Iron Fist, “Snow Gives Way”, Recap!
Jeet Kune Do Jondee here at K’un Lun,
Marvel’s Iron Fist has hit Netflix, stream now!, it is developed by Scott Buck who was co-executive producer on Dexter. The Marvel Television Universe has been a solid hit for Netflix since Daredevil, now with Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, Iron Fist joins his Hero-For-Hire partner which will lead to The Defenders! There are thirteen episodes ready to stream. The Iron Fist character was created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane in Marvel Premiere #15 (1974). There was some talk about Finn Jones (known for playing the Knight of Flowers, Loras Tyrell, in Game of Thrones) taking the role of white savior, but I don’t sense it. He is not there to save the Asian people from oppression, he’s there to clean up the New York streets of corrupt business people.
He shares many of the same traits as The Shadow which debuted on the Detective Story Hour radio show in 1930. A wealthy man traveling to an Asian monastery, trains, and then returns to the big city to fight crime. This is the Shadow Archetype also used to reboot Batman Begins (2005), but Iron Fist makes the archetype fresh. There is some language, but I think it is only to adult up the series. The titles are a nod to Shaolin Kung Fu.
The opening has Danny Rand (Jones) going through martial arts moves, leaving a sweeping black trail with each move, all to the music by Trevor Morris which reminds me of Stranger Things; maybe it’s the synthesizer. The show opens with a busy New York street, we notice that amongst the business shoes is a pair of feet and the music is coming from the head phones of a bearded man in the surfer-type sweater. This is Danny Rand listening to Outkast’s “So Fresh, So Clean.” The appearance of Danny as bearded is kept for several episodes and not the clean cut super hero look.
He walks into the Rand Enterprises building to see Harold Meachum and the man checks out a screen that shows the current Rand Enterprises business that also show Wendell Rand, whom he says is his father, and Harold Meachum (David Wenham). I was surprised to see him, known for playing Faramir in The Lord of the Rings films and also Dilios in 300 (2006). Danny is taken out of the building by security, then walks right back in, he uses some martial arts to take them down. These moves are nice and unexpected, don’t underestimate the homeless!
screencap from Netflix/Marvel
Danny reaches the office of Ward Meachum (Tom Pelphrey), and then sees Joy Meachum (Jessica Stroup). He only wants to see their father, Joy says he’s dead from cancer 12 years ago, and tries to convince them that he’s Danny Rand. Armed guards take Danny out, Joy remarks that it is 15 years since his father died, in the elevator, Danny breathes, a flash, and he remembers the plane crash with his parents. Danny walks the streets until he gets to a building and he does some leaping moves to reach the top floor window to enter. He walks out to the balcony and flashback to his younger days, the older Ward doesn’t want to pay for a Monopoly property he landed on, and throws down the board. He realizes that Ward is the same. Some things never change.
Joy returns home and Danny slips away. Danny walks to a tree in the night streets to play some music. He meets a homeless man, Big Al, who has stolen an iphone and looks up Danny Rand and Ward Meachum, both shown in newspapers as dead. The next morning, he tries to see Joy, she confronts him, and he backs into the street until a cab is about to run him over; he flips over it! Danny later meditates to see a hawk landing on a balcony. An Asian woman, Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick, she played Nymeria Sand in Game of Thrones) drops some money in his cup, he tries to refuse it, and sees her ad. He wants a job at her dojo. Colleen is part of Daughters of the Dragon with Misty Knight played by Simone Missick in Luke Cage. In the comics, she is the love interest of Danny, but this will be slow to realize for the series.
Ward goes to his car and Danny is there and drives it up the parking garage. He pulls a gun on Danny, but Danny pulls it away. Danny doesn’t want money, he is pushed by Ward to show him what it feels like until he screams, and Danny flashes back to the plane crash until slamming the car into the garage wall. Later, he is given a sandwich that was thrown out by Big Al. Danny tells Big Al his purpose is to protect K’un Lun. The mystical city is like Brigadoon which only appears at a certain time.
At the Chikara Dojo, Colleen is practicing kendo with her students. Danny enters and wants to challenge the master, she refuses, and he asks about teaching kung fu. He says he trained in K’un L’un. She asks him to leave, he bows, and apologizes; very respectful. Some security guards ambush and fire on him, but Danny gives them the big beat down and escapes. Colleen sees the fight. Danny realizes that Ward is trying to get him killed. No Iron Fist yet, it is a gradual build to finding out how he became the Iron Fist, but we get enough action that this is a great set-up.
Five Immortal Weapons out of Five!