The Iron Fist
We have a few questions about the so-called “Living Weapon.”
How does it work, exactly? We know Danny must focus his chi in order to summon it. Unfortunately, it’s harder than it sounds. Things get in the way of Danny’s focus, but…
At one point early on, Danny says the psych ward’s drugs prevent him from focusing his chi and summoning the fist; however, moments after Danny is doped out and dragged across the hospital, he beats up three of Ward’s men and blasts down a steel door with a single punch.
Does killing people also mess up Danny’s chi? During the penultimate episode, Colleen seems to think that this is the case. But earlier on we find out that the Iron Fist’s duty is to end The Hand and Davos calls Danny weak for not killing Bakuto.
Going a bit further, what are the Iron Fist’s origins and how does defeating a Shaolin dragon give someone that power?
Why is the Iron Fist the sworn enemy of The Hand? What is their history? And if they are sworn enemies, then they must have fought each other at one point, right? Then why does Danny reference The Hand as if they’re a myth? Sure, he may never have fought them personally, but surely K’un-Lun possess some record of at least one of the previous Iron Fists doing battle with the shadowy organization.
At this point in the Marvel/Netflix Universe, The Hand doesn’t possess a cohesive identity. They’re just an omnipresent entity for our heroes to fight. In season two of Daredevil, The Hand is digging a big hole for some reason. In Iron Fist, The Hand is selling heroin. Are these two somehow connected or is The Hand simply behind all the bad stuff going on in New York?
To muddle matters more, apparently there are multiple factions within The Hand. Colleen doesn’t get too specific about them either. Instead, she seems to insist that one is trying to help aimless kids find purpose and that the other faction, lead by Goa, is selling drugs. What is the endgame here and how is this hierarchy structured?
More than identity, how does The Hand’s resurrection technology work? We know for sure that it changes those who are brought back with it. That’s about all we know because at one point Howard cuts off a finger as a constant reminder of his failures but then has all ten later when he is brought back to life a second time. Does this tech. regenerate lost limps? Because it obviously can’t regrow the head. And when Harold is brought back a second time, why does he first wander around New York like a caveman lost in time? A simple explanation here would have cleared things up considerably.
Rand Enterprises & Board (Bored) Meetings
One of the biggest complaints about Iron Fist is that it focuses far too much on rich people sitting around discussing financial mumbo-jumbo. A lot of these scenes are the result of Danny trying to reclaim the business that is his namesake, which is understandable. However, once Danny regains his 51% stock in Rand Enterprises, he seems to have zero interest in the company and is ultimately ousted by the board (despite being the majority shareholder).
Before being voted out, however, a well-groomed Danny promises a random mother that they will look into her claims that their chemical plant gave her random son cancer. Unfortunate, yes, but we never meet this lady’s son nor do we ever hear from her again and this subplot is never tied up. Essentially, all these scenes have zero payoff, which is infuriating because they make up a bulk of the show. For more on this, here are some snapshots from the exciting, action-packed kung-fu series Iron Fist:
Sabina & the Chemist (No, it’s not a band)
Danny Rand spends three episodes tracking down and saving a woman named Sabina, who is the daughter of The Hand’s heroin chemist (who they need to smuggle into the states for some reason). If you haven’t seen the show then you’re probably wondering why The Hand needs a special chemist to make heroin. Well, it’s a special type of heroin and they get him to make it by holding his daughter, Sabina, hostage.
At one point Danny decides he’s going to search New York’s seaside warehouses until he finds where The Hand is holding Sabina. There are a lot of problems with this plot. First, Danny drives to each warehouse despite the fact that the only time he has driven a car was as a kid fifteen years ago.
Second, Danny brings Ward along for the hunt. You read that correctly. Danny Rand lets a citizen tag along while he actively seeks out the base of operations for a shadow organization run by highly trained assassins.
Thirdly, after Danny fails to locate Sabina, The Hand comes to him with a challenge. If he wins a series of fights, then they will release Sabina. Danny agrees, in turn promising to cease resisting The Hand if he fails any of their tests along the way. And along the way, Danny seems to have psychic conversations with some monk, who encourages Danny (via insults) to fight on despite his weakening state.
The identity of this monk goes unknown and Danny never again has psychic conversations. Is this a special master-trainee connection or something supernatural only an Iron Fist can achieve? If Danny hadn’t magically tamed Joy’s attack dog in the first episode by simply staring it down, I would be inclined to believe that this whole thing was just an illusion in Danny’s head sparked by bitter memories of his harsh training. Alas, this is never cleared up.
Lastly (and most offensively), The Hand cheats and Danny yields to save Sabina’s life. As it turns out, the entire thing was a rouse so that The Hand could quietly steal back their chemist and kill him. Then we never hear from Sabina again. Yup, that’s the end of a three episode arc.
To those who suffered through all thirteen hours, one thing is clear: Danny Rand is a crybaby. He’s consistently apologizing for his ceaseless emotional outbreaks. Sure, we like to see our own vulnerabilities reflected through our heroes (particularly superheroes), but this is escapism. We are supposed to want to escape our lives, not our characters. He is like so annoying!
These temper tantrums also make it difficult to believe Danny as the Iron Fist. He is not a disciplined warrior. He constantly lets his emotions get the best of him. It goes against everything we are told about the Iron Fist. Why would anybody trust this kid to protect them from anything, let alone from forces as unpredictable and far-reaching as The Hand?
These are just a few of the things that didn't work for us in the new Marvel/Netflix Iron Fist series. What did you think of the show? Did you enjoy it? Did you also have problems with it? Let us know in the comments below!