Marvel’s Iron Fist Season 2 Review
Season 2 of Iron Fist has finally arrived on Netflix and they have redeemed themselves after a boring first season.
The first season of Netflix/Marvel’s Iron Fist was pretty hard to watch. The writing was horrible, fights weren’t very exciting, acting wasn’t bad but not great, and many more flaws made it unwatchable. Danny Rand was so annoying in the first season that even when he showed up for The Defenders he weighed that series down, despite the rest of the cast’s strengths. I had high hopes for season 2, but during its panel at San Diego Comic-Con this year it seemed like they stepped up and fixed what was wrong with the show.
Now that the new season is officially out, I can say that Iron Fist season 2 is so much better and actually watchable. There are some moments where it falls short, but it excels in more areas. There are characters that you will want more of, and some you just want to go away just for a few episodes. Finn Jones’ Danny Rand is much improved. In season 1, Danny was insufferable; this was not all on Jones, it was due to bad writing, but in season 2 we get a character that fans can get excited about.
In The Defenders, Danny and several other heroes come together to defeat The Hand, a secretive group of poorly developed villains who have hurt several seasons of the multiple Marvel/Netflix series. The Hand’s defeat is the best thing that could have happened to these shows, and thankfully, Iron Fist doesn’t bring them back for season 2, physically at least. The Hand’s presence is still felt but mainly in the shifting relationships between the characters, and that is exactly how it should be.
Danny and Colleen (the very talented Jessica Henwick) are living a pretty simple life, despite Rand’s wealth. She helps out a local community center and he has a job as a professional mover. They have converted Colleen’s former dojo into a cool living space following Colleen’s discovery that she had unknowingly been training recruits for The Hand. Ward Meachum (Tom Pelphrey) is in a 12 steps recovery program, while sister Joy (Jessica Stroup) has it out for him and Danny for reasons you might remember if you managed to stay focused in season 1. It doesn’t really quite matter; what’s important is that she ends up teaming up with Davos (Sacha Dhawan), Danny’s rival while training at the mystical K’un-Lun.
K’un-Lun has a pretty big role in the first few episodes of season 2, and this time the flashbacks make K’un-Lun seem like a real place, with little bits of insight as Davos’s mother pressures him to defeat Danny and take on the mantle of the Iron Fist. These flashbacks aren’t as pointless and repetitive as they were back in season 1. It gives Davos’s perspective (that Danny stole the title of the Iron Fist, and then abandoned his duties and left K’un-Lun unprotected) more understandable. It almost makes you feel sorry for Davos in a way.
Showrunner Raven Metzer replaced Scott Buck this seasons and that could very well have contributed to season 2 leap in quality. Metzner isn’t the only upgrade season 2 got behind the scenes; season 2 massively improved their fight scenes thanks to new fight choreographer Clayton Barber, whose credits include Creed and Black Panther. It’s safe to say that the fight choreography is a key part of a martial arts show, so Barber’s improvements are greatly appreciated.
Season 2 also comes with a few new (at least to this show) characters. Simone Missick’s Misty Knight crosses over from Luke Cage in a handful of episodes and teams up with Colleen while Danny is busy doing other things, and his absence makes their dynamic all the more enjoyable. They aren’t calling themselves the Daughters of the Dragon at the moment, but the idea is there so hopefully we get to see more of that in season 3 of Iron Fist. Alice Eve joins the series as Mary Walker, a villain from the comics, known as Typhoid Mary, who makes a spectacular live-action debut. Mary’s split personality has everyone on their toes, but it’s unclear just where her story is going.
Iron Fist Season 2 is just ten episodes (all the Marvel have had 13 episode season which some argue is too long). Even if you dislike Iron Fist, which is totally understandable, it’s worth watching season 2 as we see a different Danny, who hits a low point, though he isn’t down for long.