Fist” may be for you. As someone who likes watching shows and movies for fun and as an artform, season two of “Iron Fist” truly disappointed on all fronts.